High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists
By Christian Bloch
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Released: November 2007
The HDRI Handbook reveals the secrets behind High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI). This cutting-edge imaging technology is a method to digitally capture and edit all light in a scene. It represents a quantum leap in imaging technology, as revolutionary as the leap from Black & White to Color imaging. If you are serious about photography, you will find that HDRI is the final step that places digital ahead of analog. The old problem of over- and underexposure in analog photography, which was never fully solved, is elegantly bypassed here. A huge variety of subjects can now be photographed for the first time ever.
HDRI emerged from the movie industry, and was once Hollywood's best kept secret. It is now a mature technology available to everyone. The only problem was that it was poorly documented until now. The HDRI Handbook is the manual that was missing.
Many questions remain open even for the computer graphics gurus that have been using HDRI for years. This is where The HDRI Handbook comes in. Included here is everything you need to build a comprehensive knowledge base that will enable you to become really creative with HDRI. This book is packed with practical hints and tips, software evaluations, workshops, and hands-on tutorials. Whether you are a photographer, 3D artist, compositor, or cinematographer, this book is sure to enlighten you.
I like the fact that the author has not assumedthat the reader knows much (or anything) about High Dynamic Rangephotography. He takes the time totalk about exposure and how the perceptual system works in a human eye.
In this handbook the author takes time to talkabout the various tools that are currently available to create HDR images, aswell as explaining most of the current file formats, a topic that can be ratherconfusing – but he handles it very well.
As an added value the book comes with a CD withsample images to work on as well as some free and demo software that the readercan try. Print quality in the book is quite good and many charts, graphics andscreenshots are provided.
Time is also devoted to assuring that thephotographer is given suggestions on how to capture the best image possiblewhen creating the HDR image. Without the best capture you cannot expect to get a great HDRimage.
Finally, some time is taken to discussphotographing images in the RAW format when the intention is to createpanoramic images. This is a tricky topic and I thought it was handled verywell.
I recommend this book for anyone serious aboutthe HDR process.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
fascinating, comprehensive resource for HDR photography
By dave graham
Comments about oreilly The HDRI Handbook:
The book kicks off with a couple of very technical chapters looking at the background to HDRI, a comparison of the various image formats together with a very comprehensive look at a wide range of HDRI software currently available, from freeware up to the top of the line packages, comparing features of each. This takes up the first third of the book, and I did feel a bit like I was being overloaded with technical info.
However, then the book does it get onto the interesting bit - how to take HDRI images, and what to do with them when you've got them. Suddenly all the dry tech stuff up front makes sense, and you can see where all the bits go, and why. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 look at taking HDRI images, tone mapping and HDR image processing, and cover the subject extremely well, with huge amounts of useful information and clear step-by-step instructions.
The last two chapters cover panoramic HDR images and an interesting (but again quite technical) chapter on HDR in computer-generated imaging.
So, the first couple of chapters could put off a novice photographer, but dig a little further and there is a wealth of information here. If you're interested in HDR images and what you can do with them, then this is a fantastic resource. And it comes with an accompanying DVD packed with software, sample HDR images and tutorial files.