Friday, May 16, 2008

Photoshop Master: David Nightingale

The hot topic of late for digital photographers and Photoshop users is High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. My friend, David Nightingale, a photographer from the U.K., has mastered HDR techniques. David and his company; Chromasia, are the recipient of numerous awards for photography and have been profiled in several magazines showcasing his striking HDR images.
David's technique pushes the limits of the digital HDR technique. In case you are not familiar with HDR techniques, film and digital often do not have the ability to capture the full tonal range of a scene. If it is sunny and you want to capture detail where the sun is hitting and your composition also has large areas of dark shadows, the camera usually cannot capture enough detail in both areas. The HDR shooting technique is to lock the tripod down on the camera, tightly so it wont move, and then shoot your scene in a series of bracketed exposures. You want to make sure that you are bracketing with your shutter speed rather than aperture. Using the aperture means that depth of field would change with each exposure, so it is imperative that you bracket with the shutter.

While some of the HDR software suggests three exposures bracketed +/- 2 stops, other photographers suggest 5 stops in +/- 1 stop increments for more detail. David's technique is up tp 7 stops in +/- 2 stop increments (depending on the scene contrast) to insure the capture of all data in both highlights and shadow areas. David then uses Photomatix Pro to combine the exposures that were captured during the sequence.

In early 2008, Chromasia Training was launched offering online training tutorials in a wide range of subjects that would interest the digital photographer. The tutorials include subjects on Digital Workflow, Lab Color, HDR 1 and 2, Masking, Toning, B & W, Curves, and more. The tutorials are well designed, well written, and are illustrated with before and after examples and including histograms for the varied exposures. And the price is right: the British pounds translate to roughly $10 US and that's a bargain for these lengthy tutorials.

1 comment:

Matthew Blassey said...

David Nightingale's HDR images are very vivid, polished, and unique. He shows us that HDR techniques don't just have to be focused on landscape photography but that you can really utilize the technique to create some stunning people and product imagery.