Extreme Restraint

The only High Dynamic Range (HDR) images I like are the ones whose tags I have to consult to discover that they were so constructed. Every new tool brings a period of wild experimentation after which we either rewrite the rulebook or reassert the old rules. We're coming out of that experimental period with HDR and the photography rulebook seems remarkably resilient.

Photography is simply not about the technology. Since the geeks comprehensively colonised the online photography world, efforts are continually made to make photography an algorithmic thing about sharpness, ISO sensitivity, AF points and data buffers. Photography had its analog geeks before it was digital, but photography was never about these things when photography was analog. It remains so today.

Darwin's Temple
Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm @ 10
1/6th @ f/8, ISO 200 (+/- 2EV). HDR image merged in Photoshop CS4.

Photography is about me communicating with you. As I shot this image at the Natural History Museum last week, all I wanted to do was convey to you how I think about this building and how it impacts me. The fact that I constructed this image out of three separate exposures and Photoshop CS4's Merge to HDR feature is a fun detail for me, but that just makes it easier for me to express to you that I find this building grand, yet warm and inviting. Full of treasures to explore.