I'm not really a fan of HDR, but in this case I think you did very well. It's not gaudy, rather done very tastefully. Excellent job. The only critique I would give is that there is no real focal point. There is just so much going on, it's hard to realize what the viewer should be looking at. I'm sure others will give you a much better crit and pick out all of the missing details.
Nice pretty natural look. Bit on the dark side though.
Looks good, I like HDR landscapes, especially when clouds are involved.
My only comment is perhaps it needs a little de-saturation on the yellow channel...
May I ask - why you shot at ISO200 - was it windy?
I would like to see the original 0EV image for comparison, if possible.
I like the sky and clouds treatment, plus the shadows in distant left landscape, but the closer you get to the camera, the more it goes 'unnatural' for me. The wall and grasses in right foreground are the biggest problem for me.
I do wonder if some of it is just an over zealous final sharpen?
I actually quite like the composition, the eye can wander around at will, wall, clouds, trees, clouds, their shadows, fields, back to wall, etc.
What a lovely, brisk view! I mean, really lovely! Very pastoral and natural....except that....the light on the scene looks really strange to me - it even looks to me, at the front of the wall, nearest to us, like you used your flash. maybe, for the reasons that Dave suggested? It seems that, with such a countryside scene, the light shouldn't feel manufactured (unless you're making a sarcastic commentary?) So...., Tommy, I'm not used to HDR and I certainly don't know everything! I'm just kind of giving you an honest impression. In other words,... what in the world do I know?
Hi Tommy and welcome to the wonderful world of HDR! I'm going to assume that you are looking for HDR specific feedback.
One of the typical issues with daylight HDR is the way the tonemapping process can make clouds on a bright day look very dark, even black at times. I would use layers and masking to blend back in some of clouds from the best image of the three to lighten the dark cloud centers.
Another common issue is the tendency to get unrealistically intense foliage. In almost every case I find that I need to blend back in 'some' of the original green to make it look more natural.
Where the tops of the trees are against the sky they tend to be dark and often have halos in the sky. Correcting this can be tricky because you are trying to lighten the branch tips right where you also want to darken the sky. Again, some very delicate blending with the most appropriate original can help. In some cases it is helpful to apply an adjustment layer for Brightness/Contrast and play with the setting to get the best level match before you do the blending. Fortunately, everything is un-doable if the attempt is less than satisfactory on the first or second try.
When I process HDR, my goal is to get folks to say 'Oh, Wow' without realizing that there was any HDR processing involved. You can sometimes turn a fairly ordinary image into spectacular one with the judicious use of HDR techniques. Hope this helps!
Hello, Tommy. I like the shot, a very nice scenery indeed. As with the previous comments, I have to agree with Chris when he said: "The only critique I would give is that there is no real focal point. There is just so much going on, it's hard to realize what the viewer should be looking at." Having everything sharp and with outstanding details, it's very hard for the eyes to find a strong focus point. If you may entertain my opinion, if this is my shot, I'd probably recommend these adjustments:
1. Make the meadows my main focus point. I would brighten up the field and retain its sharpness so even if the eyes would wander to see all the detail on your image, the viewer's eyes will keep on coming back to that area.
2. Using a reverse clarity adjustment on the image, I will apply a negative clarity on the foreground and the clouds to make it softer compared to the main subject I chose. This would soften the foreground grass and the shadow part of the half-wall giving a distinction as to where is the foreground and where is the middleground.
3. I would apply a very subtle layer of vignette to further enhance the emphasis on the green fields. If you may, something like this:
Just my own spin on the image, Tommy so pardon the edit.
Many thanks to all of you for your helpful comments and feedback. I was quite overwhelmed when I woke up this morning to see how many of you had posted.
I like what you have done with the image and I am certainly drawn towards the fields in the middle ground as more of a focus. So thank you for offering that as a suggestion.
As I said earlier, I will take on board everyone's comments about what you like / dislike and use some of the constructive PP advice you've given and try to redo this.
Just a further thought Tommy - I too like your shot, and like HDR in landscapes when used sensitively. I'm passing on what I found myself a while back - in the world 'out there', the sky is going to be lighter than the ground. If you make the sky darker than the ground, its going to look like a special effect - which you might want, but then again you might not. So, in your straight out of the camera shot, the blue of the sky is lighter than the green of the landscape. In your HDR version, its darker. On the other hand, if you make everything look entirely natural, it makes HDR a bit redundant, doesn't it?! All depends on what effect you want.
Just another thought; I would have the 0EV as my base shot eg ; 0EV, 2EV, 4EV ect.
Thanks Colin and Steve for your attempts. Not sure how you managed to do an HDR from one single JPEG though For mine I used -1.3EV, 0EV, +1.3EV. I think I need to have another go and tone it down a little.
What is the best HDR software out there? Is it Photomatix? CS5? I like HDR's that don't look too 'fake' and over-processed...
Who did (now I'm confused) - HDR from a single exposure can't be done; it's impossible.Not sure how you managed to do an HDR from one single JPEG though
Don't confuse tone mapping with HDR - they may often be used at the same time, but they're two distictly different processes.For mine I used -1.3EV, 0EV, +1.3EV. I think I need to have another go and tone it down a little.
HDR isn't a "look" - it's a set of techniques for capturing a scene when the dynamic range of that scene is too great to be captured in a single exposure -- it's nothing to do with how an image looks (by the time you see it on your screen or in print it's already low dynamic range) (we currently don't have technology commonly available to display or print a true HDR image).What is the best HDR software out there? Is it Photomatix? CS5? I like HDR's that don't look too 'fake' and over-processed...
What many mis-understand to be an "HDR look" is really nothing more than over-saturated - over-sharpened - flat - "kludge"
It even ranks in at #5 on the Photo Editing Offences list!
My suggestion is to simply shoot a properly-exposed RAW frame and then use the fill light slider to reveal as much of the 12 or so stops of dynamic range already captured by the sensor (or which the majority is usually discarded).
Last edited by Colin Southern; 31st August 2011 at 07:57 AM.
Thanks for your reply Colin.
My understanding of the reasoning behind an HDR image is to combine several images of bracketed exposures in order to capture a scene that has too wide a dynamic range to be captured successfully by my camera with one single exposure. The desired result is to produce an image with no clipping on either extreme of the histogram.
I understand what you are saying about the "HDR Look". Indeed you're description of it being "nothing more than over-saturated - over-sharpened - flat - "kludge" pretty much sums up my first attempt in this post
I only use Picturenaut for HDR since I hardly ever do it anymore, unless I can lean against something to keep the camera very steady.
CS5 should be very good for HDR, but there are some new ones http://www.oloneo.com/
My personal "hero" is this guy on Flickr - here is an example of what "I" like in a HDR here
The process of putting a few extra pixels and lines around your digital image to add 'impact.'
Me - GUILTY AS CHARGED
The needless rape of a photograph because the photographer is big headed enough to believe someone will come and steal his/her photo to profit from it.
Me - GUILTY AS CHARGED
3. Selective Colouring
The process of converting an image to monochrome, but leaving one element coloured, such as a tram, or lady in a red dress.
Me - GUILT AS CHARGED
4. The Flood Filter
A Photoshop plugin introduced a few years ago that everyone went crazy for. Everything for about a year was submerged in perfectly generated rippled water.
Me - NOT GUILTY
5. Highly Overprocessed HDR
The latest new FAD... HDR techniques have been around for over 100 years (Yes they have.) But overprocessed tone mapping nonsense from the likes of Photomatix users are all the rage right now.
Me - GUILTY with MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES.
EVIDENCE for the PROSECUTION...
OUCH that is sharp !