HDR, high dynamic range imaging, an imaging technique developed in the 1930s and 40s by Charles Wyckoff, using tone mapping with bracketed image exposures for a resultant image with a very high dynamic range. Various methods for HDR and HDR-like effects are now popular with digital photography. [wiki] [google]

Notable HDR images and image galleries

I think one of the best diy HDR shots on flickr is tos/uncommon/2264132877/in/set-72157603852146761/">this one.
Sometimes these HDR-like images look like a brightly-colored contemporary painting, such as this tos/13144640@N00/414895588/">fantastic shot.

Smashing Magazine's "35 Fantastic HDR Pictures" (scroll down). You can click on them and they're pretty breathtaking when seen large.

HDRcreme.com has rated galleries. Do the to-gallery/?selection=rated">rated gallery view first! One of my favorites -- one of my favorite HDR photos ever — is this to-gallery/1343/">capture of the Griswold Inn, Essex Connecticut.

Good gallery of NYC in HDR.

"My first HDR" is a beginner's group. It's for your first attempt, and tos/70366873@N00/3333953452/in/pool-myfirsthdr">some of the tos/lisarandolph/3333049431/in/pool-myfirsthdr">results are quite fantastic.

Need more? Here's 20.

HDR tutorials

This torials/high-dynamic-range.htm">HDR tutorial also discusses when and why to use it.

The document “Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs” contains many links to HDR programs and tools.

tos/cleever/145838011/">Edit Away - The quest for a perfect HDR" tells you how to do it with Photomatix software (for Windows).

torial/HDR_Tutorial-en.html">Creation of HDR Images in CinePaint" (2005)


On Flickr, you have to see this short, simple tutorial that shows “the technique that Dave Hill and Jill Greenberg use on their photos with PhotoShop.”

An easy, quick way with Photoshop (and a tripod).

The GIMP, Linux, free software in general

The oddly-named Qtpfsgui is a true HDR imaging application.

There’s a blog post on exposure blending using only free software.

One free-software suite for HDR is tools/">pfstools. There’s a discussion on using it.

toledo.edu/jdsmith/exposure_blend.php">Contrast blending with the GIMP

gimp.org's tutorial on torials/Blending_Exposures/">blending exposures.

Gimp has an tools/">HDR tools plugin, although I’ve yet to get it going.

There’s a Flickr discussion on how to achieve HDR effects with the GIMP.
There’s another discussion on faking it. See also these step-by-step tutorials on handmade tone mapping and simple photo blending.
You can do something similar by adjusting the intensity of the sky in a picture.

You can fake it by blending, if you only have one image: “tools.com/2008/02/how-to-create-hdr-images-in-gimp-with-a-single-image.html">How to create HDR images in Gimp with a single image” [tools.blogspot.com/2008/01/try-exposure-blend-plugin-for-gimp-to.html">more] [more] [still more]

Instructables.com comes through with "tos-with-the-GIMP/">HDR photos with the GIMP.”

For further reading

First published on March 6th, 2009 at 3:54 pm (EST) and last modified on March 8th, 2009 at 3:15 pm (EST).