Customer Reviews


31 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HDR Explained - clearly!
High Dynamic Range (HDR), people either love it or hate it.
The latter is most likely because there are so many poor examples of its application out there - where the instigators have been so engrossed with its potential to produce an outlandish image that the technique has been used to try and make an otherwise mediocre or poor photograph look 'different'...
Published on 22 Dec 2009 by Roy Hammans

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
OK
Published 1 month ago by Guntackle


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HDR Explained - clearly!, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Roy Hammans "Weeping Ash" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
High Dynamic Range (HDR), people either love it or hate it.
The latter is most likely because there are so many poor examples of its application out there - where the instigators have been so engrossed with its potential to produce an outlandish image that the technique has been used to try and make an otherwise mediocre or poor photograph look 'different'.

In this book David Nightingale shows how it can be used as just another tool in the digital photographer's workshop to produce an image that can express an otherwise unattainable result that best conveys the photographer's vision.

That result can indeed be far removed from 'reality', or it can be a subtle interpretation of a scene that gives no indication of being anything other than a straightforward photograph of what the human eye can see. A more extreme application of the technique can produce images that are incredibly 'graphic' - ones that bear little resemblance to a conventional photograph and which are more comparable perhaps with a lithograph or etching. If the end result is pleasing to the viewer then it matters little what technique was employed to achieve it.

I have used HDR techniques for several years, both professionally and for my own personal imagery. I have experimented with both extreme and subtle approaches and each have their place. In this book each of the three current major players in the HDR software market are considered alongside detailed instruction in how best to produce and handle the original digital images required for the technique to work effectively.

Even though I had some prior experience, I found the structured approach laid out in this book - together with the detailed considerations of the virtues and shortfalls of each piece of software - extremely useful in organising and refining my technique. Although there is a wealth of information available on the web if you hunt it down, nowhere have I seen the process explained with such clarity and with such detailed comparative examples.

This book will therefore suit both absolute newcomers to the technique as well as those already immersed in its capabilities. Profusely illustrated with work by David Nightingale himself (much of which will be familiar to followers of the Chromasia web site) as well as by other practitioners from around the world, the book is well laid out and printed to a high standard. There are many 'screen grabs' of the various stages of production, the respective image histograms and the varying effects given by different software settings. Starting with an explanation of what 'dynamic range' is, how it relates to an image histogram and how to interpret these, there follows detailed examples of the technique in action using Photomatix Pro, FDR Tools and Adobe Photoshop software. Each of these is available on free trial download from their respective suppliers and a listing of other software available but not considered in the book is also included.

This is a great book for anyone interested in exploring a technique that offers possibilities of interpretation unique to digital photography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting set of techniques well presented., 19 July 2010
By 
M. Bhangal "S" (Somewhere in Northern England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
There is a fundamental issue with HDR in that it is easy to learn but difficult to master. The main skill you need to master HDR is the ability to take technically good pictures with a dSLR, and not anything to do with HDR itself. The irony of course is that if you know how to take technically good pictures, you know 90% of everything you need to know about HDR!

So what do you need to know in terms of digital photography?

You have a good understanding of the advantages of camera RAW over other formats (esp JPEGs). You need to know enough about your camera to be able to take a number of images of exactly the same scene but with different exposure values (EV), varying only the shutter to alter the tonal range per shot. Experience with digital post production (Lightroom and/or Photoshop and/or using your Camera RAW converter software) is useful. You also need to have an appreciation of digital and chromatic aberration (both can be a big issue in HDR as you add a number of images together and the noise can also be additive).
Finally, you need to know the underlying reason why dSLR never reproduce images with the same luminosity range available to the human eye (which in essence, is the problem HDR is addressing).

After that, the rest of the HDR process is a piece of cake, as you're using a fairly simple process that consists of slider tweaking in dedicated HDR applications (you can also do it in Photoshop, which can be more difficult as you are messing about with layers and adjustment masks, but CS5 now automates even that, so even there it's still slider tweaking!).

The upshot of all this is that HDR is something you can learn quickly (I learnt and practiced the entire process with numerous shots over a rather enjoyable weekend), and its something that gives you a very useful new photography skill. For example, I now use HDR in product photography - it is a much easier way to produce excellent lighting without actually having to use expensive physical lighting.

My only slight criticism with the book is that the author seems to lean towards the more `hyper-real' style of HDR (which I would define as over saturated and cartoony) instead of `natural' HDR (simulating how the eye actually perceives the scene by extending the tonal range into something closer to real life). However, I can forgive this, as both routes are covered well, and sections on how to tone down the effect based on personal preference are well documented.

Overall, I got an enjoyable weekend playing with something new in photography and at less than 10 quid its far cheaper than a new lens (and as a new lens is usually 300-500 quid, my partner probably approves!). The book is also full colour quality printing throughout, so on a physical basis, the book is a bit of a steal and a nice book to flick through.

Recommended for any competent dSLR user looking for a new challenge.

*** Update November 2010 ***
Since writing this review, I have also bought the HDR books by Pete Carr and Rick Sammon. I still hold that the Practical HDR book is currently the best of the bunch.

It is worth noting however, that the new NIK EFEX HDR plugin is available (as of November 2010), and may be a better choice for new HDR users rather than Photomatix (the latter of which all current HDR books major towards). Also, Photoshop CS5 now has much better HDR support, and this is not covered in any of the three books. Given all this, it may be better waiting for an updated book edition.

Wow. It's getting like buying cameras; you buy the best one and a better one gets announced the next week. Damn ;)

*** update Dec 2012 ***
There is an updated edition of this book imminent: Practical HDR
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well explained, 22 Nov 2009
By 
R. Baston (Newcastle UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
This is not the biggest tome on the subject of HDR imagery but does a good job at explaining the issues involved and reviews several proprietary products to make the task better and/or easier, but emphasises that there might still be some work to do in an image editing programme. Both subtle and subjectively some 'over the top' images are shown. For the money an excellent book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my photography the second i started reading it, 29 Aug 2010
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
I'm 17 years old and i'm an avid photography enthusiast, and i figured i could use some books, and out of the five books that i bought, this is the only one that taught me valuable information. Ever since i read this book i've been carrying my tripod everywhere i go as well as bracketing each shot between -3 and +3 exposure compensation and also all my photos have been raw, and i will say, my photography has taken a a turn for the better. On facebook you can search "Rob Bahou Photography" as a page and you'll be able to see some of my latest work, and i have to say it is thanks to this book. I have learned exactly how to use Photoshop and Photomatix for HDR Photography. David Nightingale writes very fluidly and he explains everything in a very straightforward way, so even the novice photographers will make good use of this book. And also, the pictures that are in this book are stunning, that would even be enough of a reason for me to buy it, the printing quality is fantastic, i would suggest this book to anyone looking to try out a new form of photography and never turn back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational but....., 10 Jan 2011
By 
M. Wootton (Bridgnorth, Shropshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
This book is full of inspirational images and masses of very detailed advice on HDR processing.
Just be aware that the author has tried to cover three different HDR software programmes in this one book. So unless you are an HDR junkie with all his recommended choices of software loaded and ready to go, possibly up to two thirds of the text will be of little use to you!
However, If you want to learn the tricks of the HDR trade I would strongly recommend this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good step-by-step guide to HDR, 18 Mar 2010
By 
Michael Stephen (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
I have been an admirer of HDR images for a while now and always wondered how they were achieved. I saw this book featured in a photo magazine where it got a good review so decided to buy it.
I like the way it explains things in a step-by-step sort of way but I wish there were sample images for us readers to use along with the guides. This would give us more understanding of the process.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Briliant HDR Photography, 24 July 2010
By 
jakczek (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
WHAT A FOOL I WAS !!!! I often looked at this book when searching for informative books on HDR Photography; but for some reason passed it by. Then one day I decided to order it, and was wonderfully surprised at the superb level of information held within its covers. It is an easy book to follow as it is well, written in good language with loads of wonderful examples, of amazing HDR Images. I would strongly recommend this volume.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful reference guide, 17 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
Very useful guide,it is split into 3 really, that is the three main softwares used for HDR,
that i didn't like. I use Photomatix pro and that only, so there was at least one third of the book
that wasn't applicable to me,although having said that one could possibly acquire all three softwares
represented in the book,but if one does the trick why change, and besides where one software may excel
in something or other i happen to think that too much post production work is detrimental
but all in all good buy, and promptly received and well packaged as per Amazon
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful in comparing software processing choices, 1 Dec 2010
By 
Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
This is a good, beautifully presented introduction to High Dynamic Range photography and processing. After introducing the concept, Nightingale goes on to discuss shooting for HDR, the three main software options for processing your images (Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix Pro and FDRTools) and post production ideas mainly using Photoshop. He outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the three software solutions, allowing you to make a considered choice of which one to use, although he clearly favours Photomatix Pro, not least as it is superior for the kind of Hyper-real HDR images that Nightingale favours (and which gets HDR photography something of a bad name amongst some). Each stage is clearly described, explaining the whys and hows without getting too bogged down in the complexities behind the software. It's a nice balance. He works through some examples, so you can see what he's on about. He's a good teacher/guide and it's easy enough to follow as he balances clarity with detail.

Also presented are a number of HDR images from several photographers - ranging from the photo-real to the hyper-real. As with most HDR work, some will be to your taste and others won't - it's the nature of this type of technique, but some are spectacular - others less so. It's a shame that he isn't able to document what software these images were produced on and what settings were used.

It's a very good introduction to the technique, balancing style and substance. It's the type of book that you will want to look at for the images long after you have taken on board the lessons he imparts. Certainly the best introduction to HDR book I've seen. It would have been nice to see some of the "good" images processed differently to help the reader understand how so many bad HDR images can be created and what to watch out for. To a degree this is of course subjective (and perhaps why Nightingale avoids it) but this would have been helpful.

If you are bored and tired of HDR images, this won't change your mind (then again, why would you be looking at a book on it if this were the case) - although he manages to keep a check on the too hyper real look for most of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learnt something., 16 Oct 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (Paperback)
Learnt quite a bit from this book including one thing not really to do with HDR that vastly improved my post processing of all my images.A better way of finding out what the functions in the HDR software do(i have photomatix3) than just fiddling thats for sure.Some really good images to inspire you too.Inevitably the (short) chapters on the software you dont own are skipped but thats the nature of books like this.Improved my knowledge of HDR image production no end so......
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR
Used & New from: £5.04
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews