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Thread: Pseudo-HDR Example

  1. #1
    David's Avatar
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    Pseudo-HDR Example

    For those who have not got into HDR photography, I thought I would post a simple example of how effective using a single RAW file to generate what is in effect a pseudo-HDR image can be. The first image is the original photograph converted via Ufraw and The GIMP to a basic image, stored as a jpg file. The second image is the same RAW file processed with Photomatix Pro. The software automatically uses the RAW data to create "images" at +/- 2 stops and combines them with the original. Tone-mapping was carried out in the usual way.

    Pseudo-HDR Example
    Pseudo-HDR Example

    Thus, the more time-consuming aspects of HDR such as bracketing and using a tripod to collect several images can be by-passed in some circumstances, with reasonable results.

    David

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    David, good morning.

    I am not very found of these HDR pictures...

    I have seen somewhere pictures using this technique I do like and myself, I have done something similar using LR2. Where are they ??

    Your picture is interesting because we can see what we were not seeing in the 1.st one like the red net in the direction of the island for example.

    I like photos more natural than these HDR ones. Don't you ?

  3. #3
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Hi Antonio - thanks for your comments. The question of whether one likes (or should like) natural images more or less than HDR images is an important one. I have read some blogs which are vehemently against HDR photography, and others that praise it to the heavens. In my view, whether or not HDR is good, bad, or ugly all depends on what you, as a photographer or image maker, want to do. I do make the distinction between a photograph which reflects a natural environment and an image that may be more creative, abstract , expressionistic, and so on. We are lucky with having such a range of software to be able to create not only technical good natural photographs, but also creative images. I enjoy both aspects.

    Regarding the images posted here, my point was to show the immediate potential for improvement from a rather dull shot; I'm not pretending that the images have any great artistic merit. I don't think the HDR process has gone over the top in this case, see below for a more extreme example. Some HDR software, such as FDRTools, produces beautifully natural looking images, while other software such as Qtpsfgui is difficult to use other than "creatively".

    Anyway, here's an OTT HDR image which may not be to your taste, but I like it!!

    Cheers

    David

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/...f5386318_b.jpg

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    I kinda agree with Antonio here given the artificial look of the picture.
    I think that you get a better output by combining bracketed images (I havent' tried myself but Guillermo has a few example with his Zero noise program/page)

    just my 2 cents..

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    This photo on the left is the one I was talking about earier.
    I am not very found of it. I only kept it because my wife said it was OK ...

    I prefer the second one in terms of "treatment"...

    Pseudo-HDR Example . Pseudo-HDR Example

    You don't mind I post here these photos, do you ? If you do, please let me know and I will erase them willingly. Thank you.

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Antonio,

    what kind of PP was applied for the second one? HDR like or the usual curve/gamma, and more with your favorite PP tool...

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Guys....returning to the posted example....I often use the approach presented but using conventional tools....

    As shown below.....

    Pseudo-HDR Example

    Following conventional processing with a little shadow recovery.....and then with a little enhancement with Topaz Adjust or Lucas Arts.....

    Going a little further with Enhancement, I get:::

    Pseudo-HDR Example

    You can stop short of looking artificial.....but this type of enhancement has grown quite popular....
    Last edited by willgoss; 4th October 2008 at 01:12 AM.

  8. #8

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    OK I have a question regarding Pseudo HDR's. If I take 5 shots to create a regular HDR image..i.e. -2/-1/0/+1/+2, would I get the same results if I took the correctly exposed shot and then processed it in let's say Lightroom to produce 4 more images with exposures of -1/-2 and +1/+2. Then taking the resulting images along with the original to Photomatix: will my resulting HDR image be of the same quality as my regular HDR?
    I hope that's clear?
    This would save me lugging around my tripod day in day out. It would also solve the problem of moving objects i.e. birds, trees in the wind, waves etc.
    Last edited by Saracen; 4th October 2008 at 03:58 PM.

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    I can only comment from my approach.....

    After a number of 3 images bracketed....I did find I could create very acceptable results by PP the EV0.......I tested a number of HDR converters versus my use one image approach....

    So now I shoot without tripod (mostly) an HDR bracket of three images (=- 0.7) and then select the best for processing usually the EV0....I still have the option of copying and pasting a portion from one of the other images (such as sky or clouds)...

    While I have not resorted to artificially creating other exposures to blend as HDR ...... I do use recover shadows scripts that does create and blend a new layer to acomplish shadow recovery...
    Last edited by willgoss; 4th October 2008 at 05:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    David. It was not my idea to hijack your post when Iposted my pictures. Sorry fellow.

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Hi Antonio ... Anyway, here's an OTT HDR image which may not be to your taste, but I like it!! Cheers David http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/...f5386318_b.jpg
    The picture is not indeed of my taste but I respect - of course I do - other people's opinions.
    Thank you for your concern in showing me this example.
    I may one day change my point of view/taste, but for now...
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by atvinnys View Post
    Antonio, what kind of PP was applied for the second one? HDR like or the usual curve/gamma, and more with your favorite PP tool...
    I was just paying with the adjustments in LR 2 and this came out after adjusting - as far as I can remember - Clarity, Vibrance, Recovery and .. others. Sorry if I can't tell you exactly what has been done.

    Cheers everyone.

  11. #11

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    no clear picture

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    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Quote Originally Posted by sananjana View Post
    no clear picture

    and that means ...


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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    The over the top HDR photos are hit and miss with me... some look awesome... some... not so much...

    it's all taste... and some of the over the top HDR have the right "flavor"

    the one by the Original poster looks fine to me except for the excessive noise in the for ground distracting and making it look WAY over the top. this is where photo bracketing would have done well... to capture that detail with out the noise.

    the one posted by Antonio with the bike in the garage... i like the artistic look of it. it can make the mundane look extravagant. (not saying your photo's mundane... lol)

  14. #14

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Just change the subject quickly, are certain file types better for creating HDR images than others? I have been using RAW files, and then converting to Tiffs and JPEG's, but loosing sharpness when converting??? Any thoughts?

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Hi Musikstation - I've always thought that RAW files were the only ones that could be used to generate HDR images. However, I was mistaken. Software such as FDRTools can use TIFF's, JPEG's and even HDR files themselves (.hdr or .exr) to create HDR files for subsequent tone mapping. As for loss of sharpness, I have not encountered anything unusual myself on saving from HDR software. However, I always expect to sharpen the image later. Recently, I've been using re-focus software from Focus Magic for this.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    With D300 on Manual this afternoon, I did 2 pictures one with very short time and one with long time. Then, in PS7 Elements, I duplicate layer of the long time picture and with move tool I put it upon the very short time picture. Then I did opacity 50% (that is a critical action). You will see what beautiful is the dust on the desk, etc. of course, I used tripod. There was not another remaking like noise reduction or sharpening a.s.on.
    Last edited by Radu Dinu Cordeanu; 4th January 2010 at 01:43 PM.

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    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    I personally like hdr as a technical tool as opposed to artistic one so veer toward natural looking images that can only be captured and look natural with hdr due to range being too much to get in one capture.

    I still new to it and learning but I find it's not always needed, if you expose just under the highlight clip point then you can do the rest in pp from one image (rather than hdr proper on bracketed exposures or hdr technique applied to multiple images from single source file).

    I think a lot is to do with taste though and artistic unatural look is great if that's what you're after. I am finding that with the 2 or 3 exposures though the shadow detail is greater so it's the prefered method when possible. I think your method has uses more so when traditional bracketingmethod for true hdr isn't possible such as fast moving subjects or rapidly changing scenes or whenever a tripod isn't available or you can only get off one shot for whatever reason. In this case I'd be tempted to push the image in camera more toward the right since you're planning to adjust in pp the extra black clip, fill light, recovery tweaks are not an issue (as some want to just get right in cam and transfer without any pp, I personally like to process all images).

    Obviously for true HDR you shouldn't notice a style difference and it's the only way to capture the scenes it was originally intended for since a much wider range than is possible in one image makes it impossible to capture in 1 no matter how much processing you do so it's not a substitute for that as you already know (probably much more than me ). As for shadow recovery on a single image it's useful and for averaging and evening out the lighting in an image if that's what you're after. Perhaps it's most appealing to the artistic/stylistic users is the un-natural tone mapping look which isn't HDR as such since the dynamic range is within the limits of the image but it doesn't matter as it's chosen technique for stylistic purposes rather than technical application.

  18. #18

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Hi to all.
    I took the first jpeg picture from David and I processed it with a open-source software written by me and I got this result:
    Pseudo-HDR Example

    You can download it from here (for Linux and Windows):
    http://zynaddsubfx.sourceforge.net/other/tonemapping/

    The program is very very fast and it can batch process many images, which is useful for time-lapse movies, like in this example:

    (original pictures)

    (processed pictures)

    Now I am working on improving this algorithm (mostly for midtones) and I have the intention to release a new version of the program.

    Paul

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Just for fun, I thought I'd give it the standard "Photoshop 30 Second Makeover (TM!) treatment - no "Psudo HDR" tricks - just conventional processing techniques (and basic ones at that).

    What do you think?

    Pseudo-HDR Example

  20. #20

    Re: Pseudo-HDR Example

    Hello Collin,

    I'm curious, what do you do under your standard "Photoshop 30 Second Makeover" ™?
    I'm not new to photoshop, but there's always something to learn about it.

    Cheers

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