The Pit

Not everybody's so impressed by high dynamic range photography. The relatively novel technique, which produced the gloomy Gotham cityscape we published yesterday, can also be used simply to pump up an image with color. Cheesy. Nikola Tamindzic's first nightlife pictures for Gawker made heavy use of filters in Photoshop, the standard photo manipulation software. But the photographer has gradually weaned himself off Photoshop and eschews HDR programs such as Photomatix. Here's a panorama of downtown New York (from Nikola's Home of the Vain portfolio site) using traditional means.

It's dodging and burning, old skool stuff, like Ansel Adams used to do in the darkroom. You select parts to darken and parts to lighten to approximate the way your brain perceives the scene (rather than what the eye actually sees). The confusion between brain perception and eye vision leads to a lot of purist bullshit from people regarding retouching etc. because they think that what camera sees is true-it's just not. everything gets reinterpreted in our brains, and good post-production (like dodging and burning, or judicious HDR) is pretty much that same thing. Post-production used to excess is like doing acid, haha-perception goes awry, and it's very interesting-but mostly just to the person doing the drug.