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RC Concepcion Twitterview Transcript

By  Jul 7, 2011

Topics: Digital Photography

On Thursday, July 7, 2011, photographer and The HDR Book author RC Concepcion (@aboutrc) sat down for a lively Twitterview (read = interview via Twitter) with @Peachpit. It was fast. It was furious. It was inspiring, enlightening, and to some, life changing. We’ve posted a transcript of the Twitterview so the wisdom can live on. Enjoy.

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Congrats on your new book, The HDR Book! Why do you think HDR has become so popular? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Thank you @Peachpit! HDR's popularity (I think) arose on 2 fronts: 1. The want to recreate a pic closer to what we see ... + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc 2. The Artist in us wants 2 reuse & remix. In digital, we were taking all these brackets. It was only a matter of time... + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc As #Photographers went out and shot brackets & picked the "Best of the Bunch" The #HDR artist said "Why not pick -all- of them." #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc That makes sense! How difficult is it to make an HDR image? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Thankfully, these days, making an #HDR Image is really straightforward. Point camera at subject. Bracket. Shoot. Plug in software + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Where Software & Tech makes Taking and Processing the #HDR image easy, It's the -style- and post process that you need to master + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc We should -want- our technology to be easy. That let's us focus on our #Photography voice. Sometimes we focus on the opposite. Sad. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc So true! That being said, though, what extra equipment or software do you need to create a great HDR photo? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc In order to make an HDR, you need: HDR processing software like Photomatix or HDR Efex Pro from @niksoftware (my favorite) + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc You also need a program to do "Post Tonemap" processing - which is what REALLY makes an HDR look good. For this I use #Photoshop + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Now, #Photoshop has HDR functionality built in - but IMO I think you get more versatility w/ things like @niksoftware #Ducks :) + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc I use Photomatix, HDR Efex Pro, and #photoshop. #Lightroom manages my images and does some corrections as well. + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc The two most important hardware pieces to help your HDR work? A Tripod and a Cable Release. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Wow. With all that software, how long does it take to turn a photo into a stunning HDR image? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc It all depends, really. I've worked on images for several hours fixing stuff in post, and i've had images that I was like...DONE + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc This is a 6 foot pano that I worked on for HOURS: This one for 5 minutes. If that: + #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Amazing photos!! #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Both of those examples, i've included as sourcefiles in the book. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc You can get the book here: #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Do certain photos make better HDR images than others? Would a landscape photo be a better candidate than a portrait? #HDRBook 

Feature | Block aboutrc I think that there definitely is a spec thing that -works- for HDR- I wrote a chapter on that. That said, I'll try anything once + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc I used to think Portraits were bad.. but now im doing a lot of them like that. And Black and White. Experimentation is key. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Absolutely. From @lancer1969: How do you go about metering an HDR photograph? How many photographs, 2, 3, 5? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Hey @lancer1969 - for your scenarios, you'll find 3's a good point to start. The more light in a scene, the more exposures. + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc On a Canon, you are limited to three frames, but you can go to 2 stop of incrememnt. This could help too. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc My HDR Bracketing Rule: If I am in a location where I don't think i'm gonna see this again? I'm bracketing the heck out of it. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc If youre in front of the Taj Mahal, and you don't live around the corner from the Taj Mahal, you bracket the heck out of your shots #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Could you -technically- meter the area, look at a histogram, pull out a calculation- sure! OR you can get your picture covered. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Keep in Mind - Bracketing isnt something #HDR #Photography came up with 5 years ago. Shooters have been doing this for ages. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc ppl didn't bracket so much during the film days because it was so expensive to do so. Why hold yourself to an antiquated rule. #HDRBook 

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Great advice! From @albertmarini: What is the best weather condition to create a beautiful HDR? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Weather Wise: I tend to follow the same rules that general #Photography has on #HDR. Clouds add more drama. Twilight/Golden hour #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Ooh, can I go back to the bracketing thing for a sec, @Peachpit ? #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Of course! Let's talk bracketing! #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Ok. So I bracket a lot if never going back to it. Got it. The obvious counter to that"Well then you have 2000 shots to look at" + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc I See tons of #Photographers bracket three shots and take the same picture 50 times!! Thats where it kills you! + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Get to the mountain and the waterfall. Set up. Meter. Do your 7 or bracket. Move ON! That solves the excessive frames issue. + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc If your landscape #Photography images -sound- like your'e taking a machine gun to carve a face out of it, you need to shoot less. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Yes, so true. I often make that mistake and take a ton of photos of essentially the same thing. #HDRbook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc From @FromPicturestoP What is the most common mistake people make when shooting & processing their photos for HDR? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Hey @FromPicturestoP : 2 most common problems in #HDR: Halos around things, Colors that are over-amped (Electric) or not real #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Take a look at one of the Grand Masters of #HDR - @TreyRatcliff : This is a perfect example of processing and tech go hand in hand. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc If you take a picture in #HDR, and theres chrome in it. The Chrome should look Silver. Not blue. A white Tshirt should b White #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc When these things dont match - the reader stops "believing" the picture #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Good point! What is 1 thing you know now that you wish you would’ve know when you first started working with HDR photos? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc The one thing I wish I knew when starting #HDR - Trees on a Bare blue sky will never look good. No matter how hard you try. + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc I'll do it if I have to, but I wont like it. It's just not interesting in Non HDR, why would it be better tonemapped. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Good point! What exercises can photogs do to improve their HDR photos? #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc I think that getting out there and getting familiar with Gear helps. Shooting at the right time. Looking for patterns in HDR +#HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Go to a site like - look at what time of day, what subject, what perspective. Study that part.. + #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc You can see patterns emerge. You can see colors and tones that you find familiar.. and that can help nail down a voice for you. #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc My job is not to tell you which side of the #HDR fence to fall on - surreal or natural. My job is to teach you the techniques. #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Great tips! Wow, it looks like we're almost out of time! Any last words of advice? #HDRBook

@aboutrc Sure thing. I made a post on my blog, showing the images you'll be working with in the book here: #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc -You- should decide what kind of #HDR work you want to produce. If I at least get you thinking about it, i've done my job. #HDRBook 

Feature | Block Peachpit @aboutrc Great advice and thanks for a great Twitterview!! #HDRBook

Feature | Block aboutrc Thanks for the time, @Peachpit! make sure you guys check out the book today! #HDRBook

Feature | Block Peachpit Thanks for tuning in for our Twitteview with @aboutrc! Want 2 learn more? Check out this chapter from his new #HDRBook:

Feature | Block Peachpit Congrats to the winners of @aboutrc's #HDRBook: @FromPicturestoP @albertmarini & @lancer1969! DM me ur shipping address. :D