Cameras don't see the world as we do. Our eyes can pick out the shadow detail of a shaded tree trunk and the subtleties in a bright sky at the same time. A camera can't. At the root of this discrepancy is something called dynamic range, the ratio of the lightest point in the scene to the darkest. On a bright day, most people can easily see 50,000 subtle variations in tone. A typical 8-bit photo captured by a digital camera picks up a mere 256 variations.
In Photoshop CS2, Adobe added a Merge To HDR (High Dynamic Range) command that automates the process of combining pictures with different exposures. The result is closer to what you see with your eyes. In this podcast I explain how HDR works, how to capture your images for proper processing, and what to do with them once they're on the computer.
You might also be interested my article, Extend your dynamic range that I wrote for Macworld Magazine.
Jan. Photo Assignment
I also mention the January 2007 photo assignment, "Glimmer." You can use this theme literally -- shine faintly with a wavering of light... such as glimmer off water. Or you can go figuratively such as a glimmer of hope. There's lots to work with here. Deadline for submission is Jan. 31. You can read the details on our Submissions page.
Listen to the Podcast
Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "High Dynamic Range." You can download the podcast here (26 minutes).
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