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Thread: Learning to work HDR and Layers

  1. #1
    batman44's Avatar
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    Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Okay-Here's my first post.

    I'm learning to work with HDR Merge and Layers....I used Photmatix ( the free one so it's embedded on the sax, to see if it looks better than my Corel) and I use Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. I'm sure I'm in the Minority by using it(Corel)...But I'm learning and having fun too!

    Let me know your thoughts....etc.
    Thanks.

    This is my son's pretty beat up Saxophone.

    Learning to work HDR and Layers

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post

    Let me know your thoughts....etc.
    Thanks.

    This is my son's pretty beat up Saxophone.
    Hi Kori,

    Well done on your first image - very very few make that first step here!

    OK - on to the "good stuff" ...

    Keeping in mind that your idea of what looks good might be completely different to mine, but here's my thoughts ...

    If the image isn't supposed to be 100% "accurate" (as in photo journalism) then in my opinion one might just as well "go the whole hog" and just go for what looks best - so with your image I:

    - Upped the vibrancy

    - Upped the saturation

    - Tweaked the shadow areas

    - Gave it a slight rotate / crop

    - Gave it a slight sharpen

    ... basically I wanted to accentuate the gold and blue.

    Hope you don't mind, but here's what I came up with ...

    Learning to work HDR and Layers

    PS: Please, no one post violin shots - there's far too much sax and violins on the web as it is!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 4th April 2009 at 03:19 AM.

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Thank you!
    I do like yours better! Of course!
    I love the darker blue and gold!
    I'm never sure HOW much saturation to do - I like this one!

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Thank you!
    I do like yours better! Of course!
    I love the darker blue and gold!
    I'm never sure HOW much saturation to do - I like this one!
    You're welcome

    People often say "I don't know how much to ..." etc - but a simple rule-of-thumb is "whatever makes it look better" - it really is that simple.

    It's something you'll get better at with practice - after a while you'll be able to take one glance at an image and think "Hmmm - flat - under-saturated - bit crooked - unsharpened" - and then you know exactly what you need to do to fix it

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Thanks Colin!
    I did get your message too! I really appreciate you helping me out!!!

    I also must be tired....I reread your PS and just got it!!! My first reading was...oh no....I posted something that's been posted 1 too many times! =)

    Love your humor! this site is awesome!!!! I'm addicted!

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    In fact - case in point - whenI looked at my revised image here in the browser I thought )the upper 1/2 still looks a bit flat - so I've raised the black clipping point (basically forcing the dark colours to black and scaling everything else downwards (disproportionally).

    Version 3 ...

    Learning to work HDR and Layers

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    I like it...but could you explain that in english??? Newbie terms??? That's something I've never heard...
    I know I know...BIG SURPRISE!!! =)

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Thanks Colin!
    I did get your message too! I really appreciate you helping me out!!!

    I also must be tired....I reread your PS and just got it!!! My first reading was...oh no....I posted something that's been posted 1 too many times! =)

    Love your humor! this site is awesome!!!! I'm addicted!
    Hi Kori,

    You're very welcome

    If you like the service, then tell all your friends!

    Seriously, there are many of us here who simply like nothing more than to help others - but I think a lot of folks just "hide in the shadows" because they don't think that they have anything to contribute - and yet even if someone is "only" asking for help then it not only gives others the chance to help that person but at the same time it helps others who read it, and often it also helps the people doing the helping in that often the views of others force them to think more about things and thus clarify things in their own minds ... so EVERYBODY wins (including the site).

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Colin,

    You have a great point! I agree...While I don't have any advice to offer yet..... Sometimes getting a reply that says " hey I like this picture" means a lot!!!

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    I like it...but could you explain that in english??? Newbie terms??? That's something I've never heard...
    I know I know...BIG SURPRISE!!! =)
    Sure

    As a rule, images look best if a full range of tones (brightness levels) can be used - so a good image with have small areas that are completely black, and small areas that are completely white.

    If this isn't the case with the image then the brightest part of the image will look light gray and the darkest parts dark gray (thinking in black and white terms here) - and the image will be said to be "looking flat" or "lacking contrast" or "Washed out".

    To correct for this we adjust what are called the black and white (or shadow and highlight) clipping points - that forces everything below the black/shadow clipping point to pure black, and everything above the white/highlight clipping point to pure white - and (most importantly) redistributes everything in between.

    Here's another shot of the sax where I've reset the clipping points to make the image look very flat (I've over-exaggerated it a lot so you can see the effect) ... (and I hope we can agree that there's nothing worst than a flat sax in an orchestra!)

    Learning to work HDR and Layers

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Got it! I will be playing more with the shadows and highlights levels to see how it works with my other pictures now!

    I do see how "flat" the picture looks!
    Oh and I got that one right away too!!!

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Got it! I will be playing more with the shadows and highlights levels to see how it works with my other pictures now!

    I do see how "flat" the picture looks!
    Oh and I got that one right away too!!!
    Cool

    Just be aware though that shadow and highlight levels are normally thought of as being different to shadow and highlight clipping points (although in the real world there is an interaction between the two).

    With shadow levels you might well keep the shadow clipping point set where it currently is, but tell your software to raise the levels of all pixels that fall into the shadows range (eg to make shadow detail more visable).

    The difference is that clipping points re-scale all data whereas levels adjustments change the response curve for the region being adjusted.

    Perhaps a good case in point would be to consider this image of mine ...

    Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Assuming that you're on a monitor with reasonable accurate black and white point calibration then this image should look very contrasty ...

    - Image how it would look if it were nowhere near as contrasty - not as good eh? - so shadow / highlight clipping points set the basic contrast.

    - If I wanted more shadow detail to show then I'd adjust the shadow levels to reveal more.

    Does this help?

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Okay- Now I need to learn more about clipping on my software...Hmmmm prob a good read for tomorrow as we are expecting windy snowy weather! I am eager to learn!
    Thank you soooo much---AGAIN!!!!

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Okay- Now I need to learn more about clipping on my software...Hmmmm prob a good read for tomorrow as we are expecting windy snowy weather! I am eager to learn!
    Thank you soooo much---AGAIN!!!!
    You're welcome

    Unfortunately, being an Adobe person, I won't be able to help with the specifics of the packages you're using - but I'm sure that some of the others will be able to chip in with the right advice.

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Thank you - I Hope someone uses Corel also and will be able to help me a little bit with the steps! I'll be searching online tomorrow in the mean time! time for bed....long day!

    Thanks again!!!! You have been very helpful- very informative!!!! Can I hire you???
    Wish you lived near by! LOL

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Thank you - I Hope someone uses Corel also and will be able to help me a little bit with the steps! I'll be searching online tomorrow in the mean time! time for bed....long day!
    I'm sure some will be able to help here. Of course Plan B might be to consider investing in Photoshop?

    Thanks again!!!! You have been very helpful- very informative!!!! Can I hire you???
    Wish you lived near by! LOL
    LOL - not often I get asked that question! Hopefully when I retire in about 10 years I'll be able to do a shoe-string budget world tour where I'll swap "photographic" input for a couch and a blanket!

    In the meantime, just keep posting here - we all enjoy t he opportunity to help

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Colin-
    Yikes...I'm stuck with Corel for a bit now....I purchased it around Sept 08.... don't think spending more money will be good right now....My son is graduating this year and off to college! Money will be tight for awhile.... I'm sure sooner or later I will get the hang of Corel though! The internet has a lot of resources - just not enough time in the day!!! or Week!
    thanks!

    I have two couches and many many blankets! LOL

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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    I have two couches and many many blankets! LOL
    Oh good, could I have the other couch so I can go snake hunting?

  19. #19
    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Sure...but only in return for a "free" lesson in photography! LOL

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Learning to work HDR and Layers

    Done deal, especially since I'm not sure you really need the photography lesson

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