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High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Photography

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High dynamic range photography, combines several different photographs of the same scene into a single photograph.

The different photographs are taken at the optimum exposure settings for different parts of the scene.

Let's say you're photographing the Grand Canyon.

Because you'll be taking several photographs of the canyon, the camera, and the scene, must be stationary.

So, the camera is on a tripod.

You ascertain the clouds in the sky are imperceptibly moving.

You take a photograph of the sky using the optimum exposure for this part of the scene.

Next, you photograph the canyon wall, that's in the sun, using the optimum exposure for this part of the scene.

Finally, you photograph the canyon wall, that's in the shade, using the optimum exposure for this part of the scene.

Using software, you combine parts of the exposures.

Raw Advantage

If you shoot raw files, you can develop a raw file several times.

Each development optimizes the exposure for a different part of the scene.

Because you're working with a single file, movement in the scene doesn't present a problem.

Raw Process, Twice, to Reduce Contrast

Photoshop Elements

You can use PhotoMerge Exposure to merge multiple exposures.

Combine Two Photographs

Lightroom

HDR with Lightroom

Overdoing HDR

It's easy to go way too far with HDR.

Don't try to extract every once of dynamic range unless you truly want a surrealistic result.

The 10 Steps Every HDR Photographer Goes Through James Brandon

HDR Photography Resources

ContrastMaster

Dynamic Photo HDR

HDR Efex Pro Software

HDR PhotoStudio Software

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Landscape Photography Tutorial Royce Howland

LR/Enfuse Lightroom plugin

OpenEXR File format for HDR photographs

Photomatix Software

FAQ - HDR images for Photography

PhotoResampling Software

Picturenaut Software

Topaz Adjust

Unified Color HDR Expose