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Thread: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

  1. #1
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    These are the Coulonge Falls (Quebec, Canada) and a 90m / 300ft long log slide on the right of the image. This is a lumbering area where logs were floated down the Coulonge River and then into the Ottawa River. The slide reduced the risk of damaging the logs and by-passes the falls and rapids. The red granite rocks are pretty typical geology in the Canadian Shield.

    This is a composite of 9 RAW (+4 +3 + 2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4) exposures assembled in Oloneo Photoengine. I shot this using a tripod mounted Nikon D800 using a f/2.8 24-70mm Nikkor lens fitted with a B&W 10-stop (3.0EV) ND filter. Adjustments (curves) in Photoshop CS6 to improve contrast. I shot this at 24mm, which is the widest I could go. My Nikkor f/2.8 14-24mm unfortunately cannot take filters. This is the first HDMI I've attempted with the D800.

    I shot this in the early afternoon, when the sun was high in the sky and the shadows were quite harsh. HDMI was the only way I was able to get enough latitude to get a reasonably good image of this really beautiful spot

  2. #2

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    Blake

    Re: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    I would keep an eye on that treeline. The trees seem to have a halo about them. Personally, when I use tone mapping, my software gives me a radius option, and I keep it as high as possible to make the transitions smooth. Also, the trees seem to have a blue cast. I think if the greens were a bit stronger it would give the picture some more punch. (mind you the colours could easily be my monitor)

    The tips of the rocks right at the base of the waterfall look a little odd to me, I would dodge a little right where they meet the water to give a kind of misty effect.

    Awesome picture though. I think the 24mm works great for this, your composition really is spot on. Your massive effort really shows through in this.

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    Thanks for the comments, Blake. The halo is certainly there and I probably went a bit too cyan on my corrections (the granite should have more of a reddish tone) and the water really is a bit more tea-coloured. I was really more concerned with trying out the 9-exposure auto bracketing on the D800 and how well the layers cleaned up in the tone-mapping process.

    The shot is not as sharp as I would have hoped, given the setup work I did (large tripod, not touching the camera between shots, triggering was via a cable release, etc.). The trees and water I can understand, but the rocks are not quite there. The plaform was I shot from was not rock-steady,but I was quite careful. Given the aperture (f/6.8) I was hoping for a crisper image. Time to investigate; software, technique or equipment?

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    Nice shot Manfred. It's obviously a very picturesque area and you've captured it well. I would probably increase the black level a bit but that's just my personal taste.

    I note your comments about not touching the camera between shots - I tried a multiple exposure shot the other day (using a tripod) but rather than set multi-exposure on the camera I changed the exposure manually between shots. I didn't think this would matter in terms of alignment - but it did !!

    I wonder why you needed to take 9 exposure levels for those circumstances ? Would not 3 suffice ? I hadn't noticed the rock sharpness until you mentioned it but I wonder how it would go if you re-did the HDR merge with just three shots (to minimise the chance of mis-alignment between images). I imagine the software you are using tries to do a fine alignment of the images but it might be easier to do that with just three. Just a thought ..

    Dave

  5. #5

    Re: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    As for that waterfall, I could not pick up the halo or blue cast--possibly because of being a relative novice. Is there a book/source that increases such visual acuity? Ignorance on my part is bliss

  6. #6
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: First HDRI with the Nikon D800 - Coulonge Falls

    Nice photo Manfred. A few thoughts: as HDR I think in itself the photo is good, as it looks natural, not typical HDR. The light is quite harsh, so a bit more black would probably improve it to my taste. But that is not really important.
    I can't imagine the equipment accounting for less sharpness, unless you have experienced something similar in other photos. Dave might be right in saying that 9 exposures might be too much for the software.
    Great experiment.

    By the way, your photo is quite small, so it is difficult for me to see the fine details and judge them properly.

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