Past Features

December 11, 2006 (Vol. 4, No. 7)

Ready for HDR?

Pumpkins on the Farm Photo by David Gillison and Robert Schneider

Want to explore the cutting edge of photography—where technology brings the art form to the next level? In Spring 2007, Prof. Robert Schneider (Mathematics & Computer Science) will offer one of the first courses in CUNY on "high-dynamic range photography."

Called "New Directions in Photography" (Art/CGI 451), the class will teach students how to shoot, process, and print images using this new technique. Prof. Schneider and a colleague in Lehman's Computer Graphics & Imaging program, Prof. David Gillison, are using this approach themselves to create a series of images inspired by the famous Hudson River School of landscape painting.

What does this technique offer?

The dynamic range of a scene consists of the contrast ratio between its brightest and darkest parts. Any scene in which a light source is directly seen in the photo, such as a streetscape with sunlight reflecting off the windows, is considered to be an image with a high-dynamic range (HDR). Photographers using a standard camera with just a single exposure cannot adequately capture such an image. With HDR photography, they use technology to combine multiple images of the same scene, each taken at a different intensity level. The resulting image is made up of a far greater number of "pixels" than found in the average photo.

Art/CGI 451 will meet at Lehman on Thursdays from 12:30-4 p.m., beginning on February 1, 2007. Students will be shown how to display their images on the web using QTVR and Flash and also introduced to tone-mapping theory as well as other relevant software and modeling/animation applications. The class will apply the technique to panoramic photography, where one traditionally has trouble with the inherent high dynamic range.

To enroll in the class, you must have completed a photography course and an Art/CGI course, or receive permission from the instructor.

For more information, e-mail