High dynamic range imaging

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Four exposures of a HDRI

In computer graphics and cinematography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI for short) is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows.

This provides the opportunity to shoot a scene and have total control of the final imaging from the beginning to the end of the photography project. A concrete example would be that it provides the possibility to re-expose. One can capture as wide a range of information as possible on location and choose what is wanted later. (JGWill, 2004)

Gregory Ward is widely considered to be the founder of the discipline of high dynamic range imaging. The use of high dynamic range imaging in computer graphics has been popularised by the work of Paul Debevec.

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