For a number of years, I considered myself a writer. It was easier to describe the fingerlike rays tickling the blue emptiness above than it was to capture it with a camera. I fear my ability to capture the essence of anything in carefully chosen words has slipped away and been replaced with the desire to somehow communicate through images. There is the obvious cliche of photos being worth a thousand words, but if they don’t contain even a sliver of the emotion of the original scene, then they are worthless. Snapshots are too easy. Photographs aren’t. Who’s to decide which are which? The above image is a 9-shot HDR processed in HDR Efex Pro. It more closely resembles what I witnessed than any of the single frames I used to build it, but it is somehow trickery – the use of technology to surpass previous limitations. The result is art, but is it a photograph?
As the sun set, the lamp posts came to life, pulsing with orange light against the darkening blue sky. The above image is a 5-shot HDR processed through Photomatix. The effect is more subtle than the previous image but still stands out. Below, a simple image of Denver (a dog, not the city) takes on a painterly quality by combining 3 exposures into an HDRI.