17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

We know what you’re thinking – you’ve seen ‘HDR’ in the title and now you’re worried your eyes will be met with a page full of brashly vivid HDR images that have been over-amplified and look like a child’s crayon drawings.

But fear not, we’re firm believers that the subtle use of HDR (high dynamic range) techniques is an excellent way to recreate what is captured by the human eye – but only if done subtly.

We’ve gathered together 17 images that don’t at first appear to be HDR at all, the effect is so subtle. The below images have been sympathetically edited so as to bring out detail in highlights and shadows, and nothing more.

1. While you were sleeping by Beno Saradzic

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

This HDR photograph was made using a dynamic blending technique. The HDR effect has made this quite a high contrast image, but the look is sympathetic to buildings below, accentuating their harsh lines and shape.

2. Night Shift by Lincoln Harrison

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

HDR can produce some dramatic results in star trail images, as this image from Lincoln shows.

3. Layers of Air by Adnan Bubalo

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

This image is composed of three separate shots. The use of HDR has made the colours more vivid, but instead of being loud it helps to create a dream-like quality, aided by the mist.

4. Breaking Through by Michael Woloszynowicz

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

Using HDR can also make light rays much more striking, such as in this image by Michael.

5. The Road to Fitzroy by Jimmy McIntyre

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

This is the road that leads to a town in Patagonia called El Chalten, beyond Mount Fitzroy. Blending different exposures together here has brought out the sun’s reflection on the road, without compromising texture and detail.

6. Sunny Lakescape by Andrew Thrasher

17 images you wouldn’t believe are HDR

Andrew has brought out the greens and blues of this image taken on Lake Braies in Italy, which would be perfectly placed on the pages of a travel brochure.

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