High Dynamic Range

With the introduction of digital photography came the introduction of post processing. A lot of the photographic purists strongly disagree with the idea of post-processing but it has become a part of the game and you will not be able to compete with the world’s best unless you get into it.

There is, however, a fine line that needs to be drawn here because with the latest programs you can clone in things that were not actually there or remove things you don’t want. I personally regard this as cheating and don’t use post-processing to try and bring the picture to a state that matches the best cameras in the world…our eyes.

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Our eyes have the ability to compensate for overexposure and underexposure at the same time. The latest programs are able to use a sequence of photos and balance out the high, low and mid tones to create an image very similar to what we would have seen.

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For this example I have used a sequence of three photos taken at a sundowner drinks stop to get the best of all three photos. Above you will see the original 3 pictures. I overexposed the first to bring out the colours of the trees, grasses and people. In the second photo I took a “normal” exposure, as the camera would have automatically set it up. Then in the last photo I underexposed to get the full glory of the moon.

This can be done with most SLR cameras by using a function called bracketing whereby your camera will take three photos in sequence underexposing, overexposing and a third balanced image which can be later combined in your post-processing program to create a High Dynamic Range image more commonly known as HDR as seen in the very first image. For best results a tripod is necessary – however most programs that do HDR will be able to auto align your images.

Expose your balance

Richard de Gouveia

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