By David Nightingale
Focal Press (176 p) $24.95
The second edition of David Nightingale’s useful introductory volume provides an informative overview of the techniques and tools of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. HDR refers to pictures capturing a wider range of lights to darks than is typically possible with 8 bit camera-processed JPEGs. The book covers how a reader might 'tone map' raw files using post-processing techniques to achieve a look that often ranges from hyper-realistic (the human eye has a wider sensitivity to dynamic range than a digital sensor), to dreamlike. A wealth of software tools now exist to create these HDR images, and Nightengale devotes a good amount of ink to techniques using the most popular ones, including Photoshop CS5, Photomatix Pro, HDR Express, HDR Efex Pro, Olneo PhotoEngine. With post-processing know-how, Nightingale explains the range of effects possible within HDR, from extracting data from a single raw file in order to create a punchy and hyper-saturated graphic effect, to blending multiple pictures in order to achieve a more photo realistic result. While the use (and quite often over-use) of tone mapping has become an object of irritation in many photographic circles, Nightingale begins with the assumption that the reader is interested in the techniques and admires the look that it typically yields.
He includes many of his own accomplished landscapes, cityscapes, and urban studies to illustrate his text. The book also includes a few representative images from other prominent HDR proponents, such as Trey Radcliff. Many images are accompanied by EXIF data from the initial shots as well as information on the software used in post-production. While rife with practical information and best practices (i.e. taking five exposures at 1 EV intervals rather than three exposures at 2 EV increments) as well as tips to avoid banding, noise and other artifacts, the manual never gets overly technical or impenetrable.
|A good deal of time is devoted to comparing techniques and results between competing software programs.||This can be very helpful to those just starting to explore HDR and trying to decide which tools are best suited to their needs.|
As is typical for books in the fast-moving tech industry, the second edition already has a few references that are out-of-date; allusions to Photoshop CS5 instead of the recently released CS6, for example. Nightingale takes pains to account for varying workflows and software; a bonus for those trying to decide which app to use. For those already committed to a particular piece of software and an established workflow, however, a lot of what is covered will hold little interest. But for readers interested in exploring the possibilities of HDR, especially newbies hoping to get their feet wet, Nightingale has provided a valuable resource.
Practical HDR, Second Edition is available on Amazon as a paperback and as a Kindle ebook.
Adam Koplan is head of the Performance Department at the Dreamyard Project which brings arts programs to NYC schools. He is also Artistic Director of The Flying Carpet Theatre Co.
Follow him on Twitter @FlyingCarpetNYC
Mar 15, 2014
Apr 26, 2015
Sep 21, 2014
Sep 8, 2014
|Owens Valley Milky Way by ed rader|
from Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..
|Break by Hank3152|
from Motion blur
|Camp by T bird|
from A Big Year - birds
|The Maasai Shepherd by cgravel|
from - African Man - (Portrait in Black and White + A Border)
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.
DaVinci Resolve is making strong moves to compete with Premiere and Final Cut Pro, including affordable control panels for colorists. According to Premium Beat, they're really good.
If you are not planning to fly your drone commercially you are not required to register it with the FAA anymore. This decision was handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
Whether you're syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera's silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here's what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more
William Vazquez travels all over the world documenting humanitarian work. He spoke to us about the challenges of his work, the importance of research and why a multitool and duct tape are your best friends in the field. Read more
These ten film cameras stand the test of time. They are easy to find, affordable and capable of excellent results. Read more
Photographer Aydın Büyüktaş uses a drone, 3-D rendering and Photoshop to create mind-bending landscapes.
They're offering tips for composing selfies and converting to black and white.
Whether you're seeking ultra-high resolution, first-rate autofocus or 4K video capture, there are some supremely capable 'semi-pro' cameras available. Find out which models we liked best in our updated semi-pro camera roundup. Read more
With composition specified by the director, drones may one day be able to navigate a movie set on their own.
Canon has made the previous version, 1.1.0 available for download again.
Impossible? Not if you have a fast lens and 5 stops of stabilization.
This 'strictly limited edition' is a refurbished original Polaroid 600 redesigned with a custom two-tone paint job.
Nikon today announced a reorganization of its corporate structure which will see several divisions and business units closed or merged. Read more
High school students from New York got he chance to shoot along with award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv in Morocco.
VentureBeat reports that Monday's Surface Pro announcement will bring evolutionary updates to Microsoft's high-end Windows 10 tablet.
The Japanese Camera Journal Press Club has awarded Olympus three out of its four annual prizes after voting by photographic magazine editors and readers.
The photos are great, but whether drones should have been flying in a couple of these places is debatable.
It's not dead yet! A few years ago several high profile filmmakers convinced Kodak to keep making motion picture film. Now they need more facilities to process it.
We made a vlog about vlogging with the M6 (which we used to make the vlog).