I recently returned from a photo shoot in British Columbia, where I got to photograph with a good friend. (I usually do my photography without other serious photographers around; not by choice, but by chance.) One of the two main goals we pursued was snowy landscapes. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out as well as we would’ve liked for three reasons; first there wasn’t much pristine snow around, second was the combination of our lack of snow shoes and that I could be in better shape – making me tire quickly, finally that it now appears that I was fighting a virus and didn’t realize it – also making me tire quickly. However, we did make some snowy landscape images.
It was a bright sunny morning with cloud shrouding the valley below and the city of Vancouver. It was beautiful, but a bit contrasty. This led to a discussion between us about whether HDR would reveal the texture in the snow well or conceal it. After some discussion we were leaning towards concealment. Despite this however, I decided on bracketing those images where I felt HDR could possibly be helpful with the thought that I would process the best compromise exposure or delete the sequence if HDR destroyed the texture in the snow.
After arriving home I worked these shots up using Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro and Jason P. Odell’s Natural Landscapes 03 preset. Turns out, our tentative prediction was wrong. HDR shows detail in the snow quite nicely and I decided on the HDR version of the image to be the one to go “public.”