I don't know if that's what he did, but I doubt it--it's a completely useless technique, at least for "true" HDR in which all parts of the image are merged equally. You'll never be able to extract more dynamic range out of a single photo than there originally was, no matter what format we're talking about. If you merge several differently exposed JPEGs from the same RAW back into an HDR image, you'll get at most the same dynamic range you could have gotten out of the same RAW file. All you have to do is set the contrast to the minimum. Although certain RAW editors don't give you access to the full dynamic range, I believe Photoshop's ACR does. I've made use of that on many occasions.
It's a different story if you're talking about manually overlaying different exposures on different areas of the image. Sometimes that's useful because you can keep the contrast higher in individual areas while still capturing detail in all areas. The downside to that is the caution you must exercise to avoid halos, particularly in the sky or other fairly flat areas of color.
Originally Posted by sgtfox
I know a few people that do singe photo .RAR HDRs and they do work, but not nearly as well as a multiple exposure one. Basically, you're forcing Photoshop to sweat the image during "development" to get slightly darker and lighter versions.
I disagree. Its not a useless technique. As sgtfox said, he knows people who do use it. Of course its not a good as true multiple exposures, but it does work. I can push a singe raw photo a lot more in its RAW state before bringing it into photoshop. And to squeeze out the extra DR is best using something like Lightroom by making virtual copies with different exposures and then opening those into layers in one PS file and paint away with masks. And its not like you use a single file by choice, sometimes its all you have and this is the way to get the most out of it.
Last edited by orbitalpunk; 09-08-2008 at 01:09 AM.
Great pictures! Do you have a special camera that takes pictures like that? Or can anyone's camera take those sorts of pictures? Just amazing.
Just about any camera can take the necessary photos, though some have features that make it a little easier to do so. What you do need is software with which to merge the photos. EDIT: Whoops, you beat me to it, Jimmy.