Pangea Software — perhaps best known to Mac users for their popular games including Nanosaur and Bugdom, has released a new utility for photographers called Bracketeer. It costs $19.95.
Bracketeer is used to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. HDR images combine several shots taken at different exposures; highlights from underexposed images and shadows from overexposed images are combined to create a more natural look.
Displaying HDR images on a computer screen can be difficult, because computer displays don’t have the same range of an HDR image. So to display HDR images on a computer screen, a technique called Tone Mapping is often used. Tone mapping preserves key image details and color while approximating the shadows and highlights found in true HDR images.
Bracketeer eschews this technique for a method called Enfusing instead. Enfused images are created from bracketed source images, and Pangea claims the method produces better results from Tone Mapped images in less time — Enfused images don’t have “halos” around illuminated areas, for example, and lack noise around moving objects, and don’t have contrast “washout.”
Bracketeer works with bracketed panoramic images and standard photographs. If you use Pangea’s PanoPreviewer software (also used for panoramic and QuickTime VR images), Bracketeer is free. What’s more, PanoPreviewer is included in the registration price for Bracketeer.