Project Development

Man vs. Machine – the merits of HDR software

In light of the nature of this research project, it may seem strange that today was the first time that I have ever tested HDR Exposure Merging within an image editing program.  The test piece is a stained glass window I had recently photographed at Christ Church Cathedral and the images here show a small segment of that panel.  The completed image of this panel (detailed HERE) required just over four hours of editing so I am interested to see what software can achieve in just a matter a moments:

Dominic Price (2019) Panel from Vyner Memorial Window depicting Timothy & Eunice [Edward Burne-Jones, 1871 – Christ Church Cathedral]

DCP_9772 (ec)

Edited by hand

DCP_9771_68_65_62_Detail (HDR crop).jpg

Software-based HDR editing

It is interesting to note that I have opted for slightly greater saturation of colours and higher contrast (no surprise there) – however, this is an image that I have yet to moderate against the original.  The one area in which the software falls down (arguably) is in its handling of the clames, with the lead being represented more three-dimensionally, whereas I have endeavoured to represent the image two dimensionally with the lead being rendered black.

The results are mightily impressive and for occasions when I require a quick, yet imposing solution for social media (or indeed for inclusion as a small part of a printed publication), this could provide a pleasingly simple solution.  Of course, the digital removal of support bars can only be done by hand and that will add one or more hours per bar to the process!

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