Wednesday, April 15, 2009

High Dynamic Range

This is a great time in history to be alive and working. Sure, we have our problems, but man, the technology that we are using is amazing.

Digital Cameras are getting more and more sophisticated and so is the software. Adobe PhotoShop is a great program that no photographer can live without. Add to it Adobe LightRoom and you essentially have a digital darkroom. There are all sorts of filters and plug-ins that can be added to customize your images. Some are pretty expensive, and by the time you collect five or six, your, now customized, version of PhotoShop could cost as much as a used car.

A year ago I bought some software that included a PhotoShop plug-in that allowed greater control over the tonal range of any High Dynamic Range (HDR) photograph that I might produce. An HDR photo is a photograph whose tonal range is so high that only dogs can see it (just kidding). Seriously, the range is so high that printers and monitors can't reproduce the range. But with tone-mapping software, we can reel in the tones to the point that we get a photo that can take your breath away. The saturation of the colors and tones looks like a blend of film and imagination.

My goal for this week has been to work on a few HDR images and really polish the process. It's still fairly new and hopefully you will be seeing amazing HDR images in advertising and other commercial applications in the future.

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