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Merge to HDR

Merge to HDR is a faceless (when launched from Bridge) automate routine that combines multiple raw exposures into a High Dynamic Range (HDR) file. HDR files use 32-bit floating point values per channel to let you represent an essentially unlimited dynamic range. Since you can’t print HDR images, and can display them only with specialized displays that are well outside the mainstream, this is an esoteric routine for most photographers—HDR images are mostly used in the movie industry, and are often rendered synthetically.

For mainstream photography, HDR offers the ability to map a very wide dynamic range captured through multiple exposures through an HDR file to a tone-mapped 16-bit or 8-bit channel image. You need a series of raw exposures of the same scene that differ only in shutter speed. A heavy tripod, a cable release, and mirror lockup are also recommended, particularly with longer focal lengths. Subject movement pretty much kills the process, so considerable planning is needed. If you have a real need for HDR imagery, by all means investigate Photoshop’s HDR support further. Otherwise, file under E for Experimental.


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