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High Dynamic Range Images

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.[1]

The two main sources of HDR imagery are computer renderings and merging of multiple photographs, the latter of which in turn are individually referred to as low dynamic range (LDR)[2] or standard dynamic range (SDR)[3] photographs.

Tone mapping techniques, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

Text Source Wikipedia

In short you take several images of the same scene with different shutter speeds and merge the images together. You can make the resultant image as surrealistic as you wish or just a normal looking image but retaining detail in the highlights and shadows which would otherwise be lost. I prefer a slightly surrealistic image as the following tend to be.

 

Meadowdale
Watercolour
 

Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains NP, North Carolina

 

Madison River, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming

 

Old Barn, Mormon Row, Grand Teton NP, Wyoming

 

Old Barn, Mormon Row, Grand Teton NP, Wyoming

 
Lava Creek
Lava Creek, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
 

Middle Prong River, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Tennessee

 

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