Among the many processing techniques one find in Photography, one of my favorites is HDR. According to Wikipedia, Hight Dynamic Range (HDR) is a technique used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. The aim is to present a similar range of luminance to that experienced through the human visual system.
In simple terms, when you look at an image, you’ll see different ranges of light and shadow. Has it ever happened to you that you take a photo of someone outside and the background, especially the sky, is all white or, just the opposite, the sky looks good but the person’s face is all dark? Well, that’s because your camera’s sensor can’t “assimilate” at once the whole range of light and dark tones and reproduce them like our eyes do.
The goal of using HDR is precisely that, to capture from a scene, as much as possible, the whole range of lights and shadows to get a “more complete” image as final product. I won’t bother you with the technical details of how HDR is done, for that there are plenty of articles on the Internet if you want to know more about it. I, however, will say that many people dislike HDR mostly because it’s, in many occasions, “abused” and the results are not always “pleasant”.
Perfect scenes for HDR are those with strong contrast of lights and shadows and, especially, with many details. That’s why, whenever we go to Disney, I make sure I get some shots with HDR in mind. If there’s a place full of details, colors, contrasts, that is Disney World. No matter how many times we go, there’s always something new or different to discover and I love capturing all that in my shots.
From the technique point of view, I always try to shoot seven exposures, from -3 to +3 and then join them in Photomatix, my favorite HDR processing software. Final minor touches are always done in Photoshop.
Here are some more images, taken during our last visit, just a week ago…