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High Dynamic Range Digital Photography For Dummies® by Robert Correll

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Chapter 8. Preparing to Tone Map

In This Chapter

  • Understanding tone mapping

  • Discovering Photomatix Pro

  • Exploring Details Enhancer in detail

  • Reviewing Tone Compressor

  • Understanding how tone mapping works in Photoshop

Everything else in HDR either leads up to or follows tone mapping (a truism of the finest caliber). Or, to put it another way, tone mapping is where HDR turns from promise to practice. All the photographs, brackets, metering, converting, and trudging around with your camera and tripod have brought you to the point where you're ready to turn your HDR image right back into a low dynamic range image. With HDR photography, however, you're in charge. It's a circle-of-life kind of thing.

Preparing to Tone Map

And to be successful at tone mapping, you need to speak the language. This chapter, therefore, continues that process. You'll read about tone mapping in general but also delve into specific tone mapping features found in two of the leading applications in the HDR community: Photomatix Pro and Photoshop. With this information at hand, you'll be ready to tackle tone mapping in earnest with a greater possibility of creating fantastic images.

Tone Mapping 101

Tone mapping occurs when you convert a higher dynamic range image to one with a lower dynamic range, most often a JPEG or TIFF. The HDR image is, of course, created from bracketed photos with a wide range of exposures.

One aspect of the tone mapping ...

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