I was waiting for my food in Macau when I saw the what seems like the typical street scene and shot the below:
As you can see, immediately I saw that a large part of the photo was darker than I would like, so I adjusted the exposure for more to make things a little brighter:
You might have noticed, this was way too bright for me. This is a classic case of the camera not having enough dynamic range to really pull out a great photo, where the darker parts should be brightened up while the brighter parts should be darkened up. That's when I remember something called HDR.
I googled about how to make an HDR photo and basically found out:
- You should shoot 3-5 photo, at 1EV step difference, preferably using RAW and a tripod.
- You should buy the Photomatix Pro software at USD$99.
First of all, I hate RAW, it's big and unwieldy and offers too little benefits to justify it's cost. Although the FZ28 can shoot 3 bracketed photos at your determined EV steps, I didn't do that in Macau as I was looking forward to the food. I shot only the 2 photos you see above, that's it. Plus, I am an amateur, not a professional and I didn't shoot to make money, just for self entertainment. It makes no sense for me to fork out $99 bucks just to make HDR photos, to put on a blog where nobody visits and I had to force my friends to look at (you know who you are). To top it all off, you still have to put in a whole lot of hard work into the shooting and post processing.
Guessed I am too lazy for that, but then I remembered that I did play around with HDR before, using just a single photo and ACDSee Pro. Off I went, and using just the first photo in this post, I fiddled with the somewhat graphic equalizer looking controls on ACDSee, and voila:
Look at the car, look at the paved road the car is on, look at the boxes on the right, the green leaves on the left, the brighter and better looking yellow sign board above the car...there is only one word to describe this: Amazing. Looks great, easy, lazy HDR for me. Could this be applied to some other photos too?
At long last, the food finally came and I was mighty hungry, it was good: