High Dynamic Range images under Linux
Not all image files are created equal. Most of us know this from working with the everyday formats like PNG, JPEG, and TIFF, each of which has its own pros and cons. But cutting-edge applications from cinematography to computer vision demand more range, color depth, and accuracy than these formats can deliver. That demand drove the development of what are called High Dynamic Range file formats. Luckily for us, Linux is a first-class citizen in the HDR image world.
You may have seen the HDR acronym in reference to computer gaming as well. Video card manufacturers use it to refer to rendering scenes with very large contrast ranges. These rendering techniques are not related to HDR imaging and HDR image file formats directly -- although, as we will see, game designers make use of HDR image formats to maximize visual quality.
... but some are less equal than others.