6 Months as a 6 Second HDR Time-Lapse

Here’s a cool and creative video that will only take 6 seconds of your time. Photographs from 3 different locations were taken every day over the course of six months, converted to HDR imagery, and combined into this short time-lapse video that shows the changing of a face and of seasons.

The changing of seasons in HDR is an interesting concept that we hope to see more of in the future!

Thanks for the link, IA!

  • Bagxlee

    That’s so fast it’s not even cool.

  • Jeff Vier

    But, uh…you can’t “convert” to HDR. It’s either HDR or it’s not. You can do wacky color-corrections and stuff, but that’s not HDR.

  • Luis Velazco

    Too short to be interesting.

  • Clint Davis

    6 seconds too long

  • Daver

    I want my 6 seconds back.

  • Marc van der Veen

    Yeah what a waste of 6months to put it into 6 seconds. It could probably be 60 secondes without boring anyone.

  • Atlanta Homes

    I’m enjoying all the hyping of a new buzz acronymn.

    “HDR Photography”

    How about pulling levels up and down in an image to get the exposure where you want it?

    Also, when you take this “HDR” technique to the extreme, like most do, the pictures look like something out of a sci fi movie and who cares about that?

    Been able to do that forever.

  • Chris

    There should be some type of viewer warning regarding the scary faces that appear in the opening seconds. Not suitable for all audiences.

  • Dominick Delli Paoli

    Seriously, this got featured?

  • David Ritchie

    That was 12 seconds….

  • Johqwattf

    yawn, big one

  • Pete S

    It was sweeet!

  • Jeff Vier

    You’re confusing a few things, I think.

    HDR specifically refers to taking multiple exposures at different exposure levels in order to grab the full range of available dynamic range. This is of particular interest when you’re trying to take a picture that has a very wide berth of f-stops. Easy example: dark room with a window (during a sunny day). How do you take a single shot to show both the interior of the room and also see what’s outside? You can’t. You need at a bare minimum two, and I would say it’s probably not likely to be successful with less than three (and 5+ would be easier to work with). You need one under-exposed shot to see the outside, one “normal” exposure to see the mid-ranges (like where the sun highlights within the room) and one over-exposed to see the dark spots in the room.

    The HDR process tone-maps those multiple exposures so that you can see the full range of detail in all of the lighting conditions in the one composition. Uwe Steinmueller is one of the pioneers of HDR — here’s one of his tutorials doing pretty much what I’ve described:

    Regarding your query of just “pulling up the levels”, etc. You can adjust for some over/under exposure conditions, but if your highlights are just blown out, or if that dark corner/cave is just full black, there’s nothing to pull up. That detail is lost.

    Also, the whole crazy colors thing is referred to as “Grunge” by fans of it, “Techinicolor Vomit” by detractors. Yes, you CAN go to crazy levels, but much (most?) HDR is just to accomplish what can’t be done via a single exposure and make it look natural.

    And actual HDR has absolutely NOT been able to be done for “forever” — it requires the use of computer-driven algorithms to combine the multiple images. Pre-HDR techniques of “dodge & burn” for film (and synthesized in programs like Photoshop) certainly did a lot of contrast adjustments/enhancements, but are not HDR. Film has a limited level of f-stops it can display simultaneously (typically 7-9), modern DSLRs are 7-10 f-stops, but HDR can easily be 30+.

    By extension, if that wasn’t implied, there’s no such thing as “printed” HDR, as there isn’t printing technology that provides a wide enough span of f-stops.

    Hope this helps.

  • Atlanta Homes


    Thanks very much for taking the time to explain the process to me. I really had not taken the time to investigate it fully.

    Instead, I’ve just looked a the images that are everywhere and just yawned.

    It’s all personal preferences. My goal in digital photography and as a slide shooter before that, is to capture what is really there as close to what the human eye can/does.

    Not only does the human eye not work the way of HDR in the number of f-stops captured, it also does not work the same way in DoF captured.

    I see many HDR examples that have both a ridiculous dynamic range and they also have a non realistic ridiculous DoF range as well. For example, both the objects 5 feet away and the mountains five miles away will be in perfect focus.

    It doesn’t work that way with the human eye. Hold your hand arms lengt out in front of you and focus on it and the wall 20 feet behind your hand is out of focus.

    The human eye also does not work the way of HDR in relation to dynamic range. If you are looking out of that very bright window in a dimly lit room, the rest of the room is near black. Now if you look in a dark place in the room, your eye will adjust and pull up the dark areas, but then the light coming through the window is #FFF, unless you again focus there and your brain adjusts the f-stop.

    I’m really not interested in strange looking images that manipulate reality. Some are, and it’s more like art. That’s fine.

    To me, without HDR, a modern DSLR pretty much mimicks the human eye already, which I’m sure was a large part of it’s design.

  • Jeff Vier

    I’m not suggesting that people that tout their HDR prowess can often go overboard with the “HDR-ness”, but I think you might be surprised at how often it’s employed with no comment, because the photographer doesn’t want to draw attention to it.

    There are absolutely lenses with a very deep DoF — I have a 40mm for my Hasselblad that provides a very, very deep DoF. Drop the aperture down all the way, and the DoF is from 1m to infinity. And that’s just with a single shot. Check out one of the various online DoF calculators and you’ll see that high-depth isn’t terribly difficult to accomplish.

    Your example of holding your hand out is not taking something into account, however — aperture. The human eye is ~f/3.5 – f/4. Try squinting, and more will be in focus (the same reason kids squint at the blackboard before they are prescribed glasses) :)

    Regarding DSLRs relating to the human eye’s perception, actually, estimates are that the human eye can perceive about 24 f-stops. DSLRs, as I mentioned previously, can only “see” 7-10. So, when applied in a way that “looks natural”, HDR can accomplish what ends up being much closer to what the human eye sees.

    The extreme example of a dark room + bright window was specifically to be extreme. How about something like this? The human eye can certainly see both detail in the highlights and details in the shadows — cameras cannot, alas.

    No one is suggesting that you “should” over-HDR something, but if you’re, say, traveling on your dream vacation, and it’s a bright, cloudless day, I would suggest keeping some natural-look HDR techniques in your back-pocket as a way to deal with the poor lighting conditions. It’s not like you can wait and come back next week, right? :)


  • Atlanta Homes

    “By extension, if that wasn’t implied, there’s no such thing as “printed” HDR, as there isn’t printing technology that provides a wide enough span of f-stops.”

    Not sure why you added this piece as just about any printer can print a white dot (#FFF) on a black background (#000) and that’s as wide as it gets.

  • Atlanta Homes

    Great points.

    Not sure about 24 f-stops all at once, which is what we are talking about, right?

    I admit the human eye a hell of a lot better than what a DSLR can do though, that’s for sure.

    The human eye is also extremely subject-focus dependent so it’s really hard to compare the eye and a DSLR.

    For example, if you look in the shaded area of a scene, it will adjust near-immediately and you can see all the detail. But if you look just above that at a hot white glaring sky, these details you could see before immediately disappear.

    But you can not see them at the same time. This is what HDR does – allows you to see them at the same time, which is why it looks completely unnatural to me.

    I don’t think the human eye can see 24 stops at the same time. But i’m going off little more than intuition and being a human. LOL!

    I like that link you sent. But to me it shows my point even more. The human eye will see hardly anything but the really bright spots while looking down that dark hallway.

    It will definitely do way better than a single image DSLR shot, but it won’t do anywhere as well as a well adjusted HDR result, which is completely unrealistic, though it does contain more information.

  • Jeff Vier

    It’s considerably more complex than that. The dynamic range of paper is FAR FAR less than that of film. And film is far less than DSLR sensors. And DSLRs are less than the eye.


    It has nothing to do with “how light” or “how dark”, but the range in-between, and how big the “steps” are.

  • Jeff Vier

    No, I precisely meant 24 f-stops at once are perceivable by one’s eye. What falls off to “black” in a photo is considerably more than what I can see.

    I think I’ve explained this as well as I can — there are many resources out there to describe this in more depth than I can reasonable type out here.

    You seem trapped in this idea that HDR can only be overblown saturation & high local contrast, but that simply isn’t the case. You can make it whatever you want it to be, and subtle is certainly an option.


  • Atlanta Homes

    It’s not complex at all, but describing it apparently is complex.

    I think you are now trying to talk about tonal resolution of a print vs film and crossing that with “dynamic range.”

    If you print a black strip beside a white strip that’s maximum dynamic range possible. If you try to print every shade of grey between the two, the number of shades you can resolve would be tonal range or resolution.

    If paper is so horrible then why has the entire world moved to printing images on various types of paper in printers if it’s basically at the bottom of the barrel in tonal resolution?

    I think you need to research this one some. High end printers are very capable of getting very close to the near infinite range of chemical printing of the past.

    None of this has anything to do with HDR BTW.

  • Atlanta Homes

    I’m not trapped in that idea. I completely agree with this:

    “You can make it whatever you want it to be, and subtle is certainly an option.”

    The problem is the only thing on display on the net are horrible over exaggerations that are so out there they are hard to even look at.

  • Atlanta Homes

    I checked the link. This is referring the the dynamic range that a scanner can record. This is far different that the “dynamic range” that can be printed, a term which you have misused referring the printing arena.

    Dood, c’mon.