An experimental photo essay using HDR techniques to enhance images from Japan: a country where old and new stand side by side, just like SDR and HDR photography today.
HDR photography allows capturing a wider dynamic range of lighting in a scene. Recent advances in hardware and software, like gain maps, now make it possible to create HDR images from a single raw file.
To experiment with this, I reworked some photos from my Japan trip into an HDR gallery. The ~20 photos here were taken on my Ricoh GR IIIx camera and edited using 2–3 stops of HDR range in Lightroom. No bracketing required!
Notice how light sources pop on HDR displays. The photos are best viewed on recent Apple, Pixel, Galaxy and other devices that support HDR using a Chromium-based browser.
Enjoy this glimpse of Japan in enhanced dynamic range! Click any image to start the full-screen gallery.
P.S. Since I edited these solely for HDR with no thought for SDR compatibility, they may look overly processed on non-HDR screens.
Recent developments like gain maps, wider availability of HDR displays, and updates to Lightroom have finally made it practical to unlock the full potential of HDR photography from a single raw file. As shown in this gallery, even 2–3 stops of expanded dynamic range can make highlights sparkle and shadows come to life. Expect to see more everyday photos take advantage of HDR as the technology becomes mainstream.
For now, I'm enjoying experimenting with these enhanced images of Japan: a country where old and new stand side by side, just like SDR and HDR photography today.
Liked these photos and my experiment? I share more regularly, so take a look at the Photos series page for other galleries and essays, and sign up for updates.