Saturday, January 01, 2011

Tonemapping, bleh!

Am I the only one to find this recent craze with tonemapped photos a disaster? Why would you think that changing the colours of your photo into a low contrast, muddled dark grey makes it a better photo? And don’t get me started on the random halos around the subjects! Can’t you see that these halos are awful!?  Am I the little kid who sees the emperor walk by naked who yells: “Your tonemapped photos look like shit!!”?

The worst thing is that tonemapping usually gets passed off as HDRI; it is not the same thing! True, a high-dynamic-range image might need to get some help to display correctly on dynamic range limited devices, but that is not the same as deliberately turning the colours into poo. To me, HDR is very useful to get well exposed shadow areas without blowing out the highlights as even the current and expensive DSLRs still have a limited dynamic range compared to film, so something needed to be done to improve this and HDRI was the answer. But if you really are interested in augmenting the dynamic range of your photo, why not look into a free tool like Enfuse. It’ll blow your mind!