The need to shoot HDR is based on a limitation of the camera sensor to capture all of the information in a scene in a single exposure. The amount of information from shadow to highlight that can be captured in a single exposure is called the “dynamic range” of the camera. The problem is, in many situations the dynamic range of the scene that you are shooting has more information (a wider dynamic range) than the camera can capture in that single exposure. An example of this is when you capture a photo with good exposure in one area, but details are lost in another area. These lost details will either be in totally black or totally white areas of the image, and are referred to as clipped details (see Figure 1-1). The solution to this issue is to shoot multiple exposures at different shutter speeds to capture the full range of information in the scene.
Note that all of the information is pushed up against the left and right hand side of the histogram is information in the scene that could not be captured in this exposure.
This is the finished tone mapped HDR image and its histogram, there is no information pushed up against either side of the histogram, which indicates we have retained the full dynamic range.
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