Sunday, February 15, 2009

More fun with HDR photography.

Lately I've been experimenting with something called "HDR photography" which means - High Dynamic Range. Basically, this is where you take at least 3 photos. Keep the aperture the same and do a shorter, normal and longer exposure to get the full range of light from the subject. This way you get details from the ground shadows as well as a properly exposed sky also (if you are doing outdoor photos). It gives a strange looking effect, but it's pretty much what your eye sees anyway, since when you look around at things, your eye will compensate for different amounts of light. This is just a way to do it with a camera.
Since the skies are mostly clouddy these days, I'm playing with less distant photography with the HDR tricks. Here is an example tutorial on how to do this with Photoshop.
I was at the Muesum of Flight yesterday to check out a model show, so I tried a few interesting subjects with this method. I'm not sure if I'm doing this all correctly yet, but I think the results are interesting.
(click the images for a full size view


Anonymous said...

Not sure I fully understand the method, but I like the results. Thanks!

Tom said...

Think of it this way.
If something is dark, you need a longer exposure to pull out the detail. If something is bright, you need a shorter exposure otherwise it's overexposed or all white (or pink if you are doing astrophotography in a light polluted area!).
And an exposure that is just right, has a balance between the light and dark areas, but you'll still not see deeply into the shadows.
So with this HDR stuff, you take long, short and normal exposures, then put them all together in one image. It kid of makes an unreal looking picture, but then if you think about it, it's kind of the same thing you see with your eyes since they will adjust depending on where you are looking. Kinda strange, but the effect is really neat I think!
I'd like to figure out how to eventually do something like this example - but not sure what they do to get that yet.