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HDR Photography

Monday September 27, 2010

I’ve just started dabbling in HDR photography, that’s High Dynamic Range Photography.

High dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight. [Wikipedia]

My basic explanation of the method is: take three photos, one at the correct exposure, one x stops lower and one x stops higher.  Then the computer software merges the three images into one and ‘tone-mapping’ adjusts the output to better display on your screen.  Check the Wikipedia pages for more detailed/accurate explanation of the process.  😉

The photograph below shows an unaltered, correctly exposed image of Rochester Cathedral.  The photograph below that shows a HDR image which was made with the first one and two additional photos, one at -2 stops and one at +2 stops (the three constituent photos showed beneath the HDR image).

In the software, you can alter tone-mapping to suit your taste or what you’re trying to achieve with the photograph.  The HDR image below was processed with Dynamic Photo HDR using the ‘High Contrast’ tone-mapping preset option.

You can view the HDR image over on Flickr.

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