Most artwork demands to be documented properly. If not, it becomes impossible for future generations to know about it and appreciate it. That is why it is so important for people to understand how to take photos of their work. But while the documentation of indoor art can be fairly easy, outdoor sculptures are a different story. Photographers have to be careful about a multitude of factors, including the weather, location, time of day, number of people passing by etc.
Many outdoor sculpture photos are completely ruined because they’re backlit by the sun, which means that the sun shines with all its glory right in the camera lens. However, there is one trick that can help ensure that your outdoor sculptures get improved drastically.
Start Practicing HDR Photography
HDR Photography, or High Dynamic Range Photography, aims to maximize the dynamic range of your camera. This means that a photo that is HDR will have a balanced exposure all around, from the highlights to the mid tones and the shadows.
Mostly what happens when shooting outdoor art on a sunny day is that the bright sunlight throws the camera’s exposure off. If you expose for the details in the sky, then the rest of the image becomes too dark. Similarly, if you expose your image to capture the details in the shadows, then the sky gets completely washed out.
This is exactly what HDR photography aims to solve. By combining multiple photos of the same subject at different exposure settings, you can make sure that the final image has all the details you need.
How to Take HDR Photos
Taking HDR photos is very simple. All you really need to do is take two or more photos of the outdoor sculpture you’re trying to shoot. These photos should be taken at different exposure settings. One should show the details in the sky, and the other should clearly show the sculpture. The more exposures you take, the more details you can achieve.
Once done with your photos, simply bring them inside my HDR processor of choice, Aurora HDR 2017, and merge them all into one cohesive image. This final HDR photo can then be processed as you wish within Aurora HDR to your heart’s content.
HDR photography is not something that can be learned very easily, of course. You should practice as much as you can by taking photos of different objects to figure out what kinds of exposures work best in any given situation. Once you’re confident about it, you won’t have to worry about waiting for the perfect conditions to shoot your next piece of outdoor art.