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Thread: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

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    tbob's Avatar
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    A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Just spent money on a new processing program for HDR (Aurora) and I think I will have to chuck the whole concept and stick to processing in Capture One. May just be me, but the artificiality of the result in Aurora does not please me. I thought maybe the upgrade would be worth it, but no.

    Any comment welcome, may be my lacking skill with the program. I realize it boils down to personal preference , i just thought it would be worthwhile to get other views on this; from people I trust.

    Done in Capture One

    A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)



    Aurora HDR

    A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Trevor, if you want natural color (I do), why don't you use exposure blending (exposure fusion)?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    I like the Capture One version.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Just spent money on a new processing program for HDR (Aurora) and I think I will have to chuck the whole concept and stick to processing in Capture One. May just be me, but the artificiality of the result in Aurora does not please me. I thought maybe the upgrade would be worth it, but no.

    Any comment welcome, may be my lacking skill with the program. I realize it boils down to personal preference , i just thought it would be worthwhile to get other views on this; from people I trust.

    Done in Capture One

    A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)



    Aurora HDR

    A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)
    Trev, is that processing done to just one capture? Like with fancy curves and stuff?

    If so, I would be inclined to try a fusion program, like Dan says. Some time back, it was suggested here that fused images can look more "natural" than HDR. I use this occasionally:

    http://www.tawbaware.com/tufuse.htm

    Although messing around with multiple image files is not my idea of fun . . .
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 3rd October 2017 at 12:49 AM.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Trevor, I haven't used either piece of software that you mention but looking at the 2 results I would have to say that I much prefer the Capture 1 version.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Trevor, if you want natural color (I do), why don't you use exposure blending (exposure fusion)?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I may have to consider that option. It is a stand alone program? I currently only use either Aperture with the NIK plug ins or Capture One to process. I went to Capture One as I was fearful that one day Apple would yank the rug out from under Aperture and I would need to have a fall back. Maybe only once a year I feel the need for more than either program offers; even that has been of no consequence.

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Trev, is that processing done to just one capture? Like with fancy curves and stuff?

    If so, I would be inclined to try a fusion program, like Dan says. Some time back, it was suggested here that fused images can look more "natural" than HDR. I use this occasionally:

    http://www.tawbaware.com/tufuse.htm

    Although messing around with multiple image files is not my idea of fun . . .
    Aurora will work on one image(so they say, have not tried This was the first attempt with the update)

    The Aurora image posted was done with 5 exposures, one stop apart melded in the program as plug in to Aperture. Not really much fussing about, very similar work flow to using NIK as a plug in.

    The capture one is one image processed using the high dynamic range recovery sliders. Plus a bit of my usual mucking about with other options to get where I want to go.
    Last edited by tbob; 3rd October 2017 at 01:00 AM.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Aurora will work on one image(so they say, have not tried This was the first attempt with the update)

    The image posted was done with 5 exposures, one stop apart melded in the program as plug in to Aperture. Not really much fussing about, very similar work flow to using NIK as a plug in.
    I've never used NIK but you've answered my question, thanks.

    A lot of these fusion programs are based on a command-line (Windows) utility called 'enfuse.exe' but you may not be familiar with command-line stuff. TuFuse Pro used it but comes with a GUI for us dumber folks. Another program is 'Hugin' . . .

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Hi Trevor

    The HDR processing hasn't worked all that well in this case however with more use of the software, that may improve. In my (fairly limited) experience with HDR software, I've found it somewhat unpredictable and have often achieved similar or better results with tonal adjustments on one image.

    One thing I notice with your HDR image is it's lack of sharpness. I suspect there is a problem here with proper image alignment. Also if there was any sort of a breeze, the grass would be all over the place from one capture to another, resulting in considerable blur.

    Have you tried the Nik HDR plug-in for comparison purposes?

    Dave

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Trevor - I have not used HDR software in years, simply because it makes creative decisions for me and inevitably, I find I don't like the choices built into the software. I have tried the Enfuse exposure blending software solution that Dan mentions, but likewise, don't like the results due to lack of control.

    In those instances that I find I need more than one exposure to pull off an image, I find myself manually blending multiple images in Photoshop using layer masks. I find that it gives me the control I want, as I get to pick the parts of the image that I want to blend and it does not give me the funky remapped colours that are so common with the HDR software. The downside is that one has to be a competent Photoshop user (or any other software that supports layers and layer masks) and must be willing to put the time into the image (it is not nearly as fast as either HDRI or exposure fusion).

    I got into a discussion of my technique with some Indian advanced photographers while I was with them in the Himalayas earlier this year. One of them asked me to write a short article on my approach for an Indian photography website. The main reason I point you there is that I show the results of using all three techniques on the same image in the article.


    http://www.lightchasers.in/managing-...-range-scenes/

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Trevor,

    I don't use either Capture One or Aperture, so I have no idea whether there are plugins for them. I do my core processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. For exposure fusion, I use a Lightroom plug-in, Lightroom Enfuse, which is donationware. However, it is simply an adaptation of two other pieces of software, one for aligning the images and the other for the blending, and you might be able to find a stand-alone version if there isn't a plug-in for your software. I think Ted's suggestion may be just that.

    I have been generally satisfied with it. It does produce natural colors because all it does is select properly exposed areas from each image, without any tone mapping. It's a global process, so I often have to do some global or local adjustments after the fact. It's much like manual blending, but without local control.

    This won't be relevant to you, but it might be relevant for the thread: Even though I generally dislike HDR, I have used Lightroom's HDR merge function a number of times. It doesn't seem to do much damage to color, in my few trials, but it often produces a very unnatural tonal distribution that requires considerable adjustment. It has an automatic mode for tonal adjustments, but I haven't found that satisfactory.

    Dan

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Most HDR software offers the user various interpretations (tone-mapping) of the HDR image. I would guess that both Capture 1 and Aurora would do so, and that you could well create very similar output images from each of these two.

    Most of my HDR images are of stained glass windows and I do not find that any of my various HDR packages give the unntural results often seen in outdoor scenes.

    John

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Hi Trevor

    The HDR processing hasn't worked all that well in this case however with more use of the software, that may improve. In my (fairly limited) experience with HDR software, I've found it somewhat unpredictable and have often achieved similar or better results with tonal adjustments on one image.

    One thing I notice with your HDR image is it's lack of sharpness. I suspect there is a problem here with proper image alignment. Also if there was any sort of a breeze, the grass would be all over the place from one capture to another, resulting in considerable blur.

    Have you tried the Nik HDR plug-in for comparison purposes?

    Dave
    I agree about the lack of sharpness, and you are correct about the source as there was a light breeze that morning moving the grass about and influencing the clouds. This is a problem I deal with most of the time, just have to accept it if I am to shoot in the environment I do.

    I tried NIK HDR Suffice it to say that is why I tried Aurora as I was completely underwhelmed with the result in NIK

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Trevor - I have not used HDR software in years, simply because it makes creative decisions for me and inevitably, I find I don't like the choices built into the software. I have tried the Enfuse exposure blending software solution that Dan mentions, but likewise, don't like the results due to lack of control.

    In those instances that I find I need more than one exposure to pull off an image, I find myself manually blending multiple images in Photoshop using layer masks. I find that it gives me the control I want, as I get to pick the parts of the image that I want to blend and it does not give me the funky remapped colours that are so common with the HDR software. The downside is that one has to be a competent Photoshop user (or any other software that supports layers and layer masks) and must be willing to put the time into the image (it is not nearly as fast as either HDRI or exposure fusion).

    I got into a discussion of my technique with some Indian advanced photographers while I was with them in the Himalayas earlier this year. One of them asked me to write a short article on my approach for an Indian photography website. The main reason I point you there is that I show the results of using all three techniques on the same image in the article.


    http://www.lightchasers.in/managing-...-range-scenes/
    Thanks Manfred, after reading the article I am still leaning toward using Capture One for the conversions. I have gotten comfortable with it and the results it gives. I have never used Photoshop, probably like using a Maserati to haul groceries in my hands.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Try SNS-HDR if you like natural HDR images.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pebal View Post
    Try SNS-HDR if you like natural HDR images.
    What is "SNS-HDR"?

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Hi Trevor, I am certainly no expert by a long shot but I am not crazy with the HDR look in either of your photos. I like natural shots that have the colors teased and improved through the various tools that an application provides. So far as a MAC user, my two favorite apps are LR V6.12 (stand alone) and Affinity Photo 1.5.2 that seems to be filled with options. I did pick up a copy of Aurora HDR but after a few uses, it pretty much just takes up space on my computer. I may find a use for it eventually when I understand how editing photos work but for now, it is useless to me.

    Hope you find the tools you need to achieve the results that you want! I've enjoyed seeing your buildings and landscapes that you've posted in CiC!

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pebal View Post
    Try SNS-HDR if you like natural HDR images.
    "Natural HDR" is a bit of an oxymoron as tone mapping does not maintain the original tones. Lots of applications, including the free Nik Collection and the built in functionality in Lightroom / Adobe Camera Raw are quite neutral as well.

  19. #19

    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    What is "SNS-HDR"?
    The SNS-HDR is HDR software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    "Natural HDR" is a bit of an oxymoron as tone mapping does not maintain the original tones. Lots of applications, including the free Nik Collection and the built in functionality in Lightroom / Adobe Camera Raw are quite neutral as well.
    The effect is natural if you can not guess that the image is an HDR image. Tone mapping does not matter here, cameras also use filters, profiles, etc. Different software uses different algorithms and generates different results.

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    Re: A rant about HDR (my processing: Not in general)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pebal View Post
    The SNS-HDR is HDR software.


    The effect is natural if you can not guess that the image is an HDR image. Tone mapping does not matter here, cameras also use filters, profiles, etc. Different software uses different algorithms and generates different results.
    Hi, Use and have used SNS-HDR for many years and does what it says on the tin although there has not been any major update for a while still the best out there for as natural looking images from the proccess IMO. Russ

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