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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Workbench at the Horse and Garden Organic Farm

Workbench at the Horse and Garden Organic Farm

Year: 2009, Month: September

Canada > Nova Scotia > Windsor

In the May 2009 'Photo of the Month' page, I introduced you to the technique of High Dynamic Range photography, usually abbreviated to 'HDR'. This month, I am sharing another 'HDR' photograph with you. It shows a wooden workbench, which I made whilst volunteering at the 'Horse and Garden' organic farm, near Windsor, Nova Scotia. I make no claims for its originality or wish to show off any skill in its construction - it was a simple enough project made out of rough-hewn timber. No, the reason I am including it here is to demonstrate one of the main uses for HDR, the ability to produce an indoor photo that looks similar to the way the eye normally sees it.

This shot was taken entirely in natural light, with no other light source utilised. Most of the natural light was flooding straight through the windows (which I also installed!). The workshop itself was very gloomy and dark inside, making it an impossible shot for most photographers. The norm would be to expose for the interior, in which case the windows would just be a field of white, or expose for the windows, in which case the bench could hardly be seen. Yet in this image, the bench, the floor (yes, I made the floor!), and even the pile of wall-shingles (did I mention that I re-shingled the shed as well?) are correctly exposed, AND the scene through the windows looks correct too. An effect like this can only be achieved by taking multiple exposures at different apertures, and then combining them: in other words, the very essence of High Dynamic Range photography.

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