HDR for the Rest of Us
2 HDR for the Rest of Us
Manual HDR bracketing
Of course there are situations that demand a more customized approach to capturing the full dynamic range of the scene. In those instances, manually setting and choosing exposures to merge together is a must. After capturing the images I prefer to use HDR-specific software like Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro and HDR Soft's Photomatix. Let's take a look at two examples.
|Los Osos, California: Canon 5D Mark II, EF 15mm fisheye lens.|
The key with the image you see above was to capture make sure I captured the entire range of shadows and highlights. To do this, I had to take the following exposures: 0Ev, -2 EV, +2EV, +3EV, +4EV and +5EV. There were a lot of dark shadows in the car's interior that needed to be recorded.
Here is another HDR composite. This time it was in the highlights that I had to devote more attention in my exposures.
|Florida Hotel, Old Havana Cuba: Canon 5D Mark II, EF 15mm fisheye lens.|
You'll notice in the screen shots below that I had to take more underexposed images than overexposed images to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene.
|These are the five original files from which I created my HDR image.|
Both of these images I've just shown convey a very important point. You must take the time to recognize just where along the tonal range the scene exceeds the dynamic range of your camera. Simply taking an equal number of images over and under the middle exposure will not always capture all of the information in the scene.
No matter what type of HDR images you are looking to create, here are some basic guidelines that can ensure the best possible results.
• Keep your aperture constant and instead bracket by adjusting shutter speed.
• Use a tripod whenever possible for best all-around results.
• If you must shoot handheld, position yourself so you can hold the camera as steady as possible.
• Use the onscreen histogram to make sure you have captured the entire tonal range of the scene.
• Resist the urge to open up the shadows too much. Without rich shadows, image simply look flat.
|Iceland landscape: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens.|
This is one of my favorite HDR images. It was shot on a recent trip to Iceland. I could not have retained detail both in the clouds and along the shadowed ridges of the mountains in a single exposure. A perfect opportunity for in-camera HDR. I like the way this veers closer towards a painterly effect, yet is still much more subtle than what we typically associate with HDR photography.
What I hope you've seen from these examples is that there are degrees of application when it comes to HDR imagery. We all have our own tastes and preferences, of course. But today there are enough options available that HDR can be very useful even to those photographers who prefer more natural results.
Awarding-winning photographer Rick Sammon is a Canon Explorer of Light and the author of numerous books. He leads international workshops and seminars covering shooting technique and image processing. To learn more about his work, visit his blog, Rick Sammon's Digital Imaging Diaries. You can find his iHDR app for iOS in Apple's App store.
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
Maybe you want better photos in low light. Maybe you're tired of digital zoom. Whatever the reason, if you're looking for a capable, beginner-friendly camera to grow and learn with, we've got you covered.
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.
With a capacity of 512GB, Samsung's new UFS chips take built-in storage on smartphones to desktop-PC levels. Will this eliminate the need for microSD slots?
Photographer Josh Rossi decided to go big for this year's Christmas card, so he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster using himself, his wife, and their two kids.
In response to a NY Times article about how some traffickers were using Instagram as part of the illicit animal trade, Instagram has added a content advisory screen that pops up to warn users any time they search for hashtags "associated with harmful behavior to animals."
Kodak is expanding its instant photography lineup today with the release of the Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera. A tiny little digital camera that spits out either 2.1 x 3.4-inch or 2.1 x 2.1-inch prints.
Huawei'e next high-end smartphone could be the first to take computational imaging to the next level with a triple-camera that spits out 40MP files.