I took this one on a quick hike to the Hollywood sign. After reading countless stories about the difficulty getting to the sign I decided to give it a go... After risking "life and limb" I have convinced myself of on thing; Don't pay attention to people on the internet. On a scale of 1 to 10..the hike was a 3 at best.
My HDR story.
One year ago I was in the hospital and the doctor said; "Neil, if you ever drink again, you will die." So I was forced to stop drinking the gallon a day and the two pack habit that was my regiment .
What to do with all of my time? 5 years prior, in a drunken rage, filled with Jack Daniels, cocaine and enough nicotine to make a Virginian choke, I had a moment of "clarity." I bought a DSLR and proclaimed "this will now take the place of partying." So 5 years later, forced to fill my time, I went to internet to get started;
1. Yahoo to Flickr
2. Flickr - amazing colors and dynamic range (noticed the letters HDR everywhere)
3. back to Yahoo - "HDR" brought me to Stuck in Customs
4. Free tutorial - one hour later, MY FIRST HDR
That's the story. "That's nice Neil, what's your point?"
The #1 reason I was drawn to HDR is a comment written by Trey Ratcliff. He wrote about getting a fancy new camera and being disappointed with the images. The images it produced didn't portray what he saw with his naked eye (I wrote eye because he claims to be blind in one eye.) He found HDR and used it to recreate what his eye saw. That leads me to my question for you....
Looking at this image, notice the colors of the grass in the shaded part of the hill on the right. With one single exposure you would not be able to see that area so vividly. The camera simply can't expose for all of the light levels in this scene. In person, I saw the color in the shaded areas exactly the way I represented them here. Now our brains tell us that we shouldn't see color and light in a shaded areas based on the thousands of photographs we've seen.
So my question; DOES THIS HDR image LOOK UNNATURAL OR REALISTIC?