Nature and Landscape Photography Trends: HDR & Infrared

HDR photography

The world of photography is ever changing. It seems that every time you turn around, there is a new trend coming to the forefront of photography news. Not too long ago, everyone wanted a DSLR camera. These large, professional models were all the rage among professionals and amateurs alike. Then along comes the Point and Shoot SLR. While still maintaining the quality and control of a single lens reflex camera, these models are smaller and more compact. They work without a pentaprism and mirrors making them much lighter and easier to carry.

With so many trends coming up seemingly every year, you may feel it easy to get left behind. However, through photography workshops and tutorials you can easily learn how to include these options in your own repertoire, regardless whether you are a professional or an up and coming amateur.

There are two important trends for you to learn about when it comes to nature and landscape photography. They include HDR and infrared.


HDR stands for high dynamic range. Essentially, this is a method of photographing in which you take several different images at various exposures. Then you use photography editing software to combine those images into a dramatic, perfectly exposed picture. HDR photos have a very distinct look because the whites are extremely bright and bold while the darks are rich and full of contrast. The completed image will have a higher dynamic range when compared to a standard image.

Take a look at a nature or landscape photo you have taken recently. Often, if you capture the lighter areas perfectly, then the darker areas will be in shadow. Alternatively, if you focus on the darker areas and getting them right, then the lighter areas may be blown out with no details at all. HDR photos resolve this issue since you will have a range of exposures, from bright to dark, to work with.


Infrared imagery had a niche even back when photographers used film cameras. However, it was more of a cult following than a trend. Infrared could only be captured with specialty filters and infrared film. The dramatic effect included reversed colors or unique black and white shades. Of course, the problem with shooting this type of artistic image with film is that the photographer had no idea of what the shot would look like.

Since digital cameras have become the norm, infrared has become more popular for nature and landscape photography. That’s because almost anyone can purchase the right camera or IR filters to take the pictures. It’s getting easier to shoot infrared with our cameras either with special IR filters or actual converted digital cameras.

These two trends in landscape and nature photography certainly have taken root and seem to be here to stay, especially since more and more people are able to hone their own photography skills. If you would like to learn either one of these trends to add to your portfolio, then you can find photography classes and workshops on how to shoot in each. 

About Peter Manning

Photography instructor, camera guru, avid tennis player and family man; Peter shares his vast knowledge and a passion for teaching photography skills to all levels of photo enthusiasts.


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