Friday, February 3, 2012

HDR used properly is appropriate for photojournalism, says Unified Color's Omvik review

'Using HDR software and processing tools is the only method a photographer has to deliver precisely

 Are High Dynamic Range photos appropriate for illustrating news? That's the debate that's been started by the Washington Post's use of an HDR image on its front page in January. John Omvik, Marketing VP with HDR software maker Unified Color understandably disagrees. “HDR is not appropriate for documentary photojournalism.” Elliot points out that the NPPA’s code of ethics say photographers should respect the integrity of the digital moment, “and in that light an HDR photo is no different from any other digital manipulation.”

As vice president of Unified Color Technologies, a pioneer in the field of HDR imaging, I strongly disagree with Elliot and the NPPA’s viewpoint. When properly used, HDR does the most accurate job of reconstructing the dynamic range of the original scene at the time the photo was taken. Respect the integrity of the photographic moment.

Proper use of HDR does not alter, mislead or misrepresent a scene. Until that time, the HDR process is the best option for photographers seeking to convey a sense of realism.  The controversy stems from the fact that staff photographer Bill O’Leary used High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques to process this photo, a fact the Post mentioned in the photo’s caption.


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