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Thread: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

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    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi
    Lotus Mahal at Hampi (HDR) by naga-s, on Flickr

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    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    This is my first attempt at HDR. I request you to provide your criticism/ suggestions on what could have been done better on:
    - composition
    - HDR tonemapping

    Also I have written a detailed post on what I did (original image, tone mapping software , parameters used, post processing steps) to produce this image at my blog :
    http://www.geekytalk.snaga.net/2011/...t-attempt.html


    Thanks
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st February 2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: added larger image inline after Colin's complaint in post #8

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    i think the way you applied the HDR effect is good and not overly done. As for the composition, you could probably applied some lens correction on the building to properly align the image vertically. A little brightness/contrast adjustment might give the image some more punch. Maybe, if I'm the one who will take another shot at this monument, I'd probably go closer and use a 16-24mm wide angle lens, stoop down, and take the shot looking upward for a more dramatic angled shot. Nice work, Nagarajan.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    I like the composition, but the hdr is a bit over the top
    I see some halo's as well, it can indeed use some lens correction, but it looks ok to me
    colors are so not natural anymore, sorry not feeling this one

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Hi Nagarajan,

    To my eye it's looking more like an "ultra tone mapped" image than an HDR image (out of interest, how many shots in your exposure bracket?), but to be honest, the image is so small, it's hard to get a good look at it.

    I'd suggest posting them at least 700 pixels wide.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 21st February 2011 at 09:34 PM.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Nagarajan,

    To my eye it's looking more like "ultra tone mapped" than it is HDR, but to be honest, the image is sm small, it's hard to get a good look at it.

    I'd suggest posting them at least 700 pixels wide.
    you have to click on the link under the picture

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    I like the result! The one thing I would suggest is recovering the blue color of the sky. It looks to grey the large version. Also just noticed what was wrong with the clouds, they are blue. I would suggest a local levels adjustment on the sky.

    -Sonic

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Basically a nice image of an interesting location. Composition wise it may be a bit central but it doesn't really detract. My main issue is that because of the perspective distortion the building seems to be trying to make an exit from the right of the picture. Just straightening that in Photoshop would improve this a lot I think.
    The HDR is a little overprocessed for a lot of tastes but I remember my first HDRs were pretty much the same ... until the novelty wore off. There are halos around a lot of edges noticeably the wall on the right and the roof of the building, try turning the settings down and straighten that perspective, you'll still have the HDR effect if you want it but the picture might be better for it. All in all though quite effective and an interesting shot.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandenberg View Post
    you have to click on the link under the picture
    and what if I don't want to?

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    and what if I don't want to?
    Then Dave will fix it for you

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Hi Nagarajan,

    I am not a fan of this style (sorry), so I wouldn't have tone mapped it like this.

    Regardless, to my eyes it could do with a slight anticlockwise rotation (to make the central corner's edge vertical), then a perspective correction (to correct the converging verticals) and less sharpening.

    I like the composition/crop though.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    One suggestion, never do HDR on trees or shrubbery, they move too much by the time you bracket the shots that you will never be able to align the images.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Thank you all for taking time to review my work.

    I would like to take following pointers from your review (If I missed any, please do add) :
    1. Need to tone down the tonemapping parameters a bit
    2. May need to work on color enhancements on sections of the image - like the sky, clouds etc (this is something that I am trying to learn - havent completely gotten hold of it in GIMP yet)
    3. Perspective correction - I knew that this issue existed the wall of the building is bent like a bread slice . But the issue is still with my learning process - havent figured out the best way to do it with GIMp or any other tool that'll work on Linux : Any help on this appreciated.

    Other point that I have forgotten to mention in the post (mentioned in the flickr page and blog post though) is that this is an HDR from a single Jpeg file. May be inthe future when I really bracket exposures in RAW it could be better

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by nagais View Post
    Other point that I have forgotten to mention in the post (mentioned in the flickr page and blog post though) is that this is an HDR from a single Jpeg file.
    Thought so.

    What you've produced here isn't an HDR image. HDR is a set of techniques that are used to capture and present an image that - by itself - has too great a dynamic range to be captured in a single exposure. Unfortunately, programs like Photomatix have come along that seem to have the defaults set for what some call an "ultra-tone-mapped" look (whilst others may have a less diplomatic way of describing the look), and now we have an unfortunate situation (that I'm trying to correct) where people are starting to confuse this "over-processed look" with HDR, whereas the two aren't really related.

    Some previous threads on the topic might be interesting to you ...

    Tone Mapping

    So I had not really tried shooting a human yet - HDR philosophies
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 22nd February 2011 at 07:56 AM.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by nagais View Post
    Thank you all for taking time to review my work...

    I would like to take following pointers from your review (If I missed any, please do add) :
    2. May need to work on color enhancements on sections of the image - like the sky, clouds etc (this is something that I am trying to learn - havent completely gotten hold of it in GIMP yet)
    3. Perspective correction - I knew that this issue existed the wall of the building is bent like a bread slice . But the issue is still with my learning process - havent figured out the best way to do it with GIMp or any other tool that'll work on Linux : Any help on this appreciated...
    Nagarajan,

    I would be willing to build a short tutorial on using GIMP to correct lens distortion, and quick selection masking. If you want this I will post it as a new thread so later quick tutorials and discussion can be added more easily, and the material on the subject is more findable for others. You can PM me if you have any questions about GIMP or tools available on Linux.

    -Sonic

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Thought so.

    What you've produced here isn't an HDR image. HDR is a set of techniques that are used to capture and present an image that - by itself - has too great a dynamic range to be captured in a single exposure. Unfortunately, programs like Photomatix have come along that seem to have the defaults set for what some call an "ultra-tone-mapped" look (whilst others may have a less diplomatic way of describing the look), and now we have an unfortunate situation (that I'm trying to correct) where people are starting to confuse this "over-processed look" with HDR, whereas the two aren't really related.

    Some previous threads on the topic might be interesting to you ...

    Tone Mapping

    So I had not really tried shooting a human yet - HDR philosophies
    Yes, I agree that I have gone a bit overboard with tonemapping here! As somebody here pointed out the novelty for the tonemapped look is not worn out yet

    But, I do think there is a good amount of HDR compression in this image - much more shadow detail is brought out compared to the original image (I have that in the blog post). What I have learned about the sigle file HDR (or Fake HDR) is this : There is significant amount of dynamic range even in a single Jpeg (of a modern camera), that is no apparant in the original image - of course much less than what you could get with multiple exposures. That's what I have tried to bring out here - but I need to tone down on the tone mapping parameters !

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by nagais View Post
    but I need to tone down on the tone mapping parameters !
    Well that depends, I have images that I produced a few years back that to my eyes now are horribly over tone mapped but I still sometimes exhibit them (depending on location) because they are popular (???) Photographers will visit the exhibition, ask the obvious 'is it HDR' question and then politely (usually) remark that it's a bit overdone. Non photographer members of the public (especially here in France) will often congratulate me heartily and buy the bloody things. A matter of taste perhaps and also photographers rarely buy pictures (not from me anyhow). An example, quite popular in local expos :-

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    ... the basilique at Vezelay.

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    Re: My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    Quote Originally Posted by nagais View Post
    But, I do think there is a good amount of HDR compression in this image - much more shadow detail is brought out compared to the original image (I have that in the blog post). What I have learned about the sigle file HDR (or Fake HDR) is this : There is significant amount of dynamic range even in a single Jpeg (of a modern camera), that is no apparant in the original image - of course much less than what you could get with multiple exposures. That's what I have tried to bring out here - but I need to tone down on the tone mapping parameters !
    Not really - it's not "HDR Compression". Most cameras today capture around 12 stops of information - the problem is though that we don't have any way to display that kind of range; the most you'll get from paper is around 4 stops, and the most you'll get from a monitor is around 6 stops. With a RAW capture we can usually compress the range quite nicely by using tools such as Adobe ACR's Fill Light slider (while the image is still in linear gamma). A JPEG is a different beast though; JPEGs are engineered with one thing in mind: small size, and they do that in a very agressive way by throwing away what can't be seen - normalising values that are too small for us to differentiate between - and then compressing the rest - but - because people may have different monitor settings, and may also still need to edit a JPEG (heaven help us), there's a certain safety margin built in.

    Looking at what you've got here - and comparing it to the original - I'm not seeing any additional detail revealed; all I'm seeing is some darker tones replaced with lighter tones. Remember, HDR is a technique for capturing a range of value that too great to capture in a normal single exposure, so we use tools like multiple exposures or GND filters). GND isnt a final image (if you measure the values of any pixel in the final image it will fall in the same range as the pixels for any other image), and it's not a characteristic "look" (eg ultra-tone-mapped like your image) either.

    As an example, here's a few of my HDR images to (hopefully) illustrate what I mean ...

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    In contrast, this shot - which many may have assumed WAS HDR (because of the range of tones required), in fact, isn't.

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

    And neither is this one ...

    My first attempt HDR - Lotus Mahal at Hampi

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