Friday, April 27, 2012

HDR Photography Intro

Word up... I know it's been only Kalli, and she's the most popular but it's time to break the silence.

I'm going to start posting new photographs of my HDR photography.  Some people will see this and wonder why it looks so weird!

So this is a little introduction to the niche world of HDR photography.


The concept is simple... use multiple exposures to recreate a scene that is more like the human eye and memory view it.

Here is an example of a recent HDR photo I took coming home on my bike:

Mexico Bici Path HDR - With Brackets

At the bottom you see the three images I used to create the photo.

If you were looking at this scene with your freaky human eyes.  When you look towards the sun your pupils SHRINK in order to take in the light from the sunset.

When you look into the darker areas your pupils dilate (get bigger) in order to take in as much light as possible.

So as you are standing there, taking in the scene, your eyes adjust to take in the entire range of light.

A camera cannot do this in one shot.

You see from this pic:



The camera could get the details with lower light... BUT the sunset was too bright.

And this pic:



This pic limits the light and is able to get a great capture of the sky... but cannot get the details from the darker areas.

And this midrange pic:


This get's all the mid range tones and details.

I use a software program to combine the images into one picture:


This picture has the details from the sky, the ground, and all the areas in between.  This view is how your mind "dynamically" saw and remembers the scene.  A camera cannot get all this range of light in one photo.

Thus we use HDR photography to process the images and great awesome photography.

Sometimes HDR can look fake or overblow, or magnificent like a painting.  This is a personal preference and depends on how the photographs are processed.

The photographer can choose to make the photo more or less saturated and impactful.  But HDR can be used to recreate a scene more like the human eye sees and remembers a scene.

Here is another recent scene I took:

Mexico Pregnant Pic

This photo was done with only one photo.  But I used a program called Lightroom to bring out the light data.

The original picture looked like this:


Notice how white the sky is and how dark Kalli and I are.

Because this is a RAW file it contains all the light data that the camera captured.

I was able to bring more exposure onto our kiss-pic and lower the exposure on the sky so that that the details could come out.

This is an example of doing HDR with only one file and where the range of light isn't as drastic.

I'll be posting more of this type of photography.

Here is another one that has a bit more saturation.

Revolucion Monument HDR


Jordon&Andrea said...

That is REALLY really cool. The pictures look awesome. What is the name of the program you use?

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

I use a program called Photomatix to merge the different exposures. Then I use Lightroom and Photoshop to do any post processing or touching up. Thanks!

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