Highly recommended! – HDR Photography review

Mr. Sweet teached us the way “he chooses” to process his HDR photos (which may differ from others), and I learned quite a bit from watching the DVD. He teaches how to read the histogram of our camera (assuming you have a histogram) and that is the single most important feature required to produce the best images.

Jeffrey A. CAmpbell, March 6, 2010

To begin with, if you’re interested in HDR photography I would recommend this DVD tutorial from Mr. Sweet.

Understand that in order to use the Photomatix software (abt $100) discussed you need to capture your images in RAW format. If your camera is not capable of producing RAW files then Photomatix will not work, i.e. jpegs are not sufficient enough. Additionally, though one single image can be used (which creates a false HDR), it’s best to use a minimum of two or more photos for processing. Though Photoshop alone can merge multiple photos together to create an HDR picture, my experience with Photomatix has been extremely positive. Mr. Sweet does not provide a technical “tour-de-force” about the software, but he does walk us through each individual processing setting capable of being utilized in the software.

Mr. Sweet teached us the way “he chooses” to process his HDR photos (which may differ from others), and I learned quite a bit from watching the DVD. He teaches how to read the histogram of our camera (assuming you have a histogram) and that is the single most important feature required to produce the best images. Simple point and shoot camera owners I believe will have a difficult time. You’ll need some sort of pro-level camera. My Nikon D40 works fine.

Photoshop is not required software (as one review suggested), however, some sort of post processing software is – Mr. Sweet chooses Photomatix. He simply utilizes Photoshop for specific targeted adjustments after the fact.

He provides step by step instruction for processing the first image (total of ten image processing segments are provided) and circumvents the other nine images to save time. In my opinion, once you process your first image you’ll have an understanding how the software faders work.

Shot on location at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Mr. Sweet tours the prison and selects some fantastic prison cells, hallways, etc. which offer high contrast scenes and are perfect for this type of photography. Please understand that he is a professional photographer with profession equipment.

I would not recommend this DVD to the novice photographer who lacks the proper equipment, but to those of you with a basic understanding how your DSLR camera works, has a tripod, computer, and is willing to purchase Photomatix software (at a minimum) I think you’ll enjoy Mr. Sweet’s instruction. If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I will assist you – grandkin@gmail.com. I have watched the DVD multiple times, and each time I pick up on something new.