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Thread: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

  1. #1

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    Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    I have been way behind on post processing programs. I like the looks of some HDR if it is not over cooked or taken to extreme. I have been toying with the idea that I would like to do that. Now, all I have is Photoshop CS2. Is it possible to do HDR with this program. I am retired and don't have a lot of disposable income. I appreciate all the info you can provide. I have a Canon 30D. I appriciate all the info you can provide. Much oblige, Trailboss

  2. #2
    Momo's Avatar
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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Photoshop CS2 was the first version of PS to be able to merge images into an HDR image. However, there are lots of free apps that will probably do a better job. I seem to recall the CS2 HDR feature as being pretty wonky. What about your camera? Will it shoot bracketed exposures? Just do a quick search for free HDR apps. I know SNS HDR is supposed to be pretty good and was recommended by someone I met here.

    Here's a review of SNS-HDR ... and their official website is here.
    Last edited by Momo; 27th March 2012 at 04:03 AM. Reason: providing links

  3. #3

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    MOMO, thank you very much for getting back so soon. I can shoot bracketed images with my camera, but didn't know if CS2 is able. I'm not very good at some things in photoshop, but at the same time, I'm amazed at what I can do. Thanks again, I'll try some trial versions.
    Trailboss

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Hi Emmett, There are a number of HDR (tonemapping) software packages out there but if you don't have one you can still get most of the 'HDR' benefits of taking bracketed exposures as long as you can do layers in your existing software. To get the effect, just blend in the highlights from the underexposed image and the shadows from the overexposed image into the original.

    To be clearer, blending copies into the normal exposure image just the specific parts of an image that you want changed from identical parts of a different image that is identical except for the exposure. In some cases, the second image may be the original image that has been lightened or darkened by changing its Brightness (and sometimes, Contrast as well).

    Using HDR software makes this part of the process easier but in most cases you still need to go back into the image and correct the image specific issues that tonemapping creates so you'll likely need to do some of the blending step anyway.

    Here is an example where the HDR process didn't really help but doing just the blending step accomplished the task. The Trajan Fountain

  5. #5

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Well, Picturenaut is free, and quite easy to use.

  6. #6
    gpzt's Avatar
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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trailboss View Post
    I have been way behind on post processing programs. I like the looks of some HDR if it is not over cooked or taken to extreme. I have been toying with the idea that I would like to do that. Now, all I have is Photoshop CS2. Is it possible to do HDR with this program. I am retired and don't have a lot of disposable income. I appreciate all the info you can provide. I have a Canon 30D. I appriciate all the info you can provide. Much oblige, Trailboss
    Trailboss,
    I am retired too and I am on a very tight budget, concerning software. Besides, I believe it is my duty to favour free software whenever it is available. I have been using " The GIMP" since I turned to digital photography in 2007 ( after some 50 years of "silver" photography: yes, I am 74 years old). I too enjoy HDR, provided it looks as "natural" as possible: what I am looking for is what it is made for = extended dynamic range through image blending, maybe with a slight increase in contrast and saturation, but without the artificial look you now see in many photo magazines. Here is a list of FREE software which suit me perfectly: Picturenaut 3.2, Fusion 2.2.1, Luminance 2.2.0, EnfuseGUI and, of course, the plug-in "Picture Blend" in GIMP.
    They are all easy to get familiar with, provided you follow the rules: use of a sturdy tripod, aperture priority or manual exposure, cable release, 1.5 or 2 EV bracketing, etc. My camera is pretty similar to yours: Eos 40D. Feel free to ask me any question on HDR: I'll do my best to provide an answer - if I can, of course !
    Please forgive my english, as frenche is my native language !
    Regards,
    Guy Poizat
    Cabestany, France.

  7. #7

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Hi, While searching the net today on how to make realistic HDR images I came across this and as you have Adobe CS2 thought it may help
    Russ
    http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/200...dr-images.html

  8. #8
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    if realism is what you want, google "exposure blending" or "exposure fusion." Or just check out this. I've been doing this with a Lightroom plugin, LR Enfuse, which is very simple to use, if a bit hard to install. It is far more realistic.

  9. #9

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trailboss View Post
    I like the looks of some HDR if it is not over cooked or taken to extreme.
    Well, that certainly eliminates 99.99% of all "HDR" images (little "frustration" humour there!).

  10. #10
    Thomas J's Avatar
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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Momo View Post
    Photoshop CS2 was the first version of PS to be able to merge images into an HDR image. However, there are lots of free apps that will probably do a better job. I seem to recall the CS2 HDR feature as being pretty wonky. What about your camera? Will it shoot bracketed exposures? Just do a quick search for free HDR apps. I know SNS HDR is supposed to be pretty good and was recommended by someone I met here.

    Here's a review of SNS-HDR ... and their official website is here.
    The CS2 HDR function is realllllly basic. After combining you have no further options, not ghost removal, alignment or even tone mapping. Prior to combining, you can (if I remember correctly) choose to align the source photos, but this would reduce the resolution of the image *A LOT* for no apparent reason.

  11. #11

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Hi Emmett:

    I guess it's not really hdr but don't overlook the shadow/highlight feature in CS2. Image>adjustment>shadow/highlight. You need to fiddle with the slider bars (I think there's about 9 individual adjustments you can make) to avoid or minimize the 'milky' look to the pic. On some images it works really well; on others less so.

    Courtesy of Scott Kelby and his excellent "CS2 Book for Digital Photographers"

    Cheers, Dave D

  12. #12

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by gpzt View Post
    Trailboss,
    I am retired too and I am on a very tight budget, concerning software. Besides, I believe it is my duty to favour free software whenever it is available. I have been using " The GIMP" since I turned to digital photography in 2007 ( after some 50 years of "silver" photography: yes, I am 74 years old). I too enjoy HDR, provided it looks as "natural" as possible: what I am looking for is what it is made for = extended dynamic range through image blending, maybe with a slight increase in contrast and saturation, but without the artificial look you now see in many photo magazines. Here is a list of FREE software which suit me perfectly: Picturenaut 3.2, Fusion 2.2.1, Luminance 2.2.0, EnfuseGUI and, of course, the plug-in "Picture Blend" in GIMP.
    They are all easy to get familiar with, provided you follow the rules: use of a sturdy tripod, aperture priority or manual exposure, cable release, 1.5 or 2 EV bracketing, etc. My camera is pretty similar to yours: Eos 40D. Feel free to ask me any question on HDR: I'll do my best to provide an answer - if I can, of course !
    Please forgive my english, as frenche is my native language !
    Regards,
    Guy Poizat
    Cabestany, France.
    Thank you very much, Guy, I will give it a try. First, I need to go out and get some scenes with the multiple exposures, and that will give me something to start with.
    Thanks again

  13. #13

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    Re: Can I do HDR with the tools I have?

    I want to Thank all who commented with help and suggestions. I really do appreciate it very much. I know it's been awhile since I posted, and please don't think I abandoned you.

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