Using HDR Photography to Document a Hike

I take too many photos. On any given hike, it’s not uncommon for me to take 200-300 shots. By the time I’m done editing/resizing the ones I like, deleting the bad ones and stitching the panoramas, I usually end up with 50-75 photos that I’ll post on this blog.  During the hours I spend at my computer going through this process, I seem to have a recurring debate going through my head; Should doing a good job at documenting my day or whatever trail I hike be my goal, or should I just post the most interesting photos? Often, these two goals don’t go hand in hand. To further “complicate” this, I’ve just started to play around with HDR photography. I like the look when photographing man-made things, but thus far, my efforts tend to look like El Greco paintings when it comes to landscapes.

Saturday I went out for a quick training hike and most of the mountain was covered in fog. To get more contrast in some of my photos, I tried shooting in HDR. Here are some comparisons of photos that have gone through my normal process of editing vs. HDR processing.

Comparison 1:


Comparison 2:


Comparison 3:


and a few I took in the last week or so leading up to Saturday:



When looking at hiking blogs, what do you prefer to see? Something that is as close to reality as possible? Artsy (HDR, macros, heavily edited) or long exposure shots (Milky Way or star photos)? All of the above?