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Thread: HDR shot

  1. #1
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    HDR shot

    This is a HDR shot using Photomatix I don't like the totally unrealistic type of HDR and am trying to learn this new program.
    HDR shot

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: HDR shot

    Very good attempt roger, looks a little soft to me, is this your intention? would be interesting to see iff you could pull out most of the detail out of a single image.

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    Re: HDR shot

    Hi Roger,

    HDR is a technique for capturing and presenting a wider dynamic range than can be captured in a single normal exposure; I'm not sure how many bracketed shots you took for this, but I'm guessing it was probably just one (in which case it isn't HDR - just ultra tone-mapped). Regardless, it can result in parts of a scene being "possible" (eg detail in the foreground rocks against the competing light source of a setting sun) (unless there's another source of light out of frame), but one needs to be careful and to draw a distinction between what we CAN do and what we SHOULD do. In the case of your image, it doesn't look believable to me because the foreground rocks shouldn't be that bright considering the scene.

    It also pays to keep in mind that what pops out of Photomatix ISN'T a finished image ... it's an image that's been "normalised" to the point where it should now have processing completed in the likes of Photoshop (although there may be a big overlap between operations that could be done in either package). Case in point ... if Photomatix spits the image out with too much saturation, dial the saturation down in Photoshop. If it reveals too much foreground detail, darken in down in Photoshop.

    You get the idea I'm sure. Oh - and don't forget sharpening.

    HDR shot

  4. #4

    Re: HDR shot

    Wow Colin, your edit sure improved the image a lot. Did you do anything besides sharpening and cropping?

  5. #5
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: HDR shot

    Colin, Thanks for the help, this was however taken in bracket exposure 5 frames at 1 EV stop. As you know Photomatix gives you a bunch of different styles on the right of your image however I always like certain parts of each image the sky in one looks good but the foreground doesn't so in this I tried all my own adjustments. I'll keep in mind what you said and keep practicing. By the way I like your crop better.

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    Re: HDR shot

    Quote Originally Posted by mrme View Post
    Wow Colin, your edit sure improved the image a lot. Did you do anything besides sharpening and cropping?
    Thanks

    I can't remember, but not a lot if I did. Whenever I re-work an image like this I always review all the basic settings; sometimes I tweak them slightly, sometimes I don't. It's really just a case of training ones eye to know what areas could be improved and what combinations of controls achieve it.

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    Re: HDR shot

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerCook View Post
    Colin, Thanks for the help, this was however taken in bracket exposure 5 frames at 1 EV stop. As you know Photomatix gives you a bunch of different styles on the right of your image however I always like certain parts of each image the sky in one looks good but the foreground doesn't so in this I tried all my own adjustments. I'll keep in mind what you said and keep practicing. By the way I like your crop better.
    Hi Roger,

    1EV stops don't really do anything (the difference in noise between any two 1EV deltas is approximately nothing) - so normally 2EV will be perfectly fine (and it's less complicated to assemble - especially where there's movement). Often HDR isn't even needed; if you push the exposure to the limit, most cameras will capture around 11 stops at base ISO, which can then be revealed using Fill Light / brightness sliders (our monitors only show about 6 stops max - so usually the info is captured but we just can't see it unless with compress the dynamic range into something smaller).

    If you're having a problem with different parts of the scene requiring different settings then just do multiple versions - stack them - and mask of various parts to reveal only the best bits.

    I cropped it that way more to give it a panoramic aspect ratio. I tried putting a GND filter over them to darken them down (which improved the appearance), bt ultimately I decided that they still looked more of a distraction; drawing the eye into a "non-laminar flow" region, to use an aeronautical analog!

  8. #8
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    Re: HDR shot

    If you are after the natural look, take a look at SNS-HDR - very easy to use & cheap too !

  9. #9
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: HDR shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Roger,

    1EV stops don't really do anything (the difference in noise between any two 1EV deltas is approximately nothing) - so normally 2EV will be perfectly fine (and it's less complicated to assemble - especially where there's movement). Often HDR isn't even needed; if you push the exposure to the limit, most cameras will capture around 11 stops at base ISO, which can then be revealed using Fill Light / brightness sliders (our monitors only show about 6 stops max - so usually the info is captured but we just can't see it unless with compress the dynamic range into something smaller).

    If you're having a problem with different parts of the scene requiring different settings then just do multiple versions - stack them - and mask of various parts to reveal only the best bits.

    I cropped it that way more to give it a panoramic aspect ratio. I tried putting a GND filter over them to darken them down (which improved the appearance), bt ultimately I decided that they still looked more of a distraction; drawing the eye into a "non-laminar flow" region, to use an aeronautical analog!
    Colin thanks for the info although it's a bit over my head, I will however re-read it and try to learn what you are referring to. Photography is sooo much more difficult than I ever knew but I love the challenge, I can't say that if I were doing it years ago with only film I would have the patience or money to develop and learn the way
    digital allows you to. Much respect to anyone who started off in film photography!

  10. #10
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: HDR shot

    I use Photomatix a fair bit. HDR on it = never.

    I'm always using Exposure Fusion. You get more realistic blends straight off the bat with default settings, less halo-ing, and more microcontrast.

    I'd recommend trying it - and playing with all combinations of the sliders...

  11. #11
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    Re: HDR shot

    Hi Roger, I use Photomatix as well. Although, as Colin points out, 1EV stops don't provide any tangible benefit over 2EV stops, if your camera only shoots 1EV stops in AEB, it won't be a problem for Photomatix. I've tested up to 13 images at 1EV increments and it works fine. If you have a lot of movement you can simply not include every other image when you feed Photomatix. Sometimes only two images are needed to achieve the dynamic range you are looking for.

    Also as Colin points out both in his text and in the image he reworked, Photomatix's job is to combine the wide dynamic range into a tone-mapped result with visible detail in the shadows and highlights but that is not the final post processing step.

    In addition to doing normal post processing steps, you may also need to correct for overly bright foliage, high contrast halos, and sickly skin tones that result from the tone-mapping process. Usually, this is a simple blending back in of some of the normal EV image where needed, such as with foliage or skin tones.

    Using tone-mapping on high dynamic range images often involves additional work to get the final result looking natural so over time you will likely find yourself becoming more careful about exposure and only using the tone-mapping processing where you really need it. For example, I shot -2EV, 0EV and +2EV using AEB on this image but in the end only used two of the three images and although I originally processed this with Photomatix, I ended up not using the tone-mapped result in the final image at all.

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