Tag Archives: high dynamic range

HDR Photography with an old Camera

I have to admit that I do not have a decent camera.

I was about ready to invest in either a Nikon D5100 or a Canon Rebel t3i when I learned about the new breed of mirror-less changeable lens cameras – much smaller and lighter but same picture quality as the DSLRs – and that stopped me dead in my tracks because who wants to buy something old and just miss the latest and greatest.

But I really wanted to get my feet wet with HDR, which stands for high dynamic range, and which combines several images with different exposure into one with a much higher range between the brightest and the darkest parts of the image. much more than can be done in a single frame.

Modern cameras make this a bit easier but I finally had the cognition again that photographers make photos – not cameras. So, I dig out my old Nikon Coolpix 5400 and started to experiment a bit. This camera actually have a feature called bracketing which is useful for HDR photography.

I had to dig into the manual but found out that the bracketing as implemented works really for for the purpose of HDR – I can turn on bracketing to take one frame correctly exposed and then, while holding down the shutter release four more frames are take at -2, -1, +1 and +2 stops. After taking these five shots the age of the camera shows because it takes 10 to 20 seconds to write all that image data to memory card – a whopping 256 MB CF card.

I use the HDR support in photoshop CS5 to help me combine the 5 shots into one, and here is an early result – a shot of a house for rent that we are going to take a look at tomorrow.

Synergy of Photo and Music

Since the day I understood that taking photos is not something only American tourists in Germany do, but that it can, in fact, be an artistic expression, I have been able to appreciate a good photo.

I learned from the works of great photographers like Henri Catier-Bresson and studied whatever I could from resources like the Time Life Photography book series. During those old days, in order to have total control, you needed to spend time in the dark room – so I have this under my belt as well.

The latest photographer whom I added to my list of people to learn from, is Trey Ratcliff. He is a master of High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) photography. But one of the first thing he did for me was keeping me from finally buying a DSLR camera. Just when I was about ready I read his posts about mirror-less exchangeable lens cameras, and ┬ánow I don’t know if I should wait a bit until the field of those cameras gets a bit bigger. But I have to admit, right now the brand-new Rebel t4i is a bit tempting.

So, yes, his photos impressed me, but today they climbed another step on my appreciation- ladder when I watched them in form of a slide show with music by Hans Zimmer – somebody I never heard of before but who is apparently one of the big guys in the music business having done things like the sound track of the Lion King.

Here is that slide show, I would recommend switching to HD and watching it full screen…

The synergy is breath-taking: the music wins tremendously by the visuals and the imagery adds much to the sound-scape. It’s a hand-and-glove situation.