High dynamic range imaging

derelict, futuristic Taiwanese buildings

Another view of the derelict buildings

All images in this post are by Cypher One. Visit his Flickr area to view gorgeous hi-res versions of these and other images.

Talk of HDD photography has been bouncing round the internet for a while now, the examples I’d seen of it were intriguing, but they didn’t move me particularly. The illustrations in the Wikipedia entry would leave most people scratching their head. Then I followed the BoingBoing entry about the derelict Taiwanese ‘space apartments’, pictured above. Quite apart from their post-production treatment, these images are beautifully shot and riddled with the pathos of lost futures. However the HDD technique suffuses them with something breathtaking: there’s a richness and depth that others have called painterly (though I’m not fond of that description). This is perhaps best illustrated by another of Cypher One’s photographs taken of a more workaday subject:

Taiwanese street scene

The fascination of these pictures comes, for me, from their folding of multiple timeframes into one image – except that folding isn’t quite right, the slight blurring and the strange play of colours and textures implies the passage of time in a very involving, subtle way.


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