Tuesday, July 15, 2008

HDR Photography, Part 1

No painting today; I was working on a number of other studio tasks instead. One of them was preparing a few still-life compositions for future paintings. Since this involves taking digital images, I thought it would be a good time to start a series about my use of photography in the studio. Rather than one really long article, I'm going to break this topic up into a series of small posts, sequentially covering the process.

Photography has become a fixed part of my process, but not just any photography. The limitations of standard photographs in capturing "true" color and value range are well known. A technique known as HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging goes a long way to addressing those shortcomings.

In a nutshell, the process starts with at least 3 bracketed versions of an image; one at standard exposure, another under-exposed to capture details in highly-lit areas, and another over-exposed to capture detail in the shadow areas.

Here is the series from a recent still-life setup:



Once a satisfactory set of bracketed images has been taken, the software processing can begin. With the next post on this topic (probably next week), I'll start to look at that phase.

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