High Dynamic Range HDR 3D

Sascha Becher shoots high and low to get more dynamic range.


HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it is a technique to get a wider range of values in the tones you capture with your camera for your final image. The way it works is you shoot a scene with multiple exposures, as few as three or as many as your camera allows and then you merge them into one final image. It is very important to use a tripod so there is no camera movement between the shots.

Typically, you shoot one correct exposure and one or more under exposed and one or more overexposed. With these multiple exposures you are capturing more details in the dark and light areas of the scene. Afterward you use image editing software (Photoshop or others) to merge the three or more shots into one final image. This mapping of the tones from the fuller range of all the shots creates a blended image with a much wider range of tones (hence the term HDR, High Dynamic Range).

The term tone mapping is a related aspect of HDR – it is a tool in image editing software to tune how the extra information in the images is used. Often people use tone mapping to create surreal results and there is usually a healthy debate on real vs surreal in the 2D HDR world. In 3D a realistically tuned image can make for much better anaglyph results and a surreal version can also work out well. It is clear there is a place for both approaches even though people often take strong positions against the surreal approach.

HDR images often provide a more evenly “lit” image which can make for much better anaglyph results.  Lightening the dark areas allows for a cleaner result when the two stereo views are overlaid in the final image. Thus, the typically more even tones and greater detail in HDR images are well worth the effort of shooting and preparing the multiple exposures.

Sascha has done a number of fine HDR stereo images you can enjoy below.

About Sascha Becher:

In my childhood I became fascinated by photography as my father had many cameras and all the equipment necessary for exposing and developing photo paper from film. I soon started taking photos with a toy camera that even enabled long-exposure shots. At a friend’s home I experienced View-Master® stereo slide viewers, which left a lasting impression.

I went to college to study information technology in the field of multimedia at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft  in Dresden, Germany. Faced with many aspects of multimedia and a wide range of equipment and projects, I never lost my interest in photography. Digital photography first amazed me not because of the poor quality, which in 2003 was still common, but because of the possibility to edit photos instantly on the computer. The sheer plethora of photos that I could make as a penniless student inspired me to create panoramic photography. Some of the works can be seen here:

I graduated in 2007 with a diploma thesis on converting photography to stereophotography. The paper had been supervised at Spatial View GmbH, an innovative company for 3D content creation and auto-stereoscopic display technologies. Through this experience and all the auto-stereoscopic screens at Spatial View, my true passion for stereo photography was unleashed.

Sascha has many more images on Flickr under the screen name of Stereotron.







4 Responses to High Dynamic Range HDR 3D

  1. Sascha does such amazing 3D work and in my mind has been a forerunner in many different 3D methods and techniques.

  2. David Kesner says:

    I am also a big fan of HDR stereo and have done quite a bit myself. As Sascha says, it can really help in anaglyphs by evening out the light which results in much less ghosting.

  3. John Wattie says:

    Sascha’s HDR style stands out as clear and sharp with amazing detail in highlights and shadows. Sometimes photography becomes a high class “painting” in his hands. It is always a pleasure to view his page on Flickr.

  4. James says:

    Your images are simply stunning! I have been doing a reasonable amount of HDR but have not tried to make anaglyphs yet. What software do you use to combine the two images as an anaglyph and do you have any tips for good results? many thanks and keep up the superb work!

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