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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HDR To The Rescue

High dynamic range saves the day in high-contrast situations

Labels: Quick FixHow To

This Article Features Photo Zoom



I guess I could have entitled this column, “Ricky’s Believe It or Not!” but “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” already has the corner on fascinating and intriguing stories—and has had that corner since I used to read the column of the same name in the Sunday comics in the 1950s at my grandmother’s apartment.


FINAL
I thought about the believe-it-or-not concept because the opening image, which I took in Maine, is actually the end result of combining three photographs of the same scene and processing them digitally in about five minutes to create one high-dynamic-range image (with a bit of a Levels adjustment in Photoshop)—believe it or not! Personally, I find this digital technology totally amazing.

High-dynamic-range (HDR) photography captures a much wider dynamic range than a straight-out-of-the-camera image. What’s more, HDR images tend to look more artistic and creative than straight shots, in my opinion anyway.

I used Photomatix Pro (www.hdrsoft.com), one of several HDR imaging programs, to create my HDR image.

In my HDR work, I also use the HDR feature found in Photoshop, which I wrote about in these pages several months ago. For this column, I’ll focus on using Photomatix Pro.

Ready for some quick tips on getting a quick fix with HDR imaging? Let’s go!

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