My newly redesigned website, HDRSource is up and running again. In all actuality, it never really went anywhere – I just had laid off promoting it for several years as the real work with LunarStudio managed to keep me preoccupied. It’s one of the first online stores that sold HDRs and HDR libraries. I created HDRSource when the term ‘HDR’ turned up around 20 links maximum when ‘HDR’ was searched in Google – so it’s really been something that I’ve worked on in the background since the technique’s infancy. This site even predates Photoshop’s support for High Dynamic Range Images. As some of you might have followed, I’ve take time off this summer to completely update all of my websites, and this was the last website on my list. So I’m proud to announce once again that it is up and running with newly-minted 360-degree images.
Originally, HDRSource was all hand-coded – long before the popularity of blogging systems and CMSs came into play. However, having to manually update it every single time turned into a really big pain. That’s why I made the decision to use a WordPress installation and to “fake it” into resembling more of a regular, non-blogging look type of website. I have absolutely no regrets with this system now. I don’t have to fiddle with Photoshop every time I want to insert a graphic. I don’t have to open up Dreamweaver and peck through code – trying to remember every single time what I had did and what each piece of CSS stood for. It’s simply, much easier to maintain and update. And if I want to add additional functionality, then that’s mostly a breeze as well. Plus, I know search engine optimization – and if you look closely, I have all of those tools mostly at my disposal.
As for the HDRSource website itself, it caters mostly to the 3-D community and ties in directly with my work at Lunarstudio. It’s a store that specializes in High Dynamic Range photographic panoramas which I have manually produced. 3-D artists sometimes use HDRs to surround and light 3D models and scenes. It is a form of technique which we often call Image Based Lighting – or IBL for short. HDRs tend to lend a realistic look to our models because of the nuances in lighting, variations in color, as well as reflections. They can make a flat, almost toon-like 3d model into something realistically convincing. The differences between using them and not using them can often be quite drastic.
HDR originally has its roots in computer graphics research – and assisted 3D artists. As Photoshop released it’s first basic import option, it started to gain the interest of the general photography community. Soon, photographers set out to capture some pretty remarkable photographs using the HDR technique. However, while I appreciate many photographers adventure into this avenue, I’ve somewhat insisted on staying a purist for the 3d world. My photos generally don’t have what some call and over-saturated ‘radioactive’ glow to them. I prefer mine to match exactly what the human eye can capture.
If you have a moment, please head on over there and check out my photography work. I’m not asking anyone to buy anything – perhaps you’ll simply get a ‘kick out of’ browsing some of my 360 degree HDR panoramic image.