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Introduction to HDR and HDR Efex Pro

From: Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0

Video: Introduction to HDR and HDR Efex Pro

High Dynamic Range imaging, or HDR, addresses a problem that just about every photographer has faced at some point. And maybe on a very regular basis. And that is, in many cases, the Dynamic Range, or the distance between the brightest values in a scene, and the darkest values in a scene, exceeds our camera's capability to record that information. With this image for example, you can see a reasonable amount of detail in the ceiling of the portico. We might be losing a little bit of shadow detail in the lamp for example, but we are most certainly are losing details in the most brightest areas of the photo. The sky is completed blown out and much of the detail in the buildings has also been lost with High Dynamic Range imaging.

Introduction to HDR and HDR Efex Pro

High Dynamic Range imaging, or HDR, addresses a problem that just about every photographer has faced at some point. And maybe on a very regular basis. And that is, in many cases, the Dynamic Range, or the distance between the brightest values in a scene, and the darkest values in a scene, exceeds our camera's capability to record that information. With this image for example, you can see a reasonable amount of detail in the ceiling of the portico. We might be losing a little bit of shadow detail in the lamp for example, but we are most certainly are losing details in the most brightest areas of the photo. The sky is completed blown out and much of the detail in the buildings has also been lost with High Dynamic Range imaging.

We're able to capture a series of images at different Exposure Settings so that we have everything covered within this scene from the darkest shadow detail all the way up to the brightest highlights. And then, those images can be blended together into a single seamless image that contains maximum detail so we can capture images where. All of the detail that's out there is retained within that photo. Of course, in the process of assembling an HDR image, you also have the opportunity to apply some adjustments. And you can decide what sort of interpretation you want to use for a particular scene. With this photo, I could opt for a relatively realistic result, one that doesn't look very artificial.

Of course, a photographer would probably realize that this photograph would require more than one exposure. Because of the extreme range from shadows to highlights in the image. But overall, it does look relatively realistic. We can also interpret the scene in a much more dramatic fashion, if we like. One that will be immediately recognized as an HDR image, or perhaps seen as being more of a painting. Or some some sort of graphic illustration rather than a photograph. The point is that we have a lot of flexibility. But HDR imaging does require special software to assemble the various exposures into a single final image. And one such tool is Nick Software's HDR Effects Pro. HDR Effects Pro is a powerful application that's surprisingly easy to use. You can work with a series of presets to assign a recipe effectively to your HDR image.

But then, you can fine tune the various setting in order to optimize your result. The software can also automatically align subjects, and remove ghosting if they were moving objects. There's a lot packed into this very powerful application, and a lot of flexibility as well. So, whether you're brand new to HDR imaging, or you've been capturing these sorts of images for a long while. HDR Effects Pro is a great tool that you might want to employ in your workflow in order to assemble HDR images.

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Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0

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Tim Grey
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