Simply put, cameras are unable to capture what our eyes see. Our eyes naturally adjust as we look at the different aspects of a scene and we are able to see details in both shadows and in bright areas. Just think of walking outside on a bright day and how it takes our eyes a minute to adjust to the light. Cameras don’t adjust the way our eyes do and as a result, are only able to capture a certain amount of information. In the example on the left, the camera captured the sky as white and lost all details in the shadows. High Dynamic Range imaging (HDR) is a technique that can be used to overcome the limitations of the camera. By taking multiple photos of the same scene at different exposures, they can later be combined to create a new photograph that better represents what our eyes saw and opens up further avenues of artistic interpretation. In the example on the right, multiple exposures were blended to bring back the blue sky and return details to the shadow areas. Which example do you prefer?
Sometimes a single photograph can’t capture enough of a story. Multiplicity photography is a technique in which a scene is photographed numerous times with the subject in a different place for each photo. Images are combined in Photoshop to create the effect of there being clones of a person or pet to better express their personality or playfulness or even tell a bizarre story. In other words, a multiplicity photo is one in which a person appears numerous times despite the impossibility of that ever actually happening. Some ideas might be to play cards with yourself, change clothes numerous times, become an entire baseball or football team, stuff yourself in a trunk, or even have a snowball fight with yourself. The possibilities are limitless, so what ideas do you have?
Imagine that you’re standing inside of a sphere. As you look around, everything you see is an image on the inside of that sphere. Now, by opening that sphere and projecting it on a flat surface, the result is something that looks like a small floating planet (in some cases). This planet, a stereographic panorama is a unique photograph that doesn’t really have a right-side-up. It can be turned in all directions and is best viewed large due to both the intriguing nature of the image as well as the amount of detail. But how is it done? Using a panoramic tripod head (also possible hand-held), the first step is to photograph the visible sphere around you. With a fisheye lens, this can be accomplished in roughly 6-10 photos, or 30-90 photos if shooting for HDR. The next step is to stitch all of the photos together into a panorama using software such as Hugin or PTGui. Both programs allow the panorama to be projected in numerous ways and output as a new image. From here, the resulting planet can be retouched in necessary before turned into a work of art.
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