I recently discovered the HDR setting (a very rudimentary version of real HDR) on the camera app of my (non-phone) iPhone, and have been playing with its unpredictability. Apparently it takes multiple images simultaneously with different exposures and juxtaposes them together in order to arrive at the “best” exposure. It also seems to make things extremely and artificially sharp. This generally results in a bleached-out, highly textured image. I also noticed some very slight double exposed portions of the photographs, especially evident along contours and thin lines. I realized soon that this was because if the camera moves at all while the picture is being taken (processed), the different versions (exposures) of the photo are set into the frame at different points within the composition. But because this is HDR, nothing is blurry. So some sections are a bit off-set, and slightly translucent. Therefore, significantly moving the camera while taking a photograph results in some very strange ghost-like versions of various sections of the image. Lens flares are also accentuated, which I like quite a lot.
That said, I find that this shoddy iPhone version of HDR produces photographs which strongly portray exaggerated, dream-like aspects of the summer—or at least ones with which I’ve been interested over the years—such as shimmering foliage, sun-bleached vegetation, the pressing, omnipresence of light and the heat it produces, strong contrasts of dark shadows on white-out dirt roads and certainly images that conjure sounds of birdsong choruses and the massed aural punctuations of insect noise. A lot of this imagery is due in part to my memories of summers as a child in Vermont, my fondness of de Chirico paintings and the descriptions of the beach in Camus’ The Stranger.
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