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.


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.




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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