HDR image of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
But this form of digital enhancement may not be for everybody. Internet blogger Mike Panic says he doesn’t like HDRphotography, especially when it’s taken to the extreme. ―I’m fine with HDR as an art form, but perhaps the purist in
me deems that this much
manipulation to a photograph no longer makes it a photograph,‖ writes Panic on his
―I’ll freely admit that every single one of my digital photos has some form of digital retouch, I don’t
think any of them push the limits as far as som
e will in HDR.‖
It may be art, but there’s also a science to HDR photography that is brought to life by software and computer processing, which creates an image that resembles what meets the eye more than what’s actually captured by a
―Digital cameras can meter a scene the best it technically can, typically in the range of 4 to 9 f/stops,‖ wrote Kevin L.Moss, publisher of Digital Photography Daily. ―Our own eyes and brain view a scene, and can interpret approximately
9 to 14 f/stops. Th
at’s quite a difference. This is the primary reason, as you recall, that you often shoot scenes that
appear to you straightforward, but when you view them on your computer or LCD screen, the image lacks detail inshadow areas, or has blown out highlights in the lighter areas of the image. An HDR image, when shot and
processed properly, will give you detail in a much larger dynamic range than a normal photograph can present.‖
Video This is exactly why Fard spends time processing his favorite travel photos using HDR.
―I like to extract all of the
details, as much of the fidelity of a scene as possible so it resembles how I really saw a place and how it made me
feel when I was there,‖ he said.
One of the first credited with developing HDR imaging is Charles Wyckoff, whose detailed pictures of nuclearexplosions appeared on the cover of Life magazine in the mid 1940s. HDR has come a long way since then,considering that today a much scaled-down derivation of HDR is available on iPhone 4 and other smartphones,helping bring new interest in HDR photography from people experimenting with photos they shoot, edit and uploadfrom their phones.While some may discover HDR first on the phone, the most amazing works today are created using digital camerasand computer software.
―The raw image straight out of the sensor has much more detail than you can observe withthe eye, and that can be extracted from the HDR software on a PC,‖ says Fard.
―When I’m rea
lly cranking, I havemultiple instances of the program running at the same time, allowing me to enhance and process many images
tips for creating HDR photos include:
Use a digital SLR camera with wide angle lens to capture landscapes and buildings. A point-and-shoot camera will
work, but you need to be able to shoot in ―manual’ mode.
Use a tripod whenever possible, or use any stable surface when you’re outside.
Always shoot in RAW format (not JPEG or another compressed format) so the digital camera can capture as muchdata as possible to create the image being shot