[OM] HDR? [was] Digital Black and White

Subject: [OM] HDR? [was] Digital Black and White
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 15:47:50 -0700
AG Schnozz wrote:
>> Interesting article here:
>> http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/ 
>> 2007/08/digital-bw-the-.html
> I read that article and a couple things caught my eye.  #1, he admits
> that it's still a work in progress in he hasn't reached nirvana yet. 
> #2, the process is really convoluted to get these types of digital
> B&W images.
I wish to take exception to one thing in the link that started this thread.

"Although it was not something I was especially looking for when I first 
bought...., its increased dynamic range in color work was the most 
apparent improvement over 35mm slide film. ..., but the estimated three 
stops more dynamic range that RAW files gave me over slide film was an 
unexpected revelation....

All this was apparent immediately, using single exposures in RAW, but 
making multiple adjustments of that one file for highlights, midtones 
and shadows, that were then combined in Photoshop with adjustment layers 
and layer masks."

I have read this idea in several places and have explored the 
possibilities. I have come to the firm conclusion that this extra effort 
is never necessary if you convert to 16 bit and work in 16 bit.

I think it is a result of not knowing how to use ACRS to control and 
maintain dynamic range. I've made a little example. This little 
waterfall with cave beneath combines direct sun Summer on falling water 
with the depth of a cave at the bottom of a small canyon - a pretty wide 
dynamic range. Simply converting it using the ACRS defaults gives blown 
highlights and lost shadow detail. Rather than do two more conversions 
at higher and lower exposures, I simply set ACRS to retain all the 
detail in the RAW file within the output range. I then processed that 
one image as usual.

For the moment, don't argue with my personal choice of tonalities, I did 
what I did in the rock face, even clipping some shadows intentionally, 
for the dramatic effect I wanted there.  Look at the tonal detail in the 
highlights, for example in the tree leaves, and shadows, as in the cave 
depths. They are simply all that is in the RAW file, I've looked, and 
don't require all that extra fussing around with multiple conversions.

So this guy may be a pro in that he sells his stuff, but he's an amateur 
who doesn't know all his tools in ACRS/PS, is doing something the hard 
way, and advocating that others work too hard, as well.


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