Flash, night shots and HDR

It’s been a while since the last post, so this one going to be a bit of more than one topic. Mainly to document for myself before I forget everything 😉

Little hijacker

First “job” was shooting one of the missus’ DIY projects. Simple set-up with two strobes – nothing exciting. Nice practise for the metering skills though. While shooting the scene got hi-jacked by our son. Who wouldn’t snap the shutter when that smile jumps into the frame. For a real portrait session I should add another strobe to properly light the background. I had another hijacker jumping the frame who didn’t want to end up on the blog. Well practise nonetheless.

With that task completed I wanted to explore how dark it can be to get a reading with the L-758D. It does do quite ok in limited light. So blue hour is mostly fine. But it gets to the limits shortly after that. So it’s quite amazing to see how much the human eye can actually do. It did however a pretty good job telling me the dynamic range I had before me. That reduced the number of shots I would have taken by just guessing. Unfortunately I found another limitation. The camera I had on me (the good ol’ Fuji S7000) produces mostly noise in the ‘shadows’ when I exposed for the highlights. I had to ditch a number of shots because they simply ruined the HDR images by adding too much noise.


One thing I wanted to try for some time now is HDR processing. There is a lot of software available to do that. I focussed on 2 open-source programs. One being the exposure blending in Digikam which does nothing more but blending a set of different exposures into one image. That creates a more realistic look without the ‘usual’ don’t-give-your-camera-so-much-LSD feeling… The other program I tried was LuminanceHDR formerly known as qtpfsgui. It’s basically a GUI wrapper around the pfstools package and offers a set of different tone mapping operators. I really hit it off with the Fattal operator this time. It gives this fancy cartoon like look that kind of reminds of some of the ego shooter games.


Both offer a lot of parameters to play with and right now I don’t think I fully understand half of them. So there’s a lot more to explore and learn.

So far the results are just toying around. I don’t really like the over the top HDR-look. I am more after more natural looking images, that feel like the human eye would normally see.