High Dynamic Range Digital Photography Terminology
High dynamic range (HDR) digital photography throws around a lot of vocabulary, which can be pretty confusing at times. Here is a handy list of terms you can use to help you get over the hump:
Bracket: A single photo in a bracketed set. The word bracket can also be used as a verb, as in to bracket, which means to take bracketed photos.
Bracketing: Taking two or more photos with different exposures of the same scene. Also known as exposure bracketing.
Bracketed set, or brackets: A group of bracketed photos of the same scene.
High dynamic range (HDR): HDR is a relative term used to compare one system’s ability to capture or represent an overall exposure range to that of another. In other words, HDR has no meaning without the comparison to a low dynamic range system, whether it is a camera, an image format, or a monitor.
HDR image: An image (most often having 32 bits of data per pixel) created from two or more bracketed photos.
HDR photography: A photographic technique used to capture a greater exposure range than a single photograph by shooting bracketed photos, and then generating and tone mapping the HDR image.
Low dynamic range (LDR): A normal photograph, JPEG, or TIFF. Clipping occurs when the actual range is greater than the format used to store or display it.
Single-exposure HDR: Using a single Raw exposure for HDR instead of brackets. Also known as single-shot HDR or pseudo-HDR.
Tone mapping: Creating a low dynamic range image from high dynamic range data. You often have a choice of what data to use and how to process it, which allows you to vary the appearance of the image.