The view from the Shard London HDR image break down.

Hi, hope your keeping well and have had a good weekend. 

Here are some images from the previous London landscape image that i have posted. 

I wanted to show the images used to create the final image. 

I clamped the camera down to the handrail using the Manfrotto Magic arm and using a cable release i rattled a few bracketed frames. 

I have included the metadata on each image, but other then converting to jpg, they are straight from the camera and in the order the camera took them and i added to Nik softwares HDR efex pro 2.

London Shard The View HDR image Photography tutorial Nikon D800 award winning

Here is the first base image. In face i quite like this exposure but i personally prefer having the extra range to play with. 


And finally this is the out put from the software. As you can see it has little punch, no halos. or even much contrast going on. But the key is to get a nice base to start with, and then bring this into photoshop and make it your own.

I have tried many different HDR software on the market and not one will you be able to click process- done.

But i do think that this is a good thing, no 2 images will ever be processed the same and so this way it makes you take your time and make something unique and more realistic.

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

Here is the final image. 



Q & A on HDR.

I recently was asked to show the before and after images of the Landscape Gate that i took last November in Dunstable.

Im not going to explain the HDR techniques as i have mentioned this a few times now,


But this was to show my eye for HDR. As many will know i try and keep things looking as real as i can.

With a view like this in front of me, i knew HDR would work as the sky is too blown out for my liking. Some people will prefer the before image but its all down to our own opinions. No one is ever right or wrong.

I do not particularly think that "oh i will do a HDR image" for the sake of it, i look at the scene in front of me and if i feel that it will enhance the image then i will use it.

When looking at this scene on the lcd screen on my camera, i could see that either the sky will be blown out or if i expose for the sky, then the ground will be too dark.

Another options would have been to use graduated filters over my lens,

or take two images. one of a correctly exposed sky/ and then the ground.

Place one above the other in Photoshop as layers and hide/reveal the correctly exposed parts of the image.

Both good techniques, my train of thought here was, 1- i dont own any graduated lens filters, and 2 - trying to mask out this sky would of taken time. plus i like the textures HDR processing can produce.

The After image was created using HDR techniques with 8 images at various exposures. 


Please feel free to share this post on your social media, giving credit to the photographer Lee Ramsden www.leeramsden.com



An iPhone app called "True HDR"

A little while ago i got an iPhone app called

"True HDR"

Like most photography apps you download them, then instantly have a play in the home, not to be used again for awhile. 

Well this was no different. 

Today i was walking along a road where i saw an amazing setting sun illuminating some interesting looking information dishes. 

I tried to take an image on my iPhone 3GS, but the contrast between the sky and the foreground was too great and so the phone could not expose correctly. 

Perfect settings for a HDR image me thinks. 

The app takes 2 images one after the other and blends them together all automatically. 

You have to hold the camera extra still for this to work. 

Here are the images all taken with the app, and the final blended image. Which was processed in the phone.

I used the photoshop express app to add slight contrast and a vignette. 

iPhone HDR photography Aberdeen
iPhone True HDR app example 01
iPhone True HDR app example 02

Multiple Image HDR's.


In this post i want to try and explain how i create some of the large HDR landscape images and to answer the question that i have recieved alot recently, on how you can make an image with 54 exposures from a

previous post 

From the following image i am trying to show where all the images go in the make up of the final image.

Hdr explained with multiple images

As you can see each section is made up of different exposures.

I used Photomatix Software to render these. I started with the lower center section, as this is the main focal point.

I made a note of all the settings i used on this section and rendered all the other sections the same.

If you fail to render each section the same, you will have some very unrealistic looks and will make blending to the final image extremely tricky.

Once you have 6 nicely rendered HDR images, i opened these into Photoshop and blended together to create the large image.

One massive point to remember when taking an image like this, is to overlap each image to make the blending process easier, and so you know that you have not missed anything.

You can always cut to much extra away but not add any missing data that you didn't shoot.

I hope that this makes sense,

as always feel free to ask any questions and comment.


Thanks Lee.

A play up Dunstable Downs this evening.

This evening around 1600hrs the sun looked stunning, and so i grabbed my camera bag and headed out, to catch a sunset.

the sun had other views and finally set behind a huge cloud. 

Here are the images i took, and so i hope that i did not waste my time. 

54 image HDR Dunstable downs

This HDR is made up of around 54 images. 

Dunstable downs bedfordshire

Another HDR image

This was lit by an oncoming car. 

 A play with car lights.

HDR Photography.

HDR.... No, stop, don't click away! I know that high dynamic range techniques can be controversial, mainly due to the way that the extreme forms of hdr - alien skies, over saturation, halos, are more like computer generated images than real photos. But if you have a go, and take it easy, you may find that the results are pleasing to say the least

The Meaning of High Dynamic Range Imaging in Photography

Some people might think that the purpose of HDR is to produce unrealistically colorful, flat, or artistic photos. In my opinion the real purpose of HDR photography is to produce a photo, the quality of which is higher than that of a normal photo. The purpose of HDR is to overcome the limitations of camera equipment. HDR photography has the following advantages when compared to normal photography:

HDR photography captures higher dynamic range

HDR photography can produce noise free photos

HDR Photography Captures Higher Dynamic Range

Let's imagine a situation where one photographs (without a flash) a high contrast scene where the subject is against the sky. Typically there is a problem in the result. Either the sky is too bright (over exposed), or the subject is too dark (under exposed). That doesn't equal to what was seen with eyes. Eyes can see details in both the subject and the sky clearly. Normal digital camera isn't able to see as high contrast as a human eye is. In other words a digital camera isn't able to capture as high dynamic range as a human eye is able to see.

An HDR photo can have a very high dynamic range which makes it possible to capture scenes with extremely high contrast. HDR photo can include all the details that a human eye is able to see. In photography, the goal is often to capture the view and the mood that was seen and experienced. Unfortunately, because of the limitations of digital cameras, some details are often missing in photos. In high contrast scenes, a digital camera isn't able to capture both the brightest and the darkest areas simultaneously. HDR photography offers a solution to this problem.

Taking the photo(s)

So what is HDR? High Dynamic Range is creating images that contain more data than normal, usually by combining three pictures. This enables you to pull out details in the darkest and brightest areas of the image, without having to resort to lots of dodging, burning, gradients, or pasting two pictures together. A HDR photo in its original form is in no way a finished product - you have to use further processing to pull out these different details, this is usually called Tone Mapping, and tools in Photoshop, or the very popular Photomatix achieve this.

Here i am using the new HDR efex pro by Nik software.

To create an HDR photo you need at least 3 differently exposed photos of the same shot. That's not as difficult as it sounds. Many cameras give you the ability to change exposures from shot to shot. Since all cameras are different you'll have to figure out how to change these exposure settings on your particular camera. Look for Exposure, AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing), A-EV, BKT, or a little +/- graphic.

Important: Make sure the camera does not move between shots. Use a tripod or place the camera on a stable surface, minimizing movement as much as possible between shots.

HDR image of all exposures

Here are the 8 exposures i used for the final image.

HDR image photoshop tutorial explained

Using the new HDR efex pro by Nik software.

You need to make up your own mind up about hdr, all I will say is give it a go, and see what you can come up with. In the past i have over done it with HDR and so backed right off. With recently downloading HDR efex pro from Nik software i have certainly got the bug back to play. 
HDR image London eye westminster big ben