Monday, November 9, 2015

HDR photography with the Pentax K-3 or other Pentax DSLRs


 Hi Photographer friends,

I was not a fan of HDR (High Dynamic Range) before, but now I am starting to like it and like it a lot. When it got popular, people were exaggerating the effects to where images looked unreal and sometimes cartoonish.  

Now that most photographers are using this method moderately, the results can be awesome.

I took some pictures with the built-in HDR Capture function of the K-3, but found that the results weren't up to my expectations.  I am using Lightroom CC 2015 and found it to be excellent in producing true to eye rendition.

Here are an example of using this method. (Did you know that for $10.00 per Month, you can subscribe to Adobe Lightroom CC and always have the latest version?)  It's actually cheaper than  buying Adobe Elements and upgrade every year.


High-dynamic-range imaging ( HDR) is a technique used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. The aim is to present the human eye with a similar range of luminance as that which, through the visual system, is familiar in everyday life. The human eye, through adaptation  of the iris (and other methods) adjusts constantly to the broad dynamic changes ubiquitous in our environment. The brain continuously interprets this information so that most of us can see in a wide range of light conditions.  Most cameras, on the other hand, cannot.


I took three pictures of the scene. One overexposed, one at the normal exposure and one underexposed. (You can take more if you want, but three is essential.  The software merges all images and by manipulating them, now you can see more details in the shadows and arrange the white areas so they won't be blown out. When done carefully, the image will have a similar dynamic range as the human eye.

Lightroom settings ==> Develop, Photo, Photo Merge, HDR.


Normal Exposure


HDR merge and tone mapping. It is more natural and has a dynamic range similar to the human eye and represents more of what you saw when taking the picture.

Overdone with cartoonist look

Thank you for looking,

Yvon Bourque

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