Estimated reading time: 2 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
Please take this into account.

Often (and in a completely anarchic) is confusing, species su Flickr and similar platforms, the’HDR with the Tone Mapping. Start now by saying that the HDR (High Dinamic Range) is a technique used in photography that allows to have a uniform illumination of subjects and settings that would normally be darker or lighter. The example below is a very good explanation.

In this short article we analyze the practical differences between a vero HDR and an effect “Tone Mapping“.

And since we're talking about practice, to begin to get a HDR will be needed various photographs of a single entity in formato RAW, or in a more modest size (JPG) setting a different exposure on the camera.

The photo on the left stands the background, one on the right the subject
The photo on the left stands the background, one on the right the subject

The images are then imported into special software for HDR, come “Luminance HDR/Qtpfsgui“, or its commercial rival “Photomatix“, software that deal only the creation of HDR images. In fact, a photo HDR differs compared to a normal photo to his brightness. The HDR photos are more similar to real perception a setting, while a normal picture will be lighter or darker depending on its capacity. HDR images require a greater number of bits by color of traditional images, due to the fact that they represent values ​​from 10 – 4 a 108 (the values ​​of the visible light) or more.

Real HDR effect
Real HDR effect
The Tone Mapping effect

The Tone Mapping effect, instead, is an effect improperly called HDR and generally used to enhance the brightness of the subject, but it has nothing to do with the HDR. To make the Tone Mapping is sufficient even a single shoot (better if exposed under) and the end result is much lower quality than an HDR image.

Look here:  Tutorial: golden effect on the water with Gimp

With this short article I am not saying that one method is better than the, simply are two different things, and it should stop calling the HDR Tone Mapping effect.

Useful Link:


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.