The landscape photograph below was created with a technique known as high dynamic range, or HDR for short. Exposure: 3 different exposures, due to the landscape photo being composed from 3 separate images. Nature landscapes including water reflections, tree's, grass and cloudy skies often set the perfect scene for a HDR photo.
A HDR photograph is an image that has been created from at least 3 separate shots, each with a different shutter speed (exposure). If your camera offers a setting called bracketed exposures (check manual), then it's best to use this technology to create the 3 different exposures. Once you have 3 unedited photographs, you also need to download a piece of software that will compile the images into one HDR photo. Exposure: 3 different exposures, due to the sunset HDR being composed from 3 separate images. Exposure: 3 different exposures, due to the beach HDR being composed from 3 separate images. Mother Photography's first born were black and white, or perhaps brown is a better way to describe the colour of those pioneering early images made two thirds of the way through the 19th century. From then on, and especially from the 1960's, black and white has earned a certain reverence and has come to be seen as more 'arty'. I am often heard to say that 'the absence of colour distils the image to its essential qualities' which indeed it does. I am often asked what potential image lends itself to black and white more than colour and what criteria do I use when making a decision as to which medium I should use. I can't deny that I do favour a strong contrast scene when I work with black and white, yet one with some values in the highlight and shadows, so I would always encourage photographers to look at the depth of a shadow and the value of a highlight before making a decision.
This comment will be unpopular but I do suggest that the decision to make a black and white image should be a firm and intended one from the beginning of the photographic process and ideally not some post rationalising that 'if it did not work in colour then maybe it will in black and white'; I call this 'image salvaging' but this will engender some controversy I am sure. I was brought up on the work of Ansel Adams, Bill Bandt and Ralph Gibson and although the latter photographer is known for very high contrast images, these are styles I like.
I would urge those who intend making black and white images be it with digital capture or with film to think carefully about filtration. I have seen many a monochrome print where the sky made up of blue and white clouds has been overwhelmingly powerful and yet, there had been no filter in place to pronounce the clouds.
Your digital sensor with its colour filter array effectively acts like three strips of B&W film, one with a red filter, one with a green and one with a blue.


The only filtration that makes sense to use on digital are polarizers (effect can’t be replicated in post-processing), neutral grads (maximize dynamic range without multiple exposures and HDR tomfoolery) and neutral density filters (allowing greater exposure times).
Hi, Mark… It is trend for digitaly today, make anything in PC, what is better make before take pictures. Whilst I appreciate the sentiment about the purism of capturing the image as you want it the first time, the use of plain coloured filters in digital photography is an important exception to the rule.
Adding additional filters to this setup will reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor - causing longer shutter times and increased noise - without actually changing the nature of the image.
You can exactly replicate the effect of plain colour filters simply by varying the mix of the R, G and B channels that make up your final monochrome image.
You accuse this of being a mathematical process rather than a physical one - but the filter is also a mathematical process in its effect. I believe one of the most important factors in creating good black and white images is to start with a subject that lends itself to monochrome in the first instance. Nice post and I really like that concept of taking black and white photos really totally fabulous and amazing idea for the photography. Furthermore, clearness of the water reflections are due to the images being taken early in the morning before the sun came up.
The 3 images are then blended together into one photograph, using a software program such as Photoshop or Photomatix. To do this it's best to use a tripod to ensure you don't move the digital SLR camera between shots.
You should aim for one under exposed image, one over exposed image and one somewhere between the two (too light, too dark, just right). I can claim to have spent very many years in the darkroom and the zone system and the whole notion of tonal values have become second nature to me. Good graphic shapes of course can make excellent subjects and a fine building white cumulous sky is hard to resist treating in black and white. If the image is to be made in monochrome then that is to be established and comprehended from the start and then one can engage with the appropriate monochrome approach. It is worth remembering the trio of filters that are often used for black and white photography are yellow, orange and red. Do you mean really, that mathematical proces (any proces in editor with picture file) is same, like when you change with filters or lenses light condition, color spectre and time, what you give light to painting photographic picture? In digital cameras, the colour information is recorded separately into R, G and B channels thanks to the colour filter array in front of the sensor.


Many cameras meter their exposure and show you histogram information from the luminance channel only. In post-processing, you can choose what filter to apply at your leisure, and you’re not limited to filters you own, or even filters that are available. In other words, a greater range of shadows and highlights are visible to the eye when viewing the image, than would otherwise have been seen.
Having an overcast day also added to the effectiveness of the reflections, showing both the tree's and the clouds hovering above, as though it was a mirror. However, I also recommend trying a program called Photomatix, that was specifically created for making HDR images. For example, country landscapes, mountains, tree's, cloudy skies, grass, rocks and buildings made from stone. I've found HDR doesn't look very nice on blurred images or any that contain Depth of Field. However since the advent of colour photography, many of the black and white aficionados still claim (unjustifiably in my view) that monochrome is indeed more of a creative artistic endeavour. In latter years however, I have concentrated on my colour photography, yet would never claim that one is superior over the other, nor would I throw away those precious years in the darkroom where I learned the great fundamentals of photography.
The orange and most especially the red wreak havoc with the green values, compressing them into a narrower band of values and in the case of the red plunging almost all greens into a dark featureless expanse. The only difference between the filter and the post-processing is that the filter applies the correction in the analogue domain, and the computer does it in the digital domain.
This often results in an image that leaves other photographers wondering why their photo's aren't as sharp and detailed.
I've also found shiny objects like cars and motorcycles for example, create terrific HDR images.
You can download a trial version of Photomatix that will be fully functional and never expires.



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