Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Falcon 50 Cockpit - HDR

One of the frustrations faced by new photographers is that their cameras often don't record the image that they appear to be seeing. With practice and understanding how a camera sees the world, most people can start to achieve the image they are truly after but we should remember that digital cameras never see the full range of tones in a high contrast scene that we see with our own eyes.

A technique which is proving ever more popular is HDR photography. The idea is simple, shoot a range of images at different exposures that cover the whole brightness range of the image, then combine them to produce an image which shows detail from the darkest points to the brightest points in the image.

I'm still very new to HDR and haven't yet got to grips with tone mapping, but every so often I'll have a go to try to learn a little more.

Recently there was the opportunity to photograph the cockpit area of a Falcon 50 business jet, a good opportunity to try some HDR.

Shown below are just three photos from a series of seven that I took. As you can see at one end of the scale the cockpit detail is virtually black whilst the world outside the cockpit is acceptable, at the other end of the scale the cockpit is slightly overexposed whilst the world outside the cockpit is completely blown out with overexposure. By taking seven images at various exposures I had covered the full brightness range of the image.

Once the seven images were combined using HDR software the following image was produced. Whilst HDR isn't to everyones taste, and this is only a very quick rough and ready example, it does demonstrate what can be achieved.

A second HDR example

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