How Much Does Dynamic Range Matter?

 HDR Images, HDR Styles  Comments Off on How Much Does Dynamic Range Matter?
Sep 242019

Dynamic range is sort of like the new megapixels in 2019: it is the camera spec that a lot of photographers use as a benchmark to compare different bodies. But how much does it really matter when it comes down to it? This great video examines the concept and if it is something you should obsess about. 

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Lightroom Mobile HDR Camera Better than iPhone 7 HDR

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software  Comments Off on Lightroom Mobile HDR Camera Better than iPhone 7 HDR
Apr 152017

Adobe just launched an update to Lightroom Mobile that lets users shoot HDR photos on iPhone and Android using the Lightroom Mobile app. The great photo organizing and editing app from Adobe will let users shoot their shots and then edit them after taking the photos. We’ll show users how to use the app to take beautiful shots in difficult lighting situations.

Why Shoot HDR Photos on iPhone?

First, what is HDR? It stands for High Dynamic Range and refers to a special kind of photography where the photographer shoots three or more photos using different light settings for each shot. For example, the person will shoot the first shot to get the brightest parts of the scenery well-lit, but this leaves the mid-tones and dark areas too dark. So they take another shot of the same scenery so that the mid-tones get the best exposure. However, this leaves the brightest areas, like a window in a room or the sky in a landscape photo, too bright. The darkest areas, like the shaded area under a tree in a landscape, look too dark. The third shot gets the best exposure for those dark areas, leaving the mid-tones and bright areas too bright.

An example of a beautiful landscape photo (source Pixabay user: hannsbenn).

Professional or high-end consumer cameras often give photographers the best option for shooting HDR photos. They automatically will shoot three or more shots using different exposure settings. Some apps will mimic this HDR look, but they don’t really work as well. The HDR setting on the iPhone 7 camera works okay, but not as well as Lightroom Mobile. Until now, using the camera app’s HDR setting gave users the best option for shooting HDR Photos on iPhone, but not anymore.

Before Adobe’s update to Adobe Lightroom Mobile, shooting HDR Photos on iPhone meant taking three shots and then exporting them to a computer. The photographer then combines the three or more shots into one shot with excellent lighting for all three areas, light, dark and mid-tones. That means uploading the photos, going to your desktop or laptop computer and opening a photo editor, like MacPhun’s Aurora HDR 2017 editing software or Adobe Photoshop CS.


How to Shoot HDR Photos on iPhone with Lightroom Mobile

First, install the app and sign up for an Adobe account if you don’t already have one. To get the most out of the app, you will need a subscription. The Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan only costs $9.99/month and includes access to the full desktop/laptop versions of Photoshop and Lightroom plus the ability to sync between mobile devices and desktop/laptop computers. The free version lets users take photos using the steps below.

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Lightroom Mobile Adds Powerful RAW HDR Capture Mode in Latest Update

 HDR Images, HDR Info  Comments Off on Lightroom Mobile Adds Powerful RAW HDR Capture Mode in Latest Update
Mar 142017

Adobe released a major update for Lightroom Mobile on both iOS and Android today. And in addition to a few simple features like “speed review” and a notification widget for iOS, and radial & linear selection tools for Android, Adobe dropped a bombshell: RAW HDR capture… on your smartphone.

Smartphone cameras are improving by leaps and bounds, but they still fall far short of bigger-sensor brethren, particularly where dynamic range is concerned. This update, claims Adobe, will change all that, allowing your measly smartphone to capture a wider range of tones than previously possible:

“The new HDR mode works by automatically scanning the scene to determine the correct exposure range and then capturing three DNG files which are then automatically aligned, merged, deghosted, and tonemapped in the app,” explains Adobe. “You get a 32­bit floating point DNG, with all of the benefits of both an HDR and a raw photo, which is processed by the same algorithms with the same quality as the HDR technology built into Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.”

The new RAW HDR mode in Lightroom Mobile should make a mockery of your phone’s built-in HDR capabilities, which can typically balance out only the harshest of tones by using two JPEGs. In comparison, Lightroom’s Mobile’s three RAW DNGs are orders of magnitude more useful.

To take advantage, you’ll have to have an iPhone 6s or newer, iPhone SE, or iPad Pro 9.7-inch on the iOS side, or a Samsung S7, S7 Edge, Google Pixel, or Pixel XL for Android. Additional Android devices are being developed for “as quickly as possible.”

Here are some sample photos, all of them captured using this new HDR mode:

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2016 HDR Contest Winners

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Panoramas, HDR Software, News  Comments Off on 2016 HDR Contest Winners
Nov 222016

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How HDR works

 HDR Images, Technique  Comments Off on How HDR works
Sep 302016

High Dynamic Range TVs and devices are here, along with HDR TV shows and movies. You can buy a new 4K HDR TV for as little as $450 and stream HDR Netflix and Amazon, or add a $300 Xbox and spin HDR 4K Blu-ray discs. HDR games are coming soon, and even phones and PC screens are attaching those three buzzy letters.

But how do they work? Is HDR just another marketing gimmick to sell TVs and other gear, with no technology behind it? What does it claim to do, and why is that better?

Well folks, if those are your questions, you’ve come to the right place.

What’s HDR?

For the basics about what HDR is, check out What is HDR for TVs, and why should you care?. The short version is an HDR TV, when showing special HDR content, has a wider dynamic range (i.e. contrast ratio), along with more steps in brightness (for smother transitions and more detail in bright and shadowy areas). Also, usually, HDR is paired with Wide Color Gamut (WCG), which offers a greater range and depth of color.

Unlike 4K resolution, curved screens or 3D, HDR is a TV-related technology we’re actually excited about. In the best cases it actually improve the image beyond what you’re used to with non-HDR video (standard dynamic range, or SDR), including conventional high-def, Blu-ray or even 4K. How much of an improvement–if any–depends first and foremost on the capabilities of TV itself, but also on the content.

Of course you’ll need to be watching actual HDR content on a new HDR TV to see the benefits. Fake HDR “upconversion” is available on some products, but it’s not the same.

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The Newsshooter guide to the what, why and how of HDR

 Cinematography, Gear, HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, Technique  Comments Off on The Newsshooter guide to the what, why and how of HDR
Mar 312016

With the announcement of the Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame today, I thought now was a good time to explain what HDR is and why Atomos have made a panel that can resolve the brightness detail and colour accuracy of 10-bit HDR images.

Atomos have definitely been looking ahead to the future when it comes to HDR. While HDR is still very much in its infancy, Atomos have looked to future proof (as much as you can) their Flame series of monitor/recorders. By adding HDR support now, Atomos are giving you a monitor that will still be relevant for many years to come.

So why do we need HDR and what is it? Grab a coffee because this isn’t something that can be explained in a few paragraphs.

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Fox Unwraps First Four Ultra HD Titles With High Dynamic Range

 HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, Technique  Comments Off on Fox Unwraps First Four Ultra HD Titles With High Dynamic Range
Jun 222015


Fox Home Entertainment is releasing its first titles in Ultra HD resolution with high dynamic range (HDR): Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Maze Runner, Life of Pi and Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Additional UHD with HDR titles are expected to follow in the coming weeks. The initiative is led by Fox Home Entertainment and the Fox Innovation Lab, which has been experimenting with UHD with HDR mastering.

As previously reported in The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox recently decided to make versions of all of its new and recent movies in UHD with HDR, the biggest commitment to date on the content side.

The new titles are part of a beta launch, through which consumers can purchase these movies on M-GO and download them to their Samsung Video Pack, for viewing on Samsung SUHDTVs, which support UHD and HDR. (Fox previously supplied clips from Pi and Exodus for Samsung demonstrations).

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Its an HDR World

 Cinematography, HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, HDR TV  Comments Off on Its an HDR World
Jun 172015


It was just 2013 when the marketing drums started beating for 4k and the response from that journalistic segment – seemingly paid to throw cold water on new technologies – was that 4k TV was unnecessary. The human eye can’t see 4k. Living rooms can’t be built big enough. And, the usual opening salvo: there’s no content.
The fracas over 4k has passed with hardly a scuffle. The people who have complained that 4k TVs are a long way away have shut up – much faster than usual because 4k TVs are being bought much faster than expected. Prices for 4k started their inevitable slide toward the end of 2014, and consumers predictably started buying. Worldwide sales for 4k TVs jumped 500 percent compared to last year, and the content has started to flow, or rather, stream.
The providers of OTT (over-the-top, as in over-the-Internet) content, such as Netflix, Amazon, and UltraFlix, are providing 4k content, and they promise to match the pace of innovation in ways their counterparts in cable and satellite can only dream about matching. However, DirecTV is also going to offer 4k service soon.
The upward trend for 4k TVs will continue of course, but, ironically, 4k really isn’t the point. The content creators and providers – the directors, cinematographers, and broadcasters – are much more excited about the potential of high dynamic range (HDR), and immersive audio, high frame rates, and whatever else they think up that 4k TVs could deliver. The inescapable message at NAB 2015 is that HDR is going to bring a real change in home TV viewing.
Cameras have been adding resolution, and along the way, have become capable of very wide ranges of light capture, which, if you’ll excuse a breathless aside – Isn’t it the most wonderful thing the way digital cameras have become so incredibly capable and relatively inexpensive? These cameras are enabling a shift in favor of independent filmmakers and cinematographers who can create professional content with their own equipment.
Last year, AJA introduced its own camera. A year or so before that, Blackmagic introduced theirs. The cameras have been slow to ship, and both companies admit that making cameras is a lot harder than they had thought, but the goal is end-to-end control over the pipeline: in this case, the entire acquisition to computer workflow. In fact, Blackmagic, Red, and Sony have also added software editing, color grading, audio, and more.
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Colorist Stephe Colorist Stephen Nakamura on Grading Tomorrowland in HDR –

 Cinematography, HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR TV, News, Technique  Comments Off on Colorist Stephe Colorist Stephen Nakamura on Grading Tomorrowland in HDR –
Jun 102015


Want to see the Dolby Vision HDR format in action? You can check it out at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, where Disney’s Tomorrowland—the first film graded for Dolby Vision—is enjoying a four-week run. AMC has the system installed in one auditorium each at the AMC North Point Mall 12 in Atlanta, the AMC BarryWoods 24 in Kansas City, and the AMC Deerbrook 24 in Houston. On May 29, those theaters replaced Tomorrowland with San Andreas, the first Dolby Vision title from Warner Bros. Pixar’s Inside Out, opening June 19, will be the next fix for HDR junkies who crave brighter whites and broader dynamic range

The key to efficiently encoding all of the brightness information in a HDR picture for Dolby Vision is something called the perceptual quantizer, or PQ for short. Dolby researched human visual perception of luminance changes, then developed a new quantization curve based on those findings. The goal was to specify brightness levels from 0 to 10,000 cd/m2 using 10-bit or 12-bit encoding. The resulting PQ curve, approved as SMPTE Standard 2084, replaces gamma for Dolby Vision image encoding. In post-production, this means the image must be graded twice—one time for the standard P3 color space that most cinema viewers will see, and then again in the PQ format that specifies characteristics of the HDR version. Read this 2014 SMPTE presentation by Dolby Labs researcher Scott Miller for the nitty-gritty.

Tomorrowland was graded on DaVinci Resolve at Company 3, where Stephen Nakamura said his goal in the 31.5 foot-lambert Dolby Vision pass was to make sure the picture took advantage of the expanded dynamic range while still retaining the feel of the standard 14 foot-lambert version. He elaborated on the grading process, and the thinking behind some of the creative decisions, in a statement released through Blackmagic.


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Pre-Order Sony’s Latest 4K TVs Now, by Angela Moscaritolo

 HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR TV, News  Comments Off on Pre-Order Sony’s Latest 4K TVs Now, by Angela Moscaritolo
Apr 242015

Looking to upgrade your 1080p TV to an Ultra High-Definition setup? Sony has opened pre-orders for some of the 4K UHD TV sets it showed off at CES.
Specifically, the X830C, X850C, X930C, and X940C come in sizes ranging from 43 to 75 inches, with prices starting at $1,300 all the way up to $8,000. Pre-orders are expected to ship in May.
The X830C series is the cheapest and smallest of the lot, measuring in at 43 inches or 49 inches, for $1,300 or $1,600, respectively. Then there’s the X850C, which is available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch flavors for $2,199.99, $3,499.99, or $4,999.99.
For those who want the best of the best, Sony has the 65-inch X930C for $4,499.99 and the 75-inch X940C for a cool $7,999.99. Both of these models will be compatible with High Dynamic Range video, which can display a wider range of brightness levels for a more lifelike experience, via a network update this summer. Amazon and Netflix have both announced plans to embrace HDR video this year.
With HDR video, “customers can enjoy a peak brightness of LED as well as deeper blacks, providing them with a superior viewing experience compared to that of normal HDR video sources as well as any other video source,” Sony said.

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High Dynamic Range Imaging within Lightroom CC

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR Styles, News, Technique  Comments Off on High Dynamic Range Imaging within Lightroom CC
Apr 242015

This Adobe video explains the new Lightroom CC High Dynamic Range features

Unified Color Announce 2015 HDR Photography Contest!

 Contest, Gear, HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR360pro Discounts, News, Technique  Comments Off on Unified Color Announce 2015 HDR Photography Contest!
Apr 042015

 Learn more about Unified Color HDR software:


A First Look at the HDR Merge Feature Coming Soon in Lightroom 6

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, News  Comments Off on A First Look at the HDR Merge Feature Coming Soon in Lightroom 6
Feb 272015

Earlier this month, a leaked product page revealed a number of features that will be found in the upcoming Lightroom 6. One of them was an HDR merging tool that combines multiple exposures into a single HDR image. Here’s a first glimpse at how the feature will work.

First, select multiple versions of the same shot that were captured with exposure bracketing:

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This Is What HDR Photography Should Look Like

 HDR Images, HDR Info  Comments Off on This Is What HDR Photography Should Look Like
Feb 262015

Daniel Cheong says he is a digital blending freak, a post-production photography technique “that manually blends multiple bracketed exposures in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range” without getting the tiring, everything is illuminated effect of overcooked HDR. And he succeeds.

Daniel Cheong




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When Portraits & Landscapes Collide:The HDR composites

 Gear, HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Styles, Technique  Comments Off on When Portraits & Landscapes Collide:The HDR composites
Feb 112015


From the time he was a young boy, around 10 years old, German photographer, Patrick Pnecht loved photography. He developed a fondness for photographing landscapes, people and weather. And like many of us, when he got his first DSLR five years ago, tried out many different genres of photography – from animal photography to 3D photography -before discovering his true passion, which lead him back to landscapes, people and weather all at once.



Two years ago, Patrick read a book by Matt Kloskowski, landscape photographer and PhotoshopGuy. Within the last few pages, Matt mentioned compositing and also a photographer named Joel Grimes. After looking at Joel’s work, Patrick knew the genre he wanted to pursue. He wanted “to bring portraits into landscape photos or buildings.” From then on, Patrick began photographing landscapes during his vacations and compositing them with portraits shot in his studio. The creative possibilities were endless.

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Dolby taking on IMAX with own cinema format

 Cinematography, HDR Digital Cinema, HDR Images, Technique  Comments Off on Dolby taking on IMAX with own cinema format
Dec 112014


Dolby has revealed that it will be launching its own advanced cinema format that will directly rival IMAX.

The company might be equated with high quality audio in most people’s minds, but Dolby is taking another massive step into the world of cinematic visuals.

Dolby recently announced a new movie projection format called Dolby Cinema. The idea is to pair the company’s high-end sound technology with its Dolby Vision, which applies high dynamic range technology to films.

Dolby Vision hit 4K TV sets this year, bringing with it “high dynamic range with enhanced colour technology that has been praised by filmmakers for its amazing contrast, high brightness, and colour range that more closely matches what the human eye can see,” according to Dolby.

Expect to see the first Dolby Vision projectors hitting select theatres in 2015.

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Reed Hoffmann – Spontaneous HDR with HDR Express 3

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR Styles, HDR360pro Discounts, Technique  Comments Off on Reed Hoffmann – Spontaneous HDR with HDR Express 3
Nov 142014

In this 2-part webinar, professional photographer and educator Reed Hoffmann provides tips and techniques for capturing spontaneous HDR exposure brackets and merging, aligning de-ghosting and tone mapping them using the HDR Express 3 stand alone application and Adobe Lightroom plug-in. This Webinar was originally recorded on Nov 11, 2014.



Download the Free trial or Buy it Now

Spontaneous HDR using HDR Express 3 with Reed Hoffmann

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software  Comments Off on Spontaneous HDR using HDR Express 3 with Reed Hoffmann
Nov 072014


Webinar Registration

In this free webinar, professional photographer and educator Reed Hoffmann demonstrates how to make the best of any high contrast situation. Learn how to overcome challenges that previously would have made it almost impossible to produce a good HDR photo without a lot of advance planning and special gear. Get the best results from scenes with moving objects, when you don’t have a tripod handy or have a camera that only supports 3 auto exposure brackets.

This Webinar will cover:
– How to evaluate a scene and determine if HDR is required
– How to choose the proper exposure brackets
– How to avoid common mistakes during capture
– How to choose the ideal set of images to merge
– How to use the HDR Express 3 standalone application and Lightroom plug-in
– Which merge options work best for different scenes
– How to process 32-bit color images in HDR Express 3 and create presets
– Options for saving your work in HDR Express 3

Who should attend? – Photographers and enthusiasts new to HDR or interested in learning about new tools and techniques. Existing customers who are currently using HDR Express 2 and considering upgrading to version 3.

About Reed:
A professional photographer for over 30 years, Reed Hoffmann’s career has ranged from newspapers to commercial work to teaching. He’s been shooting digital since 1996, and since then has helped nearly 50 organizations convert to digital, created numerous instructional photography and workflow programs and produced and taught the Nikon School of Photography. His clients have included Nikon, Lexar, Best Buy, the New York Times, Microsoft, NBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, Mark Burnett Productions and USA Today. Reed’s won many national awards for his photography and been named a Microsoft Icon of Imaging, Nikon Legend Behind the Lens and Lexar Pro Elite photographer. He’s led dozens of hands-on photography workshops all over the world and writes instructional stories on photography at

 Register Now


Unified Color’s HDR Expose 3 algorithms trickle down to its affordable HDR Express app, by Mike Thompkins

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR Styles, HDR360pro Discounts, News, Technique  Comments Off on Unified Color’s HDR Expose 3 algorithms trickle down to its affordable HDR Express app, by Mike Thompkins
Nov 022014

“HDR fans: Want a little more control than your camera can provide you with for your high dynamic range photos? If so, it’s time to switch to your computer and really take charge of your photography — and an update to Unified Color Technologies’ consumer-friendly HDR Express app is here to help.

Based around the same algorithms that underlie in the company’s flagship HDR Expose 3, the latest version of HDR Express keeps things simple while providing useful tools like automatic alignment and deghosting of your source imagery, as well as support for raw files from more than 600 different camera models. And if you use Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom or Apple’s Aperture (the latter on the Mac only), then HDR Express will integrate as a plugin, ready to help you straight from your image library.”

–Mike Thomkins

Click the image below to read the full article:


Here is a video tutorial “Introducing HDR Express 3”, with John Omvik:


To download the HDR Express 3 free trial or to purchase with your HDR360pro discount

please click the image below:


HDR Express 3 Lightroom Workflow!

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR Styles, HDR360pro Discounts  Comments Off on HDR Express 3 Lightroom Workflow!
Oct 312014

In this tutorial John Omvik demonstrates the basic Adobe Lightroom workflow using the HDR Express 3 plug-in with the full workflow to produce natural looking tone mapped images from high contrast (HDR) scenes.


To purchase HDR Express 3 with your HDR360pro discount,
please click the image below: