Saturday, October 11, 2008

HDR Photography

High Dynamic Range Photography

HDR Photography is the latest trend in the photography community, industry, and well entire world. Now for some of you, you might be asking what is HDR Photography? What language is he speaking? Well, for those of you who know what HDR Photograph is, chances are you're probably already familiar with what I will be discussing. As for the rest of you, its time to take a giant step forward and jump into the world of HDR Photography. Digital photography has had its share of trends, however almost any publication or article that I have read about HDR is calling this the future of digital photography. My goal with this article is not to fully delve into every possible aspect of HDR photography. As there are a few different ways of producing the final product. In which case you can still take it a few steps further and produce some amazing photographs. At the end of this article there will be a list of links in which you can explore the world of HDR and learn even more than what I will introduce. Included with the links I will include links to other photographers that are shooting HDR.

HDR photography is High Dynamic Range photography. Shooting HDR means that you are shooting to achieve a wide range of tones. The way we seeing objects and compositions is not exactly how we can capture them in camera. Our eyes have the ability to see the dynamic range, however cameras are unable to reproduce exactly all the tonal ranges that are present. There for when you want to produce an HDR photograph/image you must make multiple exposures to get the full tonal range. The basic concept is to shoot and bracket your exposures. Usually by going 1-3 stops below and over exposure. This can be done by shooting for highlights, lowlights, and mid-tones. The goal is to get the highlights, lowights and the shadows all present in the photograph/image.

Below are two photographs that I shot. The photograph on the right is one single image using one exposure. The photograph on the right is the same composition and same exposure time. The only difference is that the photograph on the right was created using three exposures. Getting the highlights, lowlights, and mid-tones. Looking closely at the right you can see that there are shadows present as well as great mid-tones right up to the highlight ares that aren't overly blown out, but still a little brighter than should be. This is a recurring issue shooting at night and trying to produce HDR photogrpahs.

You can produce HDR photographs using photoshop CS2 and CS3. Providing you have the right bracketed exposures you can use the Merge to HDR feature in Photoshop. Below is a link titled HDR Photography and PhotoShop CS2. This link provides all the necessary information to produce HDR Photographs using CS2. There is software that can produce HDR photographs much easier than using Photoshop. I would rely on photoshop as an alternative and back up. I have not currently purchased PhotoMatix. Below is a link for the software.

I will be making more posts related to HDR Photography. This was an introductory post that is meant to inform, educate, and give people an insight into a more advanced method of producing digital photographs.

HDR Photography Explained (

*HDR Photography Tutorial* (I recommend this site)

HDR Photography

HDR Photography and PhotoShop CS2

Tone Mapping

PhotoMatix HDR SoftWare

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