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Old Jul 16, 2010, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default HDR the color equivalent of B&W?

B&W photos seem to have a certain quality about them regarding sharpness of detail. In some cases an HDR photo takes on an abstract appearance, but in some applications it gives me the impression that in maintains the clarity of detail present in B&W.

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Old Jul 16, 2010, 1:52 PM   #2
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I think I know what you mean.

If you split an image into hue, saturation and lightness, you can easily see that all of the detail is in the lightness which is why JPEGS compress the hue and saturation much more (I found this developing AutoHDR - there's no point trying to use hue or saturation for edge detection). I guess that's because detail really equates to texture rather than surface colouring in most cases and texture or the 3D shape of a surface affects the lightness.

My impression is that saturated colour 'swamps' the tones and hides the detail to some extent. B&W removes the problem bythrowing the colour away. HDR (at least what I consider to be the real heart of HDR) adjusts the local contrast in the lightness channel so that it isn't swamped by the colour. Both approaches make the lightness more important than the colour which therefore improves the visibility of the detail. Where HDR starts going overboard on the colour as well I think you lose the effect.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 4:29 PM   #3
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HDR shots make great B&W.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 8:29 PM   #4
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I've noticed that. But I always felt a little foolish doing it.
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