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Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography (Lark Photography) Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lark; 1 edition (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600591965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600591969
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 22.2 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a very experienced photographer (35 years) and have 12 months experience with HDR. Ferrell McCollough's book is an excellent all round view of HDR and related techniques. This book would be an ideal book for an experienced digital photographer just starting in HDR. I found information which confirmed and extended my previous knowledge as well as some new and valuable additional information. I found the book easy to read end to end but it will remain on my shelf as a useful reference book.

The book is almost worth the cost just to see the superb HDR images let alone the wealth of information. This is excellent value.
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Format: Paperback
The "Complete Guide To High Dynamic Range Digital Photography" written by Ferrell McCollough, is an illustrated guide to creating perfectly exposed HDR photographs.

For those that are unfamiliar with the term HDR, the book provides a brief but exacting explanation, it says that "HDR refers to the process of taking several pictures of a scene at various exposure levels, then merging the images into one file to maximize the dynamic range of the captured scene." This would mean you'll end result would be a photograph without shadows, washed out skies, or blown highlights.

HDR photography is becoming increasing popular, and this book is fantastic method for beginners to learn the new technique. Even if your a practiced photographer, but are just unfamiliar with HDR, the book will also be of use.

The book begins with a great overview of HDR photography and covers aspects such as HDR vs RAW, tone mapping, and how HDR helps to reduce noise. A section on equipment, controls and techniques follows. Also included is information on post processing, capturing great image sources, flash merging, architecture, and panoramas. I found the final chapter on "advanced image analysis" the most interesting. It covers something I've never considered before - HDR in black and white. as well as low light photography.

Most chapters end with examples from featured artists. There are some great HDR photographs in the book which show what the technique is really capable of and how it can be used.

The book isn't quite a complete guide. There is little information on the best way to print your HDR images. The absence of such data seems like an unusual thing to miss considering that printing your image is usually the end result.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a good, in depth explanation of the techniques involved in the creation of HDR images.
It's written in easy to follow terms with lots of really clear analogies, making it easier to understand the technical stuff.

However, the author completely misses out the last part of the equation, which is how to prepare your fab new pictures for the web and especially for print. There is no mention of the necessary CMYK conversion process that has to be involved in most printing.

Neither was there any mention of the camera, lense, aperture and shutter speed that most dedicated photographers like to be aware of when examining a photograph technically.

And finally, the author also fails to mention that, using any version of Photoshop with layers, these images can be created in a very simple way. Just layer the various exposures at varying opacities - 100%, 60%, 30%, etc and then apply a contrast curve to the result. So you don't need to rely on the software packages that are covered in the book. Although they're cheap enough, the resulting artifacts and oversaturation can easily overwhelm your image.

Is this book worth the money? You can learn all the ins and outs of HDR online for free, you can look at a zillion HDR images online for free, but if you really want to show people what you're talking about - the printed page does the trick. Which is why it's so annoying that printing is missed out completely.
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Format: Paperback
As you're reading this I'm sure you're aware of the possibilities of HDR and what it can do. It's still a pretty new field that is changing rapidly as tools and techniques improve all the time.

The book offers a good start on your journey into the world of HDR imaging. It explains nicely the basic theory behind it and how it works. It then explains how to do it and what you need. It reviews various programs you can use to create your HDR images. Of course since the field of HDR is moving forward all the time, the applications might have improved and there might be new ones out there, but the basic ideas are still the same. And many of the techiques and ideas still work recardless of the software you use. Topics on panoramas, using flash, post processing etc.

And if nothing else, it does offer quite inspiring HDR images to motivate you to go out there and try things, because that's what HDR is still about - trying things.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First the negatives:

This book appears to be dated, published in 2008 it references Photoshop CS3. The HDR software has also moved on too.

It follows a standard pattern adopted by many HDR books, lots of wow images and general guidance on how to create them.
I was disappointed in the area I struggle with, movement in merged images. This is covered with bullet point suggestions and a small paragraph. In general, the content is not difficult to comprehend, but I could not absorb the information without the software up and running so I could refer to the program. My eyes just glazed over trying to read it on the train.

The plus: It did give me creative ideas, I had not thought of some techniques such as the merging multiple flash images together. It also pointed me in the right direction on how to assess images and a better workflow with PhotoMatix Pro.

To sum up: Not a complete guide, if you don't mind reading off a screen then others have posted the same sort of guidance online for free. A nice book to browse and dip into whilst using the software. If you ever spot it on sale for £7.99 ish then snap it up. At £15 if I had seen it in a retail outlet and flicked through it, I would possibly not have purchased.
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