Chapter 3. THE ART OF HDR

HDR STYLES

SELECTING A SCENE

SETTING UP

CONFIGURING THE CAMERA

METERING

TAKING THE PHOTOS

PROCESSING PHOTOS INTO HDR

ALTERNATE PROCESSING PATHS

ALTERNATE APPROACH: SINGLE-EXPOSURE HDR

ADDITIONAL PROCESSING

This is an all-important technique chapter: The Art of HDR. This chapter explains how to take your HDR shots and process them. The "and" in the previous sentence is important. HDR is not an activity where all you do is take photographs, nor is it simply a software trick.

On the photography side, HDR involves taking three or more identically composed photos of a scene through AEB or manual bracketing. These photos, preferably raw exposures, should be converted to 16-bit TIFFs before processing in HDR software such as Photomatix, which is where they are combined and converted into HDR and then tone mapped. Later, the resulting tone mapped image can be further post-processed in an image editot such as Photoshop Elements.

When bracketing is impossible, the photographic goal is to take the best single exposure possible in raw. This raw exposure should be opened in a suitable editor where its exposure is manipulated. Three differently exposed brackets are created, which, when loaded into Photomatix, act as if they were taken separately.

HDR STYLES

HDR is a discipline of photography that has practitioners with a wide range of artistic sensibilities. There are purists who believe that photographs should look realistic — an exact rendering of the scene. No problem. You can ...

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