Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HDR From A Single RAW Photo

In today's digital age of photography, post processing has become more and more important to create an image. It is still important to "see" what makes a good image, and to capture it in camera correctly with the proper exposure, focus and composition. Ansel Adams said that he would see the "print" in his mind before capturing an image, and then manipulate the image in his dark room to best create what he had envisioned. The same is true today.

I really like HDR photography. Part of the trick in creating a good HDR photo is being able to "see" what will make a good HDR image to start with. Most photographers walk right past really great subjects because they are not really "seeing" or they really don't know what to look for when snapping away with their camera. When I walk around with my camera, I am always looking for textures, colors, shapes and light...a combination of these things makes for good HDR subjects.

The photo below was processed as an HDR from a single RAW photo. I saw this scene while walking around Venice last week and immediately was able to "see" what my final print would look like...I noticed the different colored bricks in the wall, the wooden shudders, the orange curtains, the clothes hanging on the line, and the contrast between the two buildings. It was a good candidate for an HDR from a single RAW photo as the dynamic range between the shadow areas and highlights was not wide, and there was plenty of ambient light available. Below is what I had envisioned when I took the photo. I had to create my vision in my "digital darkroom"...the photo at the bottom is the "out of camera" shot I took...

If you were walking in Venice, would you have walked right by this wall without barely a glance?

This is the photo I envisioned before I took the shot...

This is the original photo straight from my camera before post processing...


Eve said...

I can't tell you how many photos of walls or textures I have sitting in my computer files - haha! Glad I'm not the only one (although you definitely put yours to better use - mine tend to get forgotten about).

What a great eye you have for these scenes! :)

http://graceolsson.com/blog said...

The original is also beautiful
I use polarizing filter on my photos and I have got good result. Sometimes HDR, also. I dislike black and white. I dont see life on it.
Congrats for too much beautiful and creative shots