It was the skys that did it. The light and the dark of the clouds scudding across the sky. In normal photos they were always so dismal. If the day was raw with a bite of frost in the air then the clouds should tell you that it is cold and bitter.
And then it was also the fact that photos became more like illustrations. Very fine detail and ultra high contrasts and saturation to give the photo an oily sheen.
Thre is somthing Sci-Fi and modern about HDR (High dynamic range) photos. Once you spot one it is instantly recognisable. More often than not there is a ominous thunderous sky full of angst and forboding, or if there is any water at all it is as though an oily film of rainbow petrol has been poured over it.
It would seem that the best subjects of HDR photos are old building, churches especially, or almost anything in red brick. Textures play an important role and wet cobblestones just after a storm rarely disappoints.
But the staples are sky and water with a rusty boat thrown in here and there. You can get away with a new boat but then you need some big blotches of primary colours to break up the crazy blue skys, and the jealous sea.
And how is it done well simply put you take three different pictures of the same scene. One is undereposed, one is normal and one is overeposed. This is easy to achieve if you have an auto-bracket feature on you camera. For these photos I set the auto-bracket to +1ev 0ev and -1ev and used Dynamic Photo HDR to combine the three photos. I then played around until I got the results that I wanted, which were over-the-top garish ultra contrast saturated monsters that looked nothing like real photographs at all but more like illustrations from a comic book.
You either like it or hate it, but there is no denying HDR makes your eyes pop