Is my Mountain shot HDR or not?


Dec 17, 2013
Not that it will affect my sleep, but I'm curious about how HDR is defined. I didn't use an "HDR" mode in camera or in post-processing. Nor did I combine two or more bracketed exposures. I merely did some dodging of shadows and burning of highlights so that there is more vibrance across the frame, and tried to remain true to the light as I saw it in real life. HDR? Not so much?

Shot taken with 6D and Voigtlander 20mm at Windy Pass above Cliff Lake near Cranbrook, BC, Canada. We hiked for 11 hours. Truly a labour day. But what a glorious way to burn out your leg muscles. It was cloudy but the light was muted and very interesting.



The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
Mr_Canuck said:
HDR? Not so much?
First of all: nice picture with good colors and compsition of lines etc.
Secondly: Normally I am not into HDR and I don't like these extreme and blasted HDR pictures. But I accept, that others do. It's all about taste.
Thirdly: What I accept and sometimes like is that kind of HDR, where you do it in a subtle way to handle difficult light conditions.

If you hadn't already told me that you didn't HDR by combining pictures I would have guessed that your picture was a HDR picture of that way.

Either way my opinion is, that your PP is subtle and good. Nothing you couln't have achieved with a gradient filter (edit: in a similiar way) during the shot (e.g. in film times).
IMHO HDR begins, when you start sitching and stacking pictures and parts of them taken with different exposures.

I hope, this gives you an answer to your question.


Nov 24, 2012
HDR is a relative term depending on your camera.

You achieved that with one shot.
Some other camera might need multiple exposures to get the same thing.

The question is how much dynamic range can your camera capture?
How much dynamic range is required to capture the scene? From darkest shadows to brightest highlights.

The important question is if you like the image or not.
Often times I see pictures employing some kind of HDR-esque techniques to be put in their own category, as if the only point of taking those pictures was to apply those techniques to them.

If you had to put your photos into categories, would you do so by having a category for each used focal length?
Or tag each image with the photoshop tools you used?
Or would you rather sort them by content instead?

Is your mountain HDR or not?
Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
It's a nice looking image. That's important.


CR Pro
Feb 20, 2013
I'm in agreement with that this is a fine image. Also that it displays a great dr. Also that its appearance equates to the desired effect of hdr pp. My kind of hdr...


EOS M6 Mark II
Feb 14, 2012
Atlanta, GA, US.
<insert std. 'just my opinion' caveats here>

I don't know the official definition of HDR, but since this is a single shot, I'd say not.

Ya know what? I'm glad it's not. Images need contrast, that's why there is black paint! Without it the image is compressed. I like the depth of this one. In fact, I might actually *darken* some of the mountains on the left side to combat some purplish noise.
Or not, it's a nice image as is, well done.


Feb 12, 2014
i would say no, as its range is no greater than a single exposure. maybe just dynamic range would be a good way to describe it, since the changes you have made dont make the range greater, they just make it more dynamic? i dont think it really counts as HDR unless it could not have been captured in a single exposure.


Apr 15, 2011
San Juan, PR
Nice image! I don't think it's HDR based on your description.

Some time, take an image like this and process it as an HDR, then process normally and layer the two images. Adjust the opacity of the top image to get a blend of the 2. 10% HDR, 30… 70.. Whatever looks good.


EOS M6 Mark II
Dec 20, 2013
Yate, UK
It's something that might be considered pseudo-HDR, but HDR is to have a dynamic range more than a single exposure can capture.

Tonemapping a single image or enfusing several source images may produce a similar effect to tonemapping a HDR image though.

As for the image, it's really very nice, and as others have said, it's doesn't matter if it is or isn't HDR :)


Feb 12, 2014
isn't that what the dynamic part of hdr refers to? selectively changing the exposure based on the content?