HDR photo – skiers enjoy a stunning view of Vancouver

Vancouver, HDR, HDR photography, Dynamic HDR, HDR skiers, view

Skiers enjoy the view of Vancouver - Handheld HDR photo

While skiing on Grouse Mountain which overlooks the City of Vancouver, I spotted these two skiers standing and enjoying the view.  I knew this was an HDR photo waiting to happen, so I quickly dropped my backpack and pulled out my camera, all the while hoping that the two guys wouldn’t move so I could get my precious photo that I am sure they could care less about.  With the camera in my hands, I made two quick clicks to turn on auto bracketing, and fired off three frames at three different exposure values.   Even while holding the camera handheld, I was able to keep it still enough to capture three photos that could be converted into an HDR photo using Photomatix Pro software.  The way you hold your camera still to take handheld HDR photos is critical.  I learned how to do this from legendary photographer Joe McNally.  A post from his blog about his technique is available here.  McNally advises that the best way to hold the camera rock-solid still is to turn sideways towards your subject, and hold the camera against your shoulder.  Then reach around with your empty hand and grab the back of the hand that his holding the camera.  Then pull the camera in tight to your shoulder.

I wanted this photo to look realistic, and I didn’t want the traditional HDR photography look.  One might ask why we needed an HDR photo in the first place.  But the answer lies with the lighting.  If I didn’t use HDR for this shot, then the skiers would be silhouetted, or, the skiers would be correctly exposed and the sky and city would be blown out.  Take your pick.  Skiers or sky?  I choose both, and that is why I love HDR.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm by Andrea Lee | Permalink

    What a beautiful photo. I appreciate that fact that it doesn’t look like an HDR photo with the typical post production processing. This HDR photo is much more natural.

    And nice setting too!

    Thanks for your HDR tutorial.

  2. Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm by Jane Tabor | Permalink

    I didn’t know you could take HDR photos handheld and without a tripod. Thanks for the tips and for this technique. I will give it a try.

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