Lightroom Tips

The Illegal HDR Follow Up

Wow! I posted yesterday’s story because Scott mentioned it on his blog on Monday morning, and I had a couple of people ask me for the story. I honestly had no idea it would lead to the comment-fest that it did. Anyway, I wanted to post a quick Q&A follow up to it but please do me a favor. Don’t feel compelled to post a follow-up comment. I’m not going to defend anything so I don’t expect your comment to be different today than it was yesterday. Most of you agreed with me. If you didn’t, that’s no problem. I asked for it. You’re not going to change my mind and I’m not going to change your mind, so let’s just leave it at that.

Q. Why didn’t you take a 5-shot HDR photo and get out of there fast?
A. Because the lighting was extremely low and the light coming in the windows was really bright. There’s no way that +/- 2 stops would cut it. I tried it out earlier and realized that +2 stops was still WAY too dark of a photo to create a good HDR. Remember, the over-exposed photos are the most important ones in creating good HDR photos. If you’re indoors in a dark place, getting those photos means some really long exposures.

Q. Did you try to get permission to take the photo ahead of time?
A. Yep and I was told that if I did qualify for a media pass that I’d be taking photos from the media area which was way off to the side of the church.

Q. Matt, don’t you feel bad by doing such a thing in a house of God?
A. Not at all. My 79 year old uncle is a priest (actually a Monsignor) in the Catholic Church. I told him the story. He chuckled and absolved me from any sin. So I think I’m OK in the Big Guy’s eyes. Plus, I did make a $20 donation to St. Patricks when I walked in. And while I was originally going to send them the photo via email, your comments yesterday made me realize I should indeed send them a print.

Q. But taking a photo there is disrespectful right?
A. Nope. Remember that taking pictures in St. Patricks is perfectly fine (in designated areas which I did indeed stick to). You’re admiring a beautiful place and the Catholic church doesn’t consider it disrespectful. I stood where tens of thousands of other people have stood to take a photo. I just happened to capture a sharp/non-on-camera-flashy version of the photo as opposed to the one that everyone else gets.

Thanks again for the discussion yesterday. I know I asked for it by asking “What would you do?” and I appreciate the honesty of both sides of the fence. Great discussion.