I am a 42-year old husband and father. I was an avid computer gamer and DOF, F-stops and the like were foreign to me until my wife introduced me to photography.

I began shooting during the latter part of March 2010 and quickly became addicted to it. I started this blog to share my journey and to learn along the way. Special thanks to my wife Eng who encouraged me and to all my friends in Blogosphere who shared their knowledge and taught me to further this craft.

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durdle door

durdle door

I need your opinion on this image about two things,

1. to HDR or not to HDR ?
2. to crop or not to crop ?

... or any suggestions to improve this photo. thank you.

obtw, the green dot on the beach is my brother.



1) to HDR, i'm a fan but haven't had the chance to try one myself.
2) not to crop
i am no expert btw, lol!


i saw your brother, thanks to my 20/20 vision. ;)

Ashley Sisk

I LOVE the HDR - I just wish I knew how to do it!


definitely to hdr - as it brings a dynamic texture, tones and light to this beautiful geological wonder.


I agree...the HDR is great and I, too, wish I knew how to do it!

Both shots are terrific...hard to choose and I think it depends on your goal. The top photo is incredibly artistic and would be fabulous framed. The bottom would be wonderful in a book or on a calendar. I'm no expert, either, so I could be waaaay off base :-)


~the first comes alive...enchanting to the eye...decisions...decisions...warm wishes and brightest blessings~


I love the HDR but not sure what to crop, it looks good to me without cropping.


I'm not usually a fan of HDR but in this case I think it really works, doing just what it's supposed to and bringing out a fuller tonal range than you'd otherwise have.

Nope, wouldn't crop. You'd lose the grandeur of it.

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I did not see the green dot until you called it to my attention, then I had to enlarge to really see it. I vote Yes to HDR best and No to crop. i love the composition as it is.


HDR and crop! Great shot!

Sylvia K

They're both great shots, Dave, but the HDR is really superb! And your composition is terrific as always! And I did see your brother "green spot"! Hope you have a great weekend!



The HDR looks better here as it adds more details to the shadowy side of the rocks. Also the water line is pretty cool now. There could be slight cropping from the top and right but it´s cool this way too. The tranquil sea gives a good contrast.


I love the HDR. They are both great but that's my favorite. I think the composition is perfect.


I say definitely yes to HDR. And I don't think you need to crop, I think it looks perfect the way it is.

Luna Miranda

both photos are beautiful but i love the HDR--the light is more dramatic.

it's perfect--no need to crop.:p


They're both beautiful, but the HDR adds that extra KICK, so yes on that & no on the crop!

Mary Howell Cromer

Beautiful images, love the shore and these are certainly impressive. Happy weekend~ Mary


Looks like you've got your answer. The HDR is the winner. HDR certainly brings out more details from the shadows. This is a lovely image.


The first one! :) Your pictures are always SO awesome.

Gigi Ann

I like the first picture best, and no don't crop. All-in-all they are both lovely. After putting the computer up to my nose, I think I found your brother. LOL...

Kay L. Davies

The first one is gorgeous, Dave. And I wouldn't crop a thing.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel


Awesome my friend! HDR is fantastic and crop ok.

Lisa RedWillow

I would not crop this however the first is amazing as it did bring out the detail that seemed to be lost in the second and I love them both to be honest. Its a matter of taste and I like them both.


I am not a big fan of HDR..but this one was an improvement..however most people "Overuse" HDR...meaning they make it too strong thus making it look artificial....you have not done this.
as for the Cropping...no I would not crop...great long distance view and nicely balanced.
I am not a professional photographer either..so what do I know?....lol

Martha Z

Both are great. Cropping and HDR make different pictures, different statements.

When using photomatix, I usually prefer tone compression to detail enhancer as it seems more realistic. Usually I prefer the result I get from my RAW conversion.

Any way you handle it, this is a great shot.


The composition works well as it is and the enhanced version does work better than the original.
Since you seem to have a natural eye for composition, I would be careful with cropping as the compositional result can be disappointing and not measure up to the reason you took the shot.


In this case, HDR is the go. It looks great! Can't believe you've only been snapping since March. Nice one.


Sorry I have no idea what HDR is, so I can't advise but definitely don't crop. These photos are perfect!

Light and Voices

I prefer HDR in this case. Be careful because a lot of times it is way overdown. This image looks fine in size. However, cropping is fine too. Do both! You seem to have a natural talent at finding interesting and different shots. Excellent work!
Joyce M

Dejemonos sorprender

Gorgeous pictures, the second seems to be more natural.. but the two i really liked..


The top version is simply gorgeous. Leave it that way.

Y. Ikeda

As for question #1, I prefer intermediate between the two. I am in the middle of studying tone mapping and exploring the possibility of HDR, as well!!! Here is my recent HDR .

As for question #2, I would not crop but wonder how the sun looks like if you shift camera to the right... This is my personal opinion and that might be wrong.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!!!


Well, I had to go and Google HDR and I am no better off than when I started. All I know is I love the first one with its coloration. I don’t think I would crop...it is just too lovely. It looks to me like your brother is heading to visit water dragon!

Oakland Daily Photo

Photo #1 has my vote. If this is HDR, then you reined it in nicely.


yes on cropping and definitely yes on hdr.


Both photos are fabulous, but I do prefer the first one.


Both of the pictures have their own beauty. One is natural and the other looks Surreal, I prefer the Surreal, the HDR look.... Absolutely amazing...

Pixellicious Photos

BraCom (Bram)

Beautiful SkyWatch posting!
Wonderful images, stunning compositions
thank you for sharing this beautiful photo work

Happy SWF! Have a good weekend,

Regards, Bram

My SkyWatch on WordPress

Seen on Sky Watch Friday, Season 4, Episode 18


beautiful shot Dave. I like the HDR too and I would maybe do a horizontal crop at the top

Pagan Sphinx

I like a more natural photograph. I'm a total amateur and wouldn't know how to get that fuzzy look and richer color so I tend to leave most of my photographs alone once they're taken. I like to photograph in the best possible light to achieve a natural look and I'm sometimes surprised that it ends coming out of the camera much differently than I expected.

This is gorgeous both ways but I prefer the second shot for the reasons I stated.

T. Becque

My humble opinion: No cropping, it's just right. The non-HDR version is beautiful just as it is - naturally. And I am a fan of HDR, but I actually like the second image better.


I don't know what HDR means, but I like the top one better, and I wouldn't crop it.


Both photos are beautiful Dave but the first one really pops with colour & clarity! So I would choose 1.
What a gorgeous location, such a beautiful, beautiful view!

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