35 Fantastic HDR Pictures


Applied carefully, High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) can create incredibly beautiful pictures which blur our sense of the difference between reality and illusion. In graphics HDR imaging is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows. This is usually achieved by modifying photos with image processing software for tone-mapping. And the results can be really incredible; in fact, many artists and designers come up with some pretty fancy results.

This post covers 35 extremely beautiful and perfectly executed HDR-pictures. Some of them might look surreal, too colorful, even magic or fake, but they are not — keep in mind that they’ve all been developed out of usual photos, and not a single image is an illustration.

Please notice:

  • the selection isn’t supposed to be complete which is why we encourage you to post links to further excellent HDR images in the comments to this post;
  • there is no ranking, all pictures have been selected due to their outstanding quality and excellent execution;
  • you can explore further works of the designers and photographers we’ve featured below by browsing through their sets on Flickr;
  • all screenshots are clickable and lead to the pages from which they’ve been taken;
  • you might want to take a look at the article (Really) Stunning Desktop Wallpapers1 we’ve published earlier.

Fantastic HDR Pictures

HDR Photos - Something_to_see_here_32

HDR Photos - Dranesville Tavern3

HDR Photos - untitled4

HDR Photos - A postcard for the Margarita island5

HDR Photos - One Night in Bangkok6

HDR Photos - Caracara takes off7

HDR Photos - Los Tres Magia8

HDR Photos - 871 @ Sattahip Naval Base (Thailand)9

HDR Photos - Golden Gate HDR10

HDR Photos - Inverted Vertigo11

HDR Photos - Helix Nebula Over Paris DRI12

HDR Photos - From above...13

HDR Photos - Catedral de Malaga 2 (HDR)14

HDR Photos - Sparkle in Her Eye - HDR15

HDR Photos - The Solitude of the Fisherman16

HDR Photos - Greece is the word...17

HDR Photos - My own peace of mind - HDR by *equinoxe7 on deviantART18

HDR Photos - Devil Hotel19

HDR Photos - Home_is_where_the_cello_is20

HDR Photos - The Veins of Bangkok21

HDR Photos - captured emotion22

HDR Photos - Heart of Satan - What it looks like when fireworks explode inside of a storm cloud over a river23

HDR Photos - Bridge24

HDR Photos - foggy wood (Published in March 08 National Geographic)25

HDR Photos - City at 60 degrees North / Icebreaker Krasin26

HDR Photos - Mistral Action27

HDR Photos - Breakwater @ Pirita28

HDR Photos - : Photo by Photographer Maciek Duczynski29

HDR Photos - A Mushroom with a view30

HDR Photos - ECO Lake31

HDR Photos - Icy Landscape32

HDR Photos - A cokin sunset33

HDR Photos - Clark Quay Reflected34

HDR Photos - I have sailed the seven seas ...35

HDR Photos - The Aliens Have Landed36

HDR Photos - City of lights37

HDR Photos - Flickr: Discussing Your Best HDR Sunrise or Sunset in HDR Unlimited38

Sources and Further Resources


  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/12/really-stunning-desktop-wallpapers/
  2. 2 http://flickr.com/photos/shoebappa/1156912539/
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregoryhughdavidson/1103684653/
  4. 4 http://flickr.com/photos/stevenarens/792191425/
  5. 5 http://flickr.com/photos/atrium09/409849443/in/set-72157594360499066/
  6. 6 http://flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/300341306/in/set-72057594049344877/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wili/2090459727/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dimitridepaepe/960121889/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pi-production/2259776827/
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/9147703@N03/2176897085/
  11. 11 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/403608395/
  12. 12 http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepretender/2259664575/in/set-340265/
  13. 13 http://flickr.com/photos/black_velvet/401272463/
  14. 14 http://flickr.com/photos/atrium09/455448365/
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/residae/386002977/
  16. 16 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/477846714/
  17. 17 http://flickr.com/photos/elementalpaul/2261257446/in/pool-hdr
  18. 18 http://equinoxe7.deviantart.com/art/My-own-peace-of-mind-HDR-66318869
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/valpopando/1963947845/
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmarcx/1992322836/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/310074290
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/niklens/155636436/
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/752319396/
  24. 24 http://studiophototrope.wordpress.com/
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynchburgvirginia/407618927/
  26. 26 http://flickr.com/photos/photopavel/381939699/
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/airellere/290879810/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgaponenko/293182942/
  29. 29 http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=4920356
  30. 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dimitridepaepe/1885164835/
  31. 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/espionic/671937790/
  32. 32 http://flickr.com/photos/usbdevice/2050078770/
  33. 33 http://www.flickr.com/photos/murtasma/730847627/
  34. 34 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/423766080/
  35. 35 http://flickr.com/photos/asmundur/133381950/
  36. 36 http://flickr.com/photos/gregscargill/2276338233/in/pool-bestofhdrpictures
  37. 37 http://flickr.com/photos/manuperez/305828149/
  38. 38 http://flickr.com/groups/hdrunlimited/discuss/72157600564290886/#comment72157603859102754
  39. 39 http://www.pixelandpoly.com/nyc_in_hdr.html
  40. 40 http://abduzeedo.com/20-beautiful-hdr-pictures
  41. 41 http://hdrcreme.com/
  42. 42 http://tutorialblog.org/hdr-tutorials-roundup/
  43. 43 http://flickr.com/groups/the_biggest_buildings_in_hdr/pool/
  44. 44 http://www.hdrjapan.com/
  45. 45 http://www.revver.com/video/602882/learn-how-to-create-hdr-photos-in-photoshop/
  46. 46 http://flickr.com/photos/atrium09/sets/72157594360499066/
  47. 47 http://flickr.com/groups/98936892@N00/pool/
  48. 48 http://flickr.com/groups/bestofhdrpictures/pool/
  49. 49 http://flickr.com/groups/84808663@N00/pool/
  50. 50 http://flickr.com/groups/the_biggest_buildings_in_hdr/pool/
  51. 51 http://flickr.com/groups/qualityhdr/pool/
  52. 52 http://flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/sets/72157603505606537/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Nice pics!

  2. 2


  3. 3

    Wouwww, these are really gorgeous!!!

  4. 4

    I can safely say that, these aren’t the one the best HDR pics. I am great fan of HDR pics and have seen really great of them. I am not blaming though, as you have already explained that in your disclosure. Some are really great, though. Keep it up!!

  5. 5

    this hdr trend is really annoying. it’s just pimping boring photos that lack of content. i wouldn’t even call it photography at all, sorry.

  6. 6


    Sorry but some of those pictures are really good. They have good motives, moods and perspective and would still be good shots if they where B&W. And to “not even call it photography at all” is kind of stupid. A photo doesnt always have to tell a heartbreaking to be good. At least show us something that you would call good photography.

  7. 7

    I am starting to really get into HDR photography and this post has given me such inspiration – what an absolutely fantastic post – thanks!

  8. 8

    The pics are lovely… but what is the equipment you need to shoot them? Is this an expensive technique?

  9. 9

    Wow, what a collection …

  10. 10

    Would be good to see a ‘(Really) Stunning Desktop HDR Wallpapers’. These are stunning, but I want ‘em bigger!

  11. 11

    Gorgeous pictures, thank you!

  12. 12

    Amazing collection!
    kuldeep, please post the links to better images, I’d love to see them!

  13. 13

    some good pics here, but i’m afraid HDR is one of the techniques that you can screw up most… and i promise to those of you who are stunned by all of the pictures up here cause it’s the first time you see hdr-pictures: it won’t be long, and you’ll start to hate these unnaturally overstructured skies on the photos of e.g. the golden gate bridge or that greek temple. these are some better examples of how NOT to apply the HDR-technique. golden rule as always: keep it natural…
    and btw: there are some “fake” HDRs on this list. a real HDR is composed of several pictures with different exposure time, and i guess it might be difficult to get these birds to stay in the same position for several shots… not that anyone cared, just wanted to be the smart-ass…:P

  14. 14

    Fantastical and fun. I would love to publish a poetry book with such pics…..

  15. 15

    These are so beautiful. I’m in love.

  16. 16

    Very very nice, it looks so amazing

  17. 17

    I like the disclaimer you posted for all the elitist ass hats.

  18. 18

    Another HDR post. As im a image passionate this techniques are just a wonderfull way to improve may pictures.

  19. 19

    you claim the intention (of hdr-technique) is to “accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes”, then you post 30-odd tone-mapped-to-hell examples of hdr photography at its absolute worst. nice one!

  20. 20

    This stuff is so incredible. True HDR or not, it’s a great looking effect and these images really “pop”. I’m glad this effect is not something easily obtainable otherwise you’d start seeing it all over.

  21. 21

    damn it, its really fantastic!

  22. 22
  23. 23

    I second shasta, chus and others who comment on the “unreality” of many of these photos. Some of them look like they belong on the cover of cheesy fantasy novels. And I will second Chus’ link to cambridgeincolour.com. THAT is some beautiful HDR work!

  24. 24

    terrible! Nuff said, these all are tone mapped way beyond….

    If this was digg I would give you -1

  25. 25

    No doubt. Hallucination – maybe. Nice photos – definitely not.

  26. 26

    Beautiful pictures, very crisp and clean!

  27. 27

    Hard to believe that everyone of these pictures was originally a photograph.

  28. 28

    Awesome eye candy!

  29. 29

    Wow, these are beautiful – although some of them look unreal and almost like computer generated like the SF bridge.
    Nice collection.

  30. 30

    thanks a lot!

  31. 31

    So kitsch :p

  32. 32

    You have a LOT to learn about HDR. These all look like Photomatix jobs with the dial set to “11” (Spinal Tap reference). If it no longer LOOKS like a photograph, then the HDR has not been done correctly. If it still looks like a photograph, but somehow better (like Ansel Adams zone system shots did for B&W), then you’ve got a well done HDR job.

    If you want to see HDR done right, check out this guy’s work: BackingWinds. He’s a professional photoshopper and also a budding pro photographer and I think you’ll see some stuff that doesn’t look like such an obvious CGI.

  33. 33


    Reminds me of a new photoshop user – uses every gimmicky filter he can get his hands on to create …err *cough* …’art’

    The original use of HDR photography was to accurately light computer generated 3d scenes…why don’t we let it stay that way.

    This a fad that will date, die and decay just as quickly as snow washed jeans!

  34. 34

    Very nice collection, however, i hate black clouds in the sky, they just aren’t natural

  35. 35

    I totally agree with that! I think it is becoming the “Bob Ross technique” of the photography.

  36. 36

    Being Singaporean, its nice to see 3 photos of Singapore in the collection. :)

  37. 37

    For the last link, use this for the photo page: http://flickr.com/photos/ariffin/2083692789/in/set-72157594411342600/

  38. 38

    Whatever happened to just taking a really well composed and properly exposed photograph? For example, Ansel Adams achieved dramatic effects without Photomatix.

    Reminds me of when the Matrix came out, and everywhere you looked, even Subaru commercials, they all used that same freeze/surround effect. This is just another one of those gimicks.

  39. 39

    And another Photoshop filter becomes trendy. The HDR “look” to images (#2, #3, #5, #8) will come and go, and the faster this look goes, that better.

    There is good reason to use HDR photography techniques: to capture a wider dynamic range. See #1, #13, #18, and maybe #35 – wide dynamic range, no Photoshop filter look (oh, sorry – I suppose you think these images have “style”? You don’t get style out of a Photoshop filter).

    @dharma: no equipment except for a $69 Photoshop filter. Just take a bracketed exposure (+/- 2 stops, generally) and let Photoshop do the work. You will need a camera that you can control manually, though.

  40. 40

    Wow! New background :).

  41. 41

    I’m shootin’ RAW from now on!

  42. 42

    Wow! and 2 pics are my country :)

  43. 43

    Pictures are quite nice but they also suffer from to much contrast. The eye is naturally attracted by contrast and this is the main reason for the appreciation these images get.
    They are from a pictorial point of view different but
    after a few pictures I seem to look at something that is all the same.

  44. 44

    Only maybe 4 or 5 that are actually done tastefully, the rest are pretty standard garish HDR… but some are pretty stunning, decent collection all in all.

  45. 45

    $69 dollar filter? Some of the best HDR software is free. Just started using it this weekend. Equipment needed/recommended would be a camera that allows either Auto Bracketing or manual control and a nice, stable tripod. Another good item to have is a cable release, but not needed. And the most important thing, is an eye for photography. Doesn’t matter how much PP you do, with out the initial vision, you still get garbage.

  46. 46
  47. 47

    Another potentially useful Photoshop technique embarrassingly abused.

  48. 48

    Applied carefully, High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) can create incredibly beautiful pictures

    Unfortunately a lot of these are over the top with the HDR, which I personally dont like. but too each his own… if it’s the photographers/artists intent to create a surreal, and sometimes ugly (hahah personal opinion sneeking in again) image… then more power to you.

  49. 49

    Someone of these look incredible — I especially like the upward shot of the skyscrapers. However, it should be noted that these all more or less have the same look and feel: overprocessed and unreal. You can, however, create much more realistic results using Photoshop CS2 or CS3’s built in HDR function. I have a Photoshop HDR Tutorial on my blog; Photoshop can lead to some stunning results.

  50. 50

    Very cool pictures.

  51. 51

    HDR photography is amazing. I hope this “trend” sticks around for awhile. :)

  52. 52

    Grat..so beautiful & dramatic!

  53. 53

    wow some of you are douchebags. SM tends to post extreme examples IMO for the idea to come across clearly. if they have to explain what HDR stands for in the description, why the hell are you looking at it if you are an ‘expert’ in the field?? and why would you waste your time posting negative comments about a clearly obvious attempt to inspire people in a positive way? i think this list is great for people who don’t understand what HDR is or are new to the idea. stop spreading your jaded views and go get laid losers.

  54. 54
  55. 55

    Most of these are way over done for my taste. You say they look fake (they do) but “they are not.” Well, the Golden Gate photograph is clearly looking south, from the north side of the Gate, yet on the south side hills, WHERE IS THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO? All I see are tree covered hills and maybe a few houses. I call it fake when something so obvious, which in reality is there, is missing.

    • 56

      It’s not fake, the city is cut out of the picture (it is to the left of the hills). I don’t live in SF but I’ve been there several times and I assure you, that is what it looks like facing south (you can see the fort to the left under the bridge as well as the electric tower). If you don’t believe me, use Google Maps.

  56. 57

    That is really cool…

    Can I put this article to my own blog,too ?
    I will translate this article to Chinese and will link back to your site.

  57. 58

    This is really fantastic ! I love all of them Thank you smashing magazine for sharing them

  58. 59

    @ John. While the SF bridge pic is certainly a fake HDR, the “fake” trees and hill? Its called the Presidio, look it up on google maps or something….

  59. 60

    M a d . P h o t o . W o r l d

    March 11, 2008 12:55 am

    Its really funny how people always seems to be amazed by the “painterly” HDR style, to me they a really (mostly) boring. I like images that makes you stop and say: “Im looking at an ordinary photography and yet there’s something different” – and occasionally i do a “painterly” style.

  60. 61

    @JnJn: You sure?

  61. 62

    these photos are absolutely amazing. i’m so gonna try doing one… i just need a subject…… hmmmm

  62. 63

    Most of these are over processed rubbish :( I hate it when people over process HDR images. Dont get me wrong there were a few nice ones there.

  63. 64

    “Another potentially useful Photoshop technique embarrassingly abused.”

    U take words right out of my mouth.

  64. 65


  65. 66

    Marc (aka LoffeeCover)

    March 11, 2008 8:53 am

    HDR = High Digg Rate

  66. 67

    People can use anything they can,
    photo never ever was something that shows reality,
    but I agree that some of them have crossed the line
    buts its ok, always great photographers used special fx in their compositions, including Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Sebastiao Salgado,
    whats matter its the message.

  67. 68

    These are some absolutely amazing photos.

    How user friendly or beginner friendly is this approach?

  68. 69

    simply amazing …
    beautiful pictures …

  69. 70

    Wow, These are spectacular… I know people rail on HDR as not real photography but I think they’re two different arts… When the camera came out did people complain that pictures weren’t really paintings?

    Meh. Whatever. I love them, they beat mine :-)

  70. 71

    Most pics seem polluted, skies full of air you can’t breathe. Don’t like it much…

  71. 72

    All I can say is wow! Very inspirational images.

  72. 73

    I absolutely love HDR…. I have not been so inspired since the early 90s days of learning Photoshop then experimenting with Kai’s Power Tools… But the fact this process is just the three exposures mapped together is really incredible.

    About time it was featured here :) Nice job on this blog btw, this is my first post.

  73. 74


  74. 75

    see my friends’ photos in Flickr~

  75. 76

    HDR is a nice techinique to enhance an already great scene (revive contrast in a wash-out sky, etc…). Great scenes are not created by using HDR. In fact this techinique has been in use for many years in various forms i.e. multiple exposures like this image.

  76. 77

    super cool pics

  77. 78


  78. 79

    these pictures are aweful… :/

  79. 80

    I’m glad there’s a range of comments here:
    At first I thought “Wow, awesome.” Then I thought “Some of these look like composites rather than HDR.”
    It’s true that a lot don’t really represent reality and some are fake HDR, but I kinda love the unrealistic dramatism in a lot of these (including the Golden Gate Bridge) nice round up.

    p.s. why does it welcome me as a Stumble Upon user every time I come here? I always link through from my RSS reader.

  80. 81

    Wow! This is an amazing collection. Out of curiosity, are these all edited photographs or are there pure 3ds stuff?

  81. 82

    I’m no a huge fan of HDR photography, but all the fake calls are a bit unfounded, I’m guessing most HDR photos are relatively unedited (in terms of altering the pixels) compared to the airbrushed, cut, smoothed, smudged, healed, painted, reduced, replaced and whatnot photos that you find on the cover of what seems like 80 percent of magazines, I got a serious shock the other day watching a photographer prepare some images for a fashion spread, there were a whole lotta layers going on there.
    photoshop is not photography, I think we all realise that.

  82. 83

    35 Perfectly executed HDR-pictures ….

    Sorry to break your bubble but man I think you don’t know what HDR stands for. A lot of these are not.

    By the way this is an abuse of Photoshop from a photographer’s point of view. This is not even digital photography.. but digital art. I’m quite sick of people mistaking this as photography.

    The impression on the Golden Bridge is the superlative horrendous.

    I wonder if National Geographic would even think of using any of these photos in their publication.

  83. 84

    Claude of Belgium.
    C’est tout simplement magnifique, je ne peu pas mieux dire.

  84. 85

    I have mixed feelings about HDR, and this selection is a pretty good example of why. When done in moderation, the HDR effect enhances an already well-done photo (in terms of subject, lighting, composition, etc). The cathedral photo is a good example – with just one exposure, architectural and other detail would be lost. This photo doesn’t have the unnatural HDR “look” that the unfortunate Golden Gate photo has.

    Sadly, for every decent HDR there are dozens of photos that have the look of the Golden Gate – overprocessed, unnatural, with dark skies, and that obviously look heavily edited in PS.

  85. 86

    you know they are really cool photo’s but this HDR shouldn’t be called real untampered photos because they are tampered with looks like photoshop

  86. 87

    Sooooo amazing pictures!

  87. 88

    Applied carefully… yeah, but these are not very good examples. Unpleasant images, too sharp. too much contrast, artifacts and dark glow everywhere. Thats horrible. Maybe 2 or 3 images could be saved from there, and one of them (the bird) is not HDR – you can’t make real HDR images with moving subjects! That’s more of a “simulated” HDR.

  88. 89

    To make an hdr image all you need is a digital camera, and some way to merge the photos together. You bracket at least three phots, one two stops over, one two stops under, and one normal exposure. Then their is a website called photomatix that you download their program (its free, but leaves a watermark), and this merges the three photos together. You then have to make some adjustments giving you the picture that yuou want. I hope this helps

  89. 90

    Hah. I’ve hated HDR since i started seeing it applied to photographs. it’s disgusting, why not just put your damn photos in a microwave.


  90. 91

    ok now i’m confused

    what makes an hdri real
    is it the fact that the measured dynamic range is high or the fact that it’s a composite from many images?
    also what if i use images in which only one has a bird (or better still i add the bird after i’m done)…does that make it fake?
    besides bracketing or taking different exposures is not the only way to get a wide range of exposure values…simply shooting an image in raw can do something close to this

    granted some shots were probably done using some shadow/highlight tool or ‘cheap’ filter, but can’t those still increase the dynamic range somewhat?

    i’m a fan of fantasy cos the real world can get really boring
    i appreciate even the over-the-top renditions of the clouds

    i don’t think photoshop was made for only realistic depictions
    in fact i don’t think anyone exists who’s ever used up photoshop’s potential

  91. 92

    Wow Perfectly pictures thanks…

  92. 93

    wow very nice…….

  93. 94

    wonderful pictures , I like them.

  94. 95

    They are photographs, but they’re not representative of the real world. Neither is an impressionist painting, though. You like them, or you don’t, depending on your point of view. We expect photographs to depict reality, but mostly they don’t – even the realistic-seeming ones.

  95. 96

    These are awesome pictures . Haven´t seen such beautiful images in a while now.

  96. 97

    OK or no OK

  97. 98

    Wow, those were some of the most breath taking snaps i have ever scene. A fantastic Collection. Thank you,

  98. 99

    sooo soooo nice it’s so beautifull,fantastic

  99. 100

    Most of the time when I look at HDR I just think “this is how Thomas Kinkade would take photographs.” :

  100. 101

    That’s fantastic. drives me more creative HDR way…

  101. 102

    Excelentes imágenes!

  102. 103

    Great pictures! i’ll be looking for some from Africa. T

  103. 104

    Truly horrible, Most of them wouldn’t look out of place on a cheap holiday gift
    eg: tea tray, biscuit tin lid.

  104. 105


    March 27, 2008 7:55 am


  105. 106

    Not my style. Too artificial.
    The colors are very dark vivid.

  106. 107

    Owww! My eyes!

    Two or three of these aren’t bad but, overall, yuck! It’s the black velvet Elvis painting of photography.

  107. 108

    Fantastic pictures. Lots of inspiration to us budding photographers. I hope to see more again soon.

  108. 109

    most are over done with the light smoothing. the key to a good HDR is to make people not know if it is infact an HDR. cool images though.

  109. 110

    if developed “out of usual photos”: looks magic (+time factor :)) but it seemed, I’ve got a digital photo… translates some of used effects (here on sky, there on water); sure, it wasn’t very easy to take it…

  110. 111


    Way to rip off the photographers, blogspam.

  111. 112

    Maquetes Eletronincas Perspectiva 3d Fortaleza Portugal

    March 31, 2008 9:02 am

    Very nice ! i love the pictures!

  112. 113

    Horrible tastless kitch. Algorithmic street market art :)

  113. 114

    To me, HDR is the photographic equivalent of eighties synths imitating saxophones. People can tell it’s supposed to sound like a sax, but sure as hell doesn’t. Not only that, it’s just plain ugly, and most people agree. The people that are making those images are not photographers, but fiddlers who like to push technological limits beyond the boundaries of taste. Sadly, I think HDR will slowly take hold…the last few National Geographics I’ve received have had a few strangely HDR-ish images Subtle, but still having that rubbery shadows appearance. The biggest laugh is when HDR-philes claim it is more able to accurately imitate what the human eye sees. Well, maybe on acid….

  114. 115

    so much negativity i should think everyone has 10 times better in every room of their home which they did them selves . As for me i think them all to be interesting pieces of art . Personally i dislike the MonaLisa……….

  115. 116

    WOW… this list looks pretty exciting.

  116. 117

    very very beautiful …

  117. 118

    Good old AA was the first HDR photographer. He captured a greater range, using a development technique called ‘pulling’ to reduce the contrast of the negative in order to preserve a greater range of information on his negatives. This was developed into what was called the Zone technique. Since his time, film curves have gotten less steep (indicating a greater range of a workable negative).

    All photographers when starting out with this technique inevitably make prints that are too flat or too contrasty. It is very difficult to change the dynamic range of the eye into a photograph and then to produce an (apparently) accurate dynamic range from the photo. Masters of this technique, Ansel Adams and Minor White, among a many others, produce images that vary in dynamic range greatly from what the eye sees, or what a straight print would produce, but do not appear unnatural.

    That is to say, it is not ‘better’ or ‘worse’ to effect the dynamic range of a photography. However, it does reflect a mastery of the technique when this technique does not impact the viewing of the image. It is also to say that HDR simply means “high dynamic range,” where “high” can only be assumed to be used relatively. Considering the history of photography has included with it a steady increase of the dynamic range of its medium, the extension of “HDR” is constantly shifting. “True HDR” is either meaningless or requires a certain context to be defined. The same can and should be said of “True Photography.” Have any of you ever shot without a light meter? Perhaps THAT is true photography, since this how it began.

    Further, we should remember (or learn for the first time) Kant. He (basically) told us that a beautiful painting is not, should not be beautiful simply because we like painting, or this painter, or this kind of painting. A photograph is not, should not, be beautiful simply because it uses HDR. It is beautiful because it excites our imagination and our understanding, puts them endlessly into play and raises our minds awareness of itself and humanity. Or something like that.

  118. 119

    BOoooooooooooobm!!!!! It ‘s like dream.

  119. 120

    Crescencio "Krébus" Leite

    April 10, 2008 5:12 am

    What so many wonderful pictures! Congratulations!

    Krébus, from Brazil.

  120. 121

    These are mostly awful and totally unrealistic. HDR can be a great technique, but the tone-mapping software still has many shortcomings and requires quite a bit of postprocessing to give good results. The results straight out of the tone-mapping software is mostly oversaturated and ‘muddy’ and quite a few times suffers from halos.

  121. 122

    very nice

  122. 123

    I’m not an expert on HDR technology but if the intention is to capture the intensity of the moment then HDR has achieved its purpose. Besides, I think most experts find ways to discredit rather than enjoy a profound work of art.

  123. 124

    are very nice picture but please to make other picture to this form help us
    thank you:)

  124. 125

    i dont see the point in this, watever hapened to appreciating an original untampered photo???

  125. 126

    Okay, first of all, all you haters need to get over yourselves. This is clearly an amature attempt to create HDR imagery, but you don’t need to shoot the photos down horrificly as if you know everything you are talking about .You are pathetically trying to prove your significant superiority. While some of these may seem to provide a cartoon halo kind of look, it was a good attempt, but would not be classified as HDR. HDR is simply molding a series of differently lighted images of the same frame together to create light and focus throughout the entire photograph- Period dot!

    I may not know too much about HDR myself because this is only my second year in a photography as a profession, but i know that art itself is an entirely wide open subject. Anything can be depicted as art, it just depends on the consumer. Such as when rap took its claim to fame…many of us decided “it was simply nothing in comparrison to the performing arts” and others decided “this is totally rad dog!” Either way 50 cent is still a millionare and haters are still stuck bickering with nothing close to comparrison.

    While many of you may say these images are herendous and a horrid attempt at HDR, i beg to differ…they may not replucate true HDR images but i see them as good valid attempts, and there is simply nothing quixotic about that! I mean god what do all of you assholes want, an effing cookie??

    So all and all, haters go home and get to work, until you come back with something for everyone to critique YOU on, shut the hell up and let people find their nitch.

  126. 127

    I kind of wish we see the world in this way…all bright and colorful.

  127. 128

    Nneeeh… I can call fantastic just six pictures… Rest of this set is very ugly — I don’t like such “HDR” at all.

  128. 129

    it’s……fantastic, gorgeous, amazing….. no words…. only emotiouns….

  129. 130

    Nature is plain lame in comparison. I don’t ever have to go outside anymore for fear of being unimpressed. Who needs nature when it can be glorified on a computer screen!


  130. 131

    lol… the 6th to last one, orange sunset… check out those Chem trails in the sky!! Government at work trying to kill us.

  131. 132

    Why could not the pictures with the birds flying be genuine HDR attempts? Rather than taking multiple shots and merge them for HDR, we could also have just one RAW file, and come up with such HDR images, right?

  132. 133

    Sure, it will probably take hold. Why, well when photographs first came around people felt that it was taking away from the paintings that people had been making for thousands of years. Did photographs take hold? You be they did because they are desirable. This is the same thing, sounds like someone doesn’t want to give up their rotery dial phone.

  133. 134

    looks so unreal. feels like too much flavor in a meal.
    just fake.

  134. 135

    wow just leaned about HDR looks cool but also now know that photogs are winy pussy’s

  135. 136


  136. 137
  137. 138

    Very Good Images


  138. 139


  139. 140

    uh, photography is a form of art and these pics are about taking fascinating photos and making them even more fascinating with the hdr. your a jack ass.

  140. 141

    why does everyone care so much about if they’re classified as “Real” HDR pictures or not??
    stop being all snooty and pretentious because you know something about photography. no one is impressed and we all think you’re douchebags.

  141. 142

    You should really look into each of these pictures, because some of them are heavily photoshopped… like the picture of Paris with a MASSIVE Nebula over it? Not HDR.

  142. 143

    These enchanting images have a dreamlike quality that remind me of scenes from movies enhanced by uber digital wizardry. Looks like Hollywood’s been using Photoshop.

  143. 144

    Thanks for this fantastics photos.

    Here is a compilation of 13 HDR photos for your desktop:

  144. 145

    Either way, they are stunning photographs. Not one I wasn’t impressed with.

  145. 146

    like, W-O-W.
    Super coooooooooooooooooool:D

  146. 147

    Nice, although HDR images like these can sometimes not appear “realistic.” A photographer should strive for realisim. Just my opinion. HDR tools can make realistic photos, very vibrant, and nice. It is only when it is taken to an extreme that it creates “false” looking photos.

  147. 148

    Being an HDR expert (I found out about it yesterday and have produced all of 2 images) I’d say that often less is more.

    On too many images I’m seeing a good interesting shot but a ridiculas sky that looks like it was cut from another image. It’s got all the subtlety and class of Ali G’s jewelry.

    I think I’m going to use HDR a lot, but to create images that look ‘full’ rather than something that looks like it’s was done on a ‘puter.

    It’s the same when image processing software became popular, there’d be loads of nastily applied filters smacking you in the face.

  148. 149


    very very beautiful


  149. 150

    In response to John’s comment:
    You might want to look at a photo of San Francisco, the grass and houses you refer to are the Presidio (and I assure you that it’s REALLY there). You can’t see the “city” because downtown SF is further to the left. I’ll give you that the effect looks fake (although, presumably that is exactly what was intended), but at least get your facts straight before criticizing.

  150. 151

    yup, i also discover HDR technique about 1,5yr ago after browsing flickr.. shooting HDR since..
    another beautiful HDR pictures AYOFOTO.COM HDR Photo Challenge

  151. 152

    i like this picture >>>>>>>>

    wenderfulllll !!!!!!!!!!!!

  152. 153

    most of them are really bad pictures, and HDR can’t save them…
    HDR can help sometimes, but most of these tonemappings are too bad to mention

  153. 154

    If you can see easily that a photo is HDR, then the photographer has done a damn lousy job. The object should be to increase the toneality range just enough to open up the shadows ever so slightly and to minimize any blowing out of sunlit clouds. Even if you manage to accomplish this, the problem still is how do you print a picture that obviously has greater dynamic range than the paper can handle. The bad choice becomes that you compress the linear relationship of whites, greys and black, and you lose the natural look of the original scene. This is why HDR looks gimmicky and crappy.

  154. 155

    Would it have killed you to have provided attribution?

    As for the comments about “real” HDR – what part of High Dynamic Range don’t you understand? It’s about compressing the dynamic range we perceive into the dynamic range of the display element – CRT, paper, projected slide. It’s not about using a particular piece of software. Dodging, burning, graded papers, toning, hot developers, compensating developers, contrast masks… all old techniques that legitimately provide HDR results.

  155. 156

    ridiculous ,

    the colors are all muddled, shadows are inconsistent, focus is not right on anything that moves. If this is the best HDR has, I think its worse than normal photography’s worst .

    The restriction of contrast on photography is one of the things that makes the pictures dramatic and interesting. This is just too retarded.

  156. 157

    this HDR stuff is really a matter of taste. personally, i just don’t like it at all. the photos are too contrasty and fake looking to me. what happened to composition and the use of light in making a good photo? if you review these 35 photos, there are perhaps 5 that show decent composition. take away the “special effects” and what do you really have left? this is about using computer software above all else.

    just my 2 cents, so flame away

  157. 158

    Some of the photos were really easy to tell that they were HDRD! And thats not cool! They have to be HDRD enough but not the point that you can easily tell and like wtf?

  158. 159

    Er…nice shots but can someone explain how you can include flying birds in HDR?

  159. 160

    Just far too cartoonish. Frankly these would probably would have been good photos without any HDR or Photoshopping.

  160. 161

    flying birds in HDR:
    professional style cameras have something called “auto-bracketing”
    this means that the photographer can take ONE snapshot, and the camera takes a photo with normal exposure, and then two other photo’s at different exposures (over and under,exposed)

  161. 162

    Unfortunately half of these aren’t even real HDR.

    You can’t have a moving subject in a true HDR picture. So any of the pictures with birds in them are all just simulated.

  162. 163

    These are nice examples of how computers have muffled creativity somewhat… I’d suggest 3 maybe 4 are fine images.

    Call me lazy but I enjoy using GND filters then PS, less work and more time to click shutters and not mice.

    An example using a 2 stop GND and some PS selecting and layering for the highlights and shadows. My photo on Flickr

  163. 164

    I agree. Those are some nice ones of Singapore.

  164. 165

    There are a couple of nice looking pictures but, most of them SUCK! It’s just further proof that HDR is an abomination.

  165. 166
  166. 167
  167. 168

    Nikita Kondraskov

    August 18, 2008 7:00 pm

    The photo with the hawk is wonderful. The contrast of the for within this picture is surely to be admired.

  168. 169

    Years ago 35mm film was scoffed at, then people said digital will never catch on! then PS will never catch on, it is not proper photography!! The camera is a tool of expression, as long as there was a photograph at the beginning, and the person who took it is happy, who cares. People there has never been an image that every one has liked, so please people chill

  169. 170

    I agree with Dave, if you do HDR do it on a manual SLR camera. These pictures can be absolutely stunning but if all the work is done on Photoshop, then there is little to no artistic work in it. Take the time to take three or four shots of the same scene and compose it yourself. You’ll get so much more out of it.

  170. 171

    Oh, my. Listen to all the “experts”. Some are way over-processed, sure. Some are nice. But as me dear ol’ mum used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, STFU and get over yourself.”

    Expert = someone who thinks they know it ll, and makes sure everyone else knows it

    So go back to shooting your off-kilter half-faces and calling it art. No…one…cares.

  171. 172


    What do you think about this : The Beauty and the lake

    This is a HDR made with one raw.

  172. 173

    Unfortunately half of these aren’t even real HDR.
    You can’t have a moving subject in a true HDR picture. So any of the pictures with birds in them are all just simulated.

    Well HDR is altering the three photos to create the affect you see , by simply deleting two of the ‘moving subjects’ and keeping only one you can create a static subject. It may be a slight cheat but hey its digital at it best !!!

  173. 174

    Of all web sites, this should be enabled for Piclens. You need it!

  174. 175

    HDR is fine when used properly

  175. 176

    HDR is great.
    HDR is fake.
    These look amazing.
    These look like crap.
    Can I learn this.
    No. Go away.
    HDR isn’t photography.
    HDR is photography.
    Photoshop sucks.
    I love Photoshop.

    There. Done. It’s all been said over and over and over in this thread.


  176. 177


  177. 178

    These are good. Sure, in my opinion, most of them are not real “photographs” (whatever that is), but that’s my opinion anyway. However… they are great anyway and have a very stunning effect to the eye (a good one, I must say).

    I like them. Keep it up! People should stop thinking that anything that comes through a camera needs to be lifelike. This is just different, and beautiful.

  178. 179

    Nice collection, great inspirational shots!

  179. 180

    woooow! amazing!! love it!

  180. 181

    The most important thing is what the photographer wants you to see, feel and react when you look at a HDR scenery. Just now I realized thru Flickr Stats that one of my pictures was blogged here (From Above, the 12º pic), and I’m pretty impressed by the huge amount of visits I’m receiving everyday, thanks to this awesome site.
    I think that criticisms are a part of the job, since a lot of people refuse to digest the idea that even a picture post processed extensively stills a photography, or at least, art at a wider view. But I’m not a huge fan of HDR applied automatically.
    It has to have a meaning, a message, like most of the pictures stated here!
    Thanks for all your visits, folks!

  181. 182

    realy nice
    i’ll make like that, one day

  182. 183

    Really like these.. thanks

  183. 184

    oh,my god.i am chinese and i have never seen such beautiful pictures.they are true~i am so lucky.thanks.my friend who told this web to me

  184. 185

    Belíssimas imagens!!!

  185. 186

    These pictures are very very nice i have never seen these pictures.Extreamely Beautiful.
    Thanks for all this

  186. 187

    wonderfull pictures..

  187. 188


    Those pixs would make great posters with a caption.

  188. 189

    Very fantastic HDR-Photo, it’s great.

    best regards,

  189. 190

    Having looked at all of the images and laboring thru all of the comments I can only come to one conclusion – one could apply the same parameter to HDR – F.D.R. & BLT “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

  190. 191

    Very nice pics mind blowing ^_^

  191. 192

    agree with jai.

    abuse of photoshop filters, . we dont live in video games, look out the window. seems like hdr is a good tool that is quickly going to get a very bad name.

  192. 193

    Something is desparately wrong – how does one put it in words – some anologies are best.
    Wedding cake photography,
    Coffee with ten times too much sugar and cream,
    Overeating, overindulgence,
    So much too much it’s sickening.

  193. 194

    goto Pools. The 1st 13 are ALL HDR photographs, taken with a Canon 5D on a tripod, bracketed for 9 stops of exposure, then 5-8 of the photographs used that would add detail to the images. I get paid to shoot in expensive homes in Cape Town, I have to make the places look like a million dollars and most of these places cost well into many million dollars. There is no tone mapping and these look pretty realistic.

  194. 195

    Somebody please tell me how this is abuse of photoshop, when photoshop has an automatic hdr program to do all the work for you…HDR began back in the 1930’s long before photoshop was created, and the whole point of photoshop is to open up the doors of our imaginations…Quantum Physics will tell us that reality goes beyond what we humans can concieve, and that we can only see what we believe…HDR shows us that there is more going on in the world then we believe, it opens up doors there were closed before…Plus they are just amazing to look at…but like always, to each there own…

  195. 196

    Wow! great colors in every pictures! HDR is the best technique. I love it.

  196. 197

    So obviously some people like this stuff, some don’t. But why are all the people who don’t like it so angry at it? The person who made these pictures is proud of them, and some people appreciate them. Why do arrogant pricks think that if something is easy enough for anyone to do that nobody should do it? I like some of these pics alot, especially the first two. They are visually stimulating. As a matter of fact, I am gonna go out and get photoshop and apply this damn filter to every picture on my hard drive. Maybe I’ll post my top 35.

  197. 198

    I prefer to use HDR very subtly such that the viewer simply sees an image and does not think about the technical aspects– dynamic range, tonality, saturation, etc. and just enjoys the image per se.

  198. 199

    Ajoy, I agree. Good HRD is subtle, and most viewers should not be able to guess that they are. The idea is to make a picture that mimics the way we see in real life, but our eyes build an image in our minds, while constantly adjusting to brightness as we scan the scene. These mostly look fake and un-natural. I have done a few HDR pics by manually masking parts of the image. Automatic filters always leave a halo around parts of the image with contrast, either PhotoShop’s Highlight and Shadow adjustment, or some program that combines multiple shots. They don’t understand the image. Only you know that clouds should be brighter than trees.

  199. 200


    i’d like to know how can a people make a HDR picture with a bird flying….
    Anyone can help me?

    Thanks a lot!

  200. 201

    hdr pushes the photo to new limits but these are far beyond the most hdr photos.
    re birds in the photo. if just one photo has the moving object this may work..anycase it’s given me an idea

  201. 202

    Too bad most of those are not high dynamic range images — just typical photos run through Photomatix. That sort of crap is giving real high dynamic range photography a bad reputation.

  202. 203

    not so bad and not so gud.all photographs r gud to see.but all of those had taken with the help of old methodology.one more step u hav to go up to get mind blowing photographs.gud carry on.

  203. 204

    Imagine a camera that had autobracketing, HDR imaging onboard, and wifi. The ultimate tourist camera for posting “don’t you wish you were here” photos.

  204. 205


    beautifull photos, I do a lot of HDR myself but more realistic type, you can check them out on http://www.photoserge.com

  205. 206

    It was so cool that I was really love it.

  206. 207

    Thanks Alot For The Amazing Pictures

    Looking Forword For More

  207. 208

    It is interesting to see all the varied comments on the pictures you presented here. Your post has been a meme, hundreds if not thousands of sites have repeated your choices throughout the internet. Personally, I would like to thank you for the post. One of those images you picked is mine, and I am humbled by your choice. It is the foggy wood one for anyone who may be interested.

    I suppose HDR like any technique can be a beauty or a beast. Some see the beast and some see the beauty. And in between some may see the art, defined, or refined in the image itself.

  208. 209

    de verdad la tierra es un lugar mágico. muchas gracias por compartir estas fotos.

  209. 210

    Well, I read all the comments and bashing about HDR versus real photos, and I don’t understand one thing; Why do we need to compare those 2?

    HDR is HDR and it does not really show what we saw on site when we took the photo.
    It’s just another way of showing your creativity and nothing wrong with that.

    I love all the photos up there, and wish I can do the same, well. I’m learning now…
    Just split these 2 concepts apart and just enjoys the result, and you’ll be fine.


  210. 211

    I would consider using this technique to capture a little detail in dark shadows or maybe retrieve a blown highlight. That being said, some of the best photos I’ve seen have shadows that are black. After looking through these photos I could feel a headache coming on. They are overdone to the extreme. Garish is the word I would use to describe them. Not being elitest, just giving my critique.

  211. 212

    Now I know how all those garish motivational posters are made!

  212. 213

    omg, wonderful!

  213. 214

    Some are great and some are awful!
    Just like any art. ;-)

  214. 215

    I would tend to agree with the posters that say many of these photos are “overdone.” I enjoy playing around with HDR as an art form, and I certainly do not decry the use of this technique as an art form, but many of the photos on this post were, as the poster above said, garish. I don’t recall running across too many scenes in real life while out shooting that look this dramatic. And you cannot convince me that picture #4 was not “photoshopped” at all. I will say that a couple of these images were quite striking in their own right, but most of them, in my opinion, were quite over the top, especially when it comes to the sky.

  215. 216

    Very few of those images had an artist behind the lens.
    Seen this technique used w much more taste than most of these images which approached the airbrushing widely seen on the sides of vans in the 70s.
    just sayin’

  216. 217

    Some of the pictures are nice, but I agree with many other posters who think most are garbage. I know people can do whatever they want with HDR, but then so can we judge it any way we want. HDR is intended to bring out details out of shadows and highlights….not to make some faux looking scene. Its supposed to ehance the photograph, and also be used in 3d in environments to realistically light a scene. I know, i know, “Ill do what I want”….thats fine, but dont get mad when people mock your fantasy Bryce looking worlds.

  217. 218

    photoshop, lol ! =))

  218. 219

    Awesome pics!

  219. 220

    I don’t think people understand what HDR is. The human eye can detect about 17-20 EV’s. Professional film captures about 10 or 11 (10 levels in the ZONE) while the best digital SLR’s barely approach 8 or 9 at best. By taking several exposures above and below the optimal exposure, the dynamic range could theoretically approach that of the human eye. Unfortunately any current medium used can not display this range. However, if and only if the scene being photographed has a range beyond that of the medium used to capture it, then and ONLY then can HDR can be of any REAL valuable benefit.

    A RAW image contains no more dynamic range than the sensor can capture.

    Most of the photos on this page, as well as most “HDR” images posted elsewhere, are merely grossly over manipulated eye candy and do not represent what real HDR is. Although I do find some of the images appealing – if only for a few seconds, but hey isn’t that a sign of the times?

    I find FDRtools does the most realistic rendering while Photmatix will [too] easily bring you into the surreal. Either program will still need extensive post manipulation in order to achieve anything seen on this page. (in fact I wonder if most of the images are true HDR to begin with)

    Different strokes for different folks.

  220. 221

    Some, I enjoy, others, not so much. Time and a place I suppose.

  221. 222

    All of this junk of “Not real photography”, “Can’t wait for it to go”, and other nonsense is more or less a characteristic of someone with narrow mindness, yes I said narrow mindness google that **** it exists! How are we to grow, explore, create, expound! Such as HDR. It’s just an expression. Another “art” form of photography. What is the definition of photography? Kind of a loaded question eh? I think it would be kind of lame if I had to take photos with my fathers’ Nikon F of 1959. Or don’t you think it would have been lame if my father had to take photos with his fathers camera which was a Leica I of 1925. Catching on to my drift? Things change. Always have, always will. How many times can someone shoot the Eiffel Tower? After a while, it gets repetitive. HDR is just a tool, and yes I do agree that some do go over the top and make them ugly. But what about Non-HDR photos. Are there not any junky-no-good photos out there? Overexposed, Underexposed. yadda yadda yadda I think you feel me. I believe HDR is a great tool if used right. It can create artistic expression and enhance the boring of the borings. Like I said before, It is just a tool. Like someone who shoots in RAW format. Im sure everbody does it. Get a photo, a little underexposed, go into RAW and what do you do? Use the “RAW tool” to get the right exposure. I’m rambling. I think I have expressed my feeling towards this subject enough. I’m so glad we have freedom of speech in the United States of America.

    I have an HDR photo that could be used in this forum, any way you can put it up?
    Thanks for the glance.
    Take care yo.


  222. 223

    What I am trying to say is not an opinion of what art is or isn’t. If a person were to try and recreate the style of say an Ansel Adams photo with a digital medium, then HDR is the only means of successfully accomplishing such a wide dynamic range project. Have you ever experienced an original Ansel Adams? (not a reprint) It is a surreal experience NOT because it triggers a 1960’s acid trip flashback but because it seems as if you could step right into the frame and have a look around, now thats realism. Like I said most of the “HDR” photos seen on the web are examples of extreme tone mapping and filtering that have little or nothing to do with true HDR.

    (correction to my previous post; there are 11levels in the ZONE system numbered from 0 to 10)

    WIKI “zone system” and learn something new…… no blown highlights and no details lost in the shadows. For instance the interior church photo on this page, the stain glass is completely blown out and there is little if any detail in the corners. In other words the dynamic range in the scene exceeded that of what was captured and displayed, and this is a perfect representation of what HDR is not.

    If you like excessive tone mapping that is great, I like some of them too. But lets stop calling gradient filtered tone mapped pictures HDR and start calling them for what they really are: a graphic artists rendition of anti-realism.

  223. 224

    Why should this not be considered photography? just because it looks different? I hope one day that we won’t have to use a program to capture all the different Dynamic Ranges. look at the zone system for film it’s 1- 9 and digital 3-7 thats not very much. yes some can be over done but who cares there fun plus some can be really good.

  224. 225

    A good analogy would be the popularity of colorizing of BW photos before color film was available. At some point the photograph becomes more of a painting than a photograph. The same is true for what has become of HDR photography. At some point the photograph becomes more of a graphic arts than it is photographic art. The bulk of the art photography is accomplished behind the viewfinder, the bulk of graphic arts is done behind the computer screen.

    If you can’t see the difference then you probably not a photographer in the first place. No amount of cutting-pasting, toning, colorizing, contrasting, and filtering can make up for uninteresting subject choices or poor composition. Eye candy contains little or no sustenance.

  225. 226

    Here is a link to a photography site that has free down-loadable photo essays that show how professionally pure HDR photos should look.

  226. 227

    HDR is overrated and kind of ugly

  227. 228

    Some ROOKIE has grabbed the surreal bar and slid it too far beyond natural.

    Careful, HDR is supposed to be like a high definition (exposure) of photography… not another infrared-like category.

  228. 229

    Isn’t it interesting to note, most people with compliments or actual constructive criticism list their names or have links to their emails or websites, etc. The trolls hide behind their anonymity.

    Trolls: If you don’t like the images, why don’t you tell why constructively, instead of saying “They suck”? I know why—you have nothing constructive TO say!

  229. 230

    This stuff does a huge disservice to photographers everywhere.

  230. 231

    Mark (March 27th, 2008, 1:29 pm)
    Owww! My eyes!
    Two or three of these aren’t bad but, overall, yuck! It’s the black velvet Elvis painting of photography.


    I came here to post this, black velvet paintings of our time indeed.

    I think the reason people get angry at HDR is because it looks way more impressive than the work/skill needed to create it. Basically almost any boring point and shoot snapshot can be thrown into the software and come out looking like any of these. It’s like someone liking watercolour painting, but decide to drop the watercolour artists they previously bought from because they’ve decided that snapshots thrown through the watercolour filter in photoshop are “better”.

  231. 232

    HDR is more realistic than the eye originally witnesses, but now that we have this technology, lets see even more creativity yet to come.

    These same theories had been applied in wet photography many moons ago by a photographing genius named, Ansel Adams, so why are we having issues accepting it in the contemporary digital high tech. imaging world.

    Bah Humbug to any non-believers!

    Carry on HDR’ers! Your our next generation!

    I’ll be working in HDR as soon as I can afford a good camera that can record in RAW.


  232. 233

    Ansel Adams photographed interesting subjects and judiciously used proper composition rules. Even without the High Dynamic Range of his B&W photography they are still many times more interesting than most “HDR” snapshots seen anywhere on the web, and they will be for eons to come, period!

    These “HDR” snapshots peak interest (momentarily) only because they are something that CAN NOT normally seen in the course of every day life, they are unrealistic. It doesn’t take but for a moment to identify them as cartoon-ish, with the emphasis on the ISH!

    The title “35 Fantastic HDR Pictures” for this web page should be properly renamed to “35 Fantastic ADHD Pictures”.

  233. 234

    Here is a link to a fantastic professional photographers galleries and, for those who are interested in learning, a compendium of valuable information related to them. While it is not an HDR specific site, all of his photographs – be they 35mm, large format, or digital, all have one thing in common: The photographer utilized all of the dynamic range available to him, within their specific limitations. He then scans the film and digitally processes the images, some a little too much for my liking. I’m guessing that most of you will find them pretty incredible.

    Results: professionally exceptional and beautiful quality photographs that can make a person gasp. Instead of saying to yourself “I could have done that” you’ll say to yourself “How the heck can I do that”. That is the difference between a professional artist and the multitudes of amateur wanna-bees littering the web.


    Also a great book on HDR is “Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography” by Ferrell McCollough.
    No one is ever too good at anything to stop learning.

  234. 235

    I love it when some put down a new technique or art form. I’m willing to bet, when the first photographs appeared, some were complaining how a photograph could never be considered real art over a painting because all one must do is point a contraption that shines light onto a chemically processed piece of paper. How drab? Isn’t that cheating? It will never last. It’s not real art. Just a fad. The same thing has been said about digital vs. film.

    Art is emotional pleasure felt through one or more of your senses. All are not moved the same. I’ve seen people rave over art that I wouldn’t waste a second glance on.

    I love the pictures and I’m inspired to do some myself. It’s time to replace my Velvet Elvis. Thank You.

  235. 236

    This is an incredible collection. If I was to call the HDR technique anything, I would call it ‘hyper-real’- as you say, it does blur the boundries between what we see with our eyes and a fantasy based on what is ultimately there, despite the changing light obscuring it from us (and the far more imited camera).

    Take a look at some of my HDRs here for another angle- they are no doubt not on the same level, but they are enhancing blended photos, not simply applying digital filters. In fact, it would be better to call them tone-mapped HDRs. Why? Because it is the tone-mapping process that allows these representations to appear on our monitors at all. In fact, we have no idea what the ‘real’ 32-bit+ HDR images look like. That is for future generations to discover, with far more advanced viewing systems (perhaps not even monitors as we now experience them).

    Without further ado, here are my HDR attempts, my Hyper Dreams of Reality-

  236. 237

    Answer to:
    i’d like to know how can a people make a HDR picture with a bird flying….
    Anyone can help me?
    Thanks a lot!

    is: use RAW, develop the RAW three times: one high-key, one normal and one low-key.
    There you are: three pictures to be used to make a HDR.

    Good luck!

  237. 238

    The photographer from Bangalore

    March 27, 2009 1:35 pm

    OK, HDR is cool (but sometimes overdone). Its generally best to use HDR in architechture, and a much milder form in landscape. I don’t know how they did the bird images. My guess is Peter above is correct…

    BUT, you say that “Some of them might look surreal, too colorful, even magic or fake, but they are not ”

    THE 11th image is CLEARLY fake! Click on it to find out. He’s added a picture of the Helix Nebula with a building in ps! No picture from Earth could take such a highres pic of the nebula – it’s from the hubble!

  238. 239

    Thanks for the 35 examples. Now I know I won’t need to invest in any expensive equipment for the sake of HDR. There isn’t one picture in the lot that I would use as a background or have printed to put on my wall. ALL of them are way too unnatural for my taste!

  239. 240

    Hmmm… most of these HDR images are WAY over processed, and you can see halos throughout… not in my opinion representative of good HDR technique!!

  240. 241

    Photography is art. If it was supposed to be literal and always realistic, we would not use creative angles, long exposure times to blur, extra wide angle or zoom lenses, Infra Red photography and black and white photography would have gone away as soon as color film came about. Everything would be a boring snapshot. Yes, everyone does not like these images, but hey, they are not supposed to. Tell me 1 type of art that everyone loves. The work is there for your review and to evoke emotion. Obviously it is doing it’s job. People, go ahead and share your feelings, but quit trying to make everyone else feel the way you do. If we all felt the same way about everything, these photos, along with the rest of the art in our world would not exist.

    I personally love some of them, and others don’t do it for me. simple as that.

  241. 242

    Does everyone remember with The Matrix game out? They had the slow motion flying karate moves in the air? I loved the movie, and the special effects. From there, new movies came out with the express purpose of putting those cool slow motion effects in, but many of the movies sucked. Also, the later Matrix movies that were drenched in those scenes sucked? The bottom line is, there has to be art, and an intended expression behind the photos. Many of these have that. They are not “snap shots”, as I saw stated above, they are expressions of the artist. Some are good, others are not. Don’t sit here and tell me that the purple DOF shot of the city with the rocks in the foreground is a snapshot. If you do, you lose all credibility.

  242. 243

    I agree with the posters that these examples are way overcooked. For me anyway, most them are too freakish, surreal, nightmareish and unpleasant to look at.

    HDR is supposed to let you tap the dynamic range lost in ordinary exposure.

    It’s a bit like a boob job, you don’t want people saying “Wow! Look at those plastic tXts”.

    You want to enhance what’s there and blend seamlessly so it doesn’t look fake…..or plastic.

  243. 244

    Adrian,(244) post, I agree with you, some photos are way overcooked normal HDR post(242 DMU) you right to,The work is there for your review and to evoke emotion..

  244. 245

    Really enjoyed with your pictures

  245. 246

    Warren Anacoura

    May 13, 2009 6:08 am

    HDR pictures. As a screensaver for my computer? – yes. As a photograph for my wall? – no! Is it art? Certainly!
    Most people who like the technique are actually being seduced by the vibrant colours. But if I was looking at a photograph on a wall or at an art gallery I would want to feel like I am “there” while I was looking at the photo. HDR doesn’t give me this in my opinion. I’m not too fussed on “fantasy” art in general but thats my personal preference. Plenty out there like it.

  246. 247

    I was always under the impression that as we all have heard before that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. If the over cooked photos are just that and the author likes it, great. If I don’t like the looks that’s my problem but who am I to be critical of someone else because I don’t like that style of photography. Everything has it’s place especially if someone buys it! I don’t particularly like Joan Rivers plastic face but it works for her and she’s happy and on top of it she’s making money with it! HDR has it’s place whether over cooked or under done. Maybe the author intended the photo to look unreal and has a comic book publisher waiting to use it! Some people put too much syrup on their pancakes for me. I prefer waffles!

  247. 248

    I have primarily found that most people complaining of HDR are primarily those that lack the ability or patience to do it. HDR is not a technology that is easily manipulated, and, I have seen very few natural photos, so as to say, most images we all see on a regular basis, and to complain about one form of manipulation and not another is kind of weak. :)

  248. 249

    Bludy hell they are beautiful! I do photography at school but now I realise that my photos are no match for these! :o

  249. 250

    I think most of us can agree that the only “real” photography is on a standard film SLR camera. Editing a picture in anything other than exposure through an enlarger is not “real” photography.

    Having said that, I think that even with the fanciest HDR technology times infinity could never truly capture the beauty that we can only see with our eyes. Ever see a truly spectacular scene and wanted to capture it on camera, but somehow just knew that no matter how you composed, edited and manipulated the picture, it wouldn’t do any justice to what you were seeing with your own two eyes?

    Sure HDR is a trend and it does spark some truly marvelous photographs. (I prefer the ones that aren’t so overly edited they look like a Pixar movie) But ever since photoshop came along, “real” photography has lost its way. Oh well. I suppose people just want something interesting to look at.

  250. 251

    Amazing HDR Photos !

  251. 252

    this is really amazing..i just stumbled across this new way of photography…want to learn more abt this..this surely is a very nice collection

  252. 253


  253. 254

    its good but ooooooovvvvvv v v v goood

  254. 255

    those are some of the most spectacular pictures i have ever seen. absolutly breath taking!

  255. 256

    You know, the “purists” complained when they brought sound to movies, color to films, digital to cameras, digital to sound (CD’s, mp3’s etc). Every new technique has it’s doomsday crowd.

    Truth is there is good and bad in every development, some will like it, some wont but at the end of the day, it’s called progress and if we didn’t have it, we’d still live in caves and club our dinner to death. You can guarantee that at least some positive progression will come from HDR and the like.

    Stop your friggin’ whining. If you love it, use it, if you don’t love it, don’t use it, but why not just live and let live?

    • 257

      Vey well said. You could add that if you don’t keep up with the changes and advancements you’ll get left behind.

    • 258

      That’s a very good attitude. I know for a fact the mantra “live and let live” is the path to having great relationships with all those around us.

    • 259

      so instead of clubbing our dinner to death we have factory farming and slaughterhouses. weeeeeeeeee ! lol

    • 260

      Yes, I’m just waiting for movies to be made with this technique. Do any cameras exist that can take all three exposure levels at once?

      • 261

        Yes … the Sony NEX-5 produces HDR in-camera … not much control other than standard exposure. It appears to flatten the contrast, pulling up the shadows and dampening highlights.

      • 262

        you can check pentax new cameras.. it has HDR functionalities :)

  256. 263

    HDR seems to be something that people either love or hate. For those non-purists, hdr lovin’ people, check this out: Okinawa HDR photography group….or maybe it should be called “graphic arts group the way some people would view it.

  257. 264

    HDR is a great technique but it doesn’t have to come from expensive fancy photoshop add-on’s. As much as i love photoshop why use it when you can do it for free!! Check out this link to a page explaining how to make professional HDR with free open source software.


  258. 265

    HDR photography was a technique mostly developed for virtual lighting in 3d applications. One of the founders of the technique is Paul Debevec. His research and work can be seen at:

    Cameras by default shoot at one exposure leaving light areas either blown out or underprocessed. HDR by default mimics the changing human eye more closely by allowing for various exposure adjustments. Essentially, they are multiple photographs shot of the same scene at different exposures then blended together. The computer can then accurately dial up and down the intensities of various light sources within a scene and even “guess” what an object may look like beyond the initial exposures taken.

    For the 3d graphics world, this has huge implications in allowing 3d lighting artists to have greater control over illuminating their scenes. General photographers have taken this method and applied it to their still photography since Photoshop first popularized it by adding HDR in their CS releases – but keep in mind that it has it’s original roots within 3d itself.

    I have a few examples of HDR images being used to light 3d models and various backgrounds on my website. Please check out the following 3d renderings using HDR photography – and look at the bottom three rows for some examples of scenes lit using HDR panoramas.

    A well shot HDR will give the user an impression of what a scene actually looks like to the naked human eye. The examples that are shown on this page are often exaggerations of lighting conditions that are possible with tone-mapping software. Some of the results I think are brilliant. To others, these images may seem like an abomination and gross over-exaggeration of what “reality” really is. But needless to say, I think of this as an art form.

    Keep in mind that these are essentially photographs superimposed on top of one another. It takes a lot of skill to shoot these scenes as you have to be still (especially at lower exposures), be very wary of moving objects as to not introduce further blur, and also have an eye for composition as well. It takes a lot of patience and experimentation on the photographer’s part. HDRs by themselves (for the most part) serve very practical purposes in the 3d artist’s world and most do not look like “exaggerations,” although they do tend to produce more accurate lighting conditions as a whole if done properly.

    • 266

      Thumbs Up on your explanation.

      To only call these HDR photography can be misleading and this sample needs to represent what HDR started out as.

      The examples given “Photo Illustrations that employ the use of HDR techniques” would be my definition.

      An analogy would be to say everyone wearing a rainbow colored tie-dye shirt is gay. Oh, I guess they would be. But I digress.

      Here’s one example of what HDR photo processing started out to be:

  259. 267

    ForestWander Nature Photography

    August 27, 2009 10:59 am

    These are all great.

    I will certainly have to try doing this with 1 shot images.

    These are real works of art.

  260. 268

    LOL at all the snobby dips#!tz posting comments. Anyone who thinks their subjective opinion is canon is an ass by definition. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, its just an opinion and you aren’t the arbiter of all that is right and proper in this world. Perhaps the haters just lack imagination, or have never experienced “enhanced” modes of consciousness. Sometimes the world does look that this, and more.

  261. 269

    I really like the realistic HDR. I have lots of examples of not overdoing it.

  262. 270

    One cann’t admire the photo’s for the simple reason that the site is working too slowly, sooo sloowlyy ….. At a snail’s peace !!

  263. 271

    Apart from 4-5 pictures, most of them look terrible – pastel like and grossly overcooked. Very few photographers can cook up a decent HDR image without those exaggerated halos. The problem is not so much with HDR images as with the people who ‘mix’ them. They always get a little carried away. Instead of keeping the HDR effect subtle, they max out all the settings.

  264. 272

    I think HDR is very rarely done right. There’s too many cartoonish-looking images out there that give HDR a bad name. Here is an example of what HDR images should look like:


    • 273

      I like the various degrees of HDR technique, depending what an individual is going for there is something useful at any level. Hey, it is all art what is the big deal? The originals are still available for any purpose intended. I can’t wait to get the software; it looks like so much fun! This is what it is all about, huh?

  265. 274
  266. 275

    i swear, that’s picture is really really good.
    love it.. :)

  267. 276

    Those results of the HDR-Photographies here are incredible. If you need some Links with informations ( Tutorials, Software, Books, etc. ) and of course some inspiration, don’t miss Best of High-Dynamic-Range – Fotos, Weblogs, Tutorials, Software, Books.

  268. 277

    How on earth did they take those bird pics in HDR? And how did they take that moving boat in HDR?

    Did they use a different process or are they fake?

  269. 278

    Awfull pictures.
    KItch 100%

  270. 279

    HDR is a technique. How long does it take to work a “photograph” and get it tone mapped, etc. I realize it takes usually 3+ photographs and appears to work best with a tripod. I am interested in how long from start to finish the amount of time it takes to make one of these photographs.

  271. 280

    great photograph taking.. just awesome

  272. 281
  273. 282

    I beg to differ. I find these pictures not fantastic but eye-hurtingly, stomach-churningly ugly. It takes a total lack of visual culture to think a good photo is one with its color saturation and contrast pushed to extremes and nothing like the real world. They are garish and vulgar. They are batch-produced, software-automated kitsch. I really think this “HDR”-craze is a new form of visual pollution that involves no-one but the most conformist and unimaginative people out there, the kind that dances to every new macarena without an iota of doubt if he sees other people doing just the same.

    • 283

      If HDR photography produces ugly pictures, then so is the art of Thomas Kinkade.. here is an example for ya of a painting that people love and looks just like an HDR photo: http://www.gallerydirectart.com/t-361.html .

      I think the problem with HDR photography is that the tone-mapping process still needs much further development. If you understood the process, you would understand why some of the pictures look so deeply saturated and appear to be “over done” as a result. It is not really HDR, nor the person who takes the pictures, that does that but the algorithm by which the tone mapping software chooses the “correct” pixels from the many layers (as many layers as pictures that are mapped on top of one another) to be “the” one showing. Some software averages the layers into one while others just pick one… most don’t allow any custom selection of which layer to be chosen for the particular pixel. Lots of work still needs to be done but HDR is definitely the way to go!

      • 284

        I agree Kinkade is a perfect example of what HDR often(there are well done examples that will hopefully increase in number with time) is to photography, cheesey overdone crap loved by those with poor taste in art.

    • 285

      It is just art in another form, what is the big deal?

  274. 286

    Like all new techniques, people will go bananas over it for a while, some will rave, some will froth at the mouth. Right now it’s being completely overdone, used simply for its own sake instead of being needed or suitable. But once the dust has settled we will be the beneficiaries of another tool that, properly used when it’s needed or appropriate, will have its place and special uses and further expand our medium.

    I remember, in my business (movies) when the “Steadicam” was invented. Suddenly camera work was going crazy, rushing headlong up and down stairs, along twisting corridors, getting on and off moving vehicles, and all manner of crazy self conscious showy gimmicks that, for most part, added nothing except “cleverness” to either narrative or photography. Now, a good few years on, we have a wonderfully useful tool that, used in proper context, has made many a remarkable shot possible and enriched the spectator’s experience without, in most cases, them even being aware that a remarkable piece of technology has made possible the previously unthinkable.

    But right now HDR is being turned into a young fad that I think I can happily wait out ’till it matures a bit. On the other hand I am already starting to borrow some of the techniques and avenues it has opened up ….. and that, for me, is how it should be ….. never close a door ………

  275. 287

    Its funny how much controversy there is on HDR. Just like David Macdonald said. It’s a new technique that takes photographs to a different level. Of course it’s not the end all of photography. But why go all against it?
    90% of the people aren’t photographers, they don’t care how the photo is done as long as it leaves behind an emotional impact.
    Just like color photography didn’t end black and white, neither will HDR end standard photos.
    I’ve launched my own photoblog which has lots of HDR but also some non HDR.

  276. 288

    they are some really fantastic shoots, i also saw a really nice HDR photo on http://zooomn.com/portfolio/hdr-high-dynamic-range-photography/

  277. 289

    I find it hard to believe that people can make such horrid comments on what has taken so long to accomplish, is it jealousy or what, i know the truth hurts on times but this may be the persons first attempt at doing something like this, !! think before critisizing.

  278. 290

    i love them!!!

  279. 291
  280. 292

    I have a lot of my own HDR Wallpapers up for free on this wallpaper site:


    Anyone else is free to post their own as well!

  281. 293

    Justin Moore-Brown

    January 11, 2010 12:33 am

    Great list as always! Thanks for posting the link throughs to other ways to find these great photos!

  282. 294

    I think these are great images, and some of them have been made so surreal and emotive with the HDR. However, some of them, for my personal taste have gone a little too far. They’ve gone from beautiful and surreal into the overly plastic where they look like very poor CGI lifts from a film.

    The best pictures are acquired when the elements come together at the time of taking the shot – a little bit of editing enhances this. I’m not against HDR, but some of these are no longer powerful for me…

  283. 295

    perfect !!!

  284. 296
  285. 297

    I am really impressed by all of your picture,
    i would love to get up to that point one day,
    i am now learning some HDR on a site that
    is : http://www.photoserge.com it’s explained verry simply
    hope i’ll get to your level one day and good luck !

  286. 298

    verry nice we can olso have verry interresting cours on HDR on that site : http://www.photoserge.com

  287. 299

    Like we say here in Puerto Rico “Que Brutal!”

  288. 300

    very nice
    enjoyed it
    it is really a success i am learning HDR and that is exactly the kind of photo i would like to get up to
    see also this site where we can learn with very simple courses

  289. 301

    HDR is like any other kind of photography, it can be well done or poorly executed. In the end it’s all subjective and everyone is free to like or dislike as with any kind of art.

    The more people use it the more good HDR photography there will be. I use HDR to varying degrees in my travel photography and I’m always interested to see how others use it. Sometimes I love what I’m seeing and sometimes I find some HDR hideous. In the end it’s just my opinion.

    Thanks for showcasing some HDR imagery Smashing :^)
    Here is my take on HDR



  290. 302

    nice photos wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  291. 303

    I’m a fan of HDR but many of these photos look just terrible. HDR is a tricky skill to master, though, and get professional results.

    I can spend 5 minutes in Photomatix making a better HDR, and I have — it has nothing to do with jealousy.

    In fact, all of you could do the same thing pretty easily once you’ve been shown how — it’s not terribly difficult.

    Many of these people appear to be very competent photographers (composition, exposure, choosing a great subject, waiting for the perfect light, all the normal things). They are far from masters at HDR, however.

    Just check out that halo artifacting effect around the three in the third to last photo….

    • 304

      What a shame that this technique to just capture all the tonalities of a scene outside the range of a camera’s abilities is being so terribly abused to churn out such garish, unnatural-looking photographs.

      BTW, many of these so-called “HDR” photos aren’t HDR at all. Some are composites (such as the one with the Paris building- look at the sky; it’s a picture of the helix nebulae); others are just overprocessed garbage tweaked to death with various Photoshop plugins. The only image that is probably legitimate HDR is the last one of the Malaysian skyline.

  292. 305

    there is so much art out there today some agree some dont. we live in a world where people like to bring you down and some build you up,but at the end, there are two worlds one we measure with line and rule, the second we feel with our hearts and imagination. So love thy neighbour.
    From down under

  293. 306

    hey my name is joseh yeah a smell like do-do its because i dont like taking showers sometimes my dog walks around naked and i love to take picture of it i have a xbox 360 but i use it for bad things i like to play Runescape yup i have no live

  294. 307

    wow these pics r awesome!!!

  295. 308

    Nice stuff. I’ve seen a lot of overly processed HDR knocking about on Flickr but these examples are spot on. Think 1 or 2 may have been processed using a single image. I’ve dabbled in HDR http://aaron.storry.co.uk/hdr-photography/ but still loads to learn!

  296. 309

    There are nice photos in this collection and some I personally dislike. HDR technique is interesting and can produce some interesting results. However, I do not like how some people use HDR, which is trying to make every single pixel visually compelling and vibrant.

    Take the shot of the bird flying over the stone wall as an example. Nice composition, but I would have thought the bird was the focus point in the shot. Now there’s so much detail and color in the sky that the bird’s presence doesn’t feel as unique. The rock wall has so much emphasis that it also detracts from the main focus.

    Sometimes its great to wow everyone with a rich and colorful landscape. Other times a shot has greater impact and depth if one object is isolated, and I think some HDR users forget this technique.

  297. 310


  298. 311

    i usually don’t like photographs that are over-edited but i really like this collection! the photos look like paintings.

  299. 312

    no bad

  300. 313

    Wow, these pictures are really great! Check out my HDR photos at http://www.macleod.arknet.co.uk/photoblog and leave some feedback :D

  301. 314

    It’s a treat for the eyes. HDR has no limits to experiment with.

  302. 315

    OMGGGG I luv all of these so beautiful!!! I wish i was that good!

  303. 317

    how to make such stunning HDR’s ? can we try HDR on portraits also?
    Can any one suggest me how to work with tone mapping for HDR
    i tried but… and how to take picture, what shoudl be the difference between teh pictures taht we combine for HDR

  304. 318

    Nice photos! Check out 3D Rendering

  305. 319

    where where where where where where download????

  306. 320

    Very nice pictures. Have a lokkt on our Wall decals an Wandtattoos

  307. 321


    June 19, 2010 7:50 am

    The people who see HDR as garish, vulgar, terrible, etc really have such closed minds. They can’t stretch their understanding far enough to see all forms of photography as ART. There’s lots of art I don’t like, starting with most of modern abstractism painting, but I certainly don’t trash the individual pieces or say the artist is bad. Sure there’s lots of bad HDR out there and it gives the people who really understand how to execute the technique properly a bad name. However, to say that HDR images are batch edited and mass-produced is simply showing your ignorance of the medium. I spend anywhere from 1 hour to several days producing a single HDR photograph, excluding the time it takes to plan and setup the shot. http://www.whitehotphoenix.com

  308. 322

    I simply love HDR photography. Those photos are really gorgeous. The colours are amazing, they make the photos almost seem unreal. Thanks for this post.

  309. 324

    must get CS5!!! dang I’ve been trying HDR with CS4 and its just not doing it for me…

  310. 325

    I think HDR is a new and different medium. But they definitely have more of a contemporary CG look to them which seems rather fake compared to traditional film photography. So I think digital photography is becoming more computer art as a separate medium from photography. Of course I feel the same way about cinema captured digitally vs film cinematography. It’s a different medium entirely.

  311. 326

    Congrats on a very nice post!
    The photos are truly great and inspiring for ultra contrast tone-mapping. Waiting to see more. :)

    By the way, if you want to see some other tone-mapping configurations for HDR technique visit next links.

    True tone HDR

    HDR + Effects

    HDR Panoramas

    Ultra contrast HDR

  312. 327

    I personally love HDR, if not too overdone. The definition of “overdone” will change from person to person I guess.

    I find it rather funny that people get so angry and offended by HDR. Like anything, if you don’t like it, don’t look. Spouting insults only shows your insecurity as a photographer in my opinion.

    • 328

      It’s the lack of representation here and ignorance about the technique of HDR that has some uncomfortable.

      It’s like having an article called “35 Beautiful American Artworks” and then only showing Andy Worhol paintings.

      You’ll get a few that will start saying “American Artwork” sucks and then it snowballs.

  313. 329

    how about you guys go to Magnum and look at some REAL images, i.e. alex webb, trent parke, martin parr..go have look at robert frank, perhaps stephen dupont, all the guys & girls at oculi etc etc – true photographic talents, people to be admired..that is REAL photography, actual in camera talent, ya know, natural “photographic” ability..not overooked photoshop ability (see wedding industry).

    like most HDR/overworked PS images, it is for photographers that cant shoot a good image “in the moment” but have to rely on 3 months of PS to make it an illustration.

    this stuff is cheesy and kitchy.

    • 330

      Yes.. I agree that these may be over the top HDR images that I don’t particularly care for either. But to refer to REAL photographic talent as not using photosop is absurd. Before PHOTOSHOP was PHOTOSHOP the darkroom was a PHOTOSHOP used for a image montage creation, dodging and burning different areas of the print at different times to create a totally different image than what was actually “captured” in the camera.. Again, I don’t necessarily like these types of images either, but I guess thats what makes them art. A select group of people are in to that and they may think your pictures are “stupid, and have no talent.”

  314. 331

    If you’re interested in HDR, check out Trey Ratcliff of stuckincustoms.com for a good tutorial.

  315. 333

    I’ve been working with HDR for a couple of years now. The ones posted above are great, but I saw a few which had “mistakes” (notably, large halos around the edges).

    A few of my own HDR images:

    1) Ramsau, Germany: http://EruditeExpressions.com/archives/6297_1579073640/339197

    2) New Yankee Stadium: http://EruditeExpressions.com/archives/6297_1579073640/338913

    3) Incoming! http://EruditeExpressions.com/archives/6297_1579073640/320023

    The rest are in this gallery:




  316. 334

    “The people who see HDR as garish, vulgar, terrible, etc really have such closed minds”

    Most people that have commented in the negative, have actually said that they can appreciate HDR, when used carefully. Personally, I do not like any of the above artwork, I prefer HDR when it is used to improve the dyanmic range to create realistic results that may not have been possible in one exposure. Yes, I do find most of them garish. 3, possible 4 of those pieces of art represent a realistic scene, but the rest do not as the colours are not natural. Taken as artwork, I can appreciate the time and effort involved, however just as with most of Damien Hurst’s work, I do not like the end result. Does this mean I have a closed mind? I don’t think so. It just means that I do not like the particular form of art

  317. 335
  318. 336

    i like HDR…..^_^

  319. 337
  320. 338

    Maybe you should edit the post title 35 Fantastic HDR Pictures – Smashing Magazine to something more specific for your subject you write. I liked the post still.

  321. 339

    Hiya – having read all the comments, I agree with the possitive comments on HDR, i cannot agree with the negative, what a lot ot of tosh…. if it makes the creater happy and they get something from the creation and a good memory thats a great thing, for the moaners who nit pick about the little things, why!!! Pick up that camera and go create, never mind what negative people say, as we are ALL on the earth for a very short time.., enjoye every day, as soon as its past, you cannot get it back….

  322. 340

    Thay are really amazing Photos.

  323. 341

    Really nice pictures.backside lights are more fantastic than picures.
    I really apriciate DDR.

  324. 342

    let me just say i just right now found out about hdr.
    i came across it as one of the programs in my opera browser feeds. then read about it on wikipedia. then googled some hdr images.

    on first impression im not impressed by hdr. i dont know much about photography and i’ve come across hdr images before and they just looked fake but couldnt say why. now i know the word for it–hdr.
    the first hdr picture was of a friend of mine and it looked fake. it looked like a painting more than a photograph.

    i clicked most of the hdr links here and imo they just dont look real. i play computer video games and these images look like images being developed for video games.
    one thing that doesnt make games realistic is the images dont look “real”. they look like they were “created”. some of these pictures would look more real if they were just left natural. the high end games that look almost realistic look like they have “less hdr”.

    pictures with hdr look cartoonish… or cgi-ish. yes they have more detail but just dont look realistic.
    hdr images look like paintings. a painting will always be a painting and never be a photograph. thats what an hdr image looks like. a highly detailed painting.

  325. 343

    These are some great shots, but I wish everyone would start calling these tone-mapped instead of HDR images. I get so annoyed trying to find real HDR images to use on some work projects these days because most of the searches will result in these tone-mapped shots. Real HDR images actually store the different stopped images; these are a blended version of that data.

  326. 344

    I have been using HDR for some time now. In my opinion it is simply a technique used to overcome the limitations of the camera. Cameras are not capable of recording the dynamic range we find in landscapes. With film we used graduated filters, dodging and burning etc. When used correctly we can reproduce pictures as we see them without having to accept the limitations.

  327. 345

    Although these pictures are quite impressive, i cannot get past the fact that this is detracting from the photography itself. Take away the HDR and many of these photos are quite plain

  328. 346

    Not sure Fantastic applies to all of these, but thats HDR for you – easily spoils a shot.

  329. 347

    To call this HDR is like calling Facebook a chat room. Yes, these photos probably started out with some tone mapping. Done to enhance the Dynamic Range of the exposures from light to shadows. But after that, they got a heavy dose of Hyper-reality processing.

  330. 348

    amazing pics… gave me some great ideas for my own projects.
    check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/alon_gutf/5321250904/

  331. 350

    Can you do HDR with a film camera or only digital?

    • 351

      HDR was invented by Ansel Adams in 1939. He would expose for the shadows and then push the negative to bring out the details in the highlights. Adams was the master at dodge and burn techniques in the darkroom.

      So yes, you can do it with film. Assuming you have phenomenal darkroom skills.

      • 352

        Ansel’s techniques seem much more like conventional digital photo editting to me, he was the one making decisions rather than leaving the work to a computer program.

        • 353

          I’m late to the party but once you have all that dynamic range squashed into one file you can go to town in the traditional way, dodging, burning and tweaking to your hearts content.

    • 354

      Can you edit negatives? Or merge them? Even if you could, wouldn’t you prefer to “merge to HDR” in photoshop and then play with the sliders?

  332. 355
  333. 356

    interesante xd

  334. 357

    To me, these all look fake… not like a real photograph at all. Question, when was the last time you actually saw, with your own eyes, anything that looks like these photos?

    If you are honest, you will say you never saw anything like these, in person, with your own eyes… while they may seem beautiful to you they are not a photographic documentation of the actual scene…

  335. 358

    People certainly are polarized when it comes to HDR. Either they love it or they hate it, and within those camps there are those who disparage anything not realistic and others who are captivated by the surrealistic or more extreme treatments.

    In my humble opinion, the HDR concept is a valid approach to rendering an artist’s (a photographer or pixel manipulator can be an artist) vision. The current software offerings have made creating HDR images available to the masses. There will be good ones and there will be bad ones and there will be ones you like and others you dislike.

    An almost perfect analogue is typography. Everybody and his brother (or sister) who has MS Word has the tools to be a typographer. How few of them have the vision.

    Ansel Adams was doing HDR’s in 1939. He compressed 7 or 8 zones of light values into the 5 or so that could be reproduced on paper. Are there those who don’t appreciate or like his work? Undoubtedly. Do some people think his technique was flawed? Sure. Does anyone doubt for a moment that he saw through an artist’s eyes? I don’t believe so.

    Can one criticize technique? Absolutely. But is it fair to criticize an artist’s vision?

    HDR is just a medium. An art form. HDR is to digital photography as oil or chalk-and-charcoal is to painting. I for one enjoy seeing the results when a real artist creates an HDR image. And I’m going to keep trying too. One day, maybe, some of my images will match what I see inside my head.

  336. 359

    Architectural Renderings

    March 29, 2011 12:41 pm

    WOW. I stumbled across your site and the images are absolutely amazing! My favorite, by far, is the second one.

  337. 360

    I flat out hate HDR photography.

  338. 361

    They all look weird, not natural, supernatural is what they are.
    HDR does not mean that it has to look weird.
    Just have a wider dynamic range between light and dark. A wider gray or color scale.

  339. 362

    primo de la cruz

    April 19, 2011 6:57 am

    I used to work at a photofinishing lab, eight long years, seen tons of pictures. i tried something that’s in my head but i came close to what i want and then stretched the possible limits but that was analogue yesteryears. time have so much changed and technologies open a very wide portal of opportunities for us to express ourselves and maybe somehow, be understood. i like HDR no matter what. i can make it a photo if its the way i like and then i can make that same photo the way others will like it. it is on its own right, period. Oh, I love Ansel Adams. without him there wouldn’t be zone system. and without zone system simplified, we won’t understand HDR. thanks to people who think differently.

  340. 363

    I’ve seen some good examples of HDR such as this one:


    However, I find almost all the images here too Thomas Kinkake and kitschy looking. I never Photoshop my photos or use any color lenses / effects, so maybe that’s why I’m not so crazy about these. I like natural photos. HDR can be cool if applied sparingly. These are too over the top for my taste.

  341. 364

    Liewilyn Baynosa

    April 26, 2011 5:57 am

    I randomly found out your site… This is one of the best collections of hdr images very nice… I really like that image of the barn it was very dramatic… AWESOME

  342. 365

    This collection should contain more variety from more photographers. — You should include some work from other photographers like, Eli Locardi for example. http://www.blamethemonkey.com has another good take on the HDR Process. He’s not the only one either. — Just please try to stop posting Over Cooked Photos

  343. 366

    I find HDR leaves my eyes craving for some blackened or whited out space in a photograph. I think HDR is for people who suffer from horror vacui who need to see detail in every part of a picture. Should be used with extreme caution!

  344. 367

    Glenn Springer is a genus

  345. 368

    OMG!!!!!!it iz totally awesome PICS……………

  346. 369

    @John Neel

    “I think HDR is very rarely done right. There’s too many cartoonish-looking images out there that give HDR a bad name. Here is an example of what HDR images should look like:


    Well, your example actually shows “cartoonish-looking images”. :)

  347. 370

    I think most of the people who don’t like these images are old burned out photographers who don’t like anything new.

  348. 371

    harry diboulah

    July 7, 2011 8:55 pm

    omg, i find the distribution of light in those photographs HORRID ! looks like they are straight out of photomatix ! another horrible piece of software ! those photographs show bright where it shouldn’t be and dark where it shouldn’t be – and there’s sudden jumps from bright to dark and vice versa – they are not fantastic/realistic. they are just plain scary looking and way oversaturated !

    my 2 cents.

    but hey, tom likes em :-) and not everybody that doesn’t like them is old btw. that’s a lazy stereotype.

  349. 372

    Beautiful Shots! I know that everyone has been saying something similar, but these images really capture both a subtlety and a eye catching pop. I hope to capture the same, but it is certainly easier said than done. Here are a few of my HDR images; I’ld love to hear people’s thoughts.


    Thanks for sharing this post!

  350. 373

    A fine example why HDR sucks. These photos look like they have been taken from a CGI movie, no feeling and 90% fake, and they look it. The editing seen here is very bad and, as usual, overdone to massive hights. Anyone who thinks HDR is good is either a bad photographer or just stupid, simple as. I just hope this kind of photography doesn’t gain popularity because it will be a disaster.


    • 374

      To play off an old phase, nobody ever lost money underestimating americans lack of taste.

      The most amusing thing for me is that for a technique called High Dramatic Range its main use seems to actually be producing very undramatic photographs. The idea that shadow can add character seems to have been lost to the drive for “everything brighter than everything else”.

  351. 376

    Very nice photos.

  352. 377

    i love hdr photos. you can say even that i’m a hdr fanatic :P

    but from all this photos, 2 (two) of them are hdr :| (the other are still great beautiful photos, don’t get me wrong; but they are NOT hdr!)
    i really hate all this “artist” that brag with their “hdr” photos, but don’t know the first thing about what a hdr photo is supposed to be.

  353. 378

    Nice Collection!

  354. 379

    so good

  355. 380

    very good!
    很好看, 这些图都很不错!

  356. 381

    This particular blog siteis quite interesting, keep creating awesome info.

  357. 382

    hi sir nice pics

  358. 383

    Nice collection Vitaly. Unfortunately I do think that sometimes the artist goes a bit too far with the effects. Don’t get me wrong, HDR is fantastic, I absolutely love it and have been playing around with it myself, but the 3rd image from the bottom is a classic example, the halo around the tree is such a give-away that it’s HDR with detail up to the max.

    “Use but don’t abuse” is my moto with HDR.

  359. 384

    The world before third world war; this is suitable for the Doom scenarios. It hurts my eyes; I think Hdr so awful is no good for health. ¿What is the idea?, light everywhere ¿For what?; ¿Where is the more important thing in the shot? doesn’t exist, all have the same importance. Conclusion: bad photography, worst photographers

  360. 385

    Hm, hm, hm. It starts with first line of the article: “Applied carefully, High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) can create incredibly beautiful pictures …”
    Not one single image in the collection matches the term ‘carefully’. To my suffering eyes, this is an orgy of oversaturation and one of violent overprocessing as well.
    We have that in audio-material too, called ‘lethal-compression’ there.
    The dilemma begins, whenever the image leaves comprehensible perception. This is the moment it stops to be a photograph and starts to be a work of photography-based tweaking. Just because someone spends hours/days/weeks in a heroic attempt to thrash common limitations out of a medium … the result not necessarlily becomes art. But sure enough, it can result in art. Remember Chuck Close and all the artists, known as ‘photorealists’ back in the 70ies. This was photography-based painting, true HDR, if you may, and it had the same ‘hyperrealistic’ effect to our eyes. Almost all images in this gallery lack from one essential prerequisite: composition. Take the HDR out, and you look at mediocre craftsmanship in many cases. They simply are way too overcharged to still represent the genre of photography. OK, OK, of course one could state now: “Shut up, why should the way, light interacts with silver iodide/chips be the normative amen into the story?” Agreed. Our senses, the most of them operating on a logarithmic basis, in fact handle sensations right in this way: It needs 100W to appear double as loud as 10W and it needs 1000W to double this sensation again.
    The same applies to light. Unfortunately, this does not apply to physical media.
    This is, why neither film nor chips can see, what our eyes see. Of course, HDR can faciliate photographs that come closer to our perception. Yet, there is none in this collection. In my eyes, they exaggerate the ****s out of a technique, while forgetting about the underlying artistic rules. Look at image #2: Logarithmic based senses or not, it is absolutely impossible to see reality in this way. Now, obviously leaving both the fields of physical limitation (silver iodide/chip) and physiological perception (logarithmic handleable scale of sensation) one should be careful with the term photography. Pixelpainting? Photoncompressing? Hypercomposing? Digital eclecticism?
    And, to move past given limitations is no proof that one has entered the fields of art yet.
    In short: as soon as an image starts looking like HDR … take them levers down, at least a bit. Unless you want to be an HDR-artist – and exactly look like one. In this case, simply proceed at your discretion, yet, be prepared to be confronted with the unflattering tally ‘HDR-syndrome’.
    A syndrome, possibly strong enough to overshadow the individual aspects of your work.
    If it does not … you’re an artist!

  361. 386


    photography is not new for me, its always my dream to be a professional photographer, I always read books about photography even before that I dont have SLR yet. I just got myself one recently though.. hehehe… HDR photography however is new for me, I mean, how is this done? thanks

  362. 387

    Your article was excellent. If you do please help me .

  363. 388

    This collection has some good ones and some duds… lots of over processed and exaggerated shots that look very unrealistic. Dead giveaway with the haloing around objects or near contrasty areas. Maybe a follow up post with people who use HDR to create more subtle and refined images as opposed to the Photomatix-y “super HDR” effect.

    Photomatix was the reason I never liked HDR. Not that it is a poor program but people don’t know how to use it. It wasn’t until I found a way to process HDR in a more controlled way that I came to appreciate its power and flexibility.

  364. 389

    The HDR process isn’t that easy, and requires good starting photographs in order to produce a good final image, in the same way producing electronic music requires good samples to contribute to the final composition.

    Naysayers, try it yourself. I agree a good HDR ‘photograph’ will look like a photograph, not a painting. I think the examples on ‘Erudite Expressions’ website are good examples of how to produce solid ‘natural’ looking HDR images with taste.

  365. 390

    There are a few really good shots here, but most of these are OVER-PROCESSED. HDR is a tool, just like any other, and you can certainly have your opinion about what you like or don’t like, but most professional photographers will tell you that a good non-HDR photo easily beats most of these HDR examples. HDR when scaled-down, and appropriately ‘scalpeled’ will yield great results that easily make it indistinguishable from a regular shot, but carry an etherial quality that you can’t quite put your finger on.

    Just my 2 cents.

  366. 391
  367. 392

    This is a very nice collection of HDR Photography inspiration. I would like also to share my own collection http://designecho.com/inspirations/35-stunning-hdr-photography-examples/


  368. 393

    To bad some of those images aren’t HDR. First and foremost, HDR is combining multiple exposures to create one photo. So as such, you cannot take multiple exposures of a moving subject like the fireworks, since it is moving and therefore would be impossible to take at minimum 3 shots at the same time at 3 different exposure levels. A single image can be tone mapped to be sure, but that is technically not HDR. Then the fact that a couple of the photo’s are not even claiming to be HDR when you click on them and get to the original photo and it’s description. Like this one .http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynchburgvirginia/407618927/ . Most of the photo’s in this article are “Tone mapped” and not HDR. As I stated HDR is a combination of multiple images at different exposures to capture shadows and light the human eye can’t see, which makes the photo stunningly clean and crisp. It doesn’t make a “painting” like photo or make halo’s around a subject. That is done via tone mapping.
    True HDR looks like this; http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=4920356.
    Tone mapped is this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elementalpaul/2261257446/in/pool-hdr .

  369. 394

    Phillip Johnston

    July 7, 2013 12:19 am

    Sorry to burst your bubble but many of these images actually are fake. Like, completely fake, not just color-enhanced and tone-mapped. Like the helix nebula over Paris one – you can’t see nebulae from earth without a telescope. That picture is a combination of a telescope image and a totally boring shot of a building. That is fake by all means. The one with a cloud right over the building is also faked by the same means. You guys should really pay attention and now what you are talking about before you go assuring the public that these are real images.

  370. 395

    Nice Pics ……. Like it ……..

  371. 396

    People who trash HDR, really have closed minds and NO sense of art. If a photo is beautiful, or inspiring, it doesn’t matter how it came to be.

    I, for one, feel that there is a fine line between amazing sureal beauty in HDR, and an over processed look. I feel that six of the images here really hit that. The others are not to my taste, but only an ignorant, non artist, would say it is not photography.

    HDR has been around since the 1850s! Photographers have been blending exposures together since its infancy, so how can we judge it?

    Also, EVERY…. EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER bends reality in a dramatic way. When you see a grizzly bear from 200 yards, and pop on a long focal length lense to grab that shot… how are you not also manipulating the reality of what we see? Or how about when you slow down the shutter speed to blur motion or brightly expose a completly dark landscape? How is this not “cheating reality and creating something doesn’t exist in real life”.

    The point is that there is no room for “purists” in art. All any photographer needs to do, in justifying their craft is ask: “Is this image beautiful? Is it stunning? Does it stir me, and inspire? Does it create a sense of wonder?” If so, it is art and it is important and valid.

  372. 397

    Actually only some of them are good, others are pretty mediocre. You can check out some of mine over at https://www.facebook.com/hdrartography
    Definitely not are fantastic on mine too. But I think I do have several good ones which are better than at least half over here.. Anyway, great collection!

  373. 398

    HDR is a part of the process used in the photos above. “Real” HDR does not turn photos into modern art.

    That said, I enjoy the photos above. Much like I do heavy rock music such as the band Disturbed. I just can’t take too much at any one time or I start getting queasy.


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