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Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

High Dynamic Range Images - Tonal Blending

In a previous article on blending high dynamic ranges images I looked at my personal favourite technique of simply creating large basic selections and blurring the edge of these selection masks to bring through broad areas of tonal value. When done carefully, this technique can mean for very natural looking images that still have tremendous tonal depth. The problem is that for some images these basic masks don’t work. For instance - image have very fine detail that also happen to have a very high tonal range. Here simple selections don’t work and the photographer has to resort to a more complex selection in order to single out shadows or highlights.

It is this style of imagery that the standalone programmes such as Photomatix excel at. Here the tonality of the various images is mapped out in their respective luminance values and then blended together according the range of tonal values that the photographer desires. This is one of the ways in which you can get that ‘HDR look’. I personally am not all that fond of this ‘look’ but recognise that it is a useful tool in the photographers box of tricks. Here is my approach to creating tonal mapped images without the dedicated software (although you will obviously need an editing suite like Photoshop, Elements, Gimp or Corel Paint).

To read the whole tutorial click through to the link on my site or cut and paste this URL: http://www.limephoto.co.za/HDR_2_tutorial.html

Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions on the article.
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