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High Dynamic Range

Over the course of my trip I’ve been playing around with a photographic technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. Basically it involves merging different images of scenes that have very dark and very bright elements into one photos. Today I went into Noumea to play around with it and see if I could take any interesting photos. I really haven’t had success in doing HDR up until recently. I took my first good HDR image in Tonga.

I was able to step inside St. John’s Catholic church in Noumea. I haven’t had much opportunity to take photos inside buildings here in the pacific. There isn’t much in the way of historical buildings. I used this as an opportunity to test if I could do HDR inside.

This first photo is taken in the foyer of the building. The inside of the room was very dark with bright light streaming through the stained glass onto the baptism font inside. The color of the gate really jumps out as does the stained glass.

St. John's Church Baptisim Font - New Caledonia

This is the inside of the church. Thankfully, the men in the pew didn’t move while I took the photos (seven in all). I think one was asleep.

St. Josephs Church, New Caledonia

Here is another one of the inside of the church, but without the direct exposure of the stained glass windows. I think this one is a bit better. The color in the stained glass isn’t as powerful.

St. Josephs Church 2 - New Caledonia

The final image was taken out doors. You’ll notice that it looks very different than the rest. The sun was behind the clouds at the time I took the photo. This surreal look is something I really don’t care for. Unlike the indoor photos, this isn’t even close to what it really looked like when I took the photo.

New Caledonia Harbor HDR

I really wish I had my shutter release when I was in Easter Island could I could have done a few of these. They would have been amazing and would have worked well with the cloudy skies I had.

I don’t expect to get too carried away with HDR, but it is a nice thing to be able to have available.

  • 3 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Gary says:

    I shoot everything in RAW. I have a 4gb card in my camera and a cheap 2gb one in my bag. I download every day to my laptop so space isn’t too big of an issue. I also have an old iPod i use for storage as well as burning to DVD.

    I use Photomatix for both the photo merging and tone mapping.

  2. jv says:

    Nice shots. Like you, I’m drawn to HDR to reproduce what the eye actually sees. The surrealist stuff is interesting, but really should be in a category of its own.

    What program are you using to merge your files? Are you shooting RAW?

  3. Wendy says:

    I am going to have to look into this HDR. These photos, though not as you say the images actually appear, are amazing. I expecially like the first one. The colors are so vibrant it is almost as if they are paintings rather than photos. I love the look.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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