Monday, 8 April 2013

My Initial Thoughts on 'Digital image qualities'

My immediate response when reading through the 'Digital image qualities' section in order to gain an overview of my forthcoming projects was that one single term: 'dynamic range', would be of importance. I considered how sensors on digital cameras contrast with film in terms of how they gather light. This made me wonder whether film was 'better' or more refined in quality than digital, with the human eye obviously being at the top of the list. I thought it would be interesting to see how dynamic range was coped with by digital cameras' sensors and how it would relate to other areas like 'noise' in digital images and 'highlight clipping'.

   I also recalled I had been reading about a few examples of methods concerning increasing the dynamic range of digitally produced images. For example there was an article I had read recently about the advantages of using the 'raw' camera format over jpeg. The article RAW vs JPEG (JPG) – The Ultimate Visual Guide stated: 'Dynamic Range detail in JPEG files is significantly reduced as compared to RAW' - Pye (2012). In my experience I have found this to be true but I was curious to see how to practically see the difference as well.

   Also I would possibly consider the use of 'high dynamic range' imaging. However I was quite sure if I was to use this technique it would be subtly employed. The sole intention would be to create higher dynamic range images and not for a certain aesthetic qualtiy quite frequently found to be desirable. More specifically, I would try to steer away from 'The ‘HDR look’ as it has come to be known', which 'is actually a by-product of the problems with tonemapping' - M. Freeman (2011). I would only try to use a 'subtle HDR' treatment it if I felt a photograph would benefit from it. The scenario I could see this occurring in was where the contrast in the scene exceeded what the sensor could capture.