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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:31 pm 
I think I understand what HDR is: all portions of the photo are exposed correctly, as if the exposure for the entire photo were set for each portion. However, what exactly is the difference between that and simply keeping your highlights and dark areas from being blown out? (i.e., keeping detail in both light and dark areas?)

I looked at those HDR photos, and I think some of them would look good if the color saturation were turned down. It's the extreme color saturation that makes so many of them look odd.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 8003
Location: Germany
Yeah, I really think you're at it.
By specifically exposing the low-lights and high-lights you get better color and gradation and less noise in the dark parts (see my article here:
By combining all exposures in one pic you get overblown colors in the shadows and have to reduce gradation/contrast to fit it all in one pic. That makes them look unnatural.

Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D810+assorted lenses

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:10 pm 
I just want to add a comment to this discussion: I now understand what all the fuss is about.

Digital cameras have low dynamic range, and that means that if you expose for the dark areas, the light areas get blown out. But that's not the way our eyes see. Although we can be blinded by bright light, for the most part we are able to see the details in both the dark and the light areas of whatever scene we are looking at. A high dynamic camera would be able to capture the details in dark and light areas in one shot without any post-processing.

What photographers are doing now is they are take two pictures and mixing them together to get high dynamic range. The result often looks weird because the picture is an artificial composite. But I did find at least one photo on the internet from a Hasselblad medium-format camera (with high dynamic range), and I now understand why it's important. Basically, it means that you can meter for the trees and still see a blue sky instead of a white sky. In my case it means that the jewelry components I photograph wouldn't have such blinding highlights from whatever light source I'm using. I personally think that's a feature worth having in a camera.

In this post I've repeated things that other people said, but writing it out helped me to understand it better.


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