HDR: Not Just for Other People

If you’ve ever done landscape photography, then you know the situation where your sensor’s dynamic range isn’t big enough for the dynamic range of the scene. In plain English: you can only get detail in the dark tones if you’re willing to sacrifice it in the light tones—in other words, to accept a washed-out sky—or vice versa: detailed bright tones at the cost of dark tones that all blend into pure black. There’s a solution: HDR.

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Comments (4)

  1. I am curious about the justification for converting RAW image files to TIFF before performing the HDR exposure blending. Is that to improve the results, or possibly reduce computer resource requirements during the blending?

    1. Thanks for very interesting question. Simply said, in ZPS 18, there is no need to convert RAW files at all, the program works with the full resolution (through the whole environment) and even with the edits you do in Develop module.
      But this post was written for version 16. And in this version (and maybe in 17 − depending on the settings) HDR function worked only with a lower quality preview. So it was the best option to convert your RAWs into high quality format.
      Hope this made it clearer for you.

  2. The facts conveyed in this article are on target. I feel most readers would have taken more away from the lesson if a better example was used by the author, making it easier to see the benefit. I would have used image taken indoors which included a window where the outside objects were brightly illuminated, or a scene such as Zion National Park in the Narrows where the photographer is surrounded by deeply shaded scenery, but the upper cliffs are brightly illuminated. The editor needs to help submitting authors with similar suggestions.

    1. Thank you Mike for your feedback! It is probably not the best sample picture, you’re right. But it is also true that HDR technique is very ofted used for landscape photos and a good HDR should look quite natural. But thank you, we will sure think about updating this article.

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