Dynamic Range Definition

Understanding Dynamic Range in Photography

The world of photography is not only limited to equipment. You also need to know more about photos so that your shots are more interesting. One thing that needs to be studied is the dynamic range. Dynamic range is very important in the world of photography because it is related to color. Dynamic range can shape the appearance of a photo, and its contrast, especially for high-contrast subjects.

Dynamic Range Definition

Dynamic range in photography can be defined as the range (from minimum to maximum) of the luminance (lighting) of a photographed scene. Dynamic range can also be related to the intensity range of the camera sensor in recording images, both in the shadow and highlight areas.

Maximum luminance is generally the area where the light source is located (e.g. Sun or sky). It can also be in areas with high reflective levels (e.g. Mirrors that reflect light). While the minimum luminance is a dark area or under shadow. The area usually has a low reflection (e.g. Rocks).

The human eye has a very wide dynamic range. Humans can distinguish between dark and light areas with amazing speed and accuracy. However, the camera sensor has a much narrower viewing angle. The camera sensor struggles to capture details of dark and light areas at the same time. Therefore, the camera cannot record the entire area perfectly. Due to under or over-exposure. This is the reason why photographing landscapes with different light contrasts can be very difficult.

Each photo object has a different dynamic range. A high dynamic range means that the difference in luminance between the maximum and minimum is very large. In general, landscape objects are scenes with a medium-high dynamic range. The sun and sky are generally very bright, while the foreground generally lacks light so it looks dark.

The average modern digital camera, both DSLR and Mirrorless, has a dynamic range between 12 and 14. A camera as expensive and sophisticated as the Nikon D850 only has 14.8 stop dynamic range. A high dynamic range, number does not guarantee accurate results. The screen of a camera with 14 stops of dynamic range is only able to display 10 stops.

Adorama divides 2 dynamic ranges that must be considered, namely the dynamic range of photo objects, and the ability of the dynamic range itself. As long as the dynamic range of the photo object does not exceed the camera’s capabilities, we can still produce photos with perfect exposure.

Sensors And Dynamic Range

Sensors And Dynamic Range

Do you know why each camera has a different dynamic range? The difference in dynamic range is actually due to the pixel size. The bigger the pixels, the more light it can contain. Pixels can be thought of as a container of collected light. So, if the light is full it cannot accommodate more information. The size of the sensor plays a role, the bigger the sensor, the more pixels the sensor can accommodate.

Because the closer they are, the more they “interfere” with each other electronically, therefore the distance between pixels is very important. This is called noise and can reduce the dynamic range. When camera manufacturers decide on the dynamic range their sensors use, it’s usually measured by shooting in perfect conditions. Shooting in JPEG will reduce the dynamic range because the camera system will correct the contrast and saturation of the photo. Increasing the ISO will also reduce the dynamic range of the sensor.

How to View Dynamic Range

The dynamic range is represented by a histogram showing the brightness range of the subject from black on the left to white on the right. The width of the histogram chart represents the dynamic range of the camera sensor.

On the left side of the histogram represents the camera’s ability to “record” the dark parts and on the right the bright parts. If these two parts are not “cut off” then the exposure of the image can be said to be perfect.

The Exposure to The Right (ETR/ETTR) technique does not always work to ensure a balanced dynamic range. Chances are when you drag the histogram to the right, the dark will lighten up, but the light will get lighter and lose detail in that part.

How to Maximize Dynamic Range

How to Maximize Dynamic Range

The dynamic range capability is not always accurate, so in photography, we know the terms exposure bracketing and neutral density filter. Exposure bracketing is shooting (on average) three exposure values ​​ (light-medium-dark) which are then combined into a single frame after shooting. Currently, many cameras are able to do it without having to be ‘edited’ in the editing application.

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This technique is often referred to and most of it has become a camera feature, namely HDR (High Dynamic Range). Dark and light exposure will be combined to produce the right exposure. While the neutral density (ND) filter is a photography accessory to make a photo object darker than the original. ND filters are also often used for long-exposure shooting techniques.

The development of camera technology is now able to produce images with ideal exposure, even though everything has to go through post-processing or editing.

Landscape Photography And Dynamic Range

The ability of a camera to capture detailed images in the dark and light ranges is very important. But it’s a different story in landscape photography. Dynamic range is an important feature in determining the selection of a camera for the needs of shooting nature and landscapes.

Dynamic range can have a big impact on the editing process. RAW format camera photos are able to display detailed results in the image after the highlight and shadows balancing process.

The HDR feature can be an alternative choice to reduce image editing, although not all cameras can be optimal. Of course, each brand has a different technology and approach. The need for a good dynamic range is because the image object in a wider landscape includes more space for highlights and shadows.

However, the sharpness and detail of the image in the shadows is not entirely a matter of dynamic range. But also, how to select the lens aperture in the exposure triangle to determine a wider depth of field.

This is an explanation of dynamic range in photography. If you are interested in learning more about the world of photography, take the Photo assistant course here!

Photography for Beginners: Understanding Photography

Understanding Photography

Often people think that taking a photo is very easy, many think that taking a photo is just a push of a button and then it becomes a good photo. In fact, there are many aspects that must be studied to be able to produce a good photo. Well, this time let’s understand together about photography techniques.

Understanding Photography

Photography is defined as the art and production of images and light on a film or surface that is sensitized. Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, photography comes from English, namely ‘photography’ which comes from the Greek ‘photos’ which means light, and ‘Grafo’ which means writing or painting. According to Ansel Adams, photography is a powerful medium of expression and communication, offering an infinite variety of executions, interpretations, and perceptions. In addition, we can also interpret photography as a way of painting using light media.

Based on the definition of photography above, it can be concluded that photography is the activity of taking pictures through a camera to produce works of art and can be enjoyed either by oneself or by the public. Therefore, photography has many techniques that can help in producing various works that make people interested to see them.

Often people think that taking a photo is very easy, many think that taking a photo is just a push of a button and then it becomes a good photo. In fact, there are many aspects that must be studied to be able to produce a good photo. Well, this time let’s understand together about photography techniques.

Photography for Beginners: Photography Techniques

Photography Techniques

To become a photographer, of course, you don’t just have to have ‘wow’ equipment in the sense of a complete type of camera and lens. One of the most important keys for photographers is mastering photography techniques. There are so many photography techniques that will add variety and beauty to photos so that they are interesting and not monotonous, including:


Zooming is a technique that makes the main object clearly visible, while the background looks blurred. This technique serves to emphasize the object and make it more striking. Focal length changes can only be made with a zoom lens, use a shutter speed of no more than 1/30 second to produce the impression of motion. In applying this technique you should use a tripod.


Panning is a photographic technique used to freeze the motion of a moving object. How to do panning is to move the camera in the direction of the movement of the object you want to shoot so that the object will appear to be in focus, while the background will appear blurry.


Is a technique of photographing an object that is moving, such as water, or people who are exercising, as if we can stop the moving object. The way to apply this technique is to use a high shutter speed.

Read also: Understanding Dynamic Range in Photography


Macro is a photo technique taken at a very close distance to get high detail on a small object. Macro photos usually have a 1:1 ratio where the resulting image is the same size as the original object.


Silhouette is a photo technique where the object looks dark while the background or photo background has a lighter color. How to apply this technique is to place the object or subject in front of the light by adjusting the exposure on the camera.


Bulb is a photo technique of drawing using light, in contrast to the notion of photography which paints with light. The bulb shoots light on light. The way to apply this technique is to set the camera’s shutter speed as long as possible so that it will get the lines produced by moving glowing objects.

Shooting Techniques

The image capture technique is a technique for selecting the area in the photo frame. There are several ways to take pictures, including:

Extreme Long Shot

An extreme long shot is a technique in which the camera is positioned as far away from the subject as possible, usually using a wide lens, the goal of which is to make the subject in the frame appear small when compared to the surrounding locations.

Long Shot

Long shot is a technique of taking pictures with a wide frame area, the art of which in addition to the main object of the background is also captured by a camera with a large enough area. Unlike the extreme long shot, this technique has a limitation, namely if the object is a human from head to toe, but still provides a little space around the object.

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Medium Long Shot

Medium long shot is a shooting technique with a narrow frame area and only takes part of the body. If the object of the photo is a human, the limit is only from the knee to the limit of the head and gives a little space above the head.

Close Up

Close-up is a technique of taking pictures closer to human objects from shoulder to head. The close-up technique is used to show details of a person’s character or facial expressions.

Big Close Up

Big close-up is a shooting technique that only takes detailed facial parts of human objects, usually if the photo object is a human, the limit of taking photos is only from the face. The goal is to expose facial expressions more clearly.

Extreme Close Up

Extreme close-up is a technique of taking pictures more centered on only one particular part of the object in detail. The scope of the fame area only focuses on certain parts, for example on humans, namely the eyelids, nose, or lips.

Those are some photo techniques that are usually applied by photographers to make photos more interesting, actually, there are many more about photo techniques that can be discussed but will be discussed in future articles. Please be creative, hopefully, this brief explanation is useful.