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Thread: Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    I took a number of photos of the old stone buildings out on the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. Initially I just gave them the usual adjustments and thought they were pretty good. Then I went back and I pushed the vibrance,shadows and saturations a bit harder and liked them better. Then I went back and pushed them even harder still and I have to confess I like them better and find them more exciting.

    Not being a big fan of the HDR/Grunge 'look'. I feel like I'm breaking some rule. What do you think, am I going over the top?
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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    They are all beautiful shots.. I like the 2nd and 3rd shots best. However, I'm not qualified to advise you on your edits.

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    Re: Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    I'm not the most qualified to critique anything HDR, but I like the HDR effect on the first but like the original on the second. The second one, to my eye, the sky is too bright and lost some of it's texture. The darker sky works with the church better for me.

    KHarmon

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    First of all, let me put my preconceptions on the table; I am not a big fan of HDR, mostly because there are so many posters that seem use the grunge settings as a brute force method to "improve" their image. The results generally have a lot of "pop" but no subtlety and vary from great to being downright awful.

    I think the most important thing that people forget about when they shoot HDRI is that the highlight and shadow areas of their images get more detail When you blend the images with this additional detail in tone mapping software you get an end product is a low contrast image. Without further PP work, the image is downright boring. Using contrast adjustments available in either the tone-mapping software or in a PP tool like Photoshop, you can adjust the contrast and get a reasonable image without having to resort to one of the Grunge settings.

    This is how I did the following image, and of course, I did a B&W conversion as well:

    Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    So, how much is too much Grunge, depends on your personal taste. I personally find I tend to like subtlety over brute force...

  5. #5
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Grunge / HDR Look, Where To Draw The Line

    There are no rules; create what you like. There is no arguing over taste.

    I think the second is a bit overdone, for my taste. The sky looks unnatural. But like Manfred, I personally don't like most HDR, especially the stuff with extreme tonemapping, which I assume is what "grunge settings" are. It reminds me of the paintings people used to sell out of vans in shopping center parking lots. However, some people really like that, and they should produce what they like. I'm sure many of them would find my landscapes really boring. To each her or his own.

    This is a bit off topic, but for that reason, I don't use HDR programs to combine exposures. Exposure fusion blends exposures while maintaining much more natural colors.

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