Advanced Photography

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark possible in a photo. When your shot exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights start to wash out to white, or the darks become big black masses on the image. It’s very difficult to take a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum. HDR, however, with this modern shooting techniques and advanced post-processing software, photographers can find ways to achieve these types of effect of high dynamic ranges that cannot really be achieved in a single photograph.

 

The way these dynamic ranges are achieved is actually a few separate photos shot at different exposure levels and then combined together with particular software. The photographer takes a range of photos on the same subject, using varying shutter speed/aperture combinations in order to gather different luminosity in each image and various depths of field. The photographer is then, able to blend the photos together and create a single image using specific software. For best results, it is best to use the most focused, best-lit, and colorful scenes.

 

Because of the need for several pictures of the same image, it won’t be possible to capture a moving subject very easily. HDR is not meant for moving images and would only work if the change in movement occurs under 5-10 second period. Best shots are subjects that have a large, noticeable contrast or difference between light and dark areas. Human eyes already see in HDR, so identifying these compositions can prove a little difficult. It’s best to shoot in RAW format to achieve best results in HDR. The compression in jpg means there is a loss of quality and detail in the shot. RAW achieves the best quality. To get more information to do an HDR go Click Here

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A panoramic picture gives you a wide-angle view of a physical space. It gives the impression of several shots stitched together to create a seamless picture.  There is software that does specifically. To achieve it you need a digital camera, a tripod and a computer with Photoshop with features to photo merge. Landscapes and city skyline are usually the best subjects for this type of shot or when you need to include as much of a space like a room into the shot.

 

It is very important the photographer needs is in a stable position to take the shot. This is important because Photoshop uses a process that joins the shots together and is very effective but if not done with consistent shots there may either be jagged white lines in between the photos or it will take out large sections of the scene because it doesn’t know what to do with them.

 

A tripod is usually necessary because it easily facilitates turns on your camera slightly in order to take successive shots. Shots should be set up so that the full range of your shot does not show shadows from the camera. It is best to start from the most left of point of the scene and use a timer and take bracketed shots.

 

Once the camera settings have been set based on that far left shot, identify a reference point in the viewfinder about 20%-30% away from the right side of your viewfinder. Then swivel the camera so that this reference point is at the far left of the shot.  Then take pictures in that range. Pictures can overlap 30-50% but not too much. Photoshop won’t blend well if there is too much overlapping. It is not good to move the camera position, vertical pitch or height. Once you have swiveled far enough repeat the process that you did to take the first picture.

 

In Photoshop, each photo should be opened in sequence, starting with the furthest left shot. using the automated photo merge feature. To get more information about Panoramic click Here.

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Black & White

 

Black and white photography can be very dramatic because of the contrast. DSLR cameras will allow you to take pictures in black and white or you can convert a color picture to black and white using software like Photoshop or Lightroom. Shooting pictures in color camera is best because you have more control to manipulate the color in Photoshop.

 

 

There are a few ways to convert images into B&W. Using the saturation feature you can slide all the setting all the way to left to -100. The vibrancy feature helps to desaturate but a 100% B&W image may not be possible. Both of those options will give you a b&w image but they don’t give you any control over how the colors render into the various shades of gray. For more control over the colors or various shades of gray B&W mix is probably best.

 

Occasionally after making these contrast adjustments, one feature may affect a previous one so it may be necessary to go back and rework various features.  Some trial and error are involved in achieving the desired look.

 

Another way to achieve a B&W image would be to use the Adjustment Brush and paint in a lower saturation onto parts of the image where color is not required.  This technique os often used for tone control on items in the background that may be distracting or maybe in a piece that requires some creativity.

 

By sliding selected colors in the HSL panel to the left you can desaturate only those colors in your image.  The Click and Drag tool can be used to do the B&W mix to select the picture and highlight the areas to fade in color.

 

I believe good black and white photography allows the viewer to feel something. So much drama can be achieved with black and white shots that even what might be seen as boring architectural scenes can evoke some kind of emotion. Black and whites work well for photojournalism, abstracts, architecture, fashion, landscapes, nature, people, portraits, wildlife, fine art and conceptual photography. The best shots are those that are lit well enough to take out the noise and have a great composition. To get more information Click Here.

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