Who needs High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging when one can do it all in one shot?
Who needs HDR? Maybe all of us who aspire to shoot like Ansel Adams.
|San Antonio, Antique, Philippines, Panasonic DMC-LX3, f8, iso 80|
I’ve never been successful in shooting HDR. Mainly because it requires shooting a bunch of images with different exposure values (EVs). Also, the subject has to be very still so each image will align with one another. This means using a tripod, which I don’t usually carry. If I’m shooting waterscape I might as well forget it because of the constant water movement. Similarly, landscape with trees and bushes can be problematic even though they may appear to have no movements. The trees and bushes will still sway with the wind although not very noticeable. It’s hard enough for me to shoot straight.
Lately, while browsing the net, I’ve discovered a layer technique in Photoshop. Basically, you add an adjustment curve layer. Tweak it so you get the desired result. Convert the layer to Fill. And paint over the areas which you want to tweak. This way one can selectively tweak areas in the image. What I found out on my own (I’ve not read this anywhere) was that one could add several layers and tweak each one for highlights, shadows and blacks. I’ve done it on this image and was able to reproduced that phony HDR look. Maybe this technique is one of the best kept secrets of digital photographers. If it is, it is no longer a secret.
Nota bena: The image was shot at Antique, Philippines using my Panasonic DMC-LX3, which is a poor man’s Leica C- LUX3 . My Panasonic point and shoot costs about a third of the Leica. It’s gone through many abuses. It’s fallen in a river. I’ve dropped it on concrete. I’ve banged it and the darn thing still works. I almost wanted it to fail so I can have a reasonable justification to my wife to replace it. Heh.
You might say, well my photo still doesn’t look anywhere near Ansel Adams’. Yea, but did he ever had his camera soaked in a river?