Thursday, November 27, 2008

Exploring High Dynamic Range photography

Now that I got myself started on photo impressionism, I would also like to mention here a digital imaging technique that has intrigued me earlier on. Used with discretion, it can be a very powerful technique. However, over-use of it will quickly wear down its novelty. The theory behind HDR (high dynamic range) can be easily found in Wikipedia; it is not my intention to expound on it here. The technique involves taking 3 shots of the same scene, with exposure bracketing for under- and over-exposure. A handy software such as Dynamic Photo HDR does the rest for you in a few simple steps. It is that easy!

This is an example I got from the website. An ordinary shot has been turned into a surreal picture. Google on HDR will quickly reveal lots of beautiful HDR images.

Below is my first attempt using a trial version of the Dynamic Photo HDR software. See the difference between a normal shot and an HDR-rendered image.

You can also do a simulated HDR using a single shot instead of bracketing 3 shots. Below is an example using a plug-in imported into Photoshop. (Newer versions of Photoshop CS has built-in HDR tool).

It is easier to achieve satisfactory result with HDR than with digital infrared photography. I guess now I'll have to write about my experience with IR (infrared) photography in my next blog.

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