HDR, another tool in the toolbox by Joe Fitzpatrick

Peggy Farren 2013-01-01

A lot of photographers don't seem to realize that the original intention of HDR was not to create images with an illustrative or surreal "HDR" look. Rather, the purpose was to bring detail to the highlights and shadows of images with a brightness range beyond the recording capabilities of film or digital sensors. Shooting this image in a single shot, with a brightly lit exterior seen through the window and dark corners within, would have required me to make a choice between having the exterior grossly overexposed or having the interior turned into a dark cave.

Another option would have been to have my squad of assistants set up strobes, a gaggle of light modifiers and reflectors and gel the windows. Then relight the scene with a brightness range that my camera's sensor could handle. Unfortunately, my assistants all seem to have had the day off when I looked for them and my on camera flash wasn't up to the task.

The solution was to take multiple shots; One exposed for the dark areas of the barn. Another exposed for the outside view seen through the window. And a third exposed for the brighter areas of the barn.

_MG_0548 _MG_0547

Combining them together with HDR software**, Photomatix Pro in this case, and a bit of adjustment in Lightroom rendered the image you see here. **Use code UNDERSTANDPHOTO to receive 15% discount: HDR picture HDR picture[/caption]

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