HDR: my last words

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Low dynamic range photo of the engineering underpass. If there's one thing the HDR photos on Flickr aren't, it's HDR. I finally realized that all of the shooting, all of the reading, all of the dialog boxes just resulted in images with mashed up detail in both the shadows and the highlights. I can do it much more easily if I can see what's going on. A final "Tonal Mapping" conversion dialog that let me choose from four methods, was just too much. (Incidently, if you do go the HDR route, I think "Local Adaptation" is the most adaptable, controllable mapping choice.)

Low dynamic range photo of the engineering underpass. I mentioned the old school Photoshop method in my last HDR post. There are several- some taking advantage of layer masks and adjustment layers. Here is a quick capture of the very simplest technique. It relies on the simple fact that selections are actually saved as 8-bit grayscale images. White is totally selected, middle gray is 50% selected, and black is totally masked. All the other 256 levels of gray represent an equal number of levels of masking. So instead of deleting bad parts, you could invoke a channel selection then open an adjutment layer with that selection appearing as a layer mask. The images here are images done "old school." Check them out- color and also grayscale for a more accurate comparison. Check out the vid. Try it. See if you agree that Photoshop HDR is really unnecessary...

So, I think that until we have cameras that can record the first part of an exposure separately from the last part of an exposure and give us 32 bit images, and we have 32 bit viewing devices, I'll leave HDR alone.


Michael Tribone said:

So simple it hurts! I guess my Leica Digilux 1 can still be a contender when you focus on the end result. I haven't been doing much in terms of "fine" art for a while and this simple tutorial might just get creativity flowing again. Thanks, Dave.

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