The world of digital photography is constantly evolving, with new and diverse techniques and treatments emerging in relation to what you can do with your images.
One of the latest and most popular of these techniques is HDR, or ‘High Dynamic Range’, processing, with nearly a quarter of a million images on image-sharing site Flickr possessing the tag ‘HDR’, and top-notch examples of the technique creeping more and more into the modern photographer’s repertoire.
As with most new techniques, HDR can seem intimidating at first, with the initial steps to creating top-quality HDR images being the hardest. However, WDC is here to help make these steps easier.
Benefits of High Dynamic Range
As can be seen by the various examples on these pages and the plethora of images creeping into the photographic community, HDR is an unarguably eye-catching technique. However, there is more than just an artistic purpose to the technique: it can be used as a practical tool to improve your photography.
As previously mentioned, the HDR technique allows the photographer to display the full dynamic range of an image, revealing detail that would otherwise be lost in shadows and highlights. The technique also uncovers a wider range of tonal details that, while visible to the eye, cnnot be captured in a single image, which is likely to feature blown out highlights and murky shadows.
The practical implications of the HDR technique are best illustrated by the following example.
Imagine taking a photo from the inside of a room and attempting to obtain an accurate representation of both the room and, say, the fantastic view through the window.
Capturing such a scene using a single exposure would be almost impossible due to the huge difference in brightness levels between the inside of the room and the outside. The problem would be the same if you were shooting shadowy architecture, for example.
The beauty of HDR photography is that such a problem is easily overcome, thanks to the ability to blend and tone map several exposures of the same shot where both the shadows and the highlights have been exposed correctly. In our example of the room, you would be able to maintain the detail of the interior while also showing the view through the window.