Reddit user MacTuitui created this simple diagram (click to enlarge) explaining the idea behind HDR photography. The first low dynamic range (LDR) taken normally with a camera isn’t able to capture much of the detail found in the highlight and shadow areas of the scene. Two (or more) photographs are then taken at different exposure values to capture a wider range (the bracketing step) and subsequently combined into a single image with a high dynamic range (HDR). Since most displays aren’t capable of displaying this full range, the image needs to be tone mapped to have its appearance approximated on LDR screens.
Posts Tagged ‘highdynamicrange’
The Internet viral sensation “Double Rainbow” video was captured on January 8th, 2010. About two weeks later on the 23rd (and long before that video went viral), I saw a double rainbow myself when looking out my window. I quickly grabbed my camera (a Canon 40D at the time) with my 16-35mm lens (I wanted the widest shot possible) and ran out to shoot the rainbow.
Andrew Rees shot this beautiful black and white time lapse in Cardiff, Wales using a Sony A700 DSLR. He shot 700 pairs of photos (a total of 1400 shots) with 2.5 seconds in between pairs, and combined the resulting HDR photographs into a 12fps time lapse video.
We love how the HDR makes the scene look like a moving painting.
(via Photography Bay)
You’ve most likely seen HDR photographs before, but how about HDR video? The above is a demonstration of HDR video by Soviet Montage, created using two Canon 5D Mark II DSLR cameras. Both cameras recorded identical scenes using a beam splitter, and captured the footage at different exposure values (over and under exposed).
We’ve posted HDR videos before, but they were created using stop-motion, so the process was more traditional. This is also the first time we’ve seen an HDR video of a person.
What do you think?
French company Oloneo has just released a free beta for their product, PhotoEngine. The software is a straightforward HDR creator and non-destructive editor that allows you to quickly merge HDR photos. Additionally, it has features that can adjust specific light sources in the photo, to change the white balance or the exposure. This could come in handy when shooting HDR frames that have a variety of different light sources with different temperatures.
Taiwanese electronics company BenQ isn’t a very big name in the digicam world, but its latest camera has something others don’t: “HDR” in the name. The BenQ E1260 HDR, slated to be released May 2010, captures photographs at 12 megapixels, shoots video at 720p, and has a 2.7 inch LCD. What we find most interesting is that they’re trying to market it as an HDR-capable camera. In their press release, the company states:
BenQ’s HDR image enhancement technology is designed bring out the finest details in the darkest and brightest parts of an image – allowing you to generate stunningly faithful photos under even the highest contrast lighting conditions. It is built to be more than just a backlight solution, and is the perfect tool to overcome high contrast lighting condition challenges.
However, this feature isn’t what most people think of when they hear HDR, which is bracketing multiple exposures and combining the resulting images. Instead, the camera offers some sort of processing feature that handles the light from high contrast scenes differently. Here’s a visual explanation provided on their product page:
A single line on the product page makes it clear that the feature doesn’t have anything to do with combining multiple exposures:
By ingeniously adjusting the way the camera handles light under high contrast conditions, the HDR image enhancement technology allows subtle details in the darkest and brightest parts of an image to stand out like never before.
The ambiguity behind how the technology actually works has confused news sources and gadget blogs, whose writers presumably saw HDR and assumed it meant multiple exposures. SlashGear is one that gets it wrong:
[...] the company’s HDR image enhancement technology [...] combines multiple frames to work around high contrast images having reduced visibility
Since the technology is still technically HDR, it’s not really BenQ’s fault for taking advantage of this recent fad by sticking it in the camera’s name. However, we still think the company should be clear enough about how it works to not fool people reporting on it.