20 Amazing Examples of HDR Portraits

WebdesignerDepot Staff By WDD Staff  |  Jul. 07, 2009

High Dynamic Range (HDR) images can really take your photography to the next level.

But creating compelling HDR images, whether through fake HDR techniques in Photoshop or multiple exposures and tone-mapping, can be tricky.

Creating portraits can be even trickier, because human subjects are often less forgiving in HDR photos.

But you can do a few different things to get better results with your HDR portraits every time.

Below are 20 examples of excellent portraits representing a variety of HDR techniques.

For great HDR portraits, first make sure the skin of your subjects doesn’t take on gray tones, which can make them look like zombies and isn’t exactly attractive. This is a common problem with fake HDR images.

Make sure your subjects aren’t moving in the image, either. Blurring from hand and arm movement is the most common, because keeping these limbs perfectly still for more than a few seconds is difficult. You can fix blurring in the processing stage if you watch out for it.

This generally isn’t an issue with fake HDR images (unless the image is blurry to begin with), but it can be a big problem with real HDRs done with tone-mapping and multiple images.

Don’t make your images too flat. Again, this is more common with fake HDR, but spoiling a tone-mapped image is possible, too, if you process it too much. Flat images, especially of people, tend to look fake and lifeless.

Remember that the original purpose of HDR photography was to make images more accurately show the colors and shadows that the human eye perceives.

Keep this in mind when creating your own images and you’ll likely get better results. Producing great HDR images that are artistic and creative, without looking strange, is still possible.


Which ones are your favorites? Feel free to share your own HDR portraits with us in the comments’ area below…