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Thread: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

  1. #1
    David's Avatar
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    Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi Everyone - Perhaps this image should be in the HDR section, but it also shows some architecture.

    Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    This is an HDR image created via a Canon 40D camera and Photomatix Pro software from three exposures at 0 and +/- 2 stops. The tone-mapped image was tweaked with the "white point" tool in Photomatix and then the perspective was corrected using the appropriate tool in the GIMP.

    In other posts, there has been some discussion about whether HDR images are not so preferable because they are not "natural". Indeed, there are many hundreds of HDR images posted on, say, Flickr, that are certainly not natural looking. However, I have tried with this image to make something that is natural looking, although I do not think a single photographic image could have achieved the same effect. I shall be interested to hear your views.

    David
    Last edited by David; 14th October 2008 at 12:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    well, the main thing I don't like about HDR is that almost noisy rendering...(for instance on the blue car in the corner)....I am not sure why folks dig HDR so much...

    granted, on the example you show, that's fairly minimal. but with a straight wide angle, you would have gotten something really nice....then agian, my 2 cents...

  3. #3

    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi David.

    I'm a Stockport lad (Reddish) and know this place all to well. You must have been up early to get this shot!

    I'm not sure what I feel about HDR to be honest. I'm in favour of anything that helps me reproduce a scene how it looked to my naked eye. I find it easier to reproduce good dynamic range with film than with digital. However, I've got a few Lee ND grads that I use with both to get the desired results rather than manipulation in Photoshop - mostly because I'm not an advanced user.

    Sooner or later Canon, Nikon, etc will bring out a sensor capable of doing in-camera HDR merges and that will make everyone's life a bit easier. Come to think of it, my D300 has active d-lighting which stops clipping at top and bottom end, so it's already sort of getting there....

    Nice shot and a great coincidence to stumble over someone from my home town.

    All the best. Paul.

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    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    David, could you show us a natural photo of the same scene? I'd love to have the opportunity to compare the results...

  5. #5

    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    naturality is all around us.....u just cant escape it even if we want tooits unreal stuff and images that would surely sell in naturally saturated world like ours but still your pic with its ancient looking design on those houses is nice to watch! those colors are very good too i would have preffered horses and horses driven carriages parked in front,instead of those sleek cars! moonlight shot of this area,with that lovely lamp post,a man dressed like a dracula.......crossing the street

  6. #6
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi Guys - Thanks for all the comments about this image.

    GreenTea - here is the original or base image:

    Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Apart from creating the HDR itself, some cropping and perspective adjustment was carried out.

    Taken - This is Stockport not Transylvania!! We don't have vampires - only traffic wardens (same thing perhaps). But I agree that a Moonlit shot would be good. If time and opportunity permits I'll try it.

    Paul - I agree that camera companies will get round to providing in-camera HDR in time, either as auto-bracketing or as pseudo imaging.

    Atvinnys - Yes HDR images can accumulate noise although I don't think it's obtrusive in this particular example.

    David

  7. #7
    GreenTea's Avatar
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    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Well, there's no doubt the scene looks much better without the dark shadows... I like the natural photo better except for that.

  8. #8

    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi David.

    Just done a three minute adjustment in Nikon Capture NX:
    1) Colour point adjustment to get detail into the shadows bottom left
    2) D-Lighting to make a little 'punchier'
    3) Added sliht gradient to the sky to bring out cloud formations and darken slightly

    It's not HDR but what do you think? Hope you approve.

    Paul.
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    Last edited by The Analog Kid; 8th November 2008 at 07:29 AM. Reason: adding photo

  9. #9
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi Paul - Being a Canon Man I'm not familiar with Nikon Capture NX, but I guess that it is similar to Canon's Digital Photo Professional. I can get similar enhancements to you using that Canon software. Your treatment looks good, particularly on the sky, and it does illustrate well the difference between HDR and "conventional" enhancements. For me, I'm going to stick with my HDR approach on this image as I took the shot in part to explore the HDR possibilities. But, as usual, which image is "better" is a fruitless discussion as we get into matters of taste. I'm pleased that you've taken so much interest in this image and feel free to experiment with anything I post.

    Perhaps The Boar's Head might provide an opportunity in the future for further discussion.

    David

  10. #10

    Re: Stockport Market - A "Natural" HDR Image

    Hi David,

    If I lived a little closer (now living in Essex and working in the City of London) I'd be delighted. When I lived in Reddish, I used to frequent the Unicorn near Houldsworth Mill but when 'out on the town' my favourite haunt was the Manchester Arms on Wellington Road - a biker's pub with a fantastic jukebox and a good pint of Robinson's!

    If I ever get chance to come up to Stockport, I'll be sure to drop you a line.

    Regards, Paul.

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