Tuesday January 31, 2023

How to get more dynamic range from your photos

Lukmanazis/Shutterstock.comThere may be a lot of detail in your photos that you aren’t seeing. You can often recover some detail in your photos by increasing the dynamic range. This will make it more balanced and interesting. It is often measured in “stops”, with the human eye able to see between 10 and 14 stops. The image below shows an example of highlights that have gone beyond the limits of a scene’s dynamic range. Shadows will appear dark and muddy. The camera prefers shadow detail (darker areas) to highlights (lighter ones) because the subject occupies a large portion of the image. This image was shot with a smartphone. The dynamic range of smartphones and digital SLRs is much smaller than those with larger sensors. Cinema cameras are preferred for their high dynamic range and ability capture flat images with lots detail. This invisible data is retained by some image formats, while JPEG and other lossy formats discard it to save space. Dynamic range can be used in many fields. The feature is becoming more popular in televisions and monitors with high dynamic range (or HDR). Many smartphones also have this feature. These displays operate on a similar principle since they can display a higher range of highlights and shadows at any one time compared with older standard dynamic range (SDR) technology.Maximizing Dynamic Range on the CameraIf you want to get the most out of a photograph, shoot in RAW where possible. This format captures all the detail possible in a scene, even detail that you can’t see with a preview. RAW photos are larger than JPEG and HEIC. A Sony APS-C mirrorless camera with 24 megapixels takes up approximately 25MB of space. A JPEG taken on the “Fine” setting of the same camera takes up only 7MB. A smartphone’s HEIC or JPEG images are only a few megabytes in size. Smaller images can be saved in RAW format if you plan to edit the image later. RAW is not recommended for most smartphone photos as you will quickly run out space. You can use ProRAW on older iPhones or an app that allows RAW capture on older iPhones. Android devices can also capture raw, which is usually enabled by a toggle on their camera interface. If your stock camera doesn’t support RAW, Android apps like ProCam X and Open Camera will enable the feature on most devices.SonySmartphones are small and convenient, but they don’t compare to shooting on a digital SLR or mirrorless camera. These devices have larger sensors that allow more light to enter, which allows for better image quality and detail. Advertisement
When shooting, you should also consider exposure. If you are shooting a scene with both bright highlights or deep shadows, it is a good idea to place the exposure in the middle. Exposing for the shadows will make it more difficult to recover. To adjust the scene, you can use your camera’s exposure compensate. If your camera has that feature, you might also want to consult the histogram. There is no one “right” way to edit a photograph. You may prefer to edit your photo in a different way than the ones below. That’s okay. Experimentation is the best way to learn. These steps will work with most photo editing software. This includes premium options like Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop and Lightroom), as well as more affordable options like Affinity Photos. Although the scene is beautiful to look at, it is difficult to see the details. We will begin by increasing the shadows and decreasing the highlights. This is to bring back some detail. Zoom in a bit closer to see the sun’s shape through the trees.

It’s also easier to see the detail in the tent on left side of photo. You may need to adjust some settings depending on the look you want. We can now see more detail in the tent, the shape of the sun, the color of the sky, and a warmer tone in the leaves. You can now see the details in the tent, the shape and color of the sun, and the warmer tone in the leaves. There are several drawbacks to this technique, however.Advertisement

To get great results, each shot must be identical. You may get strange artifacts if you have moving elements such as leaves or waves. It is easy to overprocess images with moving elements like leaves or waves.

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