Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle New Album - Pink Shop now Shop Now



VINE VOICEon 14 January 2009
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. Also missing was some of the more technical (but useful) information such as shutter speed, and aperture priority. Not a great loss, but it would still have been useful for a reference to the photographs.

The book is easy to follow and user friendly, offering in depth and step by step explanations. It's a welcome guide to the world of HDR.
0Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 August 2008
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.
0Comment| 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 December 2008
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.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 March 2009
After working through the book you will confidently starting taking HDR pictures. It is full of examples with the tweaks of programs to make the pictures happen. Included are picture sets from a range of specialists.
HDR is like having electronic filters to get the wide range of stops in a picture.
The technical detail in the book does let you get control of the picture taking and merging process. There are examples of pictures at differing EV levels and the result of using different systems. Equally there are examples of bad use of HDR when the gaps are too wide when faults occur and pictures have noise and blotchy areas.
Overall for a photographer it is a must read,certainly I read it cover to cover, then went back for speicific detail.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 July 2008
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.
22 Comments| 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 January 2011
So What is High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) ?

According to Ferrell McCollough the author of this book, HDR is the process of taking several photographs of a scene at various exposures, then merging them into one file. So the entire photograph can look crisp and detailed, from highlights to midtones to shadows - and photographers needn't sacrifice any part of their image.

The Book Review

10 Out Of 10

The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography is the easiest way to to master this exiting relatively new technology with this thorough easy to follow and visually stunning guide book. This book covers everything you need to know to produce great HDR photographs, from how to take great source images to how to merge and tone map your photos.

Sections in the book cover

1. HDR Photography: An Overview (chapter explaining technical details of how HDR works)

2. Equipment, Controls, and Technique (raw vs jpeg, exposure compensation and using a Tripod and more)

3. Merging and Tone Mapping (conversion options, tone compressor vs details enhancer etc)

4. HDR Software and Post Processing (All the major software packages are examined and their virtues compared, The Creative HDR Look and lots more)

5. Capturing Great Source Images (Judging Contrast, Number of Images and Bracketing Amount, Histogram analysis, Ghosting + more)

6. Flash Merging, Architecture, and Panoramas (a shorter chapter on Flash Merging, Architectural HDR Photography and Panoramic HDR Photography)

7. Single Image HDR Photography (shortest chapter on Single Image Tone Mapping and Graduated ND Filters vs HDR)

8. Advanced Image Analysis (I think this last chapter should really be named extras or others as this is not really that much about analyzing images). The chapter includes Black and White HDR Photography, Night and Low Light HDR Photography, Macro and Flowers.

When I first read about this book I wondered how a HDR photography would take 174 pages to cover. But I soon realised that this book covers everything about HDR and that 174 pages for everything about HDR isnt much. I particularly enjoyed the page on Extreme Tone Mapping in the last chapter as this really opened my mind on how creative HDR can be.

Top Things I learnt From This Book

The technical details of exactly how HDR works

That you can have shadow in your photos and have an HDR image

That you can have black and white HDR images

That HDR can help reduce noise in photographs.

My Rating 10 Out Of 10

I found this book an enjoyable read and I think it fully desrves 10 stars. I now feel confident in producing good HDR images. Regulary now I take several photos of some scenes to see what that they would look like combined in a HDR image. The book feels nice to the hands and the printing quality is excellent. This book is an ideal starter book for anyone interested in HDR images, experienced photographer or not, it will guide you through the world of HDR. This is a book that will remain on my book shelf as a useful reference book for years to come as I continue my journey through the world of HDR.
review image
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 May 2014
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.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 February 2009
This book is remarkable value for money. The pictures are superb and inspire efforts towards similar results. However, those looking for a complete reference work for HDR should look elsewhere.

The author is clear in the areas covered and his enthusiasm for the subject comes across well. There are some good ideas to get you started and is a worthy introduction to the subject and a little beyond. Ultimately though it left me wishing for just a little more depth - hence a rating of one star short of the five.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 February 2009
I teach Adobe PhotoShop but am relatively new to HDR. Just to reiterate my fellow reviewers comments. "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.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book to my students.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 May 2009
This is an excellent well presented book and is a great introduction to anyone embarking on the HDR technique. It fairly reviews several HDR software packages and in my case of Photomatix, gives an excellent step by step guide. I have not finished reading it, however, insofar as I've got, I would highly recommend it. I have shown it to other members of my camera club and raise interest int it.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)