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Book Review: Photographic Multishot Techniques – High Dynamic Range, Super-Resolution, Extended Depth Of Field, Stitching By Juergen Gulbins And Rainer Gulbins

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While the technology started taking hold a couple of years ago, photographers are just beginning to realize the potential of High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI). Photographic Multishot Techniques now provides some of the newest techniques based on a bracketed series of exposures that attempt to go beyond standard HDRI.

Photographic Multishot Techniques is written for the ambitious amateur as well as for professional photographers who want to expand their photographic repertoire. It is assumed that you have a basic, working knowledge of your camera and understand the basic working principles of digital image processing. Photographic Multishot Techniques is 220 pages and divided into seven chapters.

Chapter 1, "Introduction," describes how the parallel of digital camera technology with digital image processing has improved dramatically over the course of the last five to 10 years and with this has come the ability to create high-quality images through the use of multiple shots. Here is described what this is all about and how to use the multishot technique to gain even better quality of images.

Chapter 2, "The Multishot Workflow," examines the basic steps of the multishot workflow and will provide an introduction to the applications that will be used to apply these techniques. Also discussed are the file formats, the Adobe DNG converter, and how to convert your RAW files to TIFF or JPEG for processing.

Chapter 3, "Super-Resolution – More Pixels," doesn’t always mean a higher resolution camera; sometimes a software package can provide better resolution than a camera can. In this case the example is PhotoAcute, which merges several images into one with greater resolution than each of the originals. Here you will learn about this software and what it can do.

Chapter 4, "Focus Stacking – Maximizing Depth of Field," is another area where PhotoAcute and Helicon Focus, as well as other programs listed in the book, can merge a series of shots taken at different focal distances into an image with enhanced depth of field. While it is a highly specialized niche in the photographic world, it can make a difference in certain types of scenes.

Chapter 5, "Stitching – Increasing Image Coverage," works just like a panoramic shot. You take a series of overlapping images that are stitched together to make one wider shot. In this chapter you will see how to overcome problems that come about with working with panoramas that include perspective corrections, the merging of layers, and optimization.

Chapter 6, "HDRI – Increasing High Dynamic Range," will show you techniques for shooting multiple images and merging them into one image with an extended dynamic range with a difference in the brightness between pixels with the brightest and the darkest tonal values within an image. Again, here are described several tools such as PhotoAcute, Photomatix, and FDRTools that can make this job easier.

Chapter 7, "Enhancing Microcontrast," refers to the contrast between neighboring pixels with different brightness or color values. It can be increased in a manner similar to sharpening and can make you images more vivid and vibrant. In this chapter you learn how to use various microcontrasting tools with the emphasis on DOP Detail Extractor.

A lot of Photographic Multishot Techniques focuses on using a range of bracketed shots merged together to create a much more dynamic image. In this pursuit, you will learn about a number of software tools other than Photoshop to accomplish the task and most of these tools have, while reasonable, some cost to them. I am only saying this so that you are aware before you purchase the book, that to be successful with these techniques, there is other software involved.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.