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Just Another Friday Night in HDR   Leave a comment

Every other Friday night here in southwest Arlington, Texas in the parking lot of the local strip mall all the local “Car Guys and Gals” gather for Show n’ Tell.  The air is filled with sweet smells of BBQ.  The conversation is lively.  Folks are quick to show off  their toys to everyone who will give them time to talk.  The weather is a cool 70 degrees with a fresh wind from the south.  The work week is done and its time to play.  Time too for me to practice the hottest rage in photo circles; High Dynamic Range  (HDR) photography.  It is fairly easy to do if you have the right equipment.  Most DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras can do HDR if they be adjusted to shoot a RAW file.  “Raw designates a file format used by digital cameras. While taking pictures the camera writes all the sensor’s information one to one, no manipulations takes effect. Images are recorded in a proprietary format no regular imaging program can deal with. Like rough diamonds waiting for the shape giving grinding they still await interpretation and refinement. That’s why the term “raw” was chosen.” (quoted from rawconverter.com).  The beauty of HDR photography is the ability to combine the brightest and darkest parts of a scene that your camera would not be able to record in a single shot.  My understanding is that your eye sees about 22 shades (EVs) of light while a camera sees only about 11 shades (EVs).  So to make HDR work you have to take at least 3 shots (duplicate compositions) that are the same except for difference in exposure.  So a steady tripod is needed to capture the similar shots.

 I  combine my photos with Photomatix Pro 3.2.   Above you can see the photos combined to make the eye-popping final version.  The software gives you a lot of room for creativity to tweak the final version to your liking.  There are lots of photo books out on the subject of HDR.  One I recommend is “Practical HDR” by Dave Nightingale.   Barnes and Noble or Borders have a great photography section, as well as Amazon for those who want to become more knowledgeable on creating HDR photography.  So…with the days getting longer, pull yourself away from the TV and find some time to create.    Doing HDR photos at the local Car Meet is one way I found to enjoy another Friday night.  Thanks for reading….share some comments…lets start a conversation thread……….Later, Dan

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Posted March 27, 2011 by danphotoman in Photography, Travel, Uncategorized