Tuesday, January 7, 2014
A Royal Experiment
Several lifetimes ago I did a fairly elaborate series of illustrations for the Christina Rossetti poem A Royal Princess. They were formatted as a 'children's book' of two page spreads, inspired by Trina Schart Hyman's wonderful retellings of fairy tales. There are a lot of very good reasons why a children's book of a poem about a depressive princess and a peasant revolt is unlikely to take the world by storm. Among them I had an enormous amount of difficulty photographically reproducing the tonal range of the watercolors. Even a shot at large format commercial scans seemed to blow out the highlights (likely their fault of course). Recently I went back and as an experiment tone mapped a series of 4 or 5 bracketed exposure shots. Not perfect but its closer than I've managed before. I don't know if the dynamic range is genuinely more than you can get in a single exposure or if its a side effect of the tone mapping?