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Thread: Some Criticism Wanted

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    jeffmoll's Avatar
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    Some Criticism Wanted

    Ok, this is my first attempt at a real HDR using advanced software. I've tried and tried to get nice results with PS CS4 but don't seem to have the knack. I've used some cheesy open source software but had really weird artifacts and haloing happening so I decided that was not the way to go. I'm currently on the 15 day demo of NIK's HDR effex pro.

    so... tear the image apart for me. Everything from tuning to composition.

    Some Criticism Wanted

    One of my bigger questions with the image is whether or not the branches in the upper left corner add or subtract from the image. I think I like them but I'm curious to know what you all think.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Jeff

    The EXIF data is stripped out. So could you post it up. Shutter, Aperture, Camera , Lens etc.

  3. #3

    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Jeff

    I think this is HDR processing tastefully applied. Given the end result it begs the question what you may have gained over single image tone mapping. All that aside I do like the overall effect of the image. There is no focal point but it doesn't actually detract from this being a pleasing shot. The branches to the left do need to be taken out and there is a lack of sharpness. I am not sure if this is a result of the processing or an effect of shooting into the sun. The blown out area around the sun is inevitable and is giving some haziness in the trees. I actually think that adds to the image but you have only just gotten away with it.

    A nice image but I do not think that is because of the application of HDR processing. If this is the type of result you want (and I hope it is..over the looney toons HDR processing) then I would be giving serious consideration as to whether I wanted to go any further than the trial software.

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    jeffmoll's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Canon EOS 1Ds mk3
    ef16-35 f/2.8L II

    aperture was 4.5
    shutter speed varied since it's a 5 bracket series
    focal length was 16mm (hence the fairly strong lens vignette- thought about correcting it in Camera RAW but thought it somewhat added to the mysterious feel of the image)
    ISO 50

    the lack of sharpness is because there was some slight movement in the trees from a very slight breeze.

    I haven't tried tone mapping a single frame, but I should. Or possibly try layering just two frames instead of the 5.

    Some of the haze might be from the HDR processing but the majority of it is natural. It was a pretty hazy evening and it was especially sitting in along the river.

    Steve, I love your terminology I like a very subtle HDR rendering because it can get closer to how I saw the scene with my eyes... but I really can't stand the "loony toons" look either! If it doesn't look realistic then I don't like it. I like something where the viewer never stops to think that it's anything more than just a single photograph. Don't have time to re-render it now but I'll give it a go later this evening and post the results.

    edit: Ok, I just found out that the hdr plugin was applying its own vignette lol. I thought that it was stronger than usual for that lens but hadn't looked close enough at the software settings.
    Last edited by jeffmoll; 26th November 2010 at 08:30 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Jeff

    Firstly I'm with you and Steve in not liking the 'loony toons' HDR look. I've always that thought that HDR was/should be, exactly what you have described.

    I like the vignette. But I'd want to lose the branches in the upper left-hand corner.

    In terms of composition - I looked at it for a while in relation to the upward tilt of the wide angle lens causing the trees to tip inwards towards the top. I think that's a perfectly legitimate approach to apply. The question to myself was - Did I think it worked in this case?

    Then I realised that it's not this aspect of the image that is my key issue. For me it's the fact that I'm seeing two distinct 'bits' to the image. The two trees on the left-hand side are one image. The other group of trees in the right-hand half of the frame make up the other image. And I think that is caused not by the fact that there's something of a gap through the middle between these two 'parts'. It's because that tallest tree is creating the key element in the grouping of trees that consist of it and those immediately around it. It results in the two on the left-hand side being separated/disconnected. (Is this making any sort of sense?)

    So, in essence, cut the frame just to the left-hand side of the centre and I think you've got a very powerful image made up of the right-hand half of the frame.

    One idea for you to think about.

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    jeffmoll's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Ok, here's my rework of the image.
    #1 (the reworked shot)
    Some Criticism Wanted

    and #2 (the first try)
    Some Criticism Wanted

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    I like the revision -- it's a great picture and I agree that your use of HDR is good (= subtle). I might clone out the darkness in the upper right hand corner, but that's a small thing, really.

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    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    I like the #1 (reworked shot) you've gotten rid of the distracting branches on the upper left and evened out the dark upper right hand corner. The center also looks much better than the blown out look in the first image. It looks to be a bit higher contrast and sharper. Nice work again on this shot, I love B&W tree shots and you've created a very peaceful image.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Some Criticism Wanted

    Hi Jeff,

    I also like the "#1 (the reworked shot)".

    Cheers,

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