Restraint, people.

It’s our May holiday weekend here in Canada and I’ve had some time to relax.

I’ve spent part of the day looking at various fora, blogs, photo-sharing sites, etc. and have seen some genuinely nice images.

To my dismay however, I’ve also seen a lot of something else:  the over-processed-HDR look.

Apparently, tone-mapping is alive and well.

At this point, I feel compelled to link back to an article I wrote several years ago:

Over-processed, not.

Please read it, or pass it along to a friend who may need help.  Consider it an act of kindness.  Or tough love.

In the meantime, if you want to remind yourself of what a proper photograph should look like, have a look at some film images.

Here are a couple of sites I often visit because the photographers there are still shooting film (in addition to digital):

If Time Stood Still

Bijan Sabet

You won’t find anything flashy there, but you will find some very fine photographs.


7 thoughts on “Restraint, people.

  1. It really is garish, isn’t it? I’ve read comments where photographers are back-patting each other over the most horrible looking images you could possibly imagine. Of course the fad will eventually be sneered at – by the same people indulging in it. Photoshop is the new cross-processing and HDR is the new Power Goo.

    HDR can serve a photograph by protecting highlights and keeping shadows clean. Using it ‘artistically’ is 100% Pure Fail.

  2. bijansabet says:

    Thanks, Peter for the kind words. That means so much coming from you. Truly.



  3. mewanchuk says:


    Just stopped by and read your post–thanks for the heartwarming endorsement!


  4. andygemmell says:

    Here here Peter on both counts..over-processed images and both Bijan and Mark’s respective sites and view on the world. Refreshing, alive and great sites to follow.

  5. jkjod says:

    I’ve always told myself that if I could make my digital images look like Portra 400 I’d be one happy camper. I’m not always successful (ok truthfully probably never!), but I have been trying to make them look as natural as possible. Couldn’t agree more about both Mark’s and Bijan’s site – they are a constant source of beautiful imagery and a showcase of what film can still do in the digital age of photography.

  6. Derek says:


    One of my pet peeves since the beginning of digital photography. The only problem is that we are in the minority. Heavy handed processing is a very popular part of photography now.

  7. Linden says:

    So true!

    Thanks too for the links to the photographers. I have spent some time at Bijan Sabet’s site and really like that, thanks.

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