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Thread: HDR from RAW

  1. #1

    HDR from RAW

    I have been studying HDR a bit lately and i still have some unanswered questions which i need help with. The first thing i am confused about is why do i need to bracket a shot with different exposures when i can alter the exposure so well with Camera Raw in Photoshop CS5? My next question is what the HDR application people use? Is it best to go buy Photomatix or can i get the same results with Photoshop CS5?

    Cheers
    Scott

  2. #2

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    Re: HDR from RAW

    You can alter the exposures in PP and generate a pseudoHDR which can be effective but it cannot reproduce the dynamic range that bracketed exposures can. I do a lot of HDR shots and have thus far found that photomatix works very well as long you avoid the temptation to overdo. The secret of good HDR is to use it to enhance what you would not have been able to get with conventional methods. HDR is a technique and not an end in itself. The other good thing about photomatix is the ability to simply fuse the exposures without tone mapping. This gives a more subdued result which doesn't have the hyper-real feel of HDR but it still has the advantage of expanding the range of the pic. You can download a trial version which has a watermark but otherwise it works perfectly well. Give a it a try. have attached a pic which won one of the mini comps here a few weeks back. Done with Photomatix, took about 10 minutes to PP. I'm not suggesting its a great example, there's lots of much better stuff out there but it is an example of what photomatix can do and should be achievable by anyone with a little effort.

    Peter

    HDR from RAW

  3. #3
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    Re: HDR from RAW

    Hi Scott, if you haven't seen it, Trey Ratcliff's HDR Tutorial reviews both Photomatix and the HDR process at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/. A year ago I went through this and his comparison of Photomatix and CS5 indicated that Photomatix did a better job and took a lot less time to complete. He also indicated that although Photomatix needs to convert the RAW to JPG to process it, that Lightroom did a better job at the conversion process. The software and his tutorial have been updated since then but the basics likely remain the same.

    The bracketing, typically at -2ev, 0, and +2ev provide the detail in the highlights and shadows that is either blown out or muddy.

    This is one of the first HDR images I took and processed with Photomatix and CS5:

    HDR from RAW

  4. #4

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    Re: HDR from RAW

    Hi, I use Photomatix, SNS HDR and FDR Tools, also tried a lot of the others out there, just download the trial versions and find the one that you find gives the results that you are looking for also on the advice of the formentioned Mr Ratcliff send photos to Photomatix as Jpegs as he now states that this is the best format and as we all no Mr Ratcliff is the expert when it comes to HDR, isn't he????????
    Russ

    Forgot!! IMO the software made for HDR photography is just that for HDR not tone curves,levels etc. etc.
    Photoshop CS5 I believe does a good job but as I don't have it!!!!
    Last edited by russellsnr; 24th January 2012 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Forgot!!

  5. #5
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    Re: HDR from RAW

    Scott,

    I tried the HDR in CS5 only once and was disappointed by the color rendition. Then again, I am disappointed by the color rendition in a lot of HDR. The alternative, which I greatly prefer, is usually called either 'exposure fusion' or 'exposure blending.' It generally produces much more natural colors, while still expanding dynamic range. (some tutorials on manual HDR with layers are actually showing this.) To get an introduction to this, check out
    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...how-do-i-do-it
    I use LR Enfuse, a Lightroom plugin, for this and have been very pleased. I have yet to need to change the default settings.

    To each his or her own, but you might find it appealing.

    Dan

  6. #6
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    Re: HDR from RAW

    I use Photomatix, too which I find easy to use.

    You can go over the top with it, but I suspect that is the same with any HDR software.

    The trial version does put a watermark on the images, but it is, or was, not time limited.

    Apart from my operating system and games I don't pay for software, but I liked Photomatix so much I bought it.

    However, there are a number of different HDR programs available - just see which one you like.

    Dave

  7. #7

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    Re: HDR from RAW

    Scott, when creating an HDR sort of effect from a Raw image are you converting the first image as a Smart Object then copying that and returning to the Raw Studio for a second set of adjustments? Then combining the two layers.

    It is an effect which I often use, particularly when working with action shots which aren't really suitable for bracketed shots. I find this can produce good results, but it isn't true HDR.

    CS5 will also allow you to do another fake HDR effect which is available under Image Menu - Adjustments - HDR Toning. But, so far, I haven't experimented with this myself.

    Which method or software is best for you will probably depend on what you want to create. Personally, I don't like much of the true HDR results which simply look over processed for me. However, I have seen some excellent true HDR adjustment which looks like a 'real photograph' but with an extended range.

    Full natural looking HDR is something which I keep meaning to experiment with in greater detail with the CS5 software; but I never seem to have much desire to photograph that sort of scene. Particularly as I am usually happy with the results I get from combining dual Raw conversions.

    However, it is something with which I should spend more time, one day.

  8. #8

    Re: HDR from RAW

    Multiple exposures vs single exposure.

    HDR from RAW

  9. #9

    Re: HDR from RAW

    thanks guys i think i'll go and try Photomatix. Does n e one know where i can find a Photomatix Pro version 4.0? i have an old serial for this version and naturally doesn't work on 4.1.1 which is what i can download from HDRsoft web site

  10. #10

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: HDR from RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottharris14 View Post
    I have been studying HDR a bit lately and i still have some unanswered questions which i need help with. The first thing i am confused about is why do i need to bracket a shot with different exposures when i can alter the exposure so well with Camera Raw in Photoshop CS5? My next question is what the HDR application people use? Is it best to go buy Photomatix or can i get the same results with Photoshop CS5?

    Cheers
    Scott
    Hi Scott,

    HDR is a technique or set of techniques for capturing detail in a scene who's dynamic range is too big to be captured in a single normal exposure - contrary to popular mis-belief, it has NOTHING to do with any particular "look". I've written a little about this in the past - you might find the following threads useful ...

    Tone Mapping

    So I had not really tried shooting a human yet - HDR philosophies

  11. #11

    Re: HDR from RAW

    photomatix 4.0 anyone?

  12. #12
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: HDR from RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottharris14 View Post
    thanks guys i think i'll go and try Photomatix. Does n e one know where i can find a Photomatix Pro version 4.0? i have an old serial for this version and naturally doesn't work on 4.1.1 which is what i can download from HDRsoft web site
    Once you pay for the 4.0 version, the updated versions will use the same serial number without any extra cost. If you download the software and don't have a valid serial number, it will act as a trial version but if you have a valid serial number it will work.

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