HDR or not?

Some of you will think, “please not again, another discussion about HDR”. I do not want to enter in this discussion saying that it is good or bad, you should do or not. I feel it is a pure personal choice and taste.

Someone feel it is needed to have a very wide dynamic range, I believe Teo Ratcliff and his photos are one of the most interesting expression of this technique.
In the last days I came across an interesting article from Bruce Percy discussing about “low dynamic range”. I consider his work astonishing even more considering it is made through film and not digital process.

the art of come back

Today I’d like share what could look like an opposite point of view compare to the last blog, but I feel it is not. In the last blog I was talking about the importance to shoot even if the condition are not the best. I was mainly referring to the situation far from home where the chance to go there again are very slim.

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To shoot or not to shoot

I do not feel like a Shakespeare for photography and I am far away from any point of view. Sometimes I am asking myself if it is worth to take a shoot knowing before It is not the best one.
Of course the subject is worth of it, but due to weather condition, time of the day, view point, many people around and so on, it is clear it is not the best possible situation. Something tipical for many photographers who are in the location for a short period of time such as holiday or weekend.
These happened to me many times and the dilemma is always the same, “is it worth to take a photo?”. I am sure, I am not the only one in this situation and this is happening to many amateur photographers. I considered it less an issue for professional photographers, defining with this word people making out a leaving from the photo. Usually they have less time constrain to stay in the location, till all elements are at the right spot for the best photo possible. This is coming down to plan and time too, professionist can dedicate more time to a location while amateur have work constraint.
Going back to the original question, if the condition are not right to take the best possible photo for the subject, is it worth to take it anyway?
My personal experience lead to a positive answer, there are many reasons why I keep on doing it. Most of the time those shoots will not appear in my website or portfolio, but they are worth anyway.
Taking the photo can force you to see the best composition and try different view to see which one work the best. A second time there is not from zero, different light could change the final result but leading line in the composition should work in the same way. To summarise this in one word, it is a training for your photographer mind.
Scouting the area can take some time and doing it without the pressure to be late for sunrise or sunset could be an advantage. Take some photos to see compositional result is worth for next chance.
Experimenting equipments and understand how do they work. Graduate filter, polariser, new lenses and their depth of field, resolution and contrast are some of the possible outcome to have a better knowledge how to use them at the best with strong and weak points.
Start to learn and use new techniques such as luminosity mask blending and HDR, having the chance to work in post processing and learn them is the first step to understand how to take the photo next time.
To summarise my personal thought in this, everything leading to experiment new things is good for the technical growth. I believe the growth in photography, as in many other fields, pass through trial and error and learning from them. In these days with digital photography it is way chipper than the past film days to take a photo, so any chance to do it should be very welcome.
As amateur I do not feel much pressure to deliver a good result from all travels, I try to enjoy / know better the place and have some learning anyway.