Wednesday, 18 August 2010

HDR photography

As my regular followers will know, my other main passion aside from art is photography. Today, while having a good rest following a few days back-breaking work moving a concrete path, I decided to mess with my camera and took a fairly poor shot of a flowering cactus on our kitchen window sill. Knowing that the light coming through  the window would make exposure difficult I took 3 shots, one under exposed by 1 stop, one over exposed by 1 stop, and one exposed normally.

As you can see from the first three photo's, if the cactus was correctly exposed, the outside was too bright, and if the outside was correct, the cactus was in shade. Even the third shot - the middle route - doesn't show much of the detail on the cactus.

It's at this point that I remembered that my digital imaging software of choice (Paintshop Pro) has an HDR facility. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and what that means in plain English is the ability to display exposures at either end of the scale.

HDR effectively merges these 3 photo's to get the best of all worlds and as you can see from the result in the fourth photo, the outside is properly exposed whilst the detail of the cactus has been retained. This isn't the best of examples and it certainly isn't the best of photo's, but it shows how effective HDR can be at making a good photo from poor conditions.

1 comment:

  1. Thumbs up for the HDR version then John. My camera can compensate for shady areas, showing more detail than a normal exposure. Trouble is, while there is more detail in the shadows, they always look a little flat.