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Tim has been interested in photography for many years. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's in Environmental Science. Writing nature articles allows him to combine his interest in photography and nature into one medium.

“Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography” Book Review

Overview

The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
written by Ferrel McCollough and published by Lark Books covers many aspects of the photographic technique of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.  It’s focus is mainly for those new to the world of HDR photography, but can serve as a reference for more advanced photographers.

Chapters

The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
contains the following chapters:

  • HDR Photography:  An Overview
  • Equipment, Controls, and Technique
  • Merging and Tone Mapping
  • HDR Software and Post-Processing
  • Capturing Great Source Images
  • Flash Merging, Architecture, and Panoramas
  • Advanced Image Analysis

Additionally, the following sections focus on specific photographers:

  • Featured Artist:  Trey Ratcliff
  • Featured Artist:  John Adams
  • Featured Artist:  Domingo Leiva
  • Featured Artist:  Asmunder Thorkelsson
  • Featured Artist:  Valerio Popando

My Thoughts on the Book

The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
is primarily for those with little previous HDR experience, but several of the sections can be used as references for photographers with some experience in HDR.  If you have been using HDR for several years with many HDR photos to your credit, then most of what’s in the book may not be as helpful to you;  however, there are several sections on more advance HDR techniques that address specific advanced techniques or problem solving.

I like the layout of the book and there are many good photo examples to illustrate the points that Mr. McCollough is making.  Mr. McCollough also goes into detail on how to get the HDR look for a specific type of photo.  The topics that are covered range from everything from indoor architectural photography to how to photograph the moon and sun.  Mr. McCollough’s wrting style is very easy to understand and follow.

As with all Lark Books on photography I’ve purchased, the production values are very high and I even really like the built in flap/bookmarks.

One potential negative for the book is that it talks quite a bit about specific software packages.  Because of the rapidly changing software environment, portions of the book may become obsolete in a very short time period.  Also, Mr. McCollough talks quite a bit about Photoshop CS3 and specific HDR software (such as Photomatix) – if you are using different programs, you’ll have to figure out how to perform those functions yourself (although in most cases it should be similar to Photoshop).

Conclusion

For me, this book was extremely helpful and serves as a good reference.  If you are a novice and don’t understand HDR, but would like to give it a shot, the Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)would make a great introduction into the world of High Dynamic Range photography.

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