HDR Photography....JPEG vs Raw?
Finally a little light section on file format for HDR photography. So if HDR photography is your thing...and if you have to ask what is HDR photography, it probably isn't!
Even if you aren't into HDR, it is interesting to look at how these images are constructed and we can learn a bit more about our cameras in this way. HDR stands for high dynamic range, remember dynamic range is the range of dark and light elements in the image you are trying to capture. There are occasions where a single exposure (one shot) will cover them all so that nothing is over or under exposed, but in many cases in order to capture the whole image with good exposure, the photographer must take maybe three or five exposures using bracketing ( we will cover this in a few weeks). Each shot is correctly exposed for different elements of the image and thus the whole dynamic range can be captured by merging the related individual images.
You may think that RAW format is the best way to go for shooting these images, and as we discussed in the format blog, there are advantages to this format. What is also true, though, is that one of the huge advantages of shooting in raw is that you can extract seemingly under or over exposed elements of an image (within reason). When you are shooting to create HDR images, you have already compensated for that by taking several images and so that advantage is not as important. In addition, shooting in JPEG allows you to manipulate your images faster as they require less processing power from your computer.
So go ahead....if you've always wanted to....have a go getting some HDR images with your JPEG format. If your not here yet....hold on for a few weeks and I'll go into the technique in a little more detail!