Are HDR and Extreme Saturation a Photo Fad?

March 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

On Facebook or Instagram, in photography contests and magazines, I see images that have had large dollops of post-processing cosmetics applied.  Two current favourites are High Dynamic Range (HDR) and pushing the colour saturation to the max.  There is no question that these highly processed images have impact at first glance. But do they have staying power? In a few years most of them will be passé like the "red canoe" photography of the 1960's.

Many photographers create stunning fresh images by using visionary post-processing.  Others however go for over-zealous use of HDR and/or the saturation slider because everyone is doing it these days.  That just adds flash, not substance.  The challenge for us as photographic artists is to create not eye candy, but images that have a life.

Call me a traditionalist but I try to shoot it right in the camera and use post-processing to enhance, not fundamentally change, an image.  That said, I have to admit that I applied both HDR and high saturation to my image in this post.  I thought I should try it.  And I like the result. Heck, it might even win a photo contest where the judges go for over-the-top processing.

Heaven forbid though if you say this is the best image I ever took!

posted by Ted Nodwell




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