One of the great things about being in New York City is that it is a city that one is so familiar with through various forms of media that when you actually do go to sites such as the Statue of Liberty or Times Square – you try to see them with new eyes. Taking pictures of the city, I felt like any other tourist who has taken the same picture time and time again. I wanted to do something different and when I sat down with Photoshop to doctor my images a little to make them look unique I discovered something called High Dynamic Range Imaging. HDR is a method used to bring out both the lights and darks in a picture – resulting in high contrast imagery. The method used is to take an image at several apertures so that one can then combine them to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter. It also results in artfully wondrous images which, in their almost comic book quality allow one to view the city as never before. HDR is also used for researching the way light reflects off of surfaces and how it is canceled out via this method.
I came upon HDR when I was trying to combine three images taken at different apertures by merging them in to one so that both the bright sunlight and the dark areas of the photograph could be shown clearly. Upon browsing the internet on how to do this I came upon HDR. Below I have put up some images I have taken using HDR technology – there are several plug-ins available for software such as Photoshop and aperture that one can use to automatically combine photographs at different apertures, and if one has Adobe CS5 there is a handy HDR tool included within the latest software.