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Posted July 15, 2009
Nice pictures, but lacking details, and too many single shot HDR's
I picked up this book because I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and a desire to pick up some tips to improve my HDR that I've been shooting for over a year now. Well this book definitely has inspiring photos and some pretty useful tips, but it seems to lack the clarity of a well written tutorial that you can find online at various places. Two of my favorite tutorials being of course Trey Ratcliff's aka "Stuckincustoms" and Ben Wilmore's DVD (watch it on youtube). Both seem to go into greater depths of the "how's" and "why's" and "what to do if's".
Don't get me wrong this is a good book for those who are still new to HDR or haven't really dived into it yet and need some basic advice but if you've been doing it awhile this probably isn't the book for you unless you want a nicely produced book with great images that you can hold and read instead of having to log on and scroll down.
I was a bit dissapointed at the large number of single image HDR's shown and talked about, this is a small part of HDR photography and is very useful in a handful of situations (action,portrait,etc) but is largely not what HDR is about which is multiple bracketed shots, and many of those single image shots could've been bracketed. The book mainly focuses on Photomatix for processing the images which is a great program, I would love to have seen examples with screen grabs of "what this slider moved here would do to this photo" ie: Take this photo of a barn and move the highlights slider to 100 vs to 50 or 0 etc. and show the results to explain the effect it has on images in a way that's easier to comprehend then just text saying "we raised the luminosity" Also most shots seemed to be taken on a 10-20mm wide angle lens, I would've loved to see more examples of abstracts, and macro's.
Errors in the text were very small and insignificant, however one error worth noting was in Chapter 6 - pg.149 referencing images 6-11 and 6-12 the text refers to a 3 shot bracket, however the image caption for 6-12 states it was a 7 shot bracket.
Overall a good read, I enjoyed it but left wondering what more could've been written and shown that would've provided better instructions and tips to a photographer wanting to learn and improve at HDR Photography.
I'd suggest searching for tutorials online first, you'll find plenty of examples and tips that might save you some money.
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