How to compress the high dynamic range of an image
Posted On March 6, 2021
Dynamic range in photography is interpreted as the measurement between the lowest and highest values of luminance. LDR is short for low dynamic range. Plenty of images you see on the internet are LDR images. Their ratio of max luminance to min luminance may not reflect the scenes in the real word exactly. HDR is the abbreviation for high dynamic range. Compared with LDR images, HDR images provide a wider luminance range. They are more consistent with the human visual system. But many display devices have limited dynamic range that is far lower than human vision. The high dynamic range of the image may exceed the dynamic range of the viewing devices like mobile, laptop and monitor. Therefore, dynamic range compression is a great need to map the wide range to a range that is suitable for display. A lot of photo editor software is capable of handling this task. But most of them are complicated and not friendly to photo editing beginners. If you are looking for a simple tool to compress the dynamic range, please continue reading this post. I will introduce an easy-to-use photo filter app to help you get this job done.
Photo Effects by Vertexshare
As the name suggests, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a professional photo effect software program. The app comes with an intuitive interface that allows you to apply adjustments to an image in an instant.
The interface of Photo Effects is composed of three panels. In the left-side panel, there are a rich collection of predefined effects. You will see the preview thumbnail of each effect after you load the image into the program. Most of the interface is taken up by the middle panel. This panel is for you to preview the changes you make on the photo. There are options for zooming in and out the image, comparing the differences between the original image and the changed image, and discarding all the changes. Various parameter sections are arranged in the right-side panel. Here you can adjust the exposure level by changing the exposure compensation, exposure compression, lightness, saturation, and contrast. In addition, you can change the shadows/highlights, tone mapping, dynamic range, and sharpening. Moreover, it's also possible to reduce the noise level in the photo. Other parameters to adjust image effects include local contrast, white balance, channel mixer, soft light, vignette filter, and vibrance.
Overall speaking, Photo Effects is a powerful utility to enhance the quality of your image. The app aims for simplicity, so the UI is easy to get around. Due to its ease of use, it is suitable for both less experienced users and professionals.
Let's see how to compress the HDR with Photo Effects in the upcoming part.
How to compress the dynamic range of an image using Photo Effects
- Click on "File"->"Add Photo" to import the photo. Or drag and drop the image into the drop box.
- Navigate to the right side panel and scroll down to the "DYNAMIC RANGE COMPRESSION" section. Press the "DYNAMIC RANGE COMPRESSION" button to activate the function of adjusting parameters. The parameters in this section are amount, detail, and anchor. Drag the slider to adjust each parameter to fit your needs.
This parameter is simply used to the set the amount of compression. The higher the value is, the more compressed the dynamic range is.
This parameter is used to preserve the amount of detail. Use this parameter to fine-tune the amount of detail as you prefer. Increasing the value will keep more details while decreasing the value will reduce the amount of details. Positive values increase the local contrast while negative values reduce the local contrast.
This parameter makes the compressing lean towards the highlights or the shadows. You can take this parameter as exposure compensation.
- Click on the "View" button to compare what the image had looked like before you made changes with what it looks like after you made changes. If you want to readjust the parameters, click on the "Redo" button to discard the changes.
- When you are satisfied with the adjustments, press "Export Photo" to export the image to the desired location or click on "File"->"Save As" to save the image into the destination folder.
Human visual system is capable of obtaining detailed information from high dynamic range scenes. But conventional display devices lag behind and allow only the display of a low dynamic range. Photo Effects by Vertexshare helps you to compress the high dynamic range into a range that can be displayed. This piece of software is currently totally free for use. Give it a shot and you won't be disappointed.
PS: Create a HDR photo with a free online HDR tool
HDR is a tech that makes sure the colors are vivid in highlights while more details are rendered in shadows. In another word, it ensures that the highlights are not over exposed and the shadows are not underexposed. If you want to create a HDR photo that reproduces vivid colors in bright areas and retains more details in dark regions, give Fotor a try. Fotor is an online service that offers a free HDR tool with a range of HDR technologies to help produce spectacular HDR images. Take three photos of the same scene with different exposures. Press "Import" to upload them in a batch and click on the "Start button". Choose one HDR style as you prefer, configure the editing settings like intensity, and check "Ghost Reduction" for correcting inconsistencies. When you are ready, select the output format and quality and save the image to your hard drive.