HDR People Pictures

April 26, 2010


Today, my travel photography workshop brought us to a remote area of China – Guiyang. Shooting HDR, of course.

The keys to shooting HDR images that include people:

• Ask the person to hold very, very still.

• Take several sets of pictures – hopefully to ensure at least one set with no subject movement.

Explore the light – and explore HDR images,


P.S. Read more about HDR in my latest book.

This post was written by:

- who has written 171 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon has published 36 books, including Exploring the Light and Digital Photography Secrets.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

You can follow Rick on twitter at http://twitter.com/RickSammon and visit his website at http://www.ricksammon.com

Contact the author

3 Responses to “HDR People Pictures”

  1. Keith Macke Says:

    I really enjoy this image a lot. any suggestions on HDR crowd photos?


    • Tim Arai Says:

      Shoot 1 shot in RAW. Make sure it’s exposed to the right without clipping. Then use that 1 shot to do a pseudo-HDR using software like Photomatix. Then do some selective saturation work along with maybe using tools like Topaz Adjust to bring out some of the details in certain places and mask those into the pseudo-HDR shot to get the effect you like.

      It does a pretty nice job! :)

      Or at least that’s what I do. I’ll…uh…give this back to Rick Sammon now. :)


  2. Tim Arai Says:

    HDR shots with people can be real pain. And once the people go through an HDR process, sometimes their skin tones can get…well…weird… So typically I will mask back in the person from one of the exposures once I edit that one so the person doesn’t look TOO out of place. Typically works out well. The master at doing this is Trey Ratcliff at Stuckincustoms.com. Having taken a workshop with him I can only hope to get as good :)

    Here’s one I did back in Japan. EVERYONE was moving and I couldn’t just tell them all to stop! (the 2nd photo, the 1st one was just for fun – you can click for a bigger version) :)


    I admit it’s a bit slapdash and you can see some of the editing that I did…but I think it’s a good example of what I’m talking about. Oh, and this is a combination of HDR and Topaz Adjust too. The textures were bumped up a bit in Topaz and then carefully masked into the HDR and there were a bit more masking from various other exposures as well to get some of the details that got lost in the lap shades and such back out.

    Thanks for all the info on DPE!!



Leave a Reply