20 Amazing Images That Could Be HDR, but Are Definitely Not

All of these images appear to be shot using the HDR technique but aren’t. We promise. In most cases, they have been taken with just a single shot and relied upon the elements to give the amazing effects you will see on each.

We’re not asking for people to cast a critical eye over these images, just to illustrate that with the right circumstances, the HDR effect can be naturally achieved.

From Wikipedia: “High Dynamic Range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of luminances between light and dark areas of a scene than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows..”

Sunflower

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “It’s not been HDR’d or Ortoned, enhanced in Photoshop or anything, it was just a great day in the field of Sunflowers.
Photographer: Downwind.

Liars May Photograph

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “The tallest of the stones marks the entrance to a burial cairn where human remains have been discovered. An excavation campaign in 1980 and 1981 showed that the burial chamber was a late addition to the site and that it had been modified a number of times..”

Photographer: antsplan.

Not Going Anywhere

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “This is not an HDR. I repeat: This is not an HDR. This is a f/7.1, 1/125 s single exposure in Raw. The RAW was processed in Digital Photo Professional (White balance, luminance, saturation, etc. were adjusted). Then imported into Photomatix and Tone mapped. That tiff was taken to PS and unsharp mask, soft light layer 3% Gaussian blur at 49%, soft light layer at 15% unsaturated and inverted, burn layer at 7%, Curves, Levels, Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation and very modest dodging to the clouds..”

Photographer: asmundur.

Not an HDR

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “I love HDR, but please, this is not HDR…

Photographer: Wenspics.

Drink This Water

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer: deeva.

Bird Rock

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “I’ve been planning this shot for about two years. Back then, I noticed how the layered slabs of rock, the sloping hills, and the horizon all seemed to point to Bird Rock in the distance, but the conditions were never good for the element of atmosphere. Finally, a storm came through just before sunset, and I was able to make the image I had hoped for..”

Photographer: Patrick Smith.

Steam Locomotive

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer: terretta.

Little Bridge

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer: Jim.Pix.

Ocean Colors

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “Natural Sun Light NOT HDR.

Photographer: Paulo Brandão.

Dragonfly

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “I personally like the sharpness and lighting. Tried to make it better with HDR. But it did not work well..”

Photographer: CheeYeong.

Heywood Building

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “This is not an HDR, this is from one JPEG (I forgot I wasn’t shooting RAW) using Paint Shop Pro XI’s Clarity twice at 18 and 15, then using Lightroom’s Clarify at 26. It wasn’t really a good day for shooting since it was so cloudy and dark, but those clouds turned out awesome after the processing..”

Photographer: jciv.

Rhuddlan Castle

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “Not HDR this time, my filter system ain’t wide enough (yet more money to be spent) for the 10-22mm so I couldn’t use an ND grad filter, that would have made things a lot easier for me. Instead, I had to shoot RAW (I usually do anyway) and expose to get the histogram as far to the right as possible without losing highlight detail..”

Photographer: Mr Messy.

Long way home

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “I worked with a lot of masks here, as the sky were quite ordinary in the first place, just grayed out. Added a color burn layer on top if it and adjusted the hue. Lightened up the foreground too. Not some hdr or anything..”

Photographer: Doktor Dumbom.

Charbonneau Park

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “Rest assured that this is NOT an hdr image. Wenspics magical technique creates results much like that of an HDR, however, can be done with a single exposure, and eliminates the “halo” effect you most often find in hdr imagery..”

Photographer: Jonathan Michaels.

The Silence of Time

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “Here is a first full daylight long exposure. 12mm, f/19, 15 sec exposure. Single frame, no HDR, no tone mapping. Used a ND400 filter.

Photographer: _Beat.

alpoCrome

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “No HDR only funny experiment.

Photographer: Vaplopando.

Il Caffè del Mattino

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “No HDR… solo aumento della nitidezza, della messa a fuoco dall’alto e raffredamento del colore.

Photographer: LeonDegrelle.

Subway

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “NO HDR, no cloning/mirroring. Only Photoshop with various filters to give that cold/high-tech look. Inside an empty Mass Rapid Transit train, Singapore.

Photographer: DanielKHC.

Lake Tekapo

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer Comment: “Cold and dark, windy and the storm is coming, definitely not the typical Lake Tekapo weather! NO PS WORKS HERE! NOT HDR!.

Photographer: anthonyko.

Sunset Honda

Not HDR Shots photography

Photographer: anthonyko.

(467 Posts)

This post has been written by the team here at Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Comments

  • Jose

    would love to see the files before manipulation, so these “photogs” are saying their manipulated to hell photos are simply amazing because they don’t have the HDR label on them? Silly.

  • Idk if calling these not HDR really applies. So they aren’t multiple exposures there is such a thing as single exposure hdr which see,s to be what all of these images fall under.

    I love HDR and think that these are some great shots and good processing, but calling them not HDR is going to cause some people to throw stones!

  • imadejerhidri@gmail.com

    They are still HDRs no matter what.. if you adjust any shadows, highlights and exposure even if u’re using the most of conventional methods then that is an HDR image, if you don’t agree then u don’t understand the true meaning of the word! cheers