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High Dynamic Range
In terms of light, digital camera sensors are incapable of seeing the kind of range that the human eye can see. So in a scene with heavy highlights and dark shadows, the human eye can process both and retain details in the light and shadows. The camera can’t yet do this. So in these situations we expose for one and lose detail in the other. Or we shoot 2-5 images at different exposures and combine them. To that end, two resources for you. If you’ve no appetite to really get into the nuts and bolts and just want the groovy look that HDR techniques can create, then the first one is right up your alley. If you like the real deal, then look at the second one too.
Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom Killer Tips is a blog/podcast that I check about once a week. Content doesn’t seem to change much more than that, and it’s often a little too rudimentary for me. But there is no question these NAPP folks know their stuff and are good educators. I digress. This week there’s a video tutorial on what Matt calls a “surreal edgy effect” and what I would call a faux hdr illustrative look. Have a look at the video HERE.
If you want to take the HDR look further and explore true HDR imaging, then Ben Wilmore is your man. Ben wrote the imposing Photoshop CS2 Studio Techniques book and is an excellent educator – he recently released an online class – HDR Mastery – through Online Expert Training. The course requires PhotoMatix Pro software, which is why I have yet to sign up – but if you already have the software or just have to learn this stuff, I can’t think of a better guy to learn it from.