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Thread: Mont St. Michel, France

  1. #1
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Mont St. Michel, France

    The entrance to Mont St. Michel, France. I've been trying to do very subtle changes to my HDR photos so that they look more realistic. Suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
    Mont St. Michel, France

  2. #2
    Kdfrank's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don, While being fairly new to digital and just now reading and learning about HDR, I like what you've done. My first reaction was to the "softness" of the hard material in the photo. I find that very effective. If that's a result of applying HDR workflow, then well done. Great composition as well. As to looking more realistic, it might be helpful to post a non HDR rendition for comparison. Thanks for sharing this great image.

  3. #3
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Here is one of the 3 photos used to make this HDR image.Mont St. Michel, France

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Fascinating Don. When I saw the first image I was thinking that it looked quite as I would expect. Then when I saw the original, I felt that it looked flat. Going back to the first image for comparison I got a much better realization of what had to be done to make it look natural.

    It got me to thinking that over time we start to ignore what our eyes see in real life and come to expect photographs to look like the original image you posted. Once we reach that stage, we think that there is something wrong with the image that looks like what our eyes see in the real world because, well, that's just not realistic for 'a photo'.

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don: of the three images, which one is this, +,0, or -. The reson I ask it I myself would like to see it just a little bit more darker.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  6. #6
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    The second photo is the 0 exposure.

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    If the 2nd photo is the 0 exposure I personally would say for myself that it is too bright, sometimes I take 9 shots at 1 stop, in buildings so that, once I look at them on a large screen, I than have room to play as to which one I want to make netural or 0. That is what I do.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    If the 2nd photo is the 0 exposure I personally would say for myself that it is too bright
    I agree. I have never used HDR software, but if I did would make sure that my "zero" exposure is made to ensure the ideal dynamic range if I had only one exposure to make. I would do that by reviewing the histogram.

  9. #9
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    I agree that I should have taken more than 3 photos to make the HDR photo. But, being on a ship excursion and with a group, I had to just take 3 and move on. Ship exursions are nice but sometimes the time element are not right for my photography. So I had to adjust and work with what I was able to capture. If I every get a chance to go back, I now know what I need to do to capture better photos to work with for my HDR photos. Thanks for your comments.

  10. #10
    gcowan's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don,

    On the Sekonic site there is a really good video on this.

    Having said that I wouldn't use HDR when I had such lovely soft light to work with. It looks to me that you could expand the contrast in that image and get a really beautiful result. I don't think you need to use more than 3 shots if you meter really carefully, unless there is a very special situation that you are trying to capture and the levels are way too wide.

    Graham

  11. #11

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don: what would it look like if you took your 3 images reopen in RAW and lower each exposure by say 1-1/2 to 1-2/3 stops and rerun it through your HDR program.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  12. #12
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Hey, Don

    I am really enjoying your HDR work, this included. For my personal preference, I'd like to see it 1/2 to 1 EV darker. I think it is a smidge clockwise rotated, and would consider aligning the left column edge with the frame edge. Please keep these coming!

    Kevin

  13. #13

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Well I know nothing about HDR.. But I do like the look of the Photo. I will have to bow to the knowledge of the others

  14. #14
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Thanks for the suggestions. Here is the image after taking each image into ACR and lowering the exposure and re-doing the process.Mont St. Michel, France

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    This last image is so much nicer than the first two in my mind. Consider changing the white balance or using other methods to eliminate the slight green cast.

  16. #16
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don, I like you image but personally I am not a fan of the fake look of the intense HDR images. However I love HDR for natural look. What I do is blending both HDR and non-HDR images in Photoshop.

    If you don't mind let me show you my approach (if you don't like me altering your image I will erase it ASAP).

    Mont St. Michel, France

    What I did is:

    a) downloaded the second (original) ank third (dark HDR) images of yours
    b) I inserted both in photoshop in the same file, different layers the dark HDR being on the top
    c) I auto aligned the layers
    d) I change the blending mode of the top layer (HDR) to darken
    e) I change the oppacity of top layer to 55%
    f) I inserted a mask layer to the top layer and with a gradient I reduced the HDR effect to the right part of the image where the HDR process had introduced too many details and a fake look (to my eye).

    There is still plenty of details but not too much so the viewer can focus on the door and walls. There is a number of thing that could be done like increasing the colour temperature to the right part (make cooler).

    What I like with this approach is that I can alter the image fast without having to wait for a new time consuming HDR process if I don't like the result.

    Hope it helps.

    Cheers,
    Miltos

  17. #17

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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Don: to me this is by far a superior to the frist posting, they one has depth, breath, it's aaaaalive. I agree with the green cast, I see too much yellow. One way would be white balance, however for me I open all my images from RAW as Smart Layers, this allows me to reopen the Raw file and make changes there. So I would open the all the images in Raw, take the middle image adjust the sliders to remove that cast, syn the other images to that one, then save. Then take my PSD files and run them through my HDR program. To me again this looks more natural to what my eye would see.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  18. #18
    Don Chesnut's Avatar
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    Re: Mont St. Michel, France

    Thanks. I will try both of these methods for some of my photos. Thanks, again.

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