Cover Story On Auto-HDR in Dec. 2011 Outdoor Photographer Magazine
New cameras are taking the challenge out of high contrast scenes, leaving photographers more time to compose and share their photos rather than retouch them in Photoshop. Check out the state-of-the-HDR-art in this December’s Outdoor Photographer magazine (intro below:)
Auto HDR, Quicker, Faster And Better?
New DSLRs with Auto HDR features can create high dynamic range images in just seconds, but are the results worth the convenience?
By Michael J. McNamara
In the last few years, high dynamic range (HDR) photography has become incredibly popular, propelled in part by the capabilities of both digital cameras and HDR-enabled imaging programs. As a group, outdoor photographers have been the biggest beneficiaries of the HDR process, as it enables us to tackle high-contrast scenes in nature and produce HDR images that more closely match our visual experience. Creating an HDR image isn’t new to digital, but with film it was a tedious process that required skill, an expensive darkroom and lots of trial and error. With digital photography, you can create an HDR image in the computer much easier and with better results. DSLRs can shoot a burst of bracketed exposures, and using a variety of HDR-enabled software programs, you can create an HDR image by combining elements from each exposure.
Camera designers apparently didn’t think this was easy enough, which explains why there are now Auto HDR modes in several new DSLRs from Nikon, Pentax and Sony, and we expect the trend to continue. At the push of the shutter button, these cameras shoot a quick burst of exposures and then use their powerful image-processing engines to merge them into an HDR JPEG image. As a bonus, several Pentax and Sony models can correct minor camera movements that occur between frames in the burst, allowing you to create HDR images without a tripod!