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A Great Guide To HDR
on 14 January 2009
The "Complete Guide To High Dynamic Range Digital Photography" written by Ferrell McCollough, is an illustrated guide to creating perfectly exposed HDR photographs.
For those that are unfamiliar with the term HDR, the book provides a brief but exacting explanation, it says that "HDR refers to the process of taking several pictures of a scene at various exposure levels, then merging the images into one file to maximize the dynamic range of the captured scene." This would mean you'll end result would be a photograph without shadows, washed out skies, or blown highlights.
HDR photography is becoming increasing popular, and this book is fantastic method for beginners to learn the new technique. Even if your a practiced photographer, but are just unfamiliar with HDR, the book will also be of use.
The book begins with a great overview of HDR photography and covers aspects such as HDR vs RAW, tone mapping, and how HDR helps to reduce noise. A section on equipment, controls and techniques follows. Also included is information on post processing, capturing great image sources, flash merging, architecture, and panoramas. I found the final chapter on "advanced image analysis" the most interesting. It covers something I've never considered before - HDR in black and white. as well as low light photography.
Most chapters end with examples from featured artists. There are some great HDR photographs in the book which show what the technique is really capable of and how it can be used.
The book isn't quite a complete guide. There is little information on the best way to print your HDR images. The absence of such data seems like an unusual thing to miss considering that printing your image is usually the end result. Also missing was some of the more technical (but useful) information such as shutter speed, and aperture priority. Not a great loss, but it would still have been useful for a reference to the photographs.
The book is easy to follow and user friendly, offering in depth and step by step explanations. It's a welcome guide to the world of HDR.