Thursday, March 26, 2009


So I've been hearing how great "HDR" photos are. So I decided to investigate. Basically, layman's terms here... HDR is the name for the method of putting your camera on a tripod... taking multiple photos of the same object/subject, each with different exposures... then blending them together... and using a program to 'tone map' them. Technically, you can use as many different exposures as you want... with as many in between steps as you like.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. And it's just that... you get a proper exposed photo, then an underexposed photo, and an overexposed photo... to cover the range of all the different possible bright lights and shadows in the scene. Since your camera can't interpret shadows and bright light the way your eye (brain) does... HDR allows you to blend them to your liking. If taken to extremes, you can get some pretty wacky/processed/fake looking photos. See Flickr for examples. But that can be fun too. I just wanted to post a few of my tests.

The top photo is the most recent. I was trying to blend the light in a way that it represented what I actually was seeing... but I wanted to add a little bit of drama to it with the colors. Also, I decided to put the camera on a timer and get myself in the photo. :)

The one of my kitchen and my wolf is one that balances the bright light outside... the natural light in the kitchen... and the dark shadows around the floor. The wolf is named Pippi

The third is Cardinal's Stadium. Or U of P Stadium. I saw this picture being set up as I drove home... so I went and grabbed my camera and tripod and managed to snap a few as the sun was going down. This one is a bit more "processed" than I tend to like. But again. I was just doing tests.

The photos say "Photomatix" on them because I am using a trial of the tone mapping software named "Photomatix"... imagine that!
Below are the 3 "pre-blend" photos for each HDR image referenced above. Enjoy!

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