High Dynamic Range images. HDRi before and after. Landscapes.

I like this type of articles a lot: before and after images.  Now I show you some outstanding HDR images we had done in a past. Do not do them much now, busy with in-studio work with the products, but I still enjoy working with HDRi.
I will not give you many technical aspects how to make HDR photos, but this is what our photographer Alex Koloskov has told me about how he shot these landscape HDR photos:

” I usually do from two to  four or five exposures for each HDR, decision s made based on how wide dynamic range is  needed.

For bright sunny day, where there is a deep shadows  and bright sky or water is present, up to five exposures may be needed to get the correct exposure for the whole range of brightness. On dusk and dawn, two or three exposure will be enough.

I rarely use auto exposure bracketing (when camera makes from 3 to 5 images for you form up to _3 to +3 f-stops), but rather shoot on manual, making more then 3 f-stops bracketing when needed.

The idea is to get correctly exposed the darkest and the brightest part of the image , the rest should fall in between.”


For these landscape images I used Photomatix Pro 3 because I like some unrealistic effect it gives.
When I need more realistic images (especially for architecture) I like to use Photoshop,  selecting two or more files from a set of exposures to merge and create a High Dynamic Range image. There is even more accurate method: using masks, when I manually merge specific areas of the image by masking them and blending with another layer.

But again, for  these particular photos I used Photomatix Pro 3 plus some Photoshop adjustments.

Mouse Over to see Before and After

HDR photography before and after, Atlanta, GA

HDR photography before and after, Atlanta, GA


HDR before and after.

Before and after HDR

Before and after HDR

High Dynamic Range image

High Dynamic Range image

High Dynamic Range image. Before and after.

High Dynamic Range image. Before and after.

Before and after hdr

Before and after hdr

HDRi. Before and after lake lanier.

HDRi. Before and after lake lanier.

Before and after HDR. Lake Lanier.

Before and after HDR. Lake Lanier.



HDRi. Before and after.

HDRi. Before and after.

HDR photography, before and after.

HDR photography, before and after.

HDR photography, before and after. Lake Lanier, GA

HDR photography, before and after. Lake Lanier, GA

24 comments to High Dynamic Range images. HDRi before and after. Landscapes.

  • Irina

    Жень, а как ты делаешь ХДР, когда там люди – они ведь двигаются и даже на трайподе с разными экспозициями будут “гоусты”, если их свести потом в фотоматиксе… я помню, меня это очень напрягало, еще когда мы АТЛ ночью фотали и машины ездили… забыла у тебя спросить..

  • Ira, if you shoot in RAW you can simulate HDR on one of the shots and use it to mask in the ghost areas.

  • I don’t know if HDRi is a HDR conversion software or not but you getting nice results. Nice processing. I use Photomatix and have been for about two years and love it. Have tried others but don’t think they compare.

    admin, you can also make 3 copies of a raw and convert them to HDR in photomatix or most other programs out there. I find it much easier and faster than masking. I am still not happy with cs5 edition of HDR but it is certainly better than cs4.


  • Very nice images. Provides inspiration with my future HDR photos.

    Here are a few HDR images I’ve had success with.


    Thanks for viewing.

    Paul Miller

  • Thank you for your comment, Gary. I use Photomatix also and like it. I just fix some problem areas using Photoshop masking.

  • Nice images, Paul. Thank you for sharing:-)

  • Your images are very nice and intriging because I have difficulty with moving objects. You control movement of leaves and water very well. Even the image with moving people shows no ‘shadowing’. I am having problems with this aspect – are you also masking? or is there something I am not doing right?
    thanks and congratulations, Philippe

  • Thank you, Philippe!
    Yes, I use masking to fix problems with leaves and moving people.

  • Brian

    here is one of my favorite HDR photographers, Trey ratcliff. he has a very in depth HDR tutorial.



  • Thank you for the link, Brian. But I am not really fan of this style.

  • Hey, Nice photo’s.today i made the first HDR photo’s: http://visueelconcept.blogspot.com/2010/11/hdr.html
    in Almere city, Netherlands. Many more wil come.
    The before and after is a great idea. I like it very much to do it on the blog.
    Can i make a before and after photo in Blogspot?

  • Thats amazing, I can never get over how the images look so ordinary before and so amazing after, like they were shot in the before with a standard cheap 35mm film camera and then after with a top notch digital or medium format! Great stuff

  • I just took a looked at the link from Brian and I agree with Genia, i prefer the more realistic colours and kept simple as increased dynamic range in its purest form. Great stuff Genia, i touched on the topic of my preference and that HDR was used so much these days and mostly not very well here http://www.image-restore.co.uk/blog/hdr-high-dynamic-range-is-it-dead/

  • Jared

    Successful HDR should be depicting what the human eye sees as it focuses on areas and readjusts to them. Many of these images don’t do that and a lot of the beauty of diffusing shadows, desaturated tones, and enhanced textures are lost to over exaggerated artificial lighting. The 6th and 7th images are the most frustrating of these as it just seems it was shot polarised at late afternoon with fill flashes for the foreground—which we know isn’t what actually happened.

    The only way you should augment HDR to such an extreme is if you are trying to emphasise a filter.

  • Jared,
    I am sorry, but I do not have words such as “should be”, “properly”, etc in such landscape photography. For me it is an art, and I am composed these HDR the way I want. Really, who told you that they should be realistic? We do a lot of very realistic photography in studio, for our clients. These images were not intended for commercial use, it was my vision on that moment:-)
    I completely understand that they may not be pleasing to some.. But we never can please everybody, right?
    Thank you for the comment!


  • Absolutely! Ive been reading these comments and I couldn’t agree more! Blogs and post made by individuals are those persons own thoughts, observations and work done to show how you see things, we are all entitled to our own opinions and we all see things differently! Keep up the good work Genia!

  • Ryan


    I tend to agree with you. In my opinion, most of these images look over-processed and unrealistic. Then again, photography is subjective – some people like this look and others do not. In any case, the best use of HDR in a mainstream, commercial capacity is to produce images that do not appear to be HDR. Unfortunately, the images in this post are quite the opposite.

  • Thom

    I think you overexadurated the “before pics” by showing us the most overexposed photos. We all know we can make decent (better than the above) exposures outside, and not burning out the sky. Even without HDR. Maybe this is not your point of showing this. But IMHO you overexadurated what HDR can do.
    Indeed, your vision is yours and not for me to judge about. Just sharing my opinion.
    Otherwise you shot some nice photographs!


  • Jared

    Keep in mind that criticism is either wrong or helpful, never condemning.

    I guess there’s no ultimate “should be” and “properly” constraints in art, but consider how we’re taught to hold a pen and mold clay to ensure we maximise their abilities. I simply would have liked to have seen nature retain itself in these intended natural landscapes.

    On a positive note, they aren’t by any means poor images. The second last one, I think, is a prime example of successful HDR image. Textures are enhanced just enough, lighting is emphasised well, and everything remains to appear naturally lit.

  • Geiff

    Sorry but these photos look unnatural and plastic. HDR should only be used very, very, very subtly, and this is too overdone.
    You could have achieved more appealing result using layer masking in Photoshop.
    Also, comparing a fully edited/processed HDR to an unprocessed image straight out of the camera is not equal.

  • Guys, please read the article and comments before you are writing about “unrealistic and unnatural”. All our commercial work is too realistic and sometimes I just want to create something unusual and colorful. Also I like to experiment with post production techniques, all these images I did differently. And there is no word “should”.

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