There are a ton of people out there that are shooting HDR photography, but the list of great photographers is much smaller. HDR definitely falls into the category of “easy to do, difficult to master,” and this is made apparent by the abundance of bad HDR out there.
That said, there are a few HDR photographers that have seen tremendous success with the medium. Today we’re going to look at a few of those people, as well as show you some of the best resources to find high quality HDR photographers and bloggers.
Let’s take a look at some of the best of the best.
Trey Ratcliff – Stuck in Customs. Trey is widely known as the best when it comes to HDR photography. He was responsible for the very first HDR image to ever make it into the Smithsonian Museum – that’s saying something. Not only does he take incredible photos, but he’s also particularly adept at teaching others how to do it as well.
His guides 10 HDR Processing Mistakes and Digital Workflow for Photographers has really influenced how I shoot and edit photos. For those looking for more in depth help, he has a DVD series which goes into much more detail about his HDR process and how he captures such incredible shots.
Tim Clarke – Tim Clarke HDR. I stumbled upon Tim’s site through an HDR Spotting image, and was really impressed by the diversity of his photos, and intelligent use of HDR. It never seemed like he went too overboard with it, but used it enough to make you give each photo a second look.
Ken Kaminesky – Ken Kaminesky Photography. When this post first went live, we had a few responses noting that we should check out this guy Ken. Extremely glad we did, because he has some of the most beautiful travel HDR photography we’ve come across. His images are extremely clear, and some of the most realistic HDR I’ve ever seen. Personally, I like that style much more than a lot of the surreal “HDR-looking” HDR shots, if that makes sense. Anyway, highly recommend you take a look at Ken’s site.
Brian Matiash – Brian Matiash Photography. Brian was one of the first HDR photographers that really had an impact on me. He has a gritty urban feel with a lot of his images, and he uses focus and depth of field in ways that are truly inspiring. Brian is also an editor for HDR Spotting (mentioned below) which is in my mind the best HDR community on the internet. Be sure to take a look at his blog for a unique, and extremely impressive take on HDR.
Christopher Schoenbohm - Lost Man Project. Christopher started this site document his travels in HDR. He has some pretty spectacular photos utilizing color to it’s fullest, and shooting some really unique scenes from all over the world. I particularly like the way he blends unique colors and night scenes, it’s very unique and highly effective. Many of his latest posts have been from Colombia, which shed some light on a destination that many people overlook when thinking about their next exotic vacation.
Neil Kremer: I haven’t been able to find an actual website for Neil, but his Flickr Photostream is pretty incredible. He’s got some fantastic shots from all over the place, and the use of motion in some of his shots is pretty unique and worth checking out.
Elia Locardi – Blame the Monkey: We first found out about Eli through our research for our HDR Tutorials post, and have been impressed with his skills ever since. He has a good variety of styles, from a lot of very unique locations around the world.
Sean Ogle - Daily HDR was started as an amateurs guide to HDR photography. There are a lot of professionals out there who are approaching the subject from a pretty intellectual level, that can be overwhelming for people who are just getting started. Sean Ogle over at Daily HDR has put together a very simple ebook called Make Your Photos Not Suck: 50 Ways to Improve Your HDR Photography. It’s much less intense than some of the other products out there, but still provides some excellent information, and is well worth the cost of admission.
Best HDR Community Sites
Along with those photographers, there are also some great community resources if you’re looking to find other people to discuss your passion for HDR with.
Flickr HDR Pool. The Flickr HDR Pool is probably the most well known HDR community around. It was one of the first places that people came to distribute, critique and view HDR. While the quality is a little all over the map due to the fact that anyone can add photos, you’ll be exposed to a lot of pretty impressive photography.
HDR Spotting. HDR Spotting is my personal favorite HDR community. Unlike Flickr, you have to be invited to be a member of the site, and from there you can only submit one photo a day. This generally means that people are submitting their highest quality images, so you tend to find some really top level photography. This is a project that Trey Ratcliff started as well, so you know that it’s going to be done right.