I have been a fan of Trey Ratcliffs for some time now. Trey is one of the pioneers of HDR photography, and he has been instrumental in making this sort of photography popular and known by the masses.
For a while HDR has been regarded as a sort of artificial or unrealistic school of photography.
It was frowned upon by the photography establishment and until now not seen as a legitimate form in its own right. Many such photographers thought that the extreme dynamic range possible with HDR made the photographs “unrealistic” and not true to reality.
Until HDR emerged, everyone was used to the fact that a taking a photo meant committing to a certain exposure. Anyone who has tried photographing outside from whithin a building knows that the final photo either shows a proper lighting of the interior OR the exterior. That is, either the interior darker details are visible and the outside is a white blur OR the outside bright details, clouds etc are visible and the interior details of the room are a dark blur.
Traditional photography means you have to chose. But in real life we don’t have to chose. The eyes adjust to the proper sensitivity according to where we focus. The combined experience is that we can see BOTH the details in the clouds outside AND the darker details of the interior room. HDR works the same way – you get the best of both worlds, and a photo that is closer to the experience that you actually had when you were there.
Trey is a nice guy with a mission to promote HDR photography. He runs a blog at stuckincustoms.com that has tens of thousands of visitors every day, but decided to help other HDR photographers spread their work and generate traffic to their sites. So he created HDRspotting.com which works as a traffic generation engine. It’s a community by invitation where members can upload and share their work.
I have posted numerous HDR photos to HDRspotting.com, and as a result thousands of people have now seen my photos of the fairy tale castles and landscapes that are so common in Scandinavia it’s almost hard to spot them. Here’s an example of what I mean: the lake pavillion in central Copenhagen. Visible from a unique angle this winter because of the prolonged frost that made walking on the lakes possible.