We’ve all done it. We see a beautiful sunset, grab our our quickie point and shoot or our cellphone camera, and take a picture of the sunset. When we see it with our eyes, the scene looks gorgeous. The reds are stunning, the oranges brilliant, and the clouds cast amazing purples into the mix.
And then we see the image we took and weep.
It’s sad. The stunning reds are faded yellow-orange. The brilliant oranges are light yellow. The picture is either completely dark or so bright that all the details are washed out by the sun when we load them onto the computer. This is because is because your camera has very limited range of the spectrum that it can take. It is a thousand times less sensitive than your eyes. The technique to compensate for this is called HDR photography.
HDR involves taking a picture using three or more shots taken of the same object
HDR involves taking a picture using three or more shots taken of the same object, shot at +1 ev, 0, and -1 ev (exposure compensation). In other words, one picture just right, the other is under exposed and the other is over exposed. We then take these pictures and we use software to merge them into one. The result is a spectacular highly saturated foreground and background.
Take a look at the following very mundane pictures of objects found in Eugene. I’m not talking about places like Yosamite, Yellowstone, or even Hawaii. I wanted to take some very mundane and bland shots to illustrate the effect of HDR.