Lighting That Does Not Work Well For HDR Photos

I share some mistakes I made doing HDR photography.


Last evening my friend Dave and I went  up to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder to do some HDR (high dynamic range) shots about an hour before sunset.

I wanted to get there an hour before sunset but since the mountains are so tall we got there right as the sun was going over the mountains – first mistake.

My friend Dave had not done any HDR before so I gave him my version of the Trey Ratcliff HDR tutorial. You can watch my HDR tutorial.

The problem was we wanted to get some mountain shots but since the sun had already gone behind the mountains the lighting didn’t work well for HDR, also it was more humid than normal if that makes a difference.

As you can see some of these shots didn’t come out well at all and had a weird gray cast to the sky that I couldn’t seem to do anything with it to change it. It was hard to make the sky look good both using Photomatix and Lightroom.

I want to go back and try in the morning when the sun is just hitting the mountains as it is coming up, perhaps that would make a better HDR shot.

But we did get a few neat shots like this one pointing away from the mountains looking down a big hill and this one of a tracker on a pill of dirt, I like how the cloud came out.

Anyway I will know for next time that this type of light does not work well for HDR.

Some Good HDR Shots we Did Get

Cat 3250 On NCAR Boulder Colorado


My Friend Dave Shooting His First HDR Shot

Dave Besnette Learning HDR