It is very disappointing when you are shooting mixed scenarios where there are dark and light areas all over it. Photos are not right, bright parts are overexposed if you want that the dark ones to appear or dark areas are underexposed because bright parts are looking good. For example a sunset, a moon landscape or even a Christmas tree. Our eyes are used to see in HDR mode but the camera doesn't capture what we see, after all, it is just a sensor.
HDR images are the kind of images that have managed to let you enjoy the dark and bright parts of a scene. They are the product of a post-edition.
In this article, I will explain how to produce an HDR photo taking advance of the AEB capability of modern digital cameras and post-editing with Darktable. Please note I am a Canon user, if I use their terms just translate them to other brands. I am also an open-source advocate myself, do not expect I write for any other commercial proprietary software.
These photos were taken using a Canon 90D using a prime lens 50mm f/1.8. The camera had the D+ enabled (a personal preference; thus, ISO 200 is the minimum I could use). The EXIF information as follows: 1/10s, f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 200.
Here is the tricky part. You must take three identical photos with different exposure. You will need:
The first thing is to enable the AEB on your camera. There is not an exact formula to know how wide to do the bracket; you may want to make it wider if there is a lot of contrast (too much darkness and brightness) in the same photo.
Configure your camera to shoot remotely and shoot. You will get three photos. Please save the files in RAW format, you will save a lot of headaches when post-editing.
After importing the images, within the lightroom section, just select them and press on the "create HDR" button.
Darktable will create a DNG file with a -hdr postfix. That is the image you want to edit.
This is the fun part. Your new HDR file has all the information from the three photos, it just needs to be edited. Here is what I did.
We are done. Here is my final image. What do you think?
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