Transforming reality into an uber-detailed, fantastical coloured fantasy world…
No highlights or shadows are allowed – they shoot loads of different exposures to make sure not one pixel will be clipped black or white. Even on flat light days, when you don’t need HDR, they still bracket away – it’s all part of the process!
Then they put them into Photomatix (other HDR products are available) and tone map to make every colour as saturated as possible, turning up the local contrast so even the mildest variation in tone becomes a hugely contrasty detail.
Aged cartoon faces – blinding clouds on dark black skies yet weirdly light land – infinitely detailed engines – all creations of the slider-happy tone mapping lover.
Bright halos surround trees and hills, separating them from the black, grainy skies.
Pastel colours become saturated so grass becomes coloured like a green “highlighter pen” – blue skies a wierd aqua-cyan mix and any reds bleed like a vampire’s blood.
Child with a new toy
Like any child with a new toy, they push their HDR programs to the limits then show their friends them with a smile. After donning shades you calmly say to them “yes….err… well done!” and try to escape.
They are not interested in reality – they go to cathedrals and make the windows darker than the ceiling, just so you see every coloured piece of glass.
Then after about 2 months, maybe 3, they get bored and never ever shoot HDR again…