Okay maybe not an expert but at least I know my way around thanks to Rick. If you get a chance to take a Rick Sammon workshop or go on one of his photo vacation trips I’d highly recommend it regardless of your level of expertise.
So what do you need to start?
First you need a camera that either has a manual or aperture mode. It’s nice if your camera has the ability to shoot in bracketing mode. A camera that can bracket shoots three or more frames each time you push the button. Each frame is taken at a different exposure and the images are processed and combined in your HDR software.
But shooting in manual mode with a tripod using your self-timer or remote cable or wireless device you can shoot as many different of exposures of the same image as you wish. The big trick is not to move the camera from frame to frame and to adjust the shutter speed and not the aperture (which would change the depth of field from frame to frame).
If you do have auto bracketing, you can often hand hold your camera and fire off a burst of three, four or five frames and let the software stitch the images together (slightly out of registration images can be properly aligned automatically by most HDR software packages). It’s amazing how good the software is and how it will allow you to shoot at shutter speeds below what you would normally think possible.well
The secret of HDR photography is it allows us to shoot images which capture an extended range of exposure. This extended range makes the images look super-real which is one of the great complaints against HDR in that it makes the images look overly done. But it doesn’t have to be that way. HDR can be used very subtly to create really wonderful shots.