HDR Photography (243rd new thing).

January 14, 2012 § 3 Comments

I’d first heard about HDR photography from my friend Jenny. She was showing us various pictures online where this technique was used, to eliminate parts of a photograph that were over exposed and bring out the parts that were underexposed. Except that it didn’t involve dodging and burning, but rather using an imaging editing software like Photoshop. The pictures were amazing, mostly landscape scenes with tonal variations based on the sun’s position.

I looked up how to create my own HDR picture, and the process was relatively simple. You bracket for the brightest and darkest parts of the image and take multiple shots of the same scene (trying very hard to keep the camera still). Then you load the images (two or more) into some fancy computer software and it merges the images together, creating a perfectly, although unaturally exposed final picture.

On Day Two Hundred Forty-Three I tried out the technique myself, photographing a sunset in the small harbor near where we stayed with my parents in Folly Beach.

I wasn’t able to create the final HDR image until I had the proper software. I used a downloadable software called Photomatrix for the tonal mapping process. Here is the result of a series of four images, over and under exposed, merged together.

It looked ok, but not nearly as awesome as some of the pictures I had seen online. I wondered if I hadn’t overexposed enough for the shadows.

I only discovered later that my iPhone was also capable of HDR images, without having to load pictures into computer software on my computer. I played around with those, but eventually downloaded an application called “HDR Pro.” And I haven’t looked back. Here are pictures I took the following day with the HDR Pro app:

The road to the beach

The path to the beach

The moon and the dunes

The sunset and the dunes

The moon and the beach. Full circle.

And now I understand HDR Photography. And more importantly, how awesome my iPhone can be.

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