Reactions were mixed when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came out with an unusually high frame rate. Now there's a different visual technology being discussed: HDR imagery is promising to be a different experience than higher frame rates. But will it be a better one?
HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it's used to expand the range of luminosity an image can display — think of it it as the visual equivalent of taking a vocal range from Hilary Duff to Beyonce. And according to people advocating for more of it, it won't leave as many people uneasy and wishing for the olden days as The Hobbit did. “I think audiences will get used to seeing this; they just don't have a reference for it," said Observatory's Collin Davis at a panel on the technology held at the Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB. "I will be interesting once audiences start to see it.”
“I personally am not a big fan of high frame rates,” said Curtis Clark, a director of photography. "But I’m very much in favor of spatial resolution (which HDR enables). This is about how to take this new technology to allow audiences to experience things cinematically in a way they have not before — and I emphasize 'cinematically.'"
Image: Warner Bros.