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Again, how do you properly expose an image whose dynamic range exceeds the capabilities of a sensor?
Mild HDR, or good judgment of where to clip shadows/highlights.
As with sharpness, you can never have too much DR available. But that doesn't mean you will use it. To retain the most contrast and "punchiness" typical subjects will use the same range as we have available, not 20 stops of DR. The extra DR is good for making adjustments or dealing with excessively contrasty conditions, but not needed in typical shooting. At least not needed in the way it is being stridently voiced by so many photographers.
I'm all for more DR (and MP), but that isn't stopping me from getting the best photo structure I've ever had.
After reading further:
I don't want to sound "old", but back in the day. . .
We used to call managing contrast range "technique". Transparency films had a range of, what, 8 usable stops of latitude from darkest details to blown highlights. Now, we don't even use the term "latitude", do we?
I remember how excited I was to get the 5D and Canon's DPP and really be able to pull some details out of shadows and highlights, even more than I could with the earlier 20D. I felt so relieved to be away from using film!
Now we have something like 11+ stops of DR, and because of my history, it seems still like a luxury and safety net. Granted, there are times I would like a couple extra stops to pull up some shadow detail or bring out some highlight details.
We can't overlook the benefits of the PP software these days either -- that's practically a revolution in itself.
I'm not saying we shouldn't want the most improvements possible. Just that with what we once considered normal photographic approach from the film era, we should be able to make some pretty wonderful photos, even at the commercial level.
Edited on Nov 10, 2012 at 04:01 PM · View previous versions