Geoffrey's Photography

K7’s HDR and Ethics

The K7 is the first camera I know of to include an HDR mode.  Not psudo HDR like the K20, it actually takes 3 photos and does a decent job putting them together.

This one is out there, admittedly, but it shows the camera can get that cheesy HDR look that some are after.

I added some contrast and saturation to this one but the camera handled all of the important stuff.  I realize editing the three raw files together would have made for a better photo but sometimes I don’t want to spend 20 minutes fixing up one image.

The 7’s HDR mode yields useable photos that can be adjusted and sent on their way like any other jpeg.  No, it doesn’t save the 3 original images (I wish it would) and it’s not available as a raw file (double darn) but it’s a useable photo that probably wouldn’t have happened in a single capture without serious help.

This brings up a question of ethics.

“Altered” photographs are frowned upon editorially…HDR’s get tagged as ‘illustrations’ rather than photos.  The APA doesn’t allow any ‘digitally altered’ photos to be entered for contest (meaning HDR’s, stitched panoramas and such).  All of that is pretty lame I think.  So long as the integrity of the captured moment is maintained, what’s wrong with a bit of enhancement?

Poorly composed, yes, but as color and brightness go that’s much closer to what my eye saw than a single, flat exposure.

I understand wanting to maintain the sport of it all, but in 2010 it’s reasonable to accept Photoshop as part of the creative process.  Cropping, dodging and burning are all allowed, so why not tone mapping?

Now that cameras can capture and tone map an image on their own, where’s the line on this whole “digitally altered” thing?  The two images above came out of the camera as jpegs like any other photo. You can bet that other cameras will soon have this ability if they don’t already.  I’d bet within 5 years we’ll see cheap point-and-shoots producing great HDR’s in-camera, whether by multi-shot magic or some new sensor technology.  Or voodoo.

At what point is the file coming out of the camera no longer considered a photo?

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Posted in Cameras and Pentax K7 and Places by admin on March 18th, 2010 at 12:48 am.

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