New technologies, same look - Crafting high dynamic range photographs to create a classical oil painting look

Authors: Zia, R.

Start date: 27 June 2018

HDR photography allows artists to capture the full range of tonal values in high contrast real world scenes allowing for better latitude and creative control during post-production. With specialist HDR cameras being too expensive for the consumer market, the alternative method of photographing HDR images is by blending multiple varied exposures of the scene. The resulting images have characteristics in common with classical oil paintings in terms of the scene dynamic range depicted, as well as the softening effect inherent in the production process. HDR production and tonemapping processes can also amplify camera sensor and lens artifacts that bring unwanted attention to the fact that one is looking at a photographed image and not a painting. The images presented here were produced over the course of the author’s visual practice-research PhD journey exploring how HDR images can be crafted to create a painterly look reminiscent of classical landscape oil paintings whilst keeping unwanted camera, lens and software artifacts to a minimum, thus illustrating the extent to which digital technologies can be used to replicate pre-digital visual practices. The workflow, techniques and approaches are grounded in the photography and film visual effects disciplines.

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