Yesterday I promised myself that today I would give High Dynamic Range or “HDR” Photography some serious effort, and I did just that. If you’re asking “What is HDR Photography?” Do not fear for I have a definition and far, far more information than you would ever want on the topic…
As I mentioned above, HDR is simply short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing task of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed. An HDR image is commonly made by taking three photos of the same scene, each at different shutter speeds. The result is a bright, medium, and dark photo, based on the amount of light that got through the lens.
A software process, (this may also be done in-camera if you have the technology – which I do) then combines all the photos to bring details to the shadows and highlights both. This helps to achieve the same task in the final photograph that the human eye can accomplish on the scene. You might consider that the way the human brain keeps track of imagery is not the same way your computer keeps track of picture files. There is not one aperture, shutter speed, etc.
Today I took a wide variety of photos, and had ok lighting this morning, but what I found is that I wasn’t able to create the effect I’ve seen in other HDR photos. That said, I did further research and discovered that other photographers felt that a larger series of shots, say 5-7, rather than 3 (which is what my in-camera function can perform) produces richer, more evocative photos.
So today I found a few nearby buildings to photograph and used the in-camera HDR processing feature. While the pictures are nice, I will be venturing out tomorrow and capturing the recommended 5-7 shots and using software in post-processing to combine. Stay tuned…
Taken on my Canon 6D with my EF 24-105mm lens using HDR mode (+2) with the dial set to AV at f11, ISO 640 (tripod and clicker)
“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” unknown