This one will be a short post as I’ve been short on time lately but I wanted to show how important it can be to understand and know how much dynamic range a camera can capture within the RAW file of a photo. This first photo is one that is taken straight from camera converted to JPEG.
I wasn’t expecting to get any great shot from this sunset as it was too dark under the trees and too bright out on the lake. I thought about HDR for this shot but I don’t have enough experience, or don’t even know if it would have been possible, to have processed this as HDR as the wind was blowing and there was a lot of grass and tree limbs. Upon thinking of this, I did a bracket photo anyways just to see what I could make out of any of them as I have found that the RAW file does contain a bit of dynamic range.
With only working in Lightroom, this is the result I was able to come up with just by using the RAW file of the photo above.
As you can see there was a lot of detail that was retained within the shadows. If you notice in the original photo, you can’t even tell what the ground is made up of. After adjusting the sliders, I was able to bring back some of the detail that allows the viewer to see what the foreground is made up of rather than just seeing a lot of silhouettes. I was originally going to delete this photo as I didn’t care for the processed version, but then thought it may be beneficial to show just how much dynamic range is available within a RAW file. Of course, the camera itself determines the amount of dynamic range that is captured. This photo was taken with a D610. Other cameras may capture more or less dynamic range than this. It is always nice to know what limits you can push your camera to in order to get the shots when under pressure though.