High Dynamic Range (HDR)


Every time I see the acronym ‘HDR’ it makes me think of FDR and I wonder if Franklin had a brother named Herbert (and the same middle name? — I know it doesn’t make sense).

Every photographer who has used film and then tried to use a digital camera knows that digital sensors — though they are much better than they used to be — just don’t have the dynamic range that film did. Neither one has the dynamic range of the human eye, which is simply amazing in what it can cope with.

The dynamic range of an image is range of brightnesses that can be discerned. Everybody is aware of this even if they don’t know what it’s called. Take a picture of a shadow on a bright, sunny day. The shadow will be completely black, lacking any detail. Or take a picture inside with a bright window in the background. The window will be a washed out square of white. If the dynamic range of a sensor can be increased the sensor can be made capable of properly rendering both the shadows and the light with full detail — like you see it when you look at it with your eyes.

In other words. HDR photography is a method, that, when done correctly, will give an end result closer to the image your eye sees.

HDR, for someone like me who hates spending time editing photos, doesn’t happen very often. When it does it usually looks terrible.

I kind of liked this one.


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