How to Expand Your Dynamic Range

New software sees more like the human eye.

This is my block in Brooklyn. I used a technique called high dynamic range, combining three images with different exposures: one normal, one over, and one under. It’s more in tune with how we see, and it emulates the human eye much more than a camera can. The human eye can adjust for varying light more easily. I took my tripod and Canon EOS 5D with a 17-40mm f/4L lens outside and shot my street, lit by the typical New York City sodium lights. The exposures were for 6 to 25 seconds, all at f/7.1 and ISO 400. I used a free trial version of Photomatix software from Germany to merge them, then adjusted saturation and contrast slightly in Adobe Photoshop CS2.

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