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Nik® Software HDR Efex Pro™ After the Shoot by Stan Sholik

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Understanding HDR Imaging

Athorough understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging is important in order to get the most out of HDR Efex Pro. Differentiating between the way humans see the world, the way a digital camera sees the world, and the way the computer processes image information from digital files can be confusing because many of the terms used to describe these processes, such as tone mapping and dynamic range, are unfamiliar to many photographers.

This chapter discusses the terms and principles of HDR imaging and provides a basis for understanding what HDR Efex Pro is doing to your image files. It also discusses when you would want to capture images for processing in HDR Efex Pro and the range of results that the software can produce.

What Is HDR Imaging?

The goal of most digital photographers is to accurately capture an image that looks like the scene before their camera. Unfortunately, many are disappointed and don't understand the result.

Figure 1.1 is an image captured with a professional digital SLR in RAW file format and converted to a TIFF file for printing. Despite the care I took to extract as much information as possible from the image, it doesn't begin to approximate the scene as I remember it.

Human vision (eyes and brain working together) processes the scene in Figure 1.1 so that you can see full detail in both the interior and the sunlit exterior. ...

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