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Working with Digitally Captured Images

HDR Images Enhance Details

High dynamic range photography works well for large scenes, but it also enhances smaller subjects that have lots of detail. This HDR image shows the ceiling in the lobby of the historic Tower Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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You can see potential here. The top part of the figure hints that underneath the dullness, there promises to be an interesting work of art. Hints of color and detail are tantalizingly close to the surface, yet the local details are ill-defined, and the texture and colors are monotonous.

What often gets lost in the rush to say how much more dynamic range is captured by HDR is the fact that it accentuates textures so beautifully. You’ll find it works wonders on wood, brick, stone, rust, gravel, and yes, even animal fur.

HDR brings out the subtlety and small nuances with a sledgehammer, as seen in the bottom part of the image. It’s fascinating, intriguing, compelling, and telling.

HDR uses exposure information gathered from a range of photos to enhance the local contrast so you can see the true details. These details aren’t made up. This isn’t a visual or processing trick. They are actually there, but traditional digital photography has a hard time finding them.

  • Poorly exposed photos lacking in dynamic range hide details that are often visible with the naked eye.

  • HDR removes the “haze” from the original photo by capturing more light than the original. This brings out intricate and fascinating details. Contrast enhancements accentuate texture differences.

  • Colors shine when let loose by HDR. Tonal variations are much more visible.

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