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Thread: Raw vs hdr

  1. #1
    perth45's Avatar
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    Raw vs hdr

    Lately I am reading SO many magaines and books featuring RAW and HDR.......and EITHER appear neck and neck in the 'PREFERRED' stakes. Being new to this, I am currently trying out RAW in my camera.....my own observations on HDR is that a lot of the images I'm seeing in magazines are SOOOOOO manipulated I'm just not sure if ANYTHING in the image is real........so can we put this to a debate....

    what are the pro's and con's of both?....

    WHY choose one over the other?....

    Do I stick with RAW to 'keep it real?'...or what?.....

    thanks to all for any input................Greg
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 20th June 2009 at 05:55 PM. Reason: correct typos

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    lemme give a try at this answer...

    Raw is just a camera format..unprocessed pixels of what the camera sensor see is what you get in a raw image...

    HDR is usually multiple images, that are used in combination to exagerate colors or highlites that are not easily captured in one image without blowing out other parts of the single image.


    there is a good explanation in the Tutorial part of this webpage...
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 20th June 2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: typos

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    Hi Greg,

    I agree with Kevin, RAW is just a type of image file format and one could (and normally would) use several RAW images to make an HDR image, so it's not a choice thing at all. Equally, you could use jpg as the source images for an HDR composite.

    I won't say what HDR is, Sean's done it already, much better than I can in the tutorial Kevin suggests, it is here: HDR: HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE PHOTOGRAPHY. Incidentally, this shows how it works in PS CS2/3, I doubt it's much different in CS4, so this could be a good place to start as you have CS4.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    perth45's Avatar
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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    So do I take it that providing I take 3 exposures in RAW I can still create the HDR image?...sorry to sound like such an idiot but I really am new to this....most people would probably think I'd been in a coma for a few years. All the articles I've read so far don't seem to link the two, they talk as though they are completely different methods of working....

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    RAW is just a FORMAT , raw data, a way of storing an image..like cassette tape or dvd or blueray....

    HDR is PROCESS that can be made with RAWs or JPGs


    RAW and HDR are two completly differnt things.....

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    Probably the confusion become of the fact that HDR and RAW are able to extend dynamic range of image.
    When you shoot raw you have some extra bits of information on the ends of dinamic range, using well and they give you more latitude on capture than jpeg.
    On HDR you extend the dynamic range combining two or more images of the same subject on different expositions. On HDR dynamic range of a photo is endless, but you already see the results, they don't look natural on most of the cases.
    Best,
    Alex

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexB View Post
    Probably the confusion become of the fact that HDR and RAW are able to extend dynamic range of image.
    When you shoot raw you have some extra bits of information on the ends of dinamic range, using well and they give you more latitude on capture than jpeg.
    On HDR you extend the dynamic range combining two or more images of the same subject on different expositions. On HDR dynamic range of a photo is endless, but you already see the results, they don't look natural on most of the cases.
    Best,
    Alex
    The reason that a lot of HDR images look artificial is not because of the HDR itself, it's because a lot of people go crazy with the manipulation of the shots.
    I am about to start using a Lightroom Plugin called Enfuse, it simply blends the various shots to give you a final result like a camera with a very very wide exposure range, but not the sometimes excessive manipulation associated with HDR.

    In my opinion it's the excessive manipulation that overall gives HDR a bad name.

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    The reason that a lot of HDR images look artificial is not because of the HDR itself, it's because a lot of people go crazy with the manipulation of the shots.
    I am about to start using a Lightroom Plugin called Enfuse, it simply blends the various shots to give you a final result like a camera with a very very wide exposure range, but not the sometimes excessive manipulation associated with HDR.

    In my opinion it's the excessive manipulation that overall gives HDR a bad name.
    Even if you not manipulate too much in extreme cases of dynamic range the photo will look not natural. The problem with photo manipulation, not only hdr, is that people try to improve nature too much to give a photo some extra something. In majority of the cases a photo will look unnatural.
    HDR is like any other tool, if you go crazy the results will be too fake. You can use HDR for some "realistic" shoots but the tool is prone to abuse.
    Best,
    Alex

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    Re: Raw vs hdr

    It has already been said by others but the issue isn't usually HDR vs RAW. A RAW image file has more inherent dynamic range than a JPEG and it can be exploited to provide more dynamic range in the final image. I almost always shoot in raw and sometimes I will create a pseudo HDR image by creating 2 or more images from the raw file and combining them into one image with greater dynamic range than I would have if I shot a JPEG.

    I also agree that an HDR doesn't have to be as dramatic as some people make them. I personally like the more dramatic results in some images and even strive for it. Other images suffer from too dramatic manipulation.

    There is a situation where you may actually stop to consider whether you should use HDR or just use a single RAW image. When you have many things moving in a scene, such as people, vehicles or leaves on a windy day, the three (or more) images taken to produce an HDR image will have leaves (or other objects) in different places for each shot. It can be difficult or impossible to get a good clean HDR shot under such conditions but a single RAW image will give you some dynamic range over a JPEG image.

    Everyone has their own preference but I migrated from shooting all JPEG to all RAW. It requires more processing but you have much more latitude and more options with a RAW image file. When I'm going to shoot an HDR scene, I start with RAW images.

    Chuck

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