HDR Photography


HDR photography is another miracle of digital imaging. HDR stands for high dynamic range. The digital sensors in cameras are limited to a narrow dynamic range (light to dark values). They cannot register the full luminance range that our eyes are capable of.
In architectural photography we have traditionally used lights to bring up the brightness of the dark areas. This required cases of equipment, cables and power packs and one-to-four hours to light most interiors. Those days are gone.
We now bracket the exposures, sometimes using as many as 11 photos to record the entire dynamic range of a scene from the dark mahogany wood furniture inside to the sunlit cool decking of the pool outside. We may use one light to bring out the texture in stone, brick or other materials. The software miraculously assembles the different exposures to render one image with all the detail. This image must then be brought into Photoshop and enhanced to produce the final, natural looking photo.
What does this mean to clients? We spend less time at the location and disrupt fewer people. We are not dragging cases of lighting equipment through the homes and office buildings. The time saved on location is spent on the computer to edit, assemble and enhance the many images it takes to create each final photograph.
What else does it mean to the clients. They love the natural look and feel of the interiors. This procedure also works on exterior dusk photos.
My production partner and teacher for HDR, Frank Salle, has many examples on his web site www.franksalle.com.

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