The HDR Hole

Mon, Aug 19, 2013
I'm pretty new to photography, so I've been gobbling up whatever knowledge and experience I can to get better (yes, gobbling).  That is, except for actually taking photos.  I know that's the most important part, but you try taking sunrise shots in Florida in August in 82 degree weather in 105% humidity.  God help you if you try to change lenses.

Anyway, pretty early on I started noticing HDR.  Sometimes with a "whoa, what's that?" sort of response, sometimes with a "wtf is that?!" sort of response, and then other times with a "oh, that's cool, I see what you did there!" response.   That is to say HDR is used for good, evil, and everything in between.  Then a dear friend pointed me towards:

That's where I saw this:

From  I couldn't find where this graphic originated, seems to be many places around the web.  Importantly I didn't make it, and wish I could give credit to the person who did because it made me laugh and inspired this blog.
With a little bit of research, I found there's a whole subculture of HDR haters out there.  Here's a few:
However, among the same research results I found some unnervingly positive stuff:
  • Why HDR Sucks? by Dave Wilson- this guy uses the rhetorical question "why hdr sucks?" to explain why hdr does not suck.  Very tricky sir!  Moreover, he goes on to critique some of his own bad HDR work in order to provide lessons on how to improve your HDR.  
  • Last but not least, the HDR Sucks Flickr pool.  Sadly, much of this stuff doesn't suck at all.

What's a boy to do?

HDR sucks.  HDR doesn't suck.  Which is it, and what's at the bottom of that HDR Hole?

Well folks, there's only one way to find out- HDR everything!