Generating an HDR Image from One Photo

I’m sure someone who knows more about HDR or High Dynamic Range will shoot my stuff down, but I ran a fun photo experiment today (FWIW probably the best HDR tutorial is from Stuck in Customs).

Basically it is a way to enhance photos that have a rane of dark and light values that are beyond what your camera sensor can handle. If you have every taken a photo of a tree in the foreground and the background is washed out, well there was too much light for the sensor to deal with. in HDR you generally take multiple exposures, one exact, one over exposed one underexposed, and combine them in software to get the full range in one image.

So today, i was taking a photo walk and took a shot of a darkish road and noted how the mountains in the background were washed out. I wanted to see if I could do the HDR effect from one image. Because OI shoot in RAW, there is a lot of range you can push the exposure adjustment; I made a copy (in Aperture) at 2 stops over exposed (bottom), and 2 stops under exposed (right):

(click for full size image)

(click for full size image)

I expored them as JPEGs, and loaded them in Photomatix Pro (you can also try this in PhotoShop). Now I futzed with the Tone Mapping setting so much I forget the adjustments, I think I took the “Painterly” preset as a start. The how is nto as critical, just that I was able to make an image that had more range then the normal exposure, especially for the sky and distance mountain ridges.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

It’s a nifty approach you can keep in your back pocket- some folks do it all the time…I’m looking at you, Carl Berger, mostly in fondness because you turned me on to it when we walked in Zion National Park:


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

I forget about trying HDR. I am sure its better to run the series of exposures originally in the camera so you really get the range, but I was curious here to see if I could do it all in software.

Again, if you are into this, I cant say enough about the images and tutorial from http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/

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Generating an HDR Image from One Photo by CogDogBlog, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

3 Responses to “Generating an HDR Image from One Photo”

  1. cali4beach says:

    goregous! i need to try this more with some of my photos! i’ve been really been on my photography lately, but want to get back into it!

  2. That’s a pretty good idea and the results speak for themselves. Moreover, you’ll never get any ghosting and your focus will be as sharp as an original.

  3. [...] Generating an HDR Image from One Photo (cogdogblog.com) [...]

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