Barcelona, a photo a day

SOOC versus HDR

A few more trade secrets… Above, a photo processed with Artizen, a High Dynamic Range program.

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

The two main sources of HDR imagery are computer renderings and merging of multiple low-dynamic-range (LDR) or standard-dynamic-range (SDR) photographs. Tone-mapping techniques, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

Sounds complicated, but it isn’t really. Basically, it allows you to recreate on your photos what you’ve really seen. Up to a certain point, of course.
There are many places where you can learn more about it, for example here. If you want to start doing it, I would suggest a little free program called EasyHDR. Or Photomatix.

And you can find many fantastic examples right here.

Below, the original SOOC, or Straight Out Of the Camera picture.

6 responses

  1. I've really been impressed with some of the HDR photos such as yours. I look at it as another tool in the box. The sooc photo is nice but the hdr pops out.


    November 25, 2011 at 3:34 am

  2. The top photo is definitely more dramatic and interesting, Rob! Can I take you photo editing class?!


    November 25, 2011 at 1:03 am

  3. How very impressive a work of yours ! Have to admit, that I can't say which is better, even though usually I keep pictures SOOC. Thank you for this lesson. Please have you all a good Friday.

    daily athens photo


    November 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm

  4. Oh now this is tricky, when I saw the first image I thought wow fantastic and it is, but then the second one has a real 'feel' to it that just seems to suit better. I might have to download one of those program and have a little 'play' with it, thanks guys!!


    November 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  5. Thanks for this info. This is often a problem


    November 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

  6. I like the SOOC … and thanks for the tips !


    November 24, 2011 at 12:27 am