Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HDR on my Phone

The technologies of addressing High Dynamic Range have come a long way in the past decade. Once the process required a couple of specialist programs with round trips through photoshop or similar photo editors. Today there are camera apps for phones that can easily do the job on the phone. I have been using a great little app called HDR Camera+ for a few years now and onto my third android phone. Of the many apps around today it seems to do the most convincing job of creating a “natural” look but expanding the dynamic range. It does take up to three photos, a normal shot one under exposed and the one overexposed. Even when the images are blown out or almost too dark to make out detail, the clever HDR Camera+ software seems to find a reasonable balance. It also does a great job avoiding ghosting when a subject moves.
20170510_123442_HDR2017-05-10_12-35-00_ 0.0Ev2017-05-10_12-35-00_ 2.0Ev

My new HTC Uplay android phone comes with a built-in camera app that incorporated the HDR feature in the basic camera operations (it clearly takes abit longer that a straight photo but it only takes a second of two to process. There are no tonemapping options (or selection step) but the resulting image is noticeably more balance in high contrast situation. There is even an AutoHDR mode which seems to recognize high contrast situation and switch over to HDR. The image below is an example of AutoHDR.


This camera app software is different from the many HDR style filters (which strive to create the HDR look, normally poorly, and without really boosting the dynamic range). Once you have the higher dynamic range other art filters (like prisma below) can play wonderful games with colour.


IMG_20170510_123916_HDR processed in prisma

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