Welcome to Altered Photos. It is called Altered Photos because we are going to, well, alter some photographs. Modifying, changing, adjusting, optimizing, or altering photos has a long history. Years ago the options were limited but photographers were still able to make some adjustments. One type of adjustment was altering the film development time and temperature to change the contrast characteristics of the film. And when prints were made from negatives it was common to "burn in" parts of the image while "dodging" other parts.
Almost all contemporary images have been altered in one way or another. Point and shoot cameras that produce JPG images usually do some sharpening in camera. Most images that start life as a camera raw format will be sharpened with image editing software. Indeed most image editing software allow us to crop the picture, adjust the color cast, contrast, and resolution.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Newer computer techniques now provide the ability to greatly expand the type and extent of image altering. HDR is one of those techniques and will be the primary focus for this website. There are plenty of tutorials available on the net, some of them quite good. What you will find here is not another tutorial but a set of projects that include source materials to use with the HDR software of your choice. You can, of course, just download the finished image but if you want the experience of creating your own finished image with your HDR software then start with the source images provided for each HDR project.
The source images are usually full size as they came out of the camera and after being converted to JPG format. Each project will show some intermediate processing that you can use to create a final image similar to the project reference image. Don't like the reference image? No worries, there are an infinite number of potential results so you can create your own version. The source images supplied are yours to keep. No attribution required. The finished images are certainly yours to keep.
3D Ray Tracing
Another technique we will use here is including one or more photos as textures in a 3D ray traced image. Ray tracing has been around a long time, indeed, the software package used here, called PovRay, had it's start over 20 years ago. A long time in computer years. The images are created from text based scene descriptions and as you will see can produce some remarkable results.
In one of the ray trace projects we will create 360 images which are combined into an AVI format video which in turn is converted into a MP4 format video.
Pick A Project
To get started click on "Projects" in the menu above and look over the various projects you can do on your own PC. Use the images provided or use your own to customize a project.
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