Digital Photography Blog


Using Dynamic Tone To Create HDR Like Effects

Posted by Leigh Diprose

When you pick up a camera and take a photo sometimes the results can look a bit flat. It doesn't matter what camera you're using this will always be the case to a certain extent. What I mean by that is the scene may lack contrast straight out of camera. The images you see within this article were all taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 and if I was editing these images for a client or to hang on a wall I would definately need to do some contrast adjustments in Adobe Photoshop to bring back some of the detail. 

Typically to overcome a 'flat image' many photographers will open the photo in Adobe Photoshop and add a 'S' curve using the Curve Tool. By adjusting the curve (see image below) to form a 'S' you are essentially making the darks darker, and the lights lighter. This method is one of the best ways to add contrast to an image without destroying to much of the optical data. 


Now, after the change in the image above you can see the picture looks like it has more contrast, but what if you want more contrast and tonal range straight out of camera without having to edit the image on a computer?

For a bit of photography fun there’s actually a Dynamic Tone Filter that can be found in the Advanced Filters section of the X-T1. In this mode the camera will create a ‘fantasy effect by altering the tonal reproduction of the scene’.

Now, this feature might not be for everyone, but I’ve found it produces some interesting results for landscape photography.

To navigate to the Dynamic Tone filter just follow these three simple steps:

1) Choose 'ADV.' on the shooting mode dial.

2) Press the MENU / OK button

3) Select Adv. FILTER SELECT and choose 'Dynamic'

Once you have successfully selected the filter you will be able to see a live preview of the Dynamic Tone filter either through the viewfinder or on the back of the LCD screen.
As you can see from the images straight out of camera (shown below) the effect is quite 'dynamic'. 



Tip: When you use this filter I would highly recommend exposing for the highlights in your scene. For the two images you can see here I used the exposure compensation dial to darken the exposure so that the waves (or highlights) were correctly exposed. The end result certainly stands out when you compare it to the normal images shown at the top of this article.



Having used this advanced filter I would definately recommend using it to keep your landscape photography fun. It's an interesting effect and one I would certainly use again. 

If you're interested in trying this for yourself head into your local Fujiflm stockist where you can have a play with this mode.