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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 Wallpapers we’ve published earlier.

Fantastic HDR Pictures Link

HDR Photos - Something_to_see_here_3
HDR Photos - Dranesville Tavern
HDR Photos - untitled
HDR Photos - A postcard for the Margarita island
HDR Photos - One Night in Bangkok
HDR Photos - Caracara takes off
HDR Photos - Los Tres Magia
HDR Photos - 871 @ Sattahip Naval Base (Thailand)
HDR Photos - Golden Gate HDR
HDR Photos - Inverted Vertigo
HDR Photos - Helix Nebula Over Paris DRI
HDR Photos - From above...
HDR Photos - Catedral de Malaga 2 (HDR)
HDR Photos - Sparkle in Her Eye - HDR
HDR Photos - The Solitude of the Fisherman
HDR Photos - Greece is the word...
HDR Photos - My own peace of mind - HDR by *equinoxe7 on deviantART
HDR Photos - Devil Hotel
HDR Photos - Home_is_where_the_cello_is
HDR Photos - The Veins of Bangkok
HDR Photos - captured emotion
HDR Photos - Heart of Satan - What it looks like when fireworks explode inside of a storm cloud over a river
HDR Photos - Bridge
HDR Photos - foggy wood (Published in March 08 National Geographic)
HDR Photos - City at 60 degrees North / Icebreaker Krasin
HDR Photos - Mistral Action
HDR Photos - Breakwater @ Pirita
HDR Photos - : Photo by Photographer Maciek Duczynski
HDR Photos - A Mushroom with a view
HDR Photos - ECO Lake
HDR Photos - Icy Landscape
HDR Photos - A cokin sunset
HDR Photos - Clark Quay Reflected
HDR Photos - I have sailed the seven seas ...
HDR Photos - The Aliens Have Landed
HDR Photos - City of lights
HDR Photos - Flickr: Discussing Your Best HDR Sunrise or Sunset in HDR Unlimited

Sources and Further Resources Link

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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 UX, front-end and 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 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!


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