Monday, March 8, 2010
HDR, or high dynamic range, is a great technique and I use it all the time. However, when elements in the scene are moving like these gondolas in Venice, Italy, it's not possible to use HDR unless you can accept a lot of ghosting. The several pictures you take from a tripod should be combined in such a way that they exactly blend together to produce a sharp picture.
In this sunrise situation, instead of using HDR I used the remarkable tools in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), the RAW converter built into Photoshop. To darken the sky I used the graduated filter (the fourth icon from the right in the ACR tool bar) to make this look like I had used a graduated neutral density filter at the time of shooting. For the water, I used the fill light slider to open up the shadows and give me good detail in the foreground. The result is exactly like what HDR would have produced.