This work by Jim Denham Photography is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
by Jim Denham
HDR can be an awfully bad word to some folks, but one thing that I think it does better than any other editing style is bring out texture. This image was taken on a gorgeous afternoon in St. Paul, MN, where it had rained in the morning and the leftover clouds were quite awesome and mixed with the deep blue skies to make for some seriously dramatic photo opportunities, like this one.
I had processed this as a single image because there was enough tonal range to do so, and even though it made a nice picture, I wanted to see what the tone mapping process could do with the textures in the clouds. To do this, I loaded the 3 bracketed frames (-2EV, 0, and +2EV) into Photomatix Pro and ran them through the tone mapping process. After finishing in Perfect Effects and applying a vintage black and white preset from VSCO Film, the resulting image was one of high contrast and terrific detail, especially in the clouds.
You don't see many black and white HDR images, but I think when either texture or contrasting light is the main focus (or both), it's a combination that mates very well. What are your thoughts?