Many people are surprised by the stunning effect HDR images present. Today we are here to introduce you another talent in the making of HDR images: Frank Slack. By following up the steps taught on the forums of the HDR group on Flickr, Frank picked up the techniques quickly though not having much experience in creating HDR images, or even photography. But now he is ready to show the world what he has got. If you want to know more about the amazing HDR images, you would not miss the interview below!
Q1. First of all, thanks for taking up the interview. Could you first introduce yourself a bit to our readers?
I am a Biology Professor for my day job, with a photography hobby for my night job. Luckily my work takes me to many beautiful places around the world, where I get to take photographs in my spare time.
Q2. When did you start to create HDR works? And did you self taught all the photography skills and techniques or did you go to some sort of school?
I began this art form in September of 2006. I do not have any formal photography training, just an interest in teaching myself from the work of others. In particular I learnt from the forums of the HDR group on Flickr.
Q3. Where do you get your inspiration? Do you wander around the city and travel a lot to get nice pictures?
I am an opportunistic photographer. That is I am usually running around before, between or after work and meetings capturing images when I can. This is not my job, so I try to find moments in my spare time. I am particularly drawn to cityscapes and landscapes at sunrise and sunset. If I am traveling I am usually jet lagged, so getting up the sunrise is not a problem.
Q4. Between photography and HDR works, what do you think is the differences when it comes to presenting the beauty of the object, nature landscape for example? Because HDR works may sometimes give people a feeling of unreal and reminding people of air brush instead of photograph.
In my work, I view HDR as an art form, not as a realistic representation of the scene. “Low impact” HDR can be used to improve the dynamic range in an image without distorting the view in an extreme way. I tend to use high saturation for a pleasing effect to me.
Q5. What make you decide to turn a photo into a HDR image? Does the photo have to process some kind of qualification?
I love to shoot sunsets and sunrises, often in a backlit manner. HDR allows me to dramatically improve the dynamic range of these images. I imagine that when digital cameras improve their dynamic range, I will use HDR less and less.
Q6. What do you think is the hardest part in the making of HDR images? How do you manage to overcome it?
There are some tricky issues, e.g. Subject movement, sharpness, when layering 5 images onto one another. I have been impressed with the capabilities of a software product called Photomatix, to automatically reduces these issues. I always sharpen my images in Photoshop after the blending in Photomatix.