HDR Spotting- Has It Lost It’s Sparkle?

HDR Spotting was one of the first sites devoted entirely to HDR imaging and is still used by many photographers using the HDR technique to showcase their work. To use HDR Spotting you have to be invited and members are given so many invite codes to distribute to other HDR artists. There’s even a Facebook group devoted to HDR Spotting where people can “beg” for a code.

As we can see from the about pages of HDR Spotting the site was designed to:

      – Make it easy and beautiful to scan many HDR Photos at once
      – Provide an environment that encourages readers to go visit the blogs, portfolios, etc of the photographers that contribute
      – A fun community that can be focused and provide feedback via views and comments

Now the question I have to ask is;  “Has HDR Spotting lost its sparkle?” When an image is submitted to HDR Spotting it has to be approved before it appears in the gallery. It’s never been the fastest process and yet recently it seems to be getting even slower, with pages of images being released at the same time. Hardly  the right environment to scan many photos at once. Yes the images are there, but how many people go beyond the first page? 

Support seems to be almost non-existent now on HDR Spotting. I raised a question in the Feedback area over a month ago and have still not had a reply. If you look on the Contact Us page there is a statement about how;

Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome. If you send us an email using the link below, we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible

I’ve tried that when I didn’t get an answer from Feedback, I’m still waiting for an answer to my email.

I don’t know if Trey Ratcliff and Denis Khoo are still involved with HDR Spotting, if they are, maybe they’d like to respond. 

After days of waiting for an image to be approved I get a curt email saying they don’t allow CGI. No answers to my questions or anything like that. Even although the CGI image was rendered as an HDR and went through PhotoMatix


Still, that’s up to them. More importantly, we wait days for images to be released/approved and once again they release five and a half pages at the same time.

C’mon guys, people work hard to produce their images. At least have the decency to approve their images far faster than you are currently doing.



7 thoughts on “HDR Spotting- Has It Lost It’s Sparkle?

  1. Denis Khoo October 21, 2010 / 00:53

    Hi Mike —

    I understand your concern about the approval process taking too long. We are currently a victim of our own success. Our Editors are all working as hard as they can to keep up with the flow of submissions. We try our best to make sure every photo is judged by at least three Editor’s, which determines the placement of the photo on the website. We provide a lot more personal touch, but perhaps, it’s too much.

    We hope to come up with a newer, more efficient approval process soon. In the meantime, please bear with us. We’re all contributing our time for the betterment of HDR photography.


  2. arkitekt878 October 21, 2010 / 08:45

    Now that the process has been explained I can understand why it does take some time to approve images.


  3. arkitekt878 November 16, 2010 / 12:06

    OK! Another Rant. This time I’m really annoyed. Some time ago Trey invited people to apply to become guest editors, which I presume was in response to Denis’s comment about not being able to keep up with submissions. Now I’m not the best practicioner of HDR but I know a good one when I see it. So in the spirit of doing something about the criticism I levied at HDR Spotting I applied through the HDR Spotting website to become a guest editor.

    At this point I would like to thank the team at HDR Spotting of doing me the discourtesy of not even acknowledging my email.


  4. Rob Hanson Photography November 16, 2010 / 14:06

    Mike —
    I couldn’t agree more, although I am sympathetic to the deluge of HDR submissions that they must receive. Anyone I’ve spoken to on the HDR Spotting team mentions the burden of dealing with the flood of incoming images.

    That said, this morning (Nov. 16th), I was greeted by a spew of four or five pages of new entries, all at once. What happens is that good images get pushed deep into the website, and if they are not anointed as Featured or Editor’s Picks, they’re all but forgotten.

    Considering that the primary objective of HDRs is to “drive traffic to your website”, I believe that they fail in that very mission when this happens. If that is the case, why should people bother with the submission process?

    The solution seems simple: Get more editors on board, or schedule more regular releases, coughing up a page of new entries each day. This would encourage more frequent visits to the site, and result in more views for each user.



  5. Eric March 13, 2011 / 05:59

    To me HDR Spotting lost its sparkle not long after it started. From the very beginning the vast majority of the images shown on the site posses the same excessive local contrast ‘look’ as Trey’s images do. Also, the definition of HDR is very loosely applied to the point where tone-mapped single exposure images are labeled as HDR. No, HDR Spotting a sties like it are doing more harm than good to the HDR field by not applying any useful or accurate standards for what HDR is.

    Just my opinion of course.


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