high dynamic range

Delving into HDR

by Tobias on August 22, 2011

HDR: Eastlake Docks in Seattle
(The above is a composite of 8 images with exposure times in the 5min and above range.)

HDR is one of those buzz words in Photoland that usually invokes a set of viewer expectations and a bit of mystique. In a nutshell, the photographer is “merely” taking the same photo multiple times, and at various settings, such that they can get the over exposed and under-exposed elements properly exposed in a single image. The basic example is a bright sky; You want the bright sky to show the great cloud formations, but you don’t want to alienate, say, the trees in the foreground. (Poor trees!)

HDR: Sunrise in Suburbia V1
(This image is one I am using as a learning piece and is not meant to be a token of great composition.)

Here are the specifics for each photograph used in this composite: Composite of 4 images. All images captured at ISO 100, focal length 48mm, ƒ/5.6

Shutter speeds:

I have started using HDR because I take a lot of nighttime photographs. This means that if I am doing a very long exposure and there just so happens to be, for example, a street light in frame, then that street light is going to end up extremely bright compared to the rest of my image. This is where HDR comes to the rescue.

How do you magically make an HDR image?
[click to continue…]