A World in HDR Review

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High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this book, Trey shares his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He also reveals the techniques he used to get the final shot. The breathtaking images gracing these pages and the author’s real-world advice for capturing and manipulating images will inspire you to create your own HDR magic. So Trey also includes his simple and straightforward tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know to make your own HDR photographs, whether you’re a beginner, amateur, or professional. A unique blend of practical and inspirational, this book features

A World in HDR Review

If ever there was a reason to go check a book out in person before you buy, this is it. I waited for this book to come out. This was my one and only Christmas gift this year. Heaven knows how much Trey has hyped it on his website, Flickr, FB and Twitter. The cover shows a “seal” on the top left that says “Featuring The Award-Winning Exclusive HDR TUTORIAL” WOW!! It HAS to be good right? Wrong.

First off, it’s 210 pages long. Of those 210 pages, roughly 18 relate to this “Award Winning HDR Tutorial.” That leaves the rest for him to show us his “home movies” of his greatest shots (just ask him). Like someone else mentioned, most of these shots are already on his website, in larger than life sizes. Hey, I admire a healthy ego, but this book is kind of over the top for me.

Instead of showing HOW he did each of the 100+ pages of HDR photos that we are treated to, he tells us about getting up on catwalks and how popular he is and all the great places he’s been to. Super..

Which takes us to the Tutorial itself. Wow, not really helpful. Think of someone who is so impressed with his HDR work, that he doesn’t REALLY want anyone else to copy him.. Telling others “how to” do HDR photos.. That pretty much sums it up.

Tips like: “Smoothing. This important slider affects the HDRness of the shot. The more you move it to the left, the more psychedelic your imagine will be.” Thanks Trey..

On shooting your HDR sunset photo to follow along with in this award winning tutorial. Does he also show a sunset photo just for kicks? Or offer a download for photos so you can follow along?? Nope.. He shows us one of his favorite Times Square photos. How does this relate to the sunset we are supposed to be doing? It’s doesn’t.

So, take some pictures already!! Ha, set camera on auto-bracket and take 3 shots, -2, 0, +2. Of course my award winning Times square photo was taken with 5 auto bracket shots but I want to confuse you later, so I’ll work with 5 auto bracketed shots of Times Square and you work with 3 auto bracketed shots of some sunset. That way, I don’t have to “really” show you how I would do it, by using the very same setup or photos.. See that’s how this award winning tutorial and photo book goes. Most of the award winning tutorial pages are really 1/2 to 1/3rd of the page, as his Time Square photos takes up the rest of it. (Not to mention pg’s 178 and 179 are just one large award winning Times Square photograph.)

“What aperture should you use? Well, this (award winning) Tutorial doesn’t really advise on this sort of thing, but f/9 or /10 should keep everything is focus.”
In all honestly, aperture is not one of the things I’m wanting to know about. Again, would have been nice to see more screen shots of the different HDR apps and settings he used to achieve them.

Honestly, I have nothing against Trey or HDR. If your a SIC fan, this is a great book for you. If you’re looking for an “Award winning HDR Tutorial, this is NOT the book you seek.

I own both Photomatix pro and Dynamic-Photo HDR. I was hoping this would really be an asset in learning more about HDR, It’s not. Both programs offer far more help in their FAQs.

I feel like I was sold something I wouldn’t have bought had I been able to look through the tutorial first. It’s my fault. I fell for Trey’s hype instead. I live in a small town in a remote area. The local “book” store sells newspapers. If you are a fan of Trey, you have already seen all these HDR photos, trust me. There really is nothing new here. It’s no wonder Amazon is showing so many for sale as used.

I would have given this one star, but I don’t want to be that guy. Besides, Trey’s given me a whole new respect for Ken Rockwell.

Oh well, looking forward for my Sham-wow to come, heard they are great..

  • a breathtaking collection of HDR photographs
  • engaging explanations of how the author achieved the image
  • expert tips for achieving stunning results (and avoiding common mistakes)
  • a foolproof HDR tutorial and software recommendations

From the Back Cover

High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this book, Trey shares his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He also reveals the techniques he used to get the final shot. The breathtaking images gracing these pages and the author’s real-world advice for capturing and manipulating images will inspire you to create your own HDR magic. So Trey also includes his simple and straightforward tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know to make your own HDR photographs, whether you’re a beginner, amateur, or professional. A unique blend of practical and inspirational, this book features

  • a breathtaking collection of HDR photographs
  • engaging explanations of how the author achieved the image
  • expert tips for achieving stunning results (and avoiding common mistakes)
  • a foolproof HDR tutorial and software recommendations

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