(BC 6086, Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia)
This is the very first photo that I took and post processed using Photomatix. My first subject is an abandoned Morris Oxford car. I had a brief write-up on my Flickr photostream on how I came about to take this photo.
I mentioned on my earlier post about my interest to try on High Dynamic Range (HDR) post processing so here it is now. I have some side notes below on what HDR post processing is and you can also get more information by Googling it. I hope that once you read thru this post, you will have a better idea on what this is all about. By the way, if you have an iPhone4S, you might have unknowingly been taking HDR photos all along.
All the photos here are from three bracketed shots (AEB setting) of different exposures levels (+2, 0, -2) over-exposed, normal, under-exposed then combined and processed at Photomatix. I normally shoot at aperture priority mode and let the camera adjust the ISO and shutter speed to achieve the required bracketed exposure levels. Set the camera’s drive mode to continuous shooting and remember, as this happened to me a lot of times already, that the three bracketed settings (AEB setting) are still there as this will reset to 0 every time the camera is turned off! Please note that I’m using a Canon camera so most of the terms here are most applicable to Canon cameras.
Though all the shots I took here were handheld, I have to say that a tripod is a must. If there is some mis-alignments, fear not because you can use Photomatix de-ghosting function but it is still best to use a tripod.
This is where Photomatix will come in. Inside the program are those presets which you can readily apply to your photos but playing along with the sliders/settings are still the best way to get more out of the program. That is what I had done here. All the photos here were re-imported back to Lightroom for further post-processing.
“In simpler terms, HDR is a range of techniques geared toward representing more contrast in pictures. Non-HDR cameras take pictures at a single exposure level with a limited contrast range. This results in the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, depending on whether the camera had a low or high exposure setting. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together so that we get a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas.” – Wikepedia
“It is a post-processing method of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed”. – Trey Ratcliff