In This Chapter
Breaking the rules with single-shot HDR
Satisfying the minimum requirements
Following a workflow
Seeing the effectiveness of single-exposure HDR
Unfortunately, digital cameras aren't magic wands. Strike that. It's probably better that they aren't. Otherwise, you might be tempted to turn people into flower pots and yell things like, "Expecto Patronum!" or "Expelliarmus!" when you take your pictures.
Back to our story.
The technology simply doesn't exist to enable you to go out and shoot bracketed HDR in every possible circumstance. When the conditions conspire against you, single-exposure HDR is a viable way to wring as much dynamic range from a single Raw photo as possible, and then tone map it like traditional, bracketed HDR. But, you have to be ready and willing (and have a camera that supports the Raw photo format). If you're interested in HDR but don't want to go to the trouble of setting up a tripod and shooting brackets, single-exposure HDR is a great way to get into HDR, experiment with it, and learn how to use the software.
This chapter shows you what single-exposure HDR (also known as single-shot HDR, pseudo-HDR, or a tone mapped Raw exposure) is all about, how to do it, and why.
Unless you plan on abandoning any pretense of shooting brackets, you need to know when and why to shoot ...