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Josh Morris' HDR Photography
Wins Honors

The Long Island Media Arts Show at Five Towns College annually attracts entries by many of the best young artists on Long Island. Huntington High School junior Josh Morris can now count himself among this exceptional group.

Mr. Morris won honors for a dramatic series of photos he snapped while visiting the mountain peak of Peru's Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca site that is nearly 8,000 feet above sea level.

The award winning work utilized high dynamic range imaging, a process known in the craft as HDR. The process allowed Mr. Morris to combine three images into one.

The teenager took the photos last year when he explored South America on a private trip with several dozen Huntington High School students. Huntington photography teacher Pamela Piffard was one of the trip's coordinators and she worked with Mr. Morris on the HDR process during the journey.

"High dynamic range imaging is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods," Ms. Piffard explained. "This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.
In simpler terms, HDR is a range of techniques geared toward representing more contrast in pictures."

Mr. Morris has been growing as a photographer and his experimentation with new techniques is paying dividends. The teenager's portfolio is getting more impressive by the week. His HDR images caught the eye of judges at the Long Island Media Arts Show.

"Non-HDR cameras take pictures at a single exposure level with a limited contrast range," Ms. Piffard said. "This results in the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, depending on whether the camera had a low or high exposure setting. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together so that we eventually arrive at a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas."

As Mr. Morris continues to perfect his techniques, it wouldn't surprise Ms. Piffard if the teenager has even more honors in his future.

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