The HDRI Handbook 2.0 (book review)

Have you ever wanted to know everything there was to know about High Dynamic Range (HDR) images? Then the HDRI Handbook 2.0 by Christian Bloch is a must-have. Bloch doesn’t stop at HDR photography, but covers everything related to this technique of rendering images.

The HDRI Handbook 2.0 is the second version of a complete encyclopaedic work on HDR imagery. The book covers the software, the photographic equipment needed, panoramic HDRi and CGI generated HDR images. The largest chunk discusses the best practices of shooting for HDR and then processing the images afterwards in dedicated and not-so-dedicated software tools.

Unless you’re a real expert in HDR image creation, you’ll definitely learn something by reading this book. The author covers every known HDR application on the market. He starts with an overview (and a very useful feature comparison table), and then discusses each of the important ones in depth later on.

Bloch also covers lesser known programs for HDR processing, such as After Effects and other compositing applications. With regards to equipment, the book taught me about specialist peripherals such as the Promote Control.

Of course, there is a good deal in this book that is dedicated to achieving the best possible results with HDR in any program. Everything is covered in that respect, from the number of exposures you ideally need, to how you create natural or artistic looks.

A considerable part of the book — but less than half of it — is dedicated to panoramic photography as this niche is where HDR is common. And as the icing on the cake, the author also covers HDR in video compositing.

The book comes with a DVD. The DVD has example images as well as software demos and some free software too. It’s published by RockyNook and costs 48.00 EUR. That’s not cheap for a book, but it’s worth its every cent.