bored with HDR

…and I haven’t even tried it yet. How can I be bored of something I’ve never done?
Look at flickr.
I’m impressed by a whole mess of the photographers posting HDR shots but the photos start to all look the same, no matter what the subject matter is. There’s a moment of wow and then nothing.

Whether it’s a tin can or a skyscraper, an approaching storm or a person, HDR seems so plastic and vibrant that it has begun to lose all emotive qualities for me. I’m not saying that fantasy isn’t OK in moderation, but when everything about a photo looks like the neon assault of the Vegas Strip then the human desire to relate to the imagery (at least for me) degrades to the point where I just don’t care about what I’m looking at. It just becomes noisy hyper-realism.

It’s kind of like when a new Photoshop filter comes out (OK, back in the day… and all the Alien Skin stuff is extra-guilty)– all the sudden every magazine and print piece started using these wondrous new manipulative effects, many of which shouldn’t have been touched with a ten-foot pole. (Remember kids, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.)
That’s how HDR photography feels to me. Gimmicky, very ‘now’ but stripped of why I look at photos. I wish I didn’t feel this way because there are a lot of fantastic heavy-weight amateurs and pros using it, but that’s just the way I feel.

Stop the HDR addiction, folks. It’s getting old like an overused flame plug-in.
I can’t be the only one thinking this.

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3 thoughts on “bored with HDR”

  1. I agree. After looking at a lot of them, I feel like I’m looking at one of those revolving tacky postcard racks in a cheap souvenir shop.

    Several of them I would really like to see without HDR. I think they would be wonderful.

  2. Thanks for that Ginny – glad to know I’m not the only one unmoved by them.

    Ian: Hi! Welcome to my blog! I’ve had a look around your flickr and you’ll find you’re a contact of mine as well now.
    Nicely done on the bridge photo. Your conservative use of HDR looks good. 🙂

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