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  • The Crows are in Town (HDR photo)


    I’ve noticed a lot of crows in the Caledon area the last couple weeks, they are ugly birds but I thought I’d take a picture of one anyways. Apparently Ontario’s crow population has been on the rise for the past decade and several communities have battled with the birds. In Chatham, Ontario for instance, 160,000 birds dropped in without warning in 1999. When noisemakers, bright lights and other scare tactics failed to work, the town was divided over whether officials should begin shooting large numbers of crows. In the end, a company was commissioned to frighten the pests away with birds of prey, like owls and falcons.

    The above main photo is actually an HDR (High dynamic range imaging) image I created with a program called Photomatix. HDR imaging normally consists of taking several pictures of the exact same frame with each frame moving from a dark exposure to a light exposure, then combining the pictures. HDR photos can also be created from single shots using the original Raw image file. This allows for a photo in which the darkest and lightest parts of the picture have detail, where a single photo of normal exposure won’t have detail in these areas.

    crow_originalWhen processing a HDR image you will usually Tone map the image, tone mapping is a technique used in image processing and computer graphics to map a set of colours to another; often to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images in media with a more limited dynamic range. Print-outs, CRT or LCD monitors, and projectors all have a limited dynamic range which is inadequate to reproduce the full range of light intensities present in natural scenes. Essentially, tone mapping addresses the problem of strong contrast reduction from the scene values (radiance) to the displayable range while preserving the image details and color appearance important to appreciate the original scene content. Not everyone like this technique. Some people think it is not real or it makes a shot look too fake, how you create a HDR image and tone map it is largely a subjective thing as there is many different styles and approaches to it that can be made. The image to the right is the original unedited image so you can see the difference.

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