Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => Discussing Photographic Styles => Topic started by: Neil Hunt on November 04, 2007, 06:18:09 PM

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Neil Hunt on November 04, 2007, 06:18:09 PM
OK slightly pejorative title, but I've recently been looking around at a few other forums, especially ones for people new or newish to photography (was going to name them but am chickening out). I have to say most of the HDR shots posted on this site, whilst not always my thing, are for the most part technically competent and at the more subtle end of the genre - but really there are some seriously ugly images being produced out there!

Photomatrix and the saturation slider are certainly a killer combination in the wrong hands!

Neil.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Kagetsu on November 04, 2007, 09:31:32 PM
Not particularly... HDR is a buzz technique for the moment, and I'm sure there are many people who've dabbled in it at some point who are working with a digital workflow.

It's similar in my opinion, to other techniques of photography we've already become accustomed to. Not so much in final result, but more so in progression of style.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: sergiojaenlara on November 05, 2007, 06:08:53 AM
I am with you. HDR is a good way to improve some photos but people use to destroy them using this technique.
I prefer exposure blending in order to obtain more natural images.
If I use HDR then i put the hdr results in a layer  and then apply a mask to it.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on November 05, 2007, 10:37:41 AM
No, I don't hate HDR, quite the contrary.

Do not judge a technique by the worst examples, judge it by the best examples.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Rob C on November 05, 2007, 10:59:07 AM
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?

Rob C
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Kagetsu on November 06, 2007, 12:33:44 AM
Quote
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150692\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Refers to 'high dynamic range'... The 'general' technique is to try and get as much information as possible in the image and equalise it... I don't know much about it myself, haven't really used it.

I believe it's good in cases where you have a dark scene, but a bright sky, and one will either be underexposed or the other will be overexposed. The two images are blended and equalised... Someone else can probably be more specific in what's involved. '
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on November 06, 2007, 12:53:18 PM
I don't hate HDR - I hate the overuse that so many people are insisting on, creating the current fad of cartoony, saturated, high edge contrast crap.  Some people just don't take 'everything in moderation' to heart.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jule on November 06, 2007, 04:35:53 PM
QUOTE(Rob C @ Nov 6 2007, 01:29 AM)
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?

Rob C
*
Quote
Refers to 'high dynamic range'... The 'general' technique is to try and get as much information as possible in the image and equalise it... I don't know much about it myself, haven't really used it.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150838\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think Rob might have been having a little joke!

Julie
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on November 06, 2007, 04:45:28 PM
HDR is like any new technique such as Wee Planets (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/sets/72157594279945875/), which seems to be 2007's photographic tic. As soon as someone invents/discovers a new style/technique, everyone online is asking what filter can I apply to copy thingamy's style and 10 mins later the style has been done to death and an interesting technique very, very quickly becomes boring and overused.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Kagetsu on November 06, 2007, 05:16:19 PM
Quote
QUOTE(Rob C @ Nov 6 2007, 01:29 AM)
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?

Rob C
*
I think Rob might have been having a little joke!

Julie
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150966\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I realised too just after I'd posted it. ' Oh well.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gordon Buck on November 06, 2007, 06:06:41 PM
Yeah, some of those HDR photos remind me of painters who use excessively bright paint or otherwise paint unrealistically -- oh, wait:  That's Art!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Digiteyesed on November 07, 2007, 02:11:24 AM
Quote
Some people just don't take 'everything in moderation' to heart.

I'm a firm believer in everything in moderation. (Especially moderation.)

Hehhh.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Neil Hunt on November 07, 2007, 04:18:54 AM
So having posted that, my purely personal opinion is that I hate HDR (and got more replies than bargined for), I thought I'd better go and make the effort to look for examples that seemed to utilise the potential without the downside. Could I recommend Outback Print and Outback Photo, for those who aren't aware of them. I'm not a fan of everything they do, but you've got to admire the technical ability and there are some excellent examples of how to use HDR and tonemapping to genuinely increase dynamic range of images which don't have to look HDR'd.

Perhaps my original question should have been 'do you hate HDR that tries to cram in more information than the output medium can ever hope to cope with?'
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: amcinroy on November 07, 2007, 05:18:45 AM
Quote
I'd better go and make the effort to look for examples that seemed to utilise the potential without the downside.

Neil,

Here's some HDR work I've been doing that simply could not have been achieved through single exposure photography. There is no doubt that it is useful in extreme situations like this.

The first of these images is a 6 exposure HDR blend spanning 10 stops with a max exposure of 30 secs!  Yet the shadows are still pitch black.

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir281.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir283.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/cathman.jpg)

Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on November 07, 2007, 10:55:33 AM
Nice caves Andy, reminds me of where I grew up too.
Also they are a good example of what HDR was originally intended for.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Rob C on November 07, 2007, 03:33:36 PM
Quote
QUOTE(Rob C @ Nov 6 2007, 01:29 AM)
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?

Rob C
*
I think Rob might have been having a little joke!

Julie
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150966\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, Julie, thought Iīd lost it somewhere down the line!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Neil Hunt on November 10, 2007, 12:35:46 PM
Quote
Neil,

Here's some HDR work I've been doing that simply could not have been achieved through single exposure photography. There is no doubt that it is useful in extreme situations like this.

The first of these images is a 6 exposure HDR blend spanning 10 stops with a max exposure of 30 secs!  Yet the shadows are still pitch black.

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir281.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir283.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/cathman.jpg)

Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151059\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is very impressive stuff, particularly like number 3.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Graeme Nattress on November 10, 2007, 01:44:45 PM
It's nice to see HDR being used to generate images that looks really really good, and you'd hardly "know" they were HDR without being told. That said, the 3rd image, which is a lovely image, does look just a touch bright in the foreground - or maybes I just like the really strong, nice contrast of the other two and in comparison it seems a tad bright. Overall though, superb images and thanks for sharing.

Graeme
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: DarkPenguin on November 10, 2007, 02:38:48 PM
Anyone tried this book on the subject?

The HDRI Handbook (http://rockynook.com/books/1-933952-05-9.html)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: KeithR on November 10, 2007, 03:35:42 PM
Quote
Anyone tried this book on the subject?

The HDRI Handbook (http://rockynook.com/books/1-933952-05-9.html)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151780\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have the book on order and it should be delivered on the 13th.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on January 31, 2008, 07:49:33 PM
I used to be quite anti-HDR, but this was mainly due to my own ignorance about the technique. I think everyone who knows the term "HDR" probably associates it to some degree to over-saturated, cartoonish images often riddled with halo-like blobs surrounding areas of contrast. Unfortunately, those images get all the attention because they stand out so much, and eventually a lot of people understandably come to think that just IS what HDR is about.

I started to get a better sense of what is possible using HDR after finding scattered examples here and there, mainly at flickr, of beautiful HDR images. After seeing enough of these, I decided to check it out for myself. I quickly discovered that in one of the HDR tools-of-choice, Photomatix, getting that 'overcooked' look is pretty easy. Some of the sliders (particularly "light smoothing") will instantly make blobby halos in any image. But if one is interested in something more realistic, it's usually quite possible to achieve with a light touch on the controls and some experimentation (at least at first).

I am now a big proponent of the technique, and have spent the last year eagerly learning more about when to use HDR, how to shoot with it in mind, and how to process images. I still find that some shots just won't work no matter what I do in photomatix. I did try Photoshop's HDR function, but was not very happy with the results.

Here are a few of my favorite HDR images:

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/222/493674720_13acad65c1.jpg)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/491266420_1435261d72.jpg)

(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1069/729396077_dec9304ce9.jpg)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2217/2195221313_6700a409ce.jpg)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2169/2001690923_75efa8bb88.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on January 31, 2008, 07:51:58 PM
It just gives such a boring, low interest, low contrast look to me - almost a rendered quality.  None of those look interesting to me, especially due to the boring composition.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 31, 2008, 07:56:06 PM
Love the first one.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on January 31, 2008, 08:04:14 PM
Quote
It just gives such a boring, low interest, low contrast look to me - almost a rendered quality.† None of those look interesting to me, especially due to the boring composition.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171368\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Setting aside the composition, I can attest that all of these images actually look more like they did in person than any of the individual exposures does. None of them look exactly like they did to the eye, but that's not possible with any photographic technique. All photos lose some part of the orignal scene that the eye saw, and a compromise is made. Traditionally, one compromise is to simply lose detail in shadows and highlights that were actually visible to the eye. But with HDR and tonemapping, that detail can be preserved (albeit in dynamically compressed form, which is the compromise of HDR).

But because all of us (unless we are very young) have grown up looking at the compromise of more traditional photography, when we see these details in HDRs they look 'fake' - but in fact they are no more fake than the loss of shadow or highlight detail, just different.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on January 31, 2008, 08:11:52 PM
I don't doubt for a second that this is how the scene looked to the eye.  My point is, it's also boring to my eye.  To me, capturing a scene like that, necessitating HDR - doesn't make for a compelling image.  Without contrast - drama - it's just a snapshot to me.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gordon Buck on January 31, 2008, 08:15:13 PM
Not speaking to the most recently posted images ...

The "problem" with HDR is not HDR.  The "problem" is in the post processing or tone mapping of the composite HDR image.

On the other hand, it is the tone mapping that can take advantage of the 32bit assembly to create those surreal "HDR" images.

Sometimes I really like the surreal HDR effect.  Looking at the submitted images by rustyjaw, I like the 3rd one.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on January 31, 2008, 08:17:14 PM
I shoot a lot of HDR, in moderation it looks realer than real, a good match for the memory pictures recorded in our grey matter.  But tonal reversals, windows darker than interior walls, greyed out skies, and HALOS (aaaargh!!!) drive me nuts.  Andy's stuff I like. great work.  Is that an HDR Ghost standing on the rock?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on January 31, 2008, 08:22:41 PM
Quote
I don't doubt for a second that this is how the scene looked to the eye.† My point is, it's also boring to my eye.† To me, capturing a scene like that, necessitating HDR - doesn't make for a compelling image.† Without contrast - drama - it's just a snapshot to me.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171376\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

OK, that's fine, I certainly don't expect everyone to dig these images. I was mainly responding to the suggesting that they look like 'renderings' which I took to mean fake.

I'm curious though about what you mean by low-contrast. With the exception of the last one, to my eye these all have a wide range of contrast. Some even have blowouts and pure blacks. So it makes me wonder what you mean by lack of contrast.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on January 31, 2008, 08:25:37 PM
The part that really bugs me, and why they look rendered - is because that is NOT how the scene is perceived when you are actually there.  Yes, each separate part of the scene may look like that.  But that's not how our brain works.  For example on the pier shot: When you are there, looking at the lights - you are not seeing the sky at anything but black.  You are not seeing all the detail at your feet.  You are not seeing the water as if it were afternoon.

Your iris have contracted so you can see the detail in the light area you are looking at, and that's what you get.  Just the same if you were to stare at the ground, water or sky - and let your iris open up to see the detail.  You aren't seeing the details around each light bulb, or on the brightly lit ground - it's washed out in your perifrial vision.

It's like looking at the difference between film, with motion blur and depth of field - and a video newscast, with no motion blur and infinite DOP.  One looks real, the other doesn't.  HDR never looks real to me, and never looks like a good photograph - it always looks manufactured in at least some way.

Our eyes have a wider f-stop range than our cameras, but we certainly can't see everything at once like HDR.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on January 31, 2008, 08:26:53 PM
Quote
I'm curious though about what you mean by low-contrast. With the exception of the last one, to my eye these all have a wide range of contrast. Some even have blowouts and pure blacks. So it makes me wonder what you mean by lack of contrast.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171381\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The overall scene may have a wide range of tones, but they aren't next to each other.  No part of the image has a real hard line.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on January 31, 2008, 11:05:39 PM
Quote
The part that really bugs me, and why they look rendered - is because that is NOT how the scene is perceived when you are actually there.† Yes, each separate part of the scene may look like that.† But that's not how our brain works.† For example on the pier shot: When you are there, looking at the lights - you are not seeing the sky at anything but black.† You are not seeing all the detail at your feet.† You are not seeing the water as if it were afternoon.

Your iris have contracted so you can see the detail in the light area you are looking at, and that's what you get.† Just the same if you were to stare at the ground, water or sky - and let your iris open up to see the detail.† You aren't seeing the details around each light bulb, or on the brightly lit ground - it's washed out in your perifrial vision.

Yes, you have a point, but the point cuts both ways. When looking at a scene with your eyes, you actually can only see detail at the fovea, something like 5% of the visual field at the center, outside of that it's shocking how little can actually be perceived, color perception included (it falls of rapidly outside the fovea). Everything at that fovea is in focus, DOF is strictly a peripheral phenomenon.

So in every photo a compromise must be made about where to focus that will not match up with the experience of "being there" and DOF will be made explicit, no longer peripheral.

Unless the effect of only seeing detail at the fovea is pointed out, few people ever notice it because the visual system is not a camera, it constructs an impression of a given scene based on a succession of rapid (and unconscious) saccades. It's an automatic process that continuously scans the environment for salient details. The impression does not include portions without any detail (unless conditions are extreme, like looking toward a bright sun or at a bare lightbulb).

I think it is not a distortion to say that people actually "see" well exposed scenes, complete with detail at nearly every point, deep shadows and bright highlights. We certainly see more in a given scene than a single exposure can replicate.

If you prefer to isolate a single saccade, and compare it to a photograph then surely the photo and the saccade will be roughly similar, but no one actually sees this way. In fact it's extremely difficult to consciously override the automatic scanning system, and stare at only a single point (if you've ever taken a vision test you understand). And even in this case, because we only see detail at the very center, I think you'll agree that a photograph of the same scene looks quite different (in part because you can actually look directly at the bokeh).

So the compromise in HDR is simply different, not better, not worse than a single exposure, but different. It is to move toward duplicating the impression of "being there." Focusing on the result of the way the visual system compiles many separate, unconscious glances into a coherent, well-exposed whole. Certainly it departs from the experience by presenting it all at once (and also by compressing the dynamic range from many thousands of bits to just 8 if it's a jpeg), but I really don't think there's a solid argument that this is any deeper a compromise than the one a sinlge exposure makes. And I maintain that we are simply so used to looking at photos where the details that would be seen are not there due to the limitations of the medium, that a well-done HDR is interpreted as "fake" looking by comparison. This tendency has started to fade for me, although it's much easier with my own photos that with others.

All photos represent a compromise when compared to the scene as seen by the brain. in my mind it's just a matter of which sort of compromise you prefer to make.

EDIT: I want to add that I realize HDR isn't appropriate for every scene, even when the goal is to capture the most detail. Part of the learning process for me is finding when to use it and when it's superfluous. I do find that many artificially lit night scenes can be faithfully captured in HDR.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on February 01, 2008, 12:28:20 AM
For me your third image makes a good case for (careful) use of HDR. I have been very skeptical until now.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Brad Proctor on February 01, 2008, 03:03:16 AM
rustyjaw,

I love your images, they are fantastic.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: amcinroy on February 01, 2008, 09:34:41 AM
Quote
Is that an HDR Ghost standing on the rock?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=171379\")

Bill, all is not as it seems.

The HDR ghost was cloned from a 100 year old cigarette card. The person is therefore long desceased is therefore a real photographic ghost.

You might like to read the full story at

[a href=\"http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm]http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm[/url]

Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on February 01, 2008, 11:05:12 AM
Quote
You might like to read the full story at

http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm (http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm)

Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171501\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's cool! Thanks for sharing that.

Quote
rustyjaw,

I love your images, they are fantastic.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171434\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Tim Gray on February 01, 2008, 12:53:34 PM
I still bracket fairily heavily.  But I'm finding more and more (particularly with the new 14 bit Canons) that as long as I don't blow the highlights, that I'm able to dig an amazing amount of detail out of the shadows.  At least as often as not, when I'm in the field and expect to need to bracket based on what I see from the (jpg based) histogram that when I get back to LR I can get a perfectably acceptable shot with some (admittedly aggressive) use of the recovery and fill light sliders.

If that doesn't give me the quality I want I use a mask (luminosity mask ctrl, alt ~ for the real fidley stuff).  I just don't use the PS HDR method.  Photomatix can look OK with a light touch, but not enough better or easier than masks to warrant paying for it.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Geoff Wittig on February 01, 2008, 06:56:45 PM
For me there are lots of really interesting sunrise/sunset images that just can't fit within the confines of a 16 bit 'box'. I'm still stumbling my way through some basic HDR techniques, using masks or Photoshop's HDR function, and I'm just starting to try out Photomatix.

I find it a bit frustrating that I can't really visualize what's going to happen with the image as I work it, at least not like I can tell ahead of time how a 'standard' capture will turn out with a bit of massaging. A few complex stitched + HDR images have turned out beautifully, while others are just dead on arrival. Sort of feels like 20 years ago when I was first shooting K64, and every yellow box was full of surprises because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

'Course, it's probably just me.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on February 01, 2008, 07:32:57 PM
Quote
For me there are lots of really interesting sunrise/sunset images that just can't fit within the confines of a 16 bit 'box'. I'm still stumbling my way through some basic HDR techniques, using masks or Photoshop's HDR function, and I'm just starting to try out Photomatix.

I find it a bit frustrating that I can't really visualize what's going to happen with the image as I work it, at least not like I can tell ahead of time how a 'standard' capture will turn out with a bit of massaging. A few complex stitched + HDR images have turned out beautifully, while others are just dead on arrival. Sort of feels like 20 years ago when I was first shooting K64, and every yellow box was full of surprises because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

'Course, it's probably just me.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171653\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, I don't think it's just you, I said something similar in my first post above. I think part of it is because Tonemapping is a fairly new process, the algorithms are new too, it's an immature technology. But, if you are just starting out, you will find that you'll be better able to judge how to shoot and get the result you want with some practice. But so far, despite a year's practice for me, I still find that some shots just don't work.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gordon Buck on February 01, 2008, 08:35:20 PM
Quote
For me there are lots of really interesting sunrise/sunset images that just can't fit within the confines of a 16 bit 'box'. I'm still stumbling my way through some basic HDR techniques, using masks or Photoshop's HDR function, and I'm just starting to try out Photomatix.

I find it a bit frustrating that I can't really visualize what's going to happen with the image as I work it, at least not like I can tell ahead of time how a 'standard' capture will turn out with a bit of massaging. A few complex stitched + HDR images have turned out beautifully, while others are just dead on arrival. Sort of feels like 20 years ago when I was first shooting K64, and every yellow box was full of surprises because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

'Course, it's probably just me.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171653\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It's not just you -- and it's probably not just you and me.  Sad to admit, but I've been trying to use Photomatix and HDR for over a year now (well, not every day!).

The main thing that I *think* I've learned is that if a good histogram can be obtained with a single exposure then an HDR variation does not work out for me.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on February 01, 2008, 11:33:53 PM
I find using HDR can add a new perspective to a subject that's been shot to death.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2160/2204429058_0e066508e4.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2227/2098965322_f36ea32058.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2191/1923067087_aefcf74278.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2164/2198724236_b7ff382da2.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: KeithR on February 02, 2008, 01:15:13 PM
Quote
For me there are lots of really interesting sunrise/sunset images that just can't fit within the confines of a 16 bit 'box'. I'm still stumbling my way through some basic HDR techniques, using masks or Photoshop's HDR function, and I'm just starting to try out Photomatix.

I find it a bit frustrating that I can't really visualize what's going to happen with the image as I work it, at least not like I can tell ahead of time how a 'standard' capture will turn out with a bit of massaging. A few complex stitched + HDR images have turned out beautifully, while others are just dead on arrival. Sort of feels like 20 years ago when I was first shooting K64, and every yellow box was full of surprises because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

'Course, it's probably just me.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=171653\")

Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
[a href=\"http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm]http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm[/url]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Brad Proctor on February 03, 2008, 10:27:56 AM
Quote
Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm (http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the link.  Looks like it will be a good read.  I've been interested in experimenting a little with HDR.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Geoff Wittig on February 03, 2008, 03:55:18 PM
Quote
Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm (http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I've seen that tutorial before.
I understand the basic principles well enough. My problem is that I'm not consistently able to "pre-visualize" what I'm going to get from a particular image before launching into the HDR process, like I can with "standard" exposures.
This is not a trivial problem; I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds mk II, often taking multiple frames to stitch into panoramic images, and in challenging light this can mean taking three or more exposures of each frame to catch extremes of highlight and shadow. Even with a reasonably fast computer with 4 gig RAM, the processing times can get pretty tedious. And nothing is more frustrating than spending serious time on an image only to recognize at the very end it just won't work.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Tim Gray on February 03, 2008, 04:07:10 PM
Quote
Yes, I've seen that tutorial before.
I understand the basic principles well enough. My problem is that I'm not consistently able to "pre-visualize" what I'm going to get from a particular image before launching into the HDR process, like I can with "standard" exposures.
This is not a trivial problem; I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds mk II, often taking multiple frames to stitch into panoramic images, and in challenging light this can mean taking three or more exposures of each frame to catch extremes of highlight and shadow. Even with a reasonably fast computer with 4 gig RAM, the processing times can get pretty tedious. And nothing is more frustrating than spending serious time on an image only to recognize at the very end it just won't work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172045\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Geoff, you can put together a prototype relatively quickly if you knock the raw's back to smaller res jpgs - that should give you a sense of potential without investing 45 minutes of cpu time.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on February 03, 2008, 06:38:00 PM
Quote
I find using HDR can add a new perspective to a subject that's been shot to death.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171696\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Nice pics, BTW.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Moynihan on February 08, 2008, 07:28:48 AM
This thread has been an interesting read. I have been thinking of learning how to do some HDR. I also enjoyed the images posted by folks of their own work, both as good photographs, and as restrained use examples of HDR.

I think it can be very interesting, if the technique does not dominate the image. That may have its place too, but not for me. I see alot of HDR that results in very artificial images. The most irritating ones to me are the ones that remind me of those Thomas Kinkcade style paintings. If I had a limb caught in a trap with only one of his style paintings to look at, I would consider gnawing it off.

Anyway,

I have always thought that no photograph ever looks "real", at least totally realistic in comparison to the view to the eyes. As has been pointed out above, our constantly flicker-scanning eye's view is constantly being stitched into "whole" images by the brain. The image we remember depends also, on what we remember it in relation to (which itself changes through time, and can change the memory itself), and what we are remembering the image for.

I think pre HDR images have made us so used to less DR and the deep shadows etc. that that is defined as "real", when actually, neither are.

Both can be enjoyed. At least by me, as long as it  does not look like a Kinkcade  

Some of the threads about HDR vs non-HDR remind me of the film-is-dead vs fim-is-better arguments one experiences in forums less mature than this one. I hope to learn how to do it. I will not always use it. But when I do, I hope I can as well as the posters in this thread.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: innesfoto on March 08, 2008, 09:53:13 AM
Hi everybody
I am going to stick in my two pennies worth.
As a photographic dealer for over twenty five years now turned full time landscape photographer for the Austrian tourist board, I would say I have met just about every type of photographer and camera buff out there. (maybe not you personally so donīt take this the wrong way)
But, Everything from the " I hate everything Digital because itīs not real photography" to the " I know everything about cameras and what fits on what, and who made it" To the "I donīt have a clue about all the technology but just want to take photographs" to the "I do know about the technology and just want to take photographs" and so on....
What so many photographers fail to realize is that the camera is only a tool, a means to an end if you like. Along with the mortgage worth of bits you stick on it.
There are really next to no cameras that are not any good on the market these days.
Some are better than others, and some are better at certain jobs than others.
But 95% of a good shot is the photographer him/herself.
With that in mind, "HDR" is another tool in the bag, if you know how to use it, and know how to apply it, it can produce the most wonderful work that would otherwise not be possible. It is not for everything, and I except it is a fashion at the moment. Much of the work out there  is over enthusiastic amateurs trying there hand at something new.
And why not? we where all there once!
As for the technique itself? Well I can only speak as a frustrated artist, that could never paint or draw. So when I discovered photography, I was able to put all of those pictures that I had in my head down on paper. But one of the down sides of Photography was always that it was a compromise. Between light and shadow.
A painter can look at a scene and say " My eye sees the shadowed areas perfectly, so that is how I will paint them" the same applies to the highlights. This is not only because the human eye has a massive dynamic range, but also we also have only about a 6-7į point of focus. This means we have to scan a scene with our eyes to take in the full picture and tonal range. In doing this we create something akin to a "HDR" photograph, Hence, so many people say they look like paintings.
 To say "I hate HDR" is like saying " I hate music played on a piano"  What you really mean is not that you hate music, and not that you hate the piano. just the combination of the both played by that musician.
I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Thanks for reading.
Andy Innes
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: kaelaria on March 08, 2008, 10:00:55 AM
That shot looks unnatural and processed to me.  You can't even see that scene with the naked eye.

Nope, still hate HDR.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gordon Buck on March 08, 2008, 10:07:49 AM
Quote
I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Thanks for reading.
Andy Innes
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180002\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It *does* look processed and not natural -- I like it.  Nice shot,  good work.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gabe on March 08, 2008, 01:20:26 PM
Quote
It *does* look processed and not natural -- I like it.  Nice shot,  good work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180007\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yup -- works for me too. Very nice shot.

I can think of all kinds of wonderful images that bear little resemblance to reality.. I don't really understand the fetish some folks have for photos that must adhere to the bounds of perfect 'normalcy', to be honest.

"Normal" photos are fine, of course, but to me, if an image works, it works.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: OnyimBob on March 09, 2008, 01:15:40 AM
Quote
Yup -- works for me too. Very nice shot.

I can think of all kinds of wonderful images that bear little resemblance to reality.. I don't really understand the fetish some folks have for photos that must adhere to the bounds of perfect 'normalcy', to be honest.

"Normal" photos are fine, of course, but to me, if an image works, it works.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180035\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'll second that motion!

I think it's a great image, I'd put it on my wall in a flash!

I love the composition, the mood, the "HDR" colour. I'd love to know the story behind it - where is it? what's the little structure for?

Who cares how it was made? Well, actually I would like to know that too?

Bob.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Moynihan on March 09, 2008, 10:04:43 AM
Quote
I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Does not look "real" (whatever that means), but I really like the image.
Thanks,
jay
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Thomas KrŁger on March 09, 2008, 10:48:34 AM
Besides the known HDR tools there are also:
Enfuse - http://wiki.panotools.org/Enfuse (http://wiki.panotools.org/Enfuse)
Tufuse - http://www.tawbaware.com/tufuse.htm (http://www.tawbaware.com/tufuse.htm)
Farrar Focus Digital Darkroom 6 - http://www.farrarfocus.com/ffdd/ (http://www.farrarfocus.com/ffdd/)

Just tools to archive the desired image visualisation.....
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: innesfoto on March 10, 2008, 07:49:38 AM
Thanks for your comments chaps.

Although many of you have made comments on the print, it is not the the issue here.
The issue is, Have we not got so carried away with the technology that we are forgetting the art?
A point in hand, I was always mad about everything with lots of knobs and buttons to play with. My first love was HiFi, and back in the 70īs the Japanese crammed their kit with so many filters and treble and bass controls and ways of changing the tone of what you where listening to, that we started to forget about the music and became obsessed with the tonal quality! Until the the British gear started to appear on the market with the philosophy of "Keep it simple" get rid of all the stuff that destroys the signal. And guess what? it sounded better. So thats what I bought. Simple and good and sounded great!
Once I had got past not having something akin to a christmas tree lighting up the corner of my living room, I started to listen to my records with new ears.
My point is, however much we love a new toy with shed loads of features that will practically cook the dinner, what we really want at the end of the day, is end result. ie: the picture. And most serious photographers are artists at heart, and the camera is a means to an end.
So ask yourself the question, "Am I an artist ? or am I a just a big kid who loves expensive toys?"..............
"Yeh, just thought that one through myself for a moment, and I think I am both!"
Damn there goes my argument!

As for previous questions about where the previous HDR was shot;  and what is the little hut.
It was shot in South Burgenland, Austria. and the little house is a small chaple that dot the landscape around here. I have included a second "HDR" to demonstrate that     HDR`s do not automatically have over saturated colour and unrealistic shadow detail.
This is Bernstein castle, South Burgenland, Austria. shot an hour or so after dawn.
Keep the comments coming chaps.
All the best

Andy Innes
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: sesshin on March 11, 2008, 12:40:54 AM
Love that last one Andy!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: amcinroy on March 11, 2008, 06:30:02 AM
The north antrim cave project continues.....

Here's two images are very opposite ends of the HDR spectrum

The first is an extreme HDR image taken last weekend consisting of 5 exposures spanning a mighty 12 stops !!

The second is a more subtle single exposure RAW HDR spanning just 2 stops.

Again, you can catch up with the project here
http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm (http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm)

Portcoon Cave - Side entrance
(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir311.jpg)  

Cathedral Cave - In colour
(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir312.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: innesfoto on March 11, 2008, 02:16:08 PM
The caves are very interesting, but I am not sure why you made so many brackets,
was there really 12 stops between shadow and highlight?
Or do you find you get a smother graduation through the tonal range?
I am really interested to know if you think using five instead of three brackets  has any merit. I use a Canon 5D at the moment and it has only 3 brackets with a maximum 2 stops over and under. I plan on buying the Canon Eos 1dsMk 3 which as you will know has 21Mp but will produce up to 7 auto brackets +-3ev which I thought would be more than enough, I have found the biggest problem to be Chromatic fringing after the tone mapping, if anyone has had the same problems i would be interested to hear if you have found a way around it. I use Photomatix Pro, and I suspect the Raw converter could be a lot better, and is what is causing the problem. I have tried using the Canon converter  which produces a better image but is a much slower process.
Before anyone asks, I use a selection of lenses but all of them are L series Canons and they all produce chromatic problems in Photomatix Pro.  have tried using chromatic correction in Canonīs digital photopro Raw converter but it made little difference.
So I guess it can only leave the tone mapping process. As the lenses produce almost No obvious chromatic problems.
Anyone got any ideas?

Regards
Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Quentin on March 11, 2008, 09:03:10 PM
Quote
The caves are very interesting, but I am not sure why you made so many brackets,
was there really 12 stops between shadow and highlight?
Or do you find you get a smother graduation through the tonal range?
I am really interested to know if you think using five instead of three brackets  has any merit. I use a Canon 5D at the moment and it has only 3 brackets with a maximum 2 stops over and under. I plan on buying the Canon Eos 1dsMk 3 which as you will know has 21Mp but will produce up to 7 auto brackets +-3ev which I thought would be more than enough, I have found the biggest problem to be Chromatic fringing after the tone mapping, if anyone has had the same problems i would be interested to hear if you have found a way around it. I use Photomatix Pro, and I suspect the Raw converter could be a lot better, and is what is causing the problem. I have tried using the Canon converter  which produces a better image but is a much slower process.
Before anyone asks, I use a selection of lenses but all of them are L series Canons and they all produce chromatic problems in Photomatix Pro.  have tried using chromatic correction in Canonīs digital photopro Raw converter but it made little difference.
So I guess it can only leave the tone mapping process. As the lenses produce almost No obvious chromatic problems.
Anyone got any ideas?

Regards
Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try Enfuse.  Its a free and pretty incredible alternative to tone mapping (I have Photomatrix Pro 3 and I am beginning to think Enfuse might be better unless you want the more extensive feature set of Photomatrix).  You need Enfuse.exe and EnfuseGUI.  Try it.  No CA to speak of.

Quentin
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: amcinroy on March 12, 2008, 04:46:37 AM
Andy,

Every cave is different in terms of it's depth and lighting. These are all natuarally lit using only available light. Where the view is looking outwards from the deepest caves, the contrast is simply immense.

The images don't really show how dark these caves are. I'm working with a headtorch even to be able to see the camera. This gets turned off during the exposure and I sit by myself in the dark and think about what ghosts might be lurking around me.

In that 1st example, even the 30second exposure does not reveal the darkest shadows. Those remain pitch black. Meanwhile, the cave mouth essentially requires a full daylight exposure of about 1/15th of a second. Without the 2 additional exposures midway through the range then you're left with  gaps,  discontinuities and artifacts in the tonemapped image.

In some of my more extreme brackets from the deepest caves I'm working with 7 exposures spanning 14 stops !!

Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: DarkPenguin on March 12, 2008, 01:29:51 PM
Quote
Try Enfuse.  Its a free and pretty incredible alternative to tone mapping (I have Photomatrix Pro 3 and I am beginning to think Enfuse might be better unless you want the more extensive feature set of Photomatrix).  You need Enfuse.exe and EnfuseGUI.  Try it.  No CA to speak of.

Quentin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180713\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for this.  (And to whoever posted additional links above.)

Need to give this a try.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: DiaAzul on March 12, 2008, 03:53:43 PM
Quote
I have found the biggest problem to be Chromatic fringing after the tone mapping, if anyone has had the same problems i would be interested to hear if you have found a way around it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Typically I generate HDR in CS3 and set the RAW conversion parameters in Bridge to minimise Chromatic Aberration before HDR processing starts. I also have DXO v5 which also does a good job of correcting lens distortion and aberration, in which case convert to TIFF first before processing. Both applications can remove sensor snot/dust bunnies across a series of exposures which cuts down touching up time - assuming that 1DsIII sensor clean isn't perfect, that is.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: innesfoto on March 13, 2008, 05:56:24 AM
Hi DiaAzul

Thanks for the post, I tried running HDR through CS2 but was not very happy with the results from the limited tone mapping it gives. Maybe CS3 is better.
I have not tried DXO but I have read it has a pretty good Raw converter, I am interested in anyone who uses DXO before HDR as to wheather they have had good results. I have been told by a friend that tried it that it slowed the whole machine down to a snails pace because of its RAM consumption, So multi tasking while DXO is open is a NoNo. If anyone has experience with this I would be interested to hear it.
Regards
Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 15, 2008, 10:04:52 PM
Quote
Hi DiaAzul

Thanks for the post, I tried running HDR through CS2 but was not very happy with the results from the limited tone mapping it gives. Maybe CS3 is better.
I have not tried DXO but I have read it has a pretty good Raw converter, I am interested in anyone who uses DXO before HDR as to wheather they have had good results. I have been told by a friend that tried it that it slowed the whole machine down to a snails pace because of its RAM consumption, So multi tasking while DXO is open is a NoNo. If anyone has experience with this I would be interested to hear it.
Regards
Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181047\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


CS3 isn't much better. Photomatix is by far the better program. Adobe should buy it.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3220/2329935184_da63ee65ff.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3103/2308995856_5c87c6ff6c.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2343/2263096973_0f1a234aba.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: DiaAzul on March 16, 2008, 08:22:24 AM
Quote
Hi DiaAzul

Thanks for the post, I tried running HDR through CS2 but was not very happy with the results from the limited tone mapping it gives. Maybe CS3 is better.
I have not tried DXO but I have read it has a pretty good Raw converter, I am interested in anyone who uses DXO before HDR as to wheather they have had good results. I have been told by a friend that tried it that it slowed the whole machine down to a snails pace because of its RAM consumption, So multi tasking while DXO is open is a NoNo. If anyone has experience with this I would be interested to hear it.
Regards
Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181047\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I was having the same problems with previous versions of DxO. However, the latest version 5.04 has just flipped over from being a good concept, poorly implemented to something which is actually usable. You can download the free trial and see how it works for you.

Adobe's tone mapping may be weak for some people, but the way I use it (mostly to reduce noise in the image, improve sharpness and the accuracy of colour rendering) it meets my requirements - I'm not really one for heavily post processed images. You could also use CS2/3 as the RAW processor/merge and then a Photomatix plug in to do tone mapping (either that or export as an HDR file format from CS2/3 to Photomatix for tone mapping). That way you get the benefits of control over RAW processing in CS2/3 and tone mapping in Photomatix.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on March 17, 2008, 01:13:21 PM
Glad to see this thread still going. I think HDR suffers somewhat from being a fad. The tools are very accessible so everybody and their mother is making HDRs without really understanding what the technique can do for their photos. I see this on flickr all the time, particularly in the discussion groups, many people seem to think that HDR just is a highly processed image with no shadows and blotchy sky. Yes, I'm exaggerating although this does seem to be the perception among certain people.

But fad or not, the idea is sound and in the right hands can allow a photographer to capture light and shadow more faithfully than would be possible with a single exposure. And if faithful representation isn't their thing, they can capture light and shadow beyond what is perceptible and create a vision of the scene that is in a sense beyond real, at least if one limits what is real to what one can perceive...which is debatable.

None of this discounts the beauty of a single exposure, which allows the photographer to choose to omit details. That, of course, is an art unto itself and one that has a healthy history.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: innesfoto on March 17, 2008, 01:20:56 PM
Hi Phil
Great demo shots, I must ask though, are these virtual HDRīs or true HDRīs
ie: taken with 1 shot and push/pulled or with three or more?
the reason I ask is, that shooting any moving object becomes problematic with true HDR
because of the ghosting problem in the photo merge.
I mainly refer to the supermarket shot where you have people walking about. I guess if you use a fast enough shutter speed coupled with a fast drive speed you can iron out most of the movement. But under supermarket lighting you will either need a high ISO  setting which does not bode well with HDR because of the multipied noise problem, or you would need a flash, and it doesnīt look much like you did that here.  
Do let me know,
Regards
Andy
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 17, 2008, 09:57:15 PM
Quote
Hi Phil
Great demo shots, I must ask though, are these virtual HDRīs or true HDRīs
ie: taken with 1 shot and push/pulled or with three or more?
the reason I ask is, that shooting any moving object becomes problematic with true HDR
because of the ghosting problem in the photo merge.
I mainly refer to the supermarket shot where you have people walking about. I guess if you use a fast enough shutter speed coupled with a fast drive speed you can iron out most of the movement. But under supermarket lighting you will either need a high ISO  setting which does not bode well with HDR because of the multipied noise problem, or you would need a flash, and it doesnīt look much like you did that here.   
Do let me know,
Regards
Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182158\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The bridge is a 3 shot
The second diner shot is a two shot made into 4 exposures in photoshop raw
The third is a one shot made into 3 in photoshop raw.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 17, 2008, 10:07:42 PM
HDR is just another and it can be used in many different ways. Someone recently asked me "Michael why do you do HDR photos ?" My response was " Because I can't paint with a brush." Hdr accounts for 70% of my print sales and I love what you can accomplish by using it.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2326/2337559113_cd463c22ca.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2326828025_39d828fcc6.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2309/2281791433_ac971aea54.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2173203674_0902005f12.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2227/2098965322_f36ea32058.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 17, 2008, 11:19:00 PM
Quote
HDR is just another and it can be used in many different ways. Someone recently asked me "Michael why do you do HDR photos ?" My response was " Because I can't paint with a brush." Hdr accounts for 70% of my print sales and I love what you can accomplish by using it.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2326/2337559113_cd463c22ca.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2326828025_39d828fcc6.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2309/2281791433_ac971aea54.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2173203674_0902005f12.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2227/2098965322_f36ea32058.jpg)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182283\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Michael I have to say that your photos are the best example of great HDR. I love the look  and the style.  Some people may not liked, I love your examples. The pseudo HDR is one RAW file saved at + stop and - one stop in Adobe RAW?

tHANKS,

Andres
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 18, 2008, 12:14:12 AM
Quote
Michael I have to say that your photos are the best example of great HDR. I love the look  and the style.  Some people may not liked, I love your examples. The pseudo HDR is one RAW file saved at + stop and - one stop in Adobe RAW?

tHANKS,

Andres
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182300\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes
0, -2, +2
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 18, 2008, 01:12:20 AM
Quote
Yes
0, -2, +2
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182304\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Ooops! Michael I went to Adobe Raw but I could only save in TIFF, JPEG AND DIGITAL NEGATIVE, is there a RAW SAVING??
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on March 18, 2008, 06:50:16 AM
You don't save a RAW file, you save the processed RAW -, 0, +, as 3 separate JPEG, TIFF, etc.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 18, 2008, 09:07:16 AM
Quote
Ooops! Michael I went to Adobe Raw but I could only save in TIFF, JPEG AND DIGITAL NEGATIVE, is there a RAW SAVING??
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182312\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I use Digital Negative
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 18, 2008, 11:46:31 AM
Thank you guys, I saved them both as TIFF and Digital Negative with RAW embedded. When I processed them in Photomatix the file looked horrible, severely distorted and like solarized. When I see the file in Adobe RAW the -2 and +2 TIFF looks ok. I put them thru Adobe HDR and it said the photos don't have enough dinamic range to pull a satidfactory HDR. Should I use different settings? I will try to post a jpg of it.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 18, 2008, 12:02:04 PM
(http://upload.pbase.com/image/94374231.jpg)

Here is the culprit. I see enough information to maybe pull an HDR? This is straight out of the camera with the default option. When I was playing with it I saw one stop either way without the image falling apart, even at two stops it did not looked as bad as it did thru Photomatix. Any ideas.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 18, 2008, 02:21:05 PM
Quote
Thank you guys, I saved them both as TIFF and Digital Negative with RAW embedded. When I processed them in Photomatix the file looked horrible, severely distorted and like solarized. When I see the file in Adobe RAW the -2 and +2 TIFF looks ok. I put them thru Adobe HDR and it said the photos don't have enough dinamic range to pull a satidfactory HDR. Should I use different settings? I will try to post a jpg of it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182406\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When converting 1 photo into 3 exposures this can happen. Also I believe photomatix does a much better job and you have more control than photoshop
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on March 18, 2008, 03:34:40 PM
Here are some of my recent HDRs, all done with 3 raw exposures, 2ev apart. Merged and tonemapped in Photomatix.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2007/2291874948_9c987b52a4.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tendril/2291874948/in/set-72157603789802333/)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3128/2297907947_3d09c07f63.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tendril/2297907947/in/set-72157603789802333/)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2240/2282170898_41c6748640.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tendril/2282170898/in/set-72157603789802333/)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2077/2316759664_e4bcbb9b2d.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tendril/2316759664/in/set-72157603789802333/)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 18, 2008, 10:53:32 PM
Quote
When converting 1 photo into 3 exposures this can happen. Also I believe photomatix does a much better job and you have more control than photoshop
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182439\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well jezz, I guess I am out of luck with this shot. I do have Phomatix and it looked horrible. I thought that photos with lots of shadows and hightlights would benefit from HDR. If anybody wants to play with the photo and try to tone mapped please do. Maybe I am doing something wrong.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on March 19, 2008, 12:39:03 PM
Andres,

I'm having trouble following what you are trying to do. I think what you are saying is that you have a single RAW image (the one you posted above) which you would like to tonemap. You are doing this by adjusting the exposure in Photoshop, saving out multiple versions, and then merging and tonemapping those files. Photoshop is giving you an error about 'not enough dynamic range' and photomatix just looks bad. Is that right?

I think the reason photoshop is giving you the error is that when it reads the EXIF data from the files you created, they are the same, which makes photoshop 'think' that the images cover the same dynamic range.

I'm not sure why photomatix would look bad, but have you tried just dropping the original single RAW image into photomatix to tonemap?

I don't understand the advice I often see to adjust exposure on the computer and export different versions for tonemapping. Since you cannot by definition add any new information to the image by simply making adjustments, how is this method any different than just tonemapping the original RAW.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 19, 2008, 12:50:02 PM
Quote
Andreas,

I'm having trouble following what you are trying to do. I think what you are saying is that you have a single RAW image (the one you posted above) which you would like to tonemap. You are doing this by adjusting the exposure in Photoshop, saving out multiple versions, and then merging and tonemapping those files. Photoshop is giving you an error about 'not enough dynamic range' and photomatix just looks bad. Is that right?

I think the reason photoshop is giving you the error is that when it reads the EXIF data from the files you created, they are the same, which makes photoshop 'think' that the images cover the same dynamic range.

I'm not sure why photomatix would look bad, but have you tried just dropping the original single RAW image into photomatix to tonemap?

I don't understand the advice I often see to adjust exposure on the computer and export different versions for tonemapping. Since you cannot by definition add any new information to the image by simply making adjustments, how is this method any different than just tonemapping the original RAW.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182749\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thank you sir! Yes, I have read that some photographers use one shot to create a HDR, they saved in Adobe RAW at 0,-1,+1, Phillyphotographer did jst that with one of his examples and it looked really nice. I will try the original RAW in Photomatix. Yes, you unsdertood it right. Thanks for the advise. I think I need to go to Automate in Photomatix to do it.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on March 19, 2008, 12:56:37 PM
I suppose it's possible that Photomatix actually treats separate images differently than a single image. But at least in theory, you should not be able to get better results by making versions of the original image. It would be a shame is the programmers of Photomatix had it behave this way, but sometimes it happens.

I guess I should do a test to see if the results from one RAW are any different from a multi-version RAW.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 19, 2008, 02:37:26 PM
Quote
I suppose it's possible that Photomatix actually treats separate images differently than a single image. But at least in theory, you should not be able to get better results by making versions of the original image. It would be a shame is the programmers of Photomatix had it behave this way, but sometimes it happens.

I guess I should do a test to see if the results from one RAW are any different from a multi-version RAW.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=182754\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, I tried the single file conversion and it loked just as bad. I am sure is the location, I shot handheld at a high ASA, I tried another photo with the same results, maybe HDR and high ASA  don't mix well together?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: rustyjaw on March 19, 2008, 03:41:16 PM
Hmm, that's too bad. I must say that some shots just don't work in HDR, even 3-exposure brackets. Often it's a mystery why. When it's not a mystery it seems that the exposures didn't cover the dynamic range of the scene evenly...at least that's my theory.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: larkvi on March 21, 2008, 05:49:46 PM
I am not fond of the overprocessed look that HDR has been identified with, and the grocery and diner shots above move into that area from me. That aside, I think this thread has shown some of the ways that HDR can be extremely useful in rendering all the visual information of a scene that is pleasing to the eye but unavailable to the camera. I'll pitch in something: on my recent trip to Ethiopia, I took the shots for this image--I ended up using 4 exposures each 2 stops apart and combining it by hand with masks:

[attachment=5675:attachment]
Entrance, Abune Yemata Guh Church, Tigray, Ethiopia, October 2007 (http://weblog.larkvi.com/2008/02/20/entrance-abune-yemata-guh-church-tigray-ethiopia-october-2007/)

The door and the outside, especially the glare on the cliff path, were completely unavailble to one exposure, so it had to be HDR to be available at all. (I am a little unsatisfied with the way the part of the cave on the right looks, so, gentlemen, if you have any suggestions,please feel free to send them to me.) This image actually required a fun but somewhat crazy approach (http://weblog.larkvi.com/2008/02/20/the-approach-to-abune-yemata-guh-tigray-ethiopia-october-2007/) --well worth visiting if you can deal with getting there.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 21, 2008, 11:24:17 PM
Ok, after reading a bit I think I found out my problem with my Photo.

"Shooting on high ISO will increase the noise in the image. For example, using ISO100 can produce a noise image like ISO400. So if you use ISO400 it will be very noisy. Donít even think about ISO800 or 1600 unless you are desperate and have a great noise reduction technique. I find that Noiseware doesnít do a thing against the noise in a HDR shot, but Noise Ninja can. However using Noise Ninja will soften the image."

I shot the image handheld at 1600 ISO because they would not allowed me to use a tripod in the cavern.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: papa v2.0 on March 22, 2008, 12:46:42 AM
hi
i think that hdr
is Basic a problem of compression of a high dynamos range into a small output dynamic range
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 23, 2008, 10:50:06 PM
Quote
Ok, after reading a bit I think I found out my problem with my Photo.

"Shooting on high ISO will increase the noise in the image. For example, using ISO100 can produce a noise image like ISO400. So if you use ISO400 it will be very noisy. Donít even think about ISO800 or 1600 unless you are desperate and have a great noise reduction technique. I find that Noiseware doesnít do a thing against the noise in a HDR shot, but Noise Ninja can. However using Noise Ninja will soften the image."

I shot the image handheld at 1600 ISO because they would not allowed me to use a tripod in the cavern.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183399\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


That will do it
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on March 23, 2008, 11:11:03 PM
Quote
I am not fond of the overprocessed look that HDR has been identified with, and the grocery and diner shots above move into that area from me. That aside, I think this thread has shown some of the ways that HDR can be extremely useful in rendering all the visual information of a scene that is pleasing to the eye but unavailable to the camera. I'll pitch in something: on my recent trip to Ethiopia, I took the shots for this image--I ended up using 4 exposures each 2 stops apart and combining it by hand with masks:

[attachment=5675:attachment]
Entrance, Abune Yemata Guh Church, Tigray, Ethiopia, October 2007 (http://weblog.larkvi.com/2008/02/20/entrance-abune-yemata-guh-church-tigray-ethiopia-october-2007/)

The door and the outside, especially the glare on the cliff path, were completely unavailble to one exposure, so it had to be HDR to be available at all. (I am a little unsatisfied with the way the part of the cave on the right looks, so, gentlemen, if you have any suggestions,please feel free to send them to me.) This image actually required a fun but somewhat crazy approach (http://weblog.larkvi.com/2008/02/20/the-approach-to-abune-yemata-guh-tigray-ethiopia-october-2007/) --well worth visiting if you can deal with getting there.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183317\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The "painterly" look of some HDRs takes time to grow on people and sometimes it doesn't. I wish  I had a nickel for every person I knew that said they didn't like HDR and now love it. I chose to use HDR to capture the color and life of a very old indoor market (Reading Terminal Market Philadelphia) because of very poor lighting that made the colors very dull and as one person put it "depressing ". When i showed the photos to a client he couldn't believe it was the same place he visited every day. But that's just one side. I had a famous local photographer tell me "that when it comes to photography there are no rules". Then he was at a local group show and said " HDR is not photography". HDR is just another tool but to some it's just as evil as Photoshop. I recently had a group show and showed this a finished version of this HDR (fixed perspective). Half the people thought it was a painting and only some knew what process was used. I sold  several including one to the gallery owner. Hell next year I could hate HDR, who knows ?
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/1714583533_f7193cb20a.jpg)

some others from that show
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/1737405640_0eeb002b3e.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2191/1923067087_aefcf74278.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Moynihan on March 25, 2008, 03:29:56 PM
Those are pretty.
I wonder if the growing popularity of HDR, is in anyway linked to the growing acceptance of blended live action & CGI in other mediums such as film and in TV advertising. HDR when painting like or what ever, reminds me of some of those live action + CGI techniques, and high end video game illustration.

Interesting.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 28, 2008, 12:47:57 PM
Well, I keep experimenting with HDR, here is Dos Lagos at for me the lighting was kind of hard.

(http://upload.pbase.com/image/94810095.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Andres Bonilla on March 29, 2008, 06:01:46 PM
(http://upload.pbase.com/image/94863247.jpg)


Another one.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: barryfitzgerald on March 30, 2008, 08:54:00 PM
Hate is a strong word, but in general..YES!

I have seen some good HDR stuff, but most of it looks more like someone playing with blender or bryce, than a photograph. That overprocessed rendered look is not appealing to my eyes. Now, used with some caution, it can look ok. That is the word here..caution or moderation. Much like the landscapers who insist on max out saturation glow in the dark green grass, its just OTT most of the time.

A big difference between vibrant and punchy, and felt tip pen look! Much like HDR, sure bring up the shadows, but dont wipe them out 100%, because its an important part of photography. Reminds me of selective colour, huge buzz a few years back..ok I admit to doing one shot with it (but only one), its pretty corny nowadays..overuse is the problem with these techniques, more than what they do in themselves.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Plekto on April 04, 2008, 02:44:02 PM
I've been reading this with quite a lot of interest.  A couple of observations about HDR, though...

First off, whatever Photoshop is doing, it appears to be junk.

That out of the way, the only realistic HDR that I've seen is blending from multiple actual shots.  Tweaking it in Photoshop or another program artificially seems to do ugly things to the resulting image.

The Diner photos look awful, IMO.  And I think the reason is that our brain expects it to look a bit washed out and badly lit, because such is real life.  It's also why for film I tend to like stuff like Fuji Reala.  The sky just isn't that vivid Kodachrome blue at the elevations where I live.  Gorgeous for snapshots, though. (probably why I shoot mostly b/w as well - good contrast and rendition)

So what you probably want to do then, is maybe 3 shots with a 1 stop difference between them and no more.  Expand it a bit but if it's got washed out areas or black stuff you can't see... so be it.  Maybe even 5 shots with 1/2 or 1/4 stop between them unless it's insanely hard lighting or you want a painting effect.

12 stops makes it look like some odd Twilight Zone effect.  Or some Thomas Kincaid nastiness.

I can see how you might like it, though.  If you get tired of buying lithographs and framing them and want photos to frame on your walls, it's fantastic to over HDR it to the point of looking offset printed.  Yes, I would put those prints on my walls as well - and for that's it's fantastic.  Keep on making those shots.

Me, I'll get tight groups and blend them to clean it up.

P.S.
Why don't they make sensors that register say, 16 bit data instead of 255 being white?  Just curious.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on April 05, 2008, 01:44:00 AM
Quote
Why don't they make sensors that register say, 16 bit data instead of 255 being white?  Just curious.

They do. Every modern digital camera sensor records at least 12 bits, (0-4095). Newer DSLRs (the Canon Mark III series, for example) record 14 bits (0-16383), and some medium format backs record 16 bits (0-65535). And the newer versions of Photoshop support editing in 16-bit mode for even non-HDR images. The only time you should downsample to 8-bit is after all edits are done and you need a JPEG version for the web or something. But you should always keep a copy of the 16-bit original file.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Plekto on April 06, 2008, 03:44:42 AM
I didn't mean the color depth but the luminosity.  Ie - the contrast has a value of 255 and  - poof - it washes out and you get that nasty spike of values that can't be altered or recovered.  I see the graphs for the histograms and it's always 0-255?

Why not more values for brightness?  Or is that something the software that you use is doing?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on April 06, 2008, 09:24:17 AM
Quote
I didn't mean the color depth but the luminosity.  Ie - the contrast has a value of 255 and  - poof - it washes out and you get that nasty spike of values that can't be altered or recovered.

There is no difference; the histogram is scaled the same whether the maximum value is 255, 4095, 16383, or 65535. You have just discovered the basis of the "expose to the right" concept. With film, you metered on the basis of a 12%-18% gray card so that it fell at the middle of the response curve of the film because film has a fairly linear exposure response in the middle and rolls off smoothly in the highlights and shadows. With digital, the response curve is linear until the sensor reaches its maximum output value, and then you hit a brick wall. Increasing exposure beyond that point will not increase then numeric values output by the sensor, and you have clipped the data. So with digital cameras, the optimal exposure level is always that in which the non-specular highlights fall within one exposure increment of this clipping point, but are still below it. Read this article (http://visual-vacations.com/Photography/exposure_metering_strategies.htm) for a more in-depth explanation.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: amcinroy on April 08, 2008, 05:04:31 AM
Here's some new cave HDR shots just to keep this one running.

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir324.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir322.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir315.jpg)

(http://www.andymcinroy.com/images/ir323.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JSPhotoe on November 23, 2008, 02:20:20 PM
Wow, I too think hate is a very strong word. HDR is a wonderful new technique to overcome limitations of our digital cameras. As far as not being able to visualize the image with HDR is just a factor of inexperience with the technique. I think the master Ansel Adams would have embraced this new technique since he loved new technology, and was a master of manipulation.

Here are some of my HDR's:

[attachment=9827:53725700...63cd64_b.jpg]

[attachment=9829:24993472...2eb3eec1.jpg]

[attachment=9828:18442145...aae9c5_b.jpg]

Just my opinion!

My Images (http://www.flickr.com/photos/4leafclover)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Rob C on November 23, 2008, 02:44:49 PM
I see no problem with a technique that clearly works well; perhaps there might be times when it has been overdone but I wouldnīt say any of the above examples falls into this category at all; very nice work, I feel.

Rob C
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: mnmblu on December 06, 2008, 01:18:04 PM
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/1737405640_0eeb002b3e.jpg)


Is it me or do some of these HDR's just need a bit of adjustment in color, tone and the like, to make them look better?  Most of these HDR's that I see,  just seem to be begging for a bit of tweaking to make them look acceptable.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Alexandre Buisse on December 06, 2008, 04:16:17 PM
It took me quite some time and lots of experimentation, but I finally found a good workflow for producing realistic looking HDR in cases where the contrast of the scene makes a single exposure impossible without some clipping. Basically, it involves keeping light smoothing to +2 and aim for pretty low contrast in photomatix, just getting those details back. The contrast is then gotten back in photoshop with curves and layer masks.

Some examples:

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20070825192633_20070818-0001-kebnekaise_light.jpg)

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20080312190358_20080228-sentinel.jpg)

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20080803233538_20080802-divine.jpg)


And more (http://www.aperturefirst.org/index.php?x=browse&category=9)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 06, 2008, 07:38:06 PM
Some very elegant work, Alexandre!  HDR used very well indeed.

I have found that for scenes in this category Tufuse and Enfuse will sometimes hold onto highlight separation a little better, although these images have no problems in that regard.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 06, 2008, 09:51:59 PM
Quote from: mnmblu
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/1737405640_0eeb002b3e.jpg)


Is it me or do some of these HDR's just need a bit of adjustment in color, tone and the like, to make them look better?  Most of these HDR's that I see,  just seem to be begging for a bit of tweaking to make them look acceptable.

I like what you did but mine is more true to what the lighting is down there, it's not pretty trust me.

This photo is going to be in an upcoming video game.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 06, 2008, 10:02:15 PM
Hdr is just another tool and a highly adjustable one at that. You can use it to capture difficult scenes or give a whole new dimension to a subject. Why try to mimic film when you don't have to.

I can't tell you how many long time photographers grumbled, complained and shook their finger at me only to wind up asking me to teach them how to do it.
These photos don't do the prints justice !

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3295/3088514396_191b481ce2_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3243/3078132487_3a960d72e4_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3168/2911796035_5b47561d73_o.jpg)




Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 07, 2008, 02:07:37 AM
Nice ones Philly!  I feel the grease on those subway appliances.  I can hear the buzz of the institutional yeck-colored fluorescents.  I sense the abrasive texture of the factory.  You're use of HDR has increased the visceral impact of your subjects and conveyed information about their nature beyond a merely good photograph.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JDClements on December 07, 2008, 11:06:06 AM
Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
These photos don't do the prints justice !

I'd sure love to view the prints, because even on a run-of-the-mill laptop screen, all three of those images get my neurons firing big time. Fantastic.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 09, 2008, 08:42:18 PM
Having viewed the images in this thread..especially the last few, I can see that "HDR" photography is about as interesting/relevant to photography as "fantastic art" is to painting/art (think Roger Dean,Boris Vallejo et. al).
 That is to say..it is gimmicky, stylistic, empty in content and doesn't really hold up to much repeat viewing. Eye candy.
 I love the "scientific" pitch put forth to all this HDR photography...how it is a more advanced approximation of how the human eye sees...What a load of bull. Anyone that can SEE can see that this is so clearly not the case. The human eye DOES see a greater dynamic range in shadow and highlight areas, but sadly...it does not 'scan' them all at once like in an HDR photo. The traditional photograph, with it's..ahem..more limited dynamic range, leads the eye of the viewer to create a visual experience that is enhanced by the composition of light. HDR does not enhance this...it actually flattens it. Thus, the compositions looks flat and the eye doesn't move...it only gets dazzled at the outset.
 Though I love red wine, I am not an authority. I imagine a good wine can only be discerned by an informed pallette...not just on it's initial impression but by it's other subleties. Aftertaste, i'm sure, being an important one. HDR photos leave a rather unpleasant one...rubbish, really.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 09, 2008, 09:35:23 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
Having viewed the images in this thread..especially the last few, I can see that "HDR" photography is about as interesting/relevant to photography as "fantastic art" is to painting/art (think Roger Dean,Boris Vallejo et. al).
 That is to say..it is gimmicky, stylistic, empty in content and doesn't really hold up to much repeat viewing. Eye candy.
 I love the "scientific" pitch put forth to all this HDR photography...how it is a more advanced approximation of how the human eye sees...What a load of bull. Anyone that can SEE can see that this is so clearly not the case. The human eye DOES see a greater dynamic range in shadow and highlight areas, but sadly...it does not 'scan' them all at once like in an HDR photo. The traditional photograph, with it's..ahem..more limited dynamic range, leads the eye of the viewer to create a visual experience that is enhanced by the composition of light. HDR does not enhance this...it actually flattens it. Thus, the compositions looks flat and the eye doesn't move...it only gets dazzled at the outset.
 Though I love red wine, I am not an authority. I imagine a good wine can only be discerned by an informed pallette...not just on it's initial impression but by it's other subleties. Aftertaste, i'm sure, being an important one. HDR photos leave a rather unpleasant one...rubbish, really.


Thanks for your opinion
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 09, 2008, 11:33:42 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
Having viewed the images in this thread..especially the last few, I can see that "HDR" photography is about as interesting/relevant to photography as "fantastic art" is to painting/art (think Roger Dean,Boris Vallejo et. al).
Yes, in much the same way as photography is not relevant to art, so is HDR not relevant to photography.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 10, 2008, 12:34:07 AM
Quote from: Alexandre Buisse
It took me quite some time and lots of experimentation, but I finally found a good workflow for producing realistic looking HDR in cases where the contrast of the scene makes a single exposure impossible without some clipping. Basically, it involves keeping light smoothing to +2 and aim for pretty low contrast in photomatix, just getting those details back. The contrast is then gotten back in photoshop with curves and layer masks.

Some examples:

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20070825192633_20070818-0001-kebnekaise_light.jpg)

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20080312190358_20080228-sentinel.jpg)

(http://images.aperturefirst.org/20080803233538_20080802-divine.jpg)


And more (http://www.aperturefirst.org/index.php?x=browse&category=9)

Alexandre,
How does Photomatix compare with CS3's 'merge to HDR'? Your very fine images above are good examples of the sort of scenes that CS3 does not handle well. I find that the merging of skies in particular, where one of the bracketed images must contain a severely overexposed sky, does not blend successfully in CS3. There are usually very obvious chromatic artifacts in the transitions between the brightest parts of the sky and the less bright parts.

I've not found a way of overcoming this in CS3. I wonder if CS4 is better in this respect.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Alexandre Buisse on December 10, 2008, 03:20:25 AM
Ray, I have not used CS3 for HDR in a long time, so I can't really tell, but I remember it used to indeed produce very disappointing results. Depending on your expected use of HDR (i.e. playing with it once in a while, as opposed to using it regularly to "save the day" in too high contrast scenes), I think photomatix can be a very good investment.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 10, 2008, 04:08:34 AM
Thanks for your reply, Alexandre. When I have the time, I'll try comparing the trial version of Photomatix with the trial version of CS4, which I'm downloading now. I wasn't intending to upgrade to CS4 just yet. It's not clear to me what the fundamental improvements are. There seems to be a lot of bells and whistles. CS3 had a much improved Photomerge feature and auto-alignment which made it possible to merge to HDR hand-held bracketed shots, but I suspect that a mere 3 shots is not sufficient for a smooth result across the entire tonal range.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Alexandre Buisse on December 10, 2008, 04:22:18 AM
Ray, I always use the auto-align feature of CS3 (or CS4, now) to align my shots properly. 99% of my HDR are 3 exposures hand-held, at +/-2ev. I think it is extremely rare that you need more than that to get the full tonal range, at least in natural scenes.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 10, 2008, 07:43:34 AM
Quote from: Alexandre Buisse
Ray, I always use the auto-align feature of CS3 (or CS4, now) to align my shots properly. 99% of my HDR are 3 exposures hand-held, at +/-2ev. I think it is extremely rare that you need more than that to get the full tonal range, at least in natural scenes.

Well, that's probably true in terms of DR extremes. An extra 4 stops on top of most DSLR's native DR should be sufficient for most scenes. I'm just wondering if CS3 perhaps requires more than 3 shots for smooth tonal transitions in the sky. Out of 3 shots, two are likely to have an overexposed sky, and one of those will be an extremely overexposed sky, perhaps by close to 4 stops.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 10, 2008, 11:18:36 AM
Quote from: Alexandre Buisse
Ray, I have not used CS3 for HDR in a long time, so I can't really tell, but I remember it used to indeed produce very disappointing results. Depending on your expected use of HDR (i.e. playing with it once in a while, as opposed to using it regularly to "save the day" in too high contrast scenes), I think photomatix can be a very good investment.

I agree with this and i wouldn't be surprised if Adobe buys HDR Soft (photomatix).



Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: usathyan on December 10, 2008, 11:29:51 AM
Quote from: mnmblu
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/1737405640_0eeb002b3e.jpg)


Is it me or do some of these HDR's just need a bit of adjustment in color, tone and the like, to make them look better?  Most of these HDR's that I see,  just seem to be begging for a bit of tweaking to make them look acceptable.


What you have done - makes a difference as clear as night and day. Not that the original was bad - but, you have managed to take it to the next level mnmblu.

Wow!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 10, 2008, 09:09:48 PM
Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
I agree with this and i wouldn't be surprised if Adobe buys HDR Soft (photomatix).

I think you might be right. I've just tried the trial download of Photomatix and it seems to solve the problems I've frequently encountered with CS3's merge to HDR2.

Below is a pair of crops of a Himalayan peak at dawn showing the typical problems I get with CS3. This is a merging of 3 shots ranging from 0.6 secs to 1/15th (about 4 stops). The 1/15th sec shot is about 2/3rds of a stop underexposed with noisy shadows but full detail in the sky. I've tried several times to get a good merge with CS3, trying both RAW files and converted tifs, but without success.

[attachment=10246:comparison.jpg]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 10, 2008, 09:33:40 PM
Quote from: Ray
I think you might be right. I've just tried the trial download of Photomatix and it seems to solve the problems I've frequently encountered with CS3's merge to HDR2.

Below is a pair of crops of a Himalayan peak at dawn showing the typical problems I get with CS3. This is a merging of 3 shots ranging from 0.6 secs to 1/15th (about 4 stops). The 1/15th sec shot is about 2/3rds of a stop underexposed with noisy shadows but full detail in the sky. I've tried several times to get a good merge with CS3, trying both RAW files and converted tifs, but without success.

[attachment=10246:comparison.jpg]

First of all I can't tell you how jealous I am that it's the Himalayas.

Second, Photomatix is an incredible program for only $99. The range of adjustability is far above any other HDR program.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: gr82bart on December 11, 2008, 07:32:36 AM
Quote from: Neil Hunt
Photomatrix and the saturation slider are certainly a killer combination in the wrong hands!
Agreed. I personally think they should be outlawed at camera clubs. Can there be ONE pic that doesn't involve HDR at a camera club? It's like a bunch of geriatrics discovered a new toy.

Regards, Art.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 11, 2008, 10:00:17 AM
Quote from: lensfactory
Having viewed the images in this thread..especially the last few, I can see that "HDR" photography is about as interesting/relevant to photography as "fantastic art" is to painting/art (think Roger Dean,Boris Vallejo et. al).
 That is to say..it is gimmicky, stylistic, empty in content and doesn't really hold up to much repeat viewing. Eye candy.
A tool used in a way you dislike is not a bad tool.
Would you blame a chisel for an ugly bit of carpentry?
HDR can be used in ways that you would not even realise it had even been done.
Heck, using a grad filter when shooting a landscape is effectively HDR work.

And how is say Monet better than Boris Vellejo? Some people will prefer one over the other and I don't think Monet was entirely well thought of in his time either. Impressionism was very radical in it's time even though now it's seen as a bit twee, just as Roger Dean's stuff is a bit quaint now. Both Dean + Vallejo were commercial painters which tends to taint people's views, but then so were Toulouse-Latrec and Cassandre, both very well known for their poster art.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 11, 2008, 11:14:49 AM
Quote from: jjj
A tool used in a way you dislike is not a bad tool.
Would you blame a chisel for an ugly bit of carpentry?
HDR can be used in ways that you would not even realise it had even been done.
Heck, using a grad filter when shooting a landscape is effectively HDR work.

And how is say Monet better than Boris Vellejo?

Obviously I am generalising...and it's just my opinion.

Im not talking about some subtle usage of HDR technology, but rather those images,like the ones presented here ,that define that 'HDR look'.

A tool that is used,where the only use of it is a certain outcome, and that outcome is aesthetically unpleasant..YES it's a bad tool.

Your saying Boris Vallejo is better than Monet?!?
How is Monet better than Boris Vallejo..for real!?! Is this where we get into that stupid argument you have in your younger twenties..ie..What is art. Art is subjective...etc.
C'mon...
If you don't have shit eyes it's easy to see.Things just 'ARE' if your honest and look at them...what use is an argument.
I mean..have a point of view. It's ok.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: button on December 11, 2008, 11:32:09 AM
To me, this entire discussion boils down to one thing: contrast.  Unpleasing HDR work just doesn't have that "bam!" or wow-factor that so many great photos convey.  By its very nature, HDR blending poses a real challenge to the post-processor by defeating this crucial element.  I'm not sure that there will ever be a consistently successful automated tonemapping solution that's applicable to a wide range of HDR blending, especially if it uses only gloabal adjustment methods.  Local contrast manipulation, ie the dodge/burn effect, depends on artistic discretion.  However, even if contrast management will always require a human hand, perhaps we as a community can strive to lay out a sort of "proceedure manual for contrast adjustment", much like the rules of composition.  At least that way, beginners can get into HDR with the hope of producing something meaningful.

John
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 11, 2008, 11:37:13 AM
Quote from: jjj
And how is say Monet better than Boris Vellejo?
Right on!  Just don't get me started on Thomas Kinkade, OK?  What images of our time will be on the walls of MOMA 100 years from now?  I shudder to think.

jjj...that first redhead shot is AWESOME!
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 11, 2008, 11:42:55 AM
Quote from: button
To me, this entire discussion boils down to one thing: contrast.  Unpleasing HDR work just doesn't have that "bam!" or wow-factor that so many great photos convey.  By its very nature, HDR blending poses a real challenge to the post-processor by defeating this crucial element.  I'm not sure that there will ever be a consistently successful automated tonemapping solution that's applicable to a wide range of HDR blending, especially if they use only gloabal adjustment methods.  Local contrast manipulation, ie the dodge/burn effect, depends on artistic discretion.  However, even if contrast management will always require a human hand, perhaps we as a community can strive to lay out a sort of "proceedure manual for contrast adjustment", much like the rules of composition.  At least that way, beginners can get into HDR with the hope of producing something meaningful.

John

I'm curious, how many people here have seen a B&W 16 bit HDR image actually printed or are you only judging by a medium resolution 8 bit backlit jpeg that you see here or flickr ?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 11, 2008, 12:18:12 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
Obviously I am generalising...and it's just my opinion.

Im not talking about some subtle usage of HDR technology, but rather those images,like the ones presented here ,that define that 'HDR look'.

A tool that is used,where the only use of it is a certain outcome, and that outcome is aesthetically unpleasant..YES it's a bad tool.
Nope, nothing wrong with the tool, nothing at all. The tool creates nothing, never has done. Users, however create masterpieces and complete rubbish.
Why not attack photoshop or enlargers, lots of awfulness produced by both tools?


Quote
Your saying Boris Vallejo is better than Monet?!?
How is Monet better than Boris Vallejo..for real!?! Is this where we get into that stupid argument you have in your younger twenties..ie..What is art. Art is subjective...etc.
C'mon...
I have never liked Monet, he does nothing for me at all. Boris, I actually used to like as a teenager, but now I'm not particularly bothered, just as I wouldn't wear clothes from those days either. But he's a talented painter, as is Monet even if the subject matter is not to one's own taste. Jack Vetriano is one of the UK's most popular painters. And is hated by the critics for that very reason, he's not someone I would buy, but hey each to his own.

Quote
If you don't have shit eyes it's easy to see.Things just 'ARE' if your honest and look at them...what use is an argument.
I mean..have a point of view. It's ok.
I have a point of view and it's simply not necessarily the same as yours. Hence the argument.
In art it's taste that ultimately informs your opinion and no more. We all like to post rationalise as to why we like whatever, but it always comes down to personal taste at end of day and we all have different tastes, thank god.  Just like some people like say green and some hate yellow, others will prefer purple and hate blue, yet we don't mock people for their favourite colour. How they put them together maybe, but that's another issue.  
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 11, 2008, 12:36:54 PM
Quote from: bill t.
Right on!  Just don't get me started on Thomas Kinkade, OK?
What's wrong with Kinkade? I just love the subtle nuances of his ouevre! And it can't be that bad as Peter O'Toole is in a film of one of his paintings! Not sure how that works, but I sure it'll sell well in the red states. Yes it it true! (http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.promo.web.tk.PromoServlet?promoAction=chrcot)
But there was an Kitsch russian painter in the 70s who was regarded with as much love as Kinkade is now by people with 'taste' and yet his work is now revered and has become trendy, as opposed to popular.
Kinkade's stuff is is however like someone vomiting up a candy store, so a little less likely that there will be a revision in 'cultured' opinion.

Quote
What images of our time will be on the walls of MOMA 100 years from now?  I shudder to think.
Nothing from now if it's a Modern art Museum!

Quote
jjj...that first redhead shot is AWESOME!
Thanks, it's all done with HDR you know!  
Actually if it's the one I think, it was a jewelry shoot  and that image was done on a Canon S60 in near darkness. There's more light indoors than outside at 3pm in December in UK.
I've never done a HDR image myself. Keep meaning to have a go, but never get around to it.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhillyPhotographer on December 11, 2008, 12:48:45 PM
jjj it's an excellent tool for extreme low light or darkness too

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3115/3098370152_ebe7882ac6_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3062/3096672154_551ef7b3f1_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3280/2975840521_8ccb4b0b7d_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3283/3035249363_b80ba54868_o.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 11, 2008, 01:34:26 PM
Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
jjj it's an excellent tool for extreme low light or darkness too
I think if HDR had been an option available to many of the "great" photographers just preceding us, *many* would have embraced its subtle use as for instance  a sort of Zone System-like extension, and we would have seen a lot more classic shots as in the genre of the previous post.  Many of our forefathers certainly tried to get that look.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 11, 2008, 08:41:19 PM
Quote from: bill t.
I think if HDR had been an option available to many of the "great" photographers just preceding us, *many* would have embraced its subtle use as for instance  a sort of Zone System-like extension, and we would have seen a lot more classic shots as in the genre of the previous post.  Many of our forefathers certainly tried to get that look.


Nonsense...you think anyone great would do what a whole lot of others are doing? I highly doubt that.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 11, 2008, 10:48:34 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
Nonsense...you think anyone great would do what a whole lot of others are doing?
Yes, it has always been thus.  It's not what you do, it's how well you do it.  Or at least how well you market yourself.  Just about anyone I would care to call "great" has practiced alongside scores of lesser contemporaries.  Adams, Steichen, Weston, Monet, Degas, Michelangelo, etc were not the only guys on the block during their times.

Of course trendy art celebrates the tradition of the new, the compulsion to create something so clever and *different* only the cognoscenti can understand it.  That stuff either evaporates or becomes not-new as it merges into the mainstream it so much deplored at its inception, sad as an aging rock star.  But even those guys are legion.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 12, 2008, 01:18:02 AM
Well, let's get down to brass tacks. Merging to HDR or combing different exposures seamlessly is a wonderful facility. If I'd known a few years ago that, today, we'd have such programs, I'd have done a lot more bracketing in the past. And that applies to stitching also.

The difficulty with such programs is that, as we all know, the final result depends upon the skill of the operator as well as the sophistication of the program.

Having experimented a bit more with CS3, CS4 and Photomatix, I see a fundamental weakness in the 'Merge to HDR' process as opposed to 'Exposure Blending'. Photomatix has an option of 'Generate HDR Image' or 'Exposure Blending'. CS3 and CS4 have no such option. The merge to HDR seems optimised for RAW images, and Photomatix's 'Exposure Blending' seems optimised for converted images.

What concerns me is not just the chromatic artifacts that sometimes appear with CS3/4's 'Merge to HDR', but the fact that 'merge to HDR' seems unable to maintain the full highlight detail in the brightest parts of the least exposed image.

Here are some example images below to illustrate graphically what I'm attempting verbally.

The following scene is not presented as a great work of art, but merely as an example that best highlights the problem. Of course, the shot is also a record of the sort of 5 star luxury hotel accommodation that you can expect to experience when trekking in Nepal. You might also deduce that the degree of untidiness in the room is symptomatic of great artistic skill. It is a known fact that artistic types are very untidy and have little regard for housekeeping details.

What you see here is a 'merged to HDR' overview of the hotel room, followed by a couple of 100% crops of the mountain peak as seen through the window. The singly converted underexposed image on the left shows the full highlight detail that's been recorded. The merged shots loose a lot of highlight detail. No matter what settings I make in ACR, I am unable to retain these details in the mountain peak.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on Photoshop techniques can point out where I'm going wrong.

[attachment=10259:1723_25_...exposure.jpg]  [attachment=10260:Comparis...0__crops.jpg]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 12, 2008, 02:01:39 AM
You are obviously a great artist!  Of course looking around my studio, it is obvious I am an even greater one!

Well, what you did wrong was probably use the PS HDR stuff.  Haven't seen the CS4 version, but CS3 HDR still had a ways to go.  Photomatix in "Details Enhancer" mode with "Strength" set to zero, "Micro-contrast" set to 10, "Micro-smoothing" set to 0, plus various other tasteful settings might just bring a lot of those highlights back.  So would Tufuse or Enfuse, although with less effective compression.

When you really need good looking highlights, you can also just slip in your "best highlight" image on a layer over your main image, create a contrast mask off you main image, then apply the contrast mask to the highlight layer, with a bit of Curves tuning on both highlight mask and image.  Experiment also with transparency on your highlight layer.

Edit...sorry I meant "Luminosity mask" Alt+Ctrl+~.  Also, you might get less highlight scruch if you keep the Photomatix histogram from reaching the darkest and brighest limits, then expand it a bit in Photostop with a Curves layer.  16 bit output leaves you plenty of headroom here.

Here's a great discussion of the old "bright window" problem...
http://www.tawbaware.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=4886 (http://www.tawbaware.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=4886)

Somebody in that thread offers his "Double Dynamics" Photoshop action for download.  It is truly a gem of an alternative to full HDR, and might serve you here with just a carefully selected pair of exposures.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 12, 2008, 08:54:09 AM


Quote
You are obviously a great artist!  Of course looking around my studio, it is obvious I am an even greater one!

Looking out of the window at the totally unkempt nature of my garden, I'm not so sure you are the greater artist   .

Quote
Well, what you did wrong was probably use the PS HDR stuff.  Haven't seen the CS4 version, but CS3 HDR still had a ways to go.  Photomatix in "Details Enhancer" mode with "Strength" set to zero, "Micro-contrast" set to 10, "Micro-smoothing" set to 0, plus various other tasteful settings might just bring a lot of those highlights back.  So would Tufuse or Enfuse, although with less effective compression.

When you really need good looking highlights, you can also just slip in your "best highlight" image on a layer over your main image, create a contrast mask off you main image, then apply the contrast mask to the highlight layer, with a bit of Curves tuning on both highlight mask and image.  Experiment also with transparency on your highlight layer.

Edit...sorry I meant "Luminosity mask" Alt+Ctrl+~.  Also, you might get less highlight scruch if you keep the Photomatix histogram from reaching the darkest and brighest limits, then expand it a bit in Photostop with a Curves layer.  16 bit output leaves you plenty of headroom here.

There's certainly more than one way to skin a cat, but I like to keep things simple. A program that one can trust to work well with all bracketed images taken for the purpose of increasing DR is worth a lot. I have not succeeded yet in getting either CS3, CS4 or Photomatix HDR processes to produce the detail in the mountain peak that clearly exists in the lowest exposure. However, if I use Photomatix's Exposure Blending option, I am able to get that detail, but unfortunately only at the expense of increased shadow noise. The Blending Point has to be moved too much into the negative.

I can get a good result using other methods, but I'm curious as to why neither CS4's 'Merge to HDR' nor Photomatix's 'Generate HDR Image' are able to do this job. The only explanation I can think of is that a good result is dependent upon a greater number of exposures than 3. I think maybe 3 overexposed, plus 3 underexposed, plus one correct exposure would be better.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: bill t. on December 12, 2008, 11:54:15 AM
Quote from: Ray
I can get a good result using other methods, but I'm curious as to why neither CS4's 'Merge to HDR' nor Photomatix's 'Generate HDR Image' are able to do this job. The only explanation I can think of is that a good result is dependent upon a greater number of exposures than 3. I think maybe 3 overexposed, plus 3 underexposed, plus one correct exposure would be better.
HDR programs get a bit muddled by too many very dark or very bright exposures.  Sparse sets of brackets seem to work better in most cases.  One pragmatic approach is to set the sliders to something like a typical range, then experiment with various selections from the bracket set to see what works best.  In your posted image, in the dark areas I think I see the result of the software trying too hard to bring up severely underexposed bracket set members in the dark areas near the floor.

But the truth is I too have suffered from over-compensated highlights in all the DR compression programs.  In scenes with subtle highlight textures (such as brilliant clouds) the only way around that I see is to restore highlights with a masked, single-exposure highlight area.  Here is a somewhat over the top example of that, the original scene was intensely back lighted and severely contrasty...


Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 12, 2008, 08:23:52 PM
Quote from: bill t.
HDR programs get a bit muddled by too many very dark or very bright exposures.  Sparse sets of brackets seem to work better in most cases.  One pragmatic approach is to set the sliders to something like a typical range, then experiment with various selections from the bracket set to see what works best.  In your posted image, in the dark areas I think I see the result of the software trying too hard to bring up severely underexposed bracket set members in the dark areas near the floor.

It looks as though this situation warrants further experimentation. It's far better to get the right mix of exposures at the time of taking the shots, than spend hours messing around on the computer trying to fix things. One feature of the Nikon D700 that attracts me is its wide range of exposure bracketing. If I've understood the specs, this camera can bracket up to 9 consecutive shots with an interval up to 1 EV between shots. That represents a total range of 8 stops.

The image I posted of the hotel room in Nepal does have noise in the shadows. I used just 3 images with a range of +/- 2 stops. However, on that occasion my 5D was on a tripod and I took 3 lots of bracketed exposures of the room. The problem, I suspect, is that only one of those exposures was correct for the highlights. If I'd had one or two more shots which were underexposed with regard to the highlights, I think the HDR merge would be completely successful.

Here is a CS3 merge to HDR of 6 shots of the same scene ranging from 1 sec exposure to 1/60th, which represents a 6 stop bracketed range. It seems even a 6 stop range is not sufficient for HDR to work successfully with this scene. Out of the 6 shots, 5 are overexposed with regard to the highlights. I think I probably needed at least one additional image that is significantly underexposed with regard to the highlights.

You can see from the lightened crop of the dark area that the shadows are now quite clean. However, the mountain peak is still the same, as in the previous comparison.

[attachment=10271:1722_23_..._HDR_CS3.jpg]  [attachment=10272:crop_of_floor.jpg]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 12, 2008, 08:50:16 PM
Quote from: PhillyPhotographer
jjj it's an excellent tool for extreme low light or darkness too
An obvious place to use it I'd have thought, though the shot mentioned above had no dynamic range to reduce if that's what you were refering.
Lovely photos btw, I like them a lot.
And on your website, though the www was being a tad slow, so didn't have time to have a good look.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Ray on December 12, 2008, 11:05:51 PM
Quote from: Ray
However, on that occasion my 5D was on a tripod and I took 3 lots of bracketed exposures of the room.

You know, as I wrote that, I thought that many people would think, "How the hell can you take 3 sets of bracketed shots and not get things right?"

I'm going to pre-empt any criticism by offering the following crop. On the third attempt at bracketing, a couple of hotel residents wandered into the scene, blocking the view. If it had been an important shot, I'd have opened the window and requested they get out of the way. As it was, I stopped shooting at that point.

[attachment=10273:1728_vie...truction.jpg]


Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 13, 2008, 09:05:27 AM
Go here if you want to see the ultimate in HDR imagery.

Very impressive Image. (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080920.html)


LensFactory need not bother looking, as obviously all HDR is evil.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 13, 2008, 07:53:30 PM
Quote from: jjj
LensFactory need not bother looking, as obviously all HDR is evil.

Evil is a word I would never use, but now that you mention it, it IS sort of like the BANALITY of evil.

Truly craptacular site there btw...let me go put on a later period YES album while I view. Ahhh...that's better. They could do with some dragons though...Scrap that, Rush's "Hemispheres" it is. A fitting soundtrack while I put some forks in front of my eyes and slam my face on a table.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 15, 2008, 05:42:26 AM
Quote from: lensfactory
Evil is a word I would never use, but now that you mention it, it IS sort of like the BANALITY of evil.

Truly craptacular site there btw...let me go put on a later period YES album while I view. Ahhh...that's better. They could do with some dragons though...Scrap that, Rush's "Hemispheres" it is. A fitting soundtrack while I put some forks in front of my eyes and slam my face on a table.
I linked to a specific image, who cares if the site design is less than stellar [    ], it was a link to a solar eclipse image, done using some sort of HDR?
You seem obsessed with irrelevant 70s music, maybe it's because your mind is stuck so far in the past.  

Still waiting for you to condemn all photographs ever taken, just because some weren't to your taste.



Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 15, 2008, 11:00:33 AM
Quote from: jjj
I linked to a specific image, who cares if the site design is less than stellar [    ], it was a link to a solar eclipse image, done using some sort of HDR?
You seem obsessed with irrelevant 70s music, maybe it's because your mind is stuck so far in the past.  

Still waiting for you to condemn all photographs ever taken, just because some weren't to your taste.


Isn't that my mind is stuck in the past...it's that most HDR imagery is aesthetically equivalent to bad 70's prog rock.

THe original OP was "do you hate HDR too".  Well...I do. The images in this thread have only confirmed this....you can say that nonsense about it being just a tool, and it is the artist not the tool etc...but I have yet to see much where that is true. It is NOT 'just a tool'..it has a distinct look with distinct aesthetic qualities.
The litmus test , to me, for a good  photograph is it holds up to repeat viewings, especially if there are multiple layers/depth of content and meaning.
I find all the HDR photos  shallow...flat...the eye goes nowhere. At least this is what i've mostly seen anyway I am generalizing sure, as a good eye can be sensitive and achieve some good results...it's just that ,as a tool, the  HDR process seems to not enhance this, but rather kills the compositional dynamics of tone values.

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 16, 2008, 03:34:41 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
It is NOT 'just a tool'..it has a distinct look with distinct aesthetic qualities.
Still not quite sunk in to your conciousness yet, that HDR has many different looks, some are obviously HDR, some aren't. You obviously don't like the obvious overcooked variety [not that keen myself] but like any tool it can be used in many ways, some good, some bad.
For example you said this
Quote
Isn't that my mind is stuck in the past...it's that most HDR imagery is aesthetically equivalent to bad 70's prog rock.
But would you champion against guitars because you dislike bad 70s's prog rock? I don't like Rush either, but I don't blame their instruments for their music.

Also I've been asked about the HDR images on my website, despite my never having done any HDR and the images in questioning in fact predate Photomatrix and similar software. They are also not like the cartoon HDR, but the very different gritty HDR look and not flat which leads to this point.

Quote
I find all the HDR photos shallow...flat...the eye goes nowhere. At least this is what i've mostly seen anyway I am generalizing sure....
You sure are.  
Quote
...as a good eye can be sensitive and achieve some good results...it's just that ,as a tool, the HDR process seems to not enhance this, but rather kills the compositional dynamics of tone values.
You can have tonally flat images without using HDR and some people do so deliberately as they like that look or it complements the subject they are photographing.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Alexandre Buisse on December 16, 2008, 04:30:08 PM
@lensfactory: I'd be curious to know if you include the images I posted at the end of page 6 in your description. I go a long way to make them not look like "flickr" HDR.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Gordon Buck on December 16, 2008, 04:53:22 PM
If a truly "High Dynamic Range" sensor were invented would it be hated as well?  Why do we want more dynamic range in our cameras and at the same time dislike HDR processes that extend the dynamic range of existing equipment?  The dislike has little to do with HDR except as related to "tone mapping".

So this post should be entitled "Do you hate overdone tone mapping too?".

Of course, I also dislike overdone tone mapping but my definition of "overdone" might be different from that of others.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 16, 2008, 07:36:54 PM
Quote from: Alexandre Buisse
@lensfactory: I'd be curious to know if you include the images I posted at the end of page 6 in your description. I go a long way to make them not look like "flickr" HDR.

No I wouldn't actually. They look o.k. Im not sure that any HDR would be necessary in those shots though... I would rather see a strong composition of light and tone WITHOUT any HDR. Thats what is pleasing to my eyes anyway...

Im OBVIOUSLY talking about the quote HDR unquote look that is prevalent in HDR photography...not simply photographs with an increased dynamic range.

It's that glowy,tonally undynamic, super-real look im talking about..but then you know what I mean.

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: lensfactory on December 16, 2008, 07:42:34 PM
Quote from: jjj
But would you champion against guitars because you dislike bad 70s's prog rock? I don't like Rush either, but I don't blame their instruments for their music.
.

I said BAD 70's prog-rock...and yes, I DO blame the instruments. WHen they moved from the Mellotron ,Minimoog and the recording techniques of the first half of the seventies, they threw the baby out with the bathwater and used ever more sophisticated technologies that lacked that distinct warmth and tone qualities that are pleasing to my ears.

Hemispheres is actually a well produced/recorded album...I should have said "Power Windows". Or most prog rock after 1974-75.

So yes the tool has a great bearing in my view.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 16, 2008, 08:20:01 PM
Quote from: lensfactory
I said BAD 70's prog-rock...and yes, I DO blame the instruments.
But the concept of good and bad HDR is however not possible? Why is that?

Quote
WHen they moved from the Mellotron ,Minimoog and the recording techniques of the first half of the seventies, they threw the baby out with the bathwater and used ever more sophisticated technologies that lacked that distinct warmth and tone qualities that are pleasing to my ears.

Hemispheres is actually a well produced/recorded album...I should have said "Power Windows". Or most prog rock after 1974-75.

So yes the tool has a great bearing in my view.
Do you think tools are entities that take over the minds of their users or something?!?

As you will never be convinced that it is the person and not the tool he/she uses that is responsible for the end result, do you also assume your taste to be better than everyone else's? As I'm sure there were many people who liked prog rock [what a crap name for a genre] both before and after 74-75. Just as there are many people who like HDR even the cartoony stuff.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: daws on December 16, 2008, 11:59:33 PM
Quote from: jjj
As I'm sure there were many people who liked prog rock [what a crap name for a genre] both before and after 74-75. Just as there are many people who like HDR even the cartoony stuff.
Amen.

With apologies for veering OT, I'm reminded of the recent mass management salivation in the animation industry over 3D animation: the groupthink that the 3D Look was what audiences were buying, hand-drawing be damned. Megabucks of story-bombs later, the pendulum is slowly swinging back (no doubt toward the next Technique craze). What works in 3D is what works in 2D: good stories, told visually and well.

Notwithstanding my lifelong tech lust, the older I get the more I'm convinced that all tech is passing through on the wind. We take what tool excites us, use it awhile, then let it go and grab the next as it drifts by. Tools don't talk. High end digital backs or sheets of foil in silver fumes, it's the brain, heart and hands that tell the story.

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on December 17, 2008, 09:19:57 AM
Quote from: daws
Megabucks of story-bombs later, the pendulum is slowly swinging back (no doubt toward the next Technique craze). What works in 3D is what works in 2D: good stories, told visually and well.
Absolutely. It's always the story that is important. Everything else should be subservient to telling hte story. In animation sometimes 2D will be better than 3D animation, sometimes the opposite. Same applies to films of any genre. Except maybe porn!  
One of the reasons why Pixar is so succesful is not the techincal skills, but the fact that the story always comes first and everything else follows from that.
Even their original 'lamp' demo had a nice little story and didn't just rely on the novelty of computer animation.
I have to say I'm not a fan of the 3D look of most recent animation, particularly when it tries to look real, as it so obviously doesn't. One of the things I like about animationis it's unreality and the 2D nature can give a different dimension [so to speak].

Quote
Notwithstanding my lifelong tech lust, the older I get the more I'm convinced that all tech is passing through on the wind. We take what tool excites us, use it awhile, then let it go and grab the next as it drifts by. Tools don't talk. High end digital backs or sheets of foil in silver fumes, it's the brain, heart and hands that tell the story.
Looks are like anything else fashionable. They come and go. New tools give new looks, new fashions arise and not long after, become old fashioned and a new look will emerge or an old one exhumed.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on January 01, 2009, 07:50:53 PM
I like HDR in its concept: high dynamic range.

I hate what the photography communnity has made of it today:
- Users who don't have a rudimentary knowledge of what DR is and can't wait to download Photomatix and create terrible images.
- Users who simply cannot differentiate the concept 'HDR' from the concept 'tone mapping'
- People who shoot 6 times the same scene because they think in that way the result will be better, but didn't take care to check what the real DR of the scene was, what the most adequate number of shots, and how many stops apart they should be
- HDR tools focused in providing quick tone mapping tools that easily lead to unreallistic results, but incompetent in doing a proper blending of several shots (so far no HDR tool has effective anti-ghosting capabilities for example).

I propose some of you do this exercise: blend and tone map the following 2 RAW files with a reallistic result in mind using any software around. They correspond to a high dynamic range scene (more than 12 f-stops) with a moving element:
- RAW 1 (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/download/mov1.cr2)
- RAW 2 (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/download/mov2.cr2)

I got this:

(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/zeronoise/zn.jpg)

BR
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on January 02, 2009, 03:16:00 PM
That's a nice looking result, very natural and shows how good HDR can be - when used well.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: button on January 02, 2009, 03:29:11 PM
Quote from: GLuijk
(so far no HDR tool has effective anti-ghosting capabilities for example).

What do you mean by "anti-ghosting"?

John
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on January 02, 2009, 08:25:47 PM
Quote from: button
What do you mean by "anti-ghosting"?

Hi John, try to blend the two linked RAW files using any HDR software and look at the legs of the guy in the picture.

BR
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: EasyEd on February 23, 2009, 10:17:51 PM
Hey All,

My first post.

I read through all 8 odd pages as I'm extremely (as in like I actually want to take pictures again) interested in these HDRs.

I realize that ultimately it comes down to what you like to photograph and what you like the end product to - generally speaking - look like. In my case what I like to photograph is machinery and landscapes particularly agriculture and logging - not so much people or cityscapes or seascapes although like most people who carry a camera lots of different subject matter(s) get photographed. What I want a picture to look like is simple - Ansel Adams style photography in colour - not so much in terms of subject matter - but in terms of his ability to capture composition, detail, texture and light - without being distracted by colour or having colour "flatten" the whole image - the biggest problem I had with colour film. I tend to like real to in some cases slightly overdone HDRs. Is it so much to ask to be the Ansel Adams of colour?

I was very much "into" black and white when I had access to a darkroom - but without that ability to do "post processing" my interest waned. Colour film gave you almost no ability to post process so my interest waned further (I go back 30 years). HDR processing appears to give me back the potential to do what I am the most interested in without the constant "watching and waiting" for the "right" light. We have technology now - we can fool mother nature and sleep late! Sure you can be a purist but hey why? You go ahead and be a purist and head out at dawn for the light - I'll sleep late get the same picture through post processing and maybe we'll meet for lunch - if your not asleep - who really is more "right" or "honourable"?.

Anyway I think of Ansel Adams as the HDR guy of black and white - he used a darkroom not a computer. Intense post processing that clearly showed more than the eye could take in at once just like good HDR. I think he would have loved HDR. I've often wondered about the technique(s) of two of my other favorites Yousuf Karsh and Diane Arbus - also I believe heavily into "post processing" although I don't know.

I think HDR has been around a long time - just in "disguise".

-Ed-
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: EasyEd on March 04, 2009, 12:16:05 AM
Hey All,

So a week after I posted this I picked up Michael freeman's Book "Mastering HDR Photography". Let me quote from the introduction...

Quote
Does HDR sound like a magic bullet for photography? It may well be...  ...HDR will open upen up new subjects and a level of control that far exceeds even the techniques of Ansel Adams -- and in color."

Seems I'm not the only one. I find it curious that people put this methodology down so much and only look at Photomatix when they consider it. Manipulating images digitally is absolutely nothing but math. Hence different programs do the math differently. From what I have seen FDR Tools is far less "garrish" and enhances detail far better than Photomatix. Then there is Dynamic Photo HDR, Easy HDR, Artizen HDR, Picturenaut, Essential HDR, and probably others. Finding what works for you is probably half the battle. I'm liking FDR Tools, Dynamic HDR and Artizen so far based on some trials. More experimenting to do.

Ansel would likely have been burning the "midnight oil" coming up with some kind of new zone system had he access to this stuff.

-Ed-

Quote from: EasyEd
Hey All,

My first post.

I read through all 8 odd pages as I'm extremely (as in like I actually want to take pictures again) interested in these HDRs.

I realize that ultimately it comes down to what you like to photograph and what you like the end product to - generally speaking - look like. In my case what I like to photograph is machinery and landscapes particularly agriculture and logging - not so much people or cityscapes or seascapes although like most people who carry a camera lots of different subject matter(s) get photographed. What I want a picture to look like is simple - Ansel Adams style photography in colour - not so much in terms of subject matter - but in terms of his ability to capture composition, detail, texture and light - without being distracted by colour or having colour "flatten" the whole image - the biggest problem I had with colour film. I tend to like real to in some cases slightly overdone HDRs. Is it so much to ask to be the Ansel Adams of colour?

I was very much "into" black and white when I had access to a darkroom - but without that ability to do "post processing" my interest waned. Colour film gave you almost no ability to post process so my interest waned further (I go back 30 years). HDR processing appears to give me back the potential to do what I am the most interested in without the constant "watching and waiting" for the "right" light. We have technology now - we can fool mother nature and sleep late! Sure you can be a purist but hey why? You go ahead and be a purist and head out at dawn for the light - I'll sleep late get the same picture through post processing and maybe we'll meet for lunch - if your not asleep - who really is more "right" or "honourable"?.

Anyway I think of Ansel Adams as the HDR guy of black and white - he used a darkroom not a computer. Intense post processing that clearly showed more than the eye could take in at once just like good HDR. I think he would have loved HDR. I've often wondered about the technique(s) of two of my other favorites Yousuf Karsh and Diane Arbus - also I believe heavily into "post processing" although I don't know.

I think HDR has been around a long time - just in "disguise".

-Ed-
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: 01af on March 04, 2009, 07:36:53 AM
HDR is a nice technique to tackle a certain problem in photography, and can yield gorgeous results if mastered properly. But now I am indeed beginning to hate it. Recently I started seeing poor HDR images everywhere ... in magazines, newspapers, advertisements ... all of sudden they are ubiquitous. Browse any arbitrary illustrated magazine, and they will jump out at you. Maybe some of them are not really HDR technically---but they sure look like bad HDR, with entirely unnatural tones and contrasts. Usually they're just rotten ... screaming 'digital' all over  

-- Olaf
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: pegelli on March 04, 2009, 08:17:19 AM
Quote from: gordonsbuck
So this post should be entitled "Do you hate overdone tone mapping too?".

Of course, I also dislike overdone tone mapping but my definition of "overdone" might be different from that of others.

I think this quote sums up my opinion on this topic very well

Btw, I also don't like overdone level and curve adjustments, overdone shadow/highlight, overdone saturation/vibrance adjustment, overdone clarity...... overdone "you name it".

All picture tools can be put to good use and misused. For me the most successfull HDR images are those where the tool is used to bridge DR in a scene that cannot be captured in a single shot but still the use of HDR is not apparent when viewing the picture. I've seen examples of those that I really like (unfortunately I have seen more examples where I judge it overdone, but all freedom to people who like it).

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Bill Koenig on April 07, 2009, 03:39:05 PM
Quote from: EasyEd
Hey All,

So a week after I posted this I picked up Michael freeman's Book "Mastering HDR Photography". Let me quote from the introduction...



Seems I'm not the only one. I find it curious that people put this methodology down so much and only look at Photomatix when they consider it. Manipulating images digitally is absolutely nothing but math. Hence different programs do the math differently. From what I have seen FDR Tools is far less "garrish" and enhances detail far better than Photomatix. Then there is Dynamic Photo HDR, Easy HDR, Artizen HDR, Picturenaut, Essential HDR, and probably others. Finding what works for you is probably half the battle. I'm liking FDR Tools, Dynamic HDR and Artizen so far based on some trials. More experimenting to do.

Ansel would likely have been burning the "midnight oil" coming up with some kind of new zone system had he access to this stuff.

-Ed-


Ed,

Thanks for bringing up "FDR Tools" After reading all 8 pages of this, I can't believe nobody has mentioned this software. Its totally different than Photomatix and the results are much less over the top.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Enda Cavanagh on April 07, 2009, 05:16:58 PM
Too true. I love using HDR photography but sometimes some of the shots you see are like they were shot on Mars. For me the point of HDR photography is too mimic what the human eye can see in the shadows and highlights and not to turn the photo into one of those old hand coloured post cards like this


Quote from: Digiteyesed
I'm a firm believer in everything in moderation. (Especially moderation.)

Hehhh.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on April 07, 2009, 05:52:08 PM
Quote from: EasyEd
From what I have seen FDR Tools is far less "garrish" and enhances detail far better than Photomatix. Then there is Dynamic Photo HDR, Easy HDR, Artizen HDR, Picturenaut, Essential HDR, and probably others. Finding what works for you is probably half the battle. I'm liking FDR Tools, Dynamic HDR and Artizen so far based on some trials. More experimenting to do.

Photomatix, Dynamic Photo HDR, Artizen HDR,... why you don't even consider not using any of them? do you really think you need one of those tone mapping tools to achieve HDR? have you considered the possibility to investigate first:

1. What dynamic range really is
2. How to capture a high dynamic range with a low dynamic range digital camera
3. What's the problem to map a high dynamic range into a low dynamic range device or support (monitor, print, projector,...)

After you have done 1, 2 and 3, is when you are ready to decide whether you need (or prefer) assistance from specific software or you can do it just with basic postprocessing tools (basically any edition software allowing to do local level adjustments).

I am pretty sure this is what Ansel Adams would do today, because he was a scientist and a perfectionist. He would never try 100 pieces of HDR software designed by others, maybe efficient but black boxes to the user, to find out which one he liked best without mastering the underlying concepts first.

HDR is not a technique, HDR is above techniques, it is a concept. HDR is about mapping high dynamic range data into a lower dynamic range format. It's all about reducing global contrast at the same time local contrast is enhanced, and you don't need any specialised program to do it.

This is a very high dynamic range scene (about 12 f-stops from the ceiling to the chair shadows), it looks natural, and it was achieved just with 3 shoots of the camera and a couple of curves in Photoshop. No need for any piece of software containing the word 'HDR':

(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/hdr/resultado9.jpg)

BR
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Professional on April 07, 2009, 10:16:58 PM
Some of my bad examples HDR

(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/7245/hdr1tw5.jpg)

(http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/9373/hdr2yw4.jpg)

(http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/5225/t1bt5.jpg)

(http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/7219/y1hp3.jpg)

(http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/5666/w1wf7.jpg)

(http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/5369/v1fx3.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Professional on April 07, 2009, 10:19:41 PM
http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/7074/hdr1us0.jpg (http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/7074/hdr1us0.jpg)

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/9254/hdr2yy8.jpg (http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/9254/hdr2yy8.jpg)

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/1820/hdr3gm2.jpg (http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/1820/hdr3gm2.jpg)

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/2455/a1ik1.jpg (http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/2455/a1ik1.jpg)

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/6841/b11fz3.jpg (http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/6841/b11fz3.jpg)


Who would like to see more?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Professional on April 07, 2009, 10:46:00 PM
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/1158/h1...nemappedqs2.jpg (http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/1158/h1and2moretonemappedqs2.jpg)

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7352/g1an...nemappedog7.jpg (http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7352/g1and2moretonemappedog7.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Professional on April 07, 2009, 10:47:06 PM
(http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7306/l1and2moretonemappedwv1.jpg)

(http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/8990/m1and2moretonemappedyf2.jpg)

(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/9195/n1and2moretonemappedkc6.jpg)
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on April 13, 2009, 09:13:40 AM
Quote from: GLuijk
This is a very high dynamic range scene (about 12 f-stops from the ceiling to the chair shadows), it looks natural, and it was achieved just with 3 shoots of the camera and a couple of curves in Photoshop. No need for any piece of software containing the word 'HDR':
Nice shot.
Is that the 'old fashioned' way of masking off areas of the three images corrected to look the same?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Justan on April 20, 2009, 02:28:44 AM
This is a great thread with many spectacular illustrations, tips and a lot of technical nuances and software comparisons.

I hadnít head of HDR before I started reading. It provides a means of getting a richer and more complete range of tones and enables pushing some limits of the media. It can be over used (easily, because it is so cool), but when used with restraint the end result is well worth the effort. It amounts to a great set of tools. I know of many instances of shooting snowy winter-scapes that this would help to keep the details of snow from being clipped while showing features in dense forest.

The article  (http://visual-vacations.com/Photography/exposure_metering_strategies.htm)referenced b Jonathan Wienke (above) was an excellent read

Now to find time to experimentÖ.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on April 20, 2009, 09:20:43 AM
Quote from: jjj
Nice shot.
Is that the 'old fashioned' way of masking off areas of the three images corrected to look the same?
It was the same as you mention, but automated with Zero Noise. Then the resulting underexposed image had the shadows lifted and contrast enhanced using 2 curves in Photoshop.

This was the blending scheme:

(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/5345/fus.jpg)

And here (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/capas.tif) is the resulting image with the 2 curves.
 

BR

Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RSL on April 20, 2009, 02:31:36 PM
Fascinating! But here's the kind of subject for which HDR really was designed. With LDR it simply wouldn't have been possible to hang on to important details like the smudges on the seats or the crusty-looking screen decaying at the back of the right stall. Used correctly, HDR can transport you to a whole new world of smudges and crusts.

[attachment=13140:Center_Hill_John.jpg]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: MichaelAlanBielat on June 15, 2009, 10:10:32 AM
I loved it so much that I was going to make an eBook on it but then the buzz got way to much and it wasn't unique anymore. Anyone with a point and shoot could take photos that looked like everyone elses.

Dusted off my Singh-Ray grad ND filters and never looked back.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Kirk Gittings on June 15, 2009, 02:15:16 PM
I find your approach fscinating, but I was never able to figure out how to use your program. Heck, I can't even get your web link in your signature to work. Has Zero Noise gotten any easier to use?

Quote from: GLuijk
It was the same as you mention, but automated with Zero Noise. Then the resulting underexposed image had the shadows lifted and contrast enhanced using 2 curves in Photoshop.

This was the blending scheme:

(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/5345/fus.jpg)

And here (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/capas.tif) is the resulting image with the 2 curves.
 

BR
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: semillerimages on June 15, 2009, 07:08:12 PM
Kirk,

I just barely got an image to work from Zero noise today and it was a big pain!
I almost gave up, but then finally after rereading the instructions a couple of times I was able to piece together the final workflow. I will try it on another image to see if I can come up with similar results and if I do, I will try to make out a little easier workflow tutorial than what has been seen so far.

Cheers,

*steve

Quote from: Kirk Gittings
I find your approach fscinating, but I was never able to figure out how to use your program. Heck, I can't even get your web link in your signature to work. Has Zero Noise gotten any easier to use?
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Kirk Gittings on June 15, 2009, 07:46:52 PM
Thanks I would appreciate that.

Quote from: semillerimages
Kirk,

I just barely got an image to work from Zero noise today and it was a big pain!
I almost gave up, but then finally after rereading the instructions a couple of times I was able to piece together the final workflow. I will try it on another image to see if I can come up with similar results and if I do, I will try to make out a little easier workflow tutorial than what has been seen so far.

Cheers,

*steve
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: haefnerphoto on June 24, 2009, 09:42:45 PM
I use Photomatix as part of my workflow regularly.  I expose very similiarly to how GLuijk works then run an exposure blend of two or three exposures.  It serves as a base for my imaging.  Here's the result of the three exposures posted earlier using Photomatix.  I really like how Gluijk's program looks but I work on Mac's and unless the program has evolved it's my understanding that it's a Windows based application.  Jim
[attachment=14832:fus_copy...adjust_1.jpg]
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: semillerimages on June 25, 2009, 12:31:42 PM
I tried my best to duplicate the fantastic results that have been shown by zero noise's author and I was able to see the benefits of the technique, but my photoshop skills just are not up to creating the final image as well as has been shown.
I was hoping for a little less photoshop work, but alas that does not seem to be the case here with zero noise.

*steve

Quote from: Kirk Gittings
Thanks I would appreciate that.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on July 09, 2009, 06:47:43 PM
Quote from: semillerimages
I tried my best to duplicate the fantastic results that have been shown by zero noise's author and I was able to see the benefits of the technique, but my photoshop skills just are not up to creating the final image as well as has been shown.
I was hoping for a little less photoshop work, but alas that does not seem to be the case here with zero noise.
In fact Zero Noise does not any post processing at all, it's just an optimum (in terms of noise and sharpness) RAW merger. But all the tone mapping PP work has to be done by the user or other application.

I do it with curves, and it doesn't take too long to obtain good results. But you must preserve in the use of curves, people usually give up quickly (not knowing what they are loosing when doing so).

Find here some samples of images straight from ZN with the curves in layers to process them:
- Meeting room (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/capas2.tif)
- Office (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/despacho.tif)
- Rest room (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/tonemap.tif)

They don't intend to be perfect, just samples of the use of curves done from a laptop.

Regards.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RomanJohnston on July 13, 2009, 02:12:30 PM
Hate is kinda harsh. I see HDR growing but I dont think we have realized its potential yet. Most people are a bit hamfisted with the controls and it takes out the microcontrast in the pictures making them look flat.

For me...not viable yet as an option, but I eagrly await advances as it is a very promising idea.

Roman
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Stephane Desnault on August 16, 2009, 03:20:04 AM
Photomatix does HDR but also exposure blending. The "HS Adjust" method they have uses the same algoritms as enfuse, and will usually bring the most natural results.

I use exposure blending or HDR routinely for 360 panoramas, where the dynamic range of the full pano is way over the dynamic range of a DSLR. Jacques Joffre, the inventor of Photomatix is a talented panoramist, and created it out of his frustration with manually blending exposures in Photoshop (that was before CS2 of course).

Also, in real estate photography, exposure blending is usually required when there's a nice vista you want to show along with the interior - either that or spend 45mn adjusting strobes to light the room to the level of the outside without creating too many tell tales shadows.
Title: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: TimG on August 17, 2009, 04:51:25 PM
Quote from: RomanJohnston
Most people are a bit hamfisted with the controls

It's like a lot of things these days; a little goes a long way.  Whether it is HDR or a plugin like Nik Color Efex, there's always going to be people who "punch it to 11".

I still prefer the "old" method of digital blending.  Layer masks offer incredible flexibility and control once you get the hang of it.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: sbunting108 on September 03, 2010, 04:32:53 PM
I don't hate HDR I just don't like it when it's really surrealist. I like HDR when its subtle and the viewer cannot even tell that is HDR. Generall if I use HDR I just keep the setting on Photorealistic in CS5
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: sailronin on September 15, 2010, 08:30:40 PM
Overdone HDR is way too popular right now.  Too many people doing something that has gotten a lot of attention and they haven't learned to control the technique.

On the other hand, all of us old enough to remember the Zone System and actually practiced expanded and contracted development were doing exactly the same thing on film. Expanding the dynamic range of the medium through water bath/compensating development (I used D-23 and water bath), burning and dodging, etc to allow 11 zones of contrast to be compressed into an 8 zone latitude of film. Same thing, just more complicated and more difficult to execute so not so many people were doing the same thing.

Dave
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: WestMoon on January 16, 2011, 07:03:41 PM
No I do not hate it!! I have a weakness for it!! With the emphasis on "weakness"!!

Neil
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 17, 2011, 12:38:35 AM
Hi,

Just added another one...

http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Special-methods/HDR/HDR/20101214-DSC09752/1159122093_kZuRc-X2.jpg

In my view the technique is useful sometimes.

Best regards
Erik

OK slightly pejorative title, but I've recently been looking around at a few other forums, especially ones for people new or newish to photography (was going to name them but am chickening out). I have to say most of the HDR shots posted on this site, whilst not always my thing, are for the most part technically competent and at the more subtle end of the genre - but really there are some seriously ugly images being produced out there!

Photomatrix and the saturation slider are certainly a killer combination in the wrong hands!

Neil.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Policar on January 17, 2011, 06:37:32 PM
Mostly hate it.  

Some of the black and white stuff here is nice, though.  

I also like some zone system black and white photography, which is just hdr by another name, and someone pointed me in the direction of Gregory Crewdson, who does a lot of good hdr.  

And I recognize that the technique is a lot simpler than switching lights on and off and taking multiple exposures with a press shutter, as architectural photographers would have to do, so it's certainly useful.  I just don't think 20 stops compress elegantly into the four-stop range you get with a printed image.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on January 19, 2011, 04:02:13 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-hate-HDR-Photography/129575593722022

lol!  ;D

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: WestMoon on January 25, 2011, 12:20:59 AM
Mostly hate it.  

Some of the black and white stuff here is nice, though.  

I also like some zone system black and white photography, which is just hdr by another name, and someone pointed me in the direction of Gregory Crewdson, who does a lot of good hdr.  

And I recognize that the technique is a lot simpler than switching lights on and off and taking multiple exposures with a press shutter, as architectural photographers would have to do, so it's certainly useful.  I just don't think 20 stops compress elegantly into the four-stop range you get with a printed image.

The zone system is a technique for ensuring exposure of the target subject is optimal while including as wide a tonal range as possible. Quite different from cooking up a pot of as many tones as you can with heaps of spice!

Still, I love excess and hyperbole, and just wallowing in sentimentality! Music has been that way since the baroque. HDR is photography's baroque (yes you can quote me!).

Neil
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: G.L. on January 30, 2011, 04:07:08 PM
 I just don't think 20 stops compress elegantly into the four-stop range you get with a printed image.

For evident reasons black and white films and printing papers we designed to suit the four-stop range needed for a good reproduction of the human face. Period.

Color films were designed to match B&W then digital cameras to match color films and inkjets printers to match color printing papers. This makes sense.

Photographic images where one want to show clouds in a bright sky and details in a dark narrow street are at best difficult to record, post-process and print though said clouds and dark details are easily perceived with our own eyes.

The range of a painter's palette is limited, too, but painters often manage to compress 20 stops in a pleasing and convincing manner. Exagerated HDR notwithstanding, photographers should learn from them!
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: AlastairMoore on January 30, 2011, 08:23:09 PM
I wouldn't say I hate it. I've dabbled in HDR briefly but found it just didn't interest me. I don't even find the overly saturated colours offensive or annoying and I don't even mind that the images don't look "real". I just really dislike the metallic sheen that you get on HDR images. Taking an example by Mr. Stuck In Customs - http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2011/01/25/shakespeares-globe-theater/ - there is that very distinct metallic or grey or silver undertone throughout the image and it's not just his, it's pretty much most HDR images I've seen.

Anyway, each to their own. Not for me, I wouldn't chastise anyone for using this technique.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: BartvanderWolf on January 31, 2011, 03:30:19 AM
I wouldn't say I hate it. I've dabbled in HDR briefly but found it just didn't interest me. I don't even find the overly saturated colours offensive or annoying and I don't even mind that the images don't look "real". I just really dislike the metallic sheen that you get on HDR images. Taking an example by Mr. Stuck In Customs - http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2011/01/25/shakespeares-globe-theater/ - there is that very distinct metallic or grey or silver undertone throughout the image and it's not just his, it's pretty much most HDR images I've seen.

1. HDR is not to blaim, it's the (IMO over-the-top) processing, tonemapping, that causes it.
2. Some prefer postprocessing that's over the top. These images are often lacking in other aspects (e.g. composition) as well, and the effect is an attempt to make something usable out of nothing.
3. Well executed (HDR) tonemapping is almost invisible to the viewer (like with the old master painters), it just looks natural.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: HannahWebster on February 03, 2011, 04:41:29 PM
I agree with most that HDR has a very useful place in a photographers tool belt but it is perhaps often overdone a tad! I think that it depends what effect one is trying to achieve, I hope that the people who are using it to create images that have so much range in them they look like paintings not photos, are aware that they are moving in to making images that can't really be described as photographs anymore!

My personal opinion (as we all have one!) is that HDR should be used to enable the photographer to record what their eyes could see, and nothing more. In cases such as the photos on the first page (which are stunning by the way!) the camera simply couldn't have recorded all this detail and variety of tone, but they still look natural because our eyes could see this detail. - does that make sense?! there are still areas of deep black tones and bright light tones, this is what makes them look so natural and not overdone.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on February 03, 2011, 08:16:28 PM
Photographic images where one want to show clouds in a bright sky and details in a dark narrow street are at best difficult to record, post-process and print though said clouds and dark details are easily perceived with our own eyes.

The range of a painter's palette is limited, too, but painters often manage to compress 20 stops in a pleasing and convincing manner. Exagerated HDR notwithstanding, photographers should learn from them!

Applause.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Policar on February 06, 2011, 04:07:57 PM
For evident reasons black and white films and printing papers we designed to suit the four-stop range needed for a good reproduction of the human face. Period.

Color films were designed to match B&W then digital cameras to match color films and inkjets printers to match color printing papers. This makes sense.

Photographic images where one want to show clouds in a bright sky and details in a dark narrow street are at best difficult to record, post-process and print though said clouds and dark details are easily perceived with our own eyes.

The range of a painter's palette is limited, too, but painters often manage to compress 20 stops in a pleasing and convincing manner. Exagerated HDR notwithstanding, photographers should learn from them!

Printing papers weren't designed for four stops of contrast, it's just that it's extraordinarily difficult to get any more than that out of a reflective medium.  Only backlit displays can produce substantially more contrast than that.  I don't know how four stops of latitude has much to do with the face.  The face itself doesn't have that much contrast when lit evenly.

Films weren't designed to have four stops of latitude.  C41 film is capable of giving you 12-14 stops, from which less can be selected for the final print.  Slides are the end product and, as such, have less exposure latitude so they can have appropriate contrast when projected.  The delivery medium dictates latitude more than anything else.  The average digital camera produces just over eight stops of contrast for 8bit jpegs to be displayed on 8 bit screens.

I also can't think of a single talented naturalistic painter who compressed more than six or eight stops of real-world information into a painting.  The reflective medium itself, be it photo paper or paint, is the limiting factor, and it can be stretched (see dodged/burned/low contrast development zone system landscapes) but only so far.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on February 09, 2011, 09:07:22 AM

The range of a painter's palette is limited, too, but painters often manage to compress 20 stops in a pleasing and convincing manner. Exagerated HDR notwithstanding, photographers should learn from them!

Agreed!

I've said it before, here and elsewhere, and I'll say it again:  While there's a lot of 'bad' HDR out there, there's a lot of 'good' HDR as well.  The sad thing is that 'bad' HDR gets dumped on much more than other forms of 'bad' art.  People are out there Topazing and Lucising the shit out of images (sometimes combined with 'bad' HDR which just exacerbates the problem) and no on bats an eye.  Don't dump on HDR for all the faults of 'bad' art.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on August 11, 2011, 05:25:07 PM
1. HDR is not to blaim, it's the (IMO over-the-top) processing, tonemapping, that causes it.
2. Some prefer postprocessing that's over the top. These images are often lacking in other aspects (e.g. composition) as well, and the effect is an attempt to make something usable out of nothing.
3. Well executed (HDR) tonemapping is almost invisible to the viewer (like with the old master painters), it just looks natural.

I've done alot of thinking on this subject recently.  What has me fired up AGAIN, is the misapplication of the technique.

Before I go on, to address your point 1, "Tone mapping" is using your computers software to change one set of numeric values that represent color and luminosity in your image to another set of values representing different colors and luminosity. Any process that changes these values is technically tone mapping (so you can see it covers a wide range of functions). There are many ways to do this; curves, hdr, selective color, desaturation, split toning, etc, etc. All of these are tone mapping techniques.  However, what most people mean by "tone mapping" is strong/excessive areas of local contrast with an overall reduction in global contrast.  The "HDR Look".  

When I stated photography, we used the wet dark room. So for me, what we could do in the wet darkroom is the "gold standard" when it comes to processing. That includes dodging, burning, double (or more) exposures, use of filters, push/pull processing, etc. There is quite a bit of latitude there, and modern software just makes it easier.  My point is, I don't have any problems with folks post processing their images...

So as I was saying, I was thinking last week about what HDR does for us. During the course of that mental exercise, I thought of the HDR process in a new way. Depending on your particular camera and sensor, modern DSLR's give us about 10-11 stops of dynamic range. The human eye can resolve between 17-20 stops of dynamic range, depending on conditions (where the light source(s) is relative to the eye).  Let's say we take a three exposure, -2, 0, +2 set in anticipation of doing some hdr work. When we do we are adding about 4 steps to the dynamic range to the photo. So less assume 11 stops of dynamic range from our camera, and 4 more from processing and that's 15 stops, and is getting pretty close to what the human eye can naturally resolve. If we use a wider spread of exposures to build our HDR, then it's even closer.

Where my beef with HDR users lies is that many of the scenes we see on flickr or elsewhere do not contain 15 stops of dynamic range. If they don't, there is no technical reason to do an hdr shot of a car, tractor, building etc, etc if the shot is taken in broad daylight with good lighting. Now if you are doing HDR for artistic reasons then you might have a valid reason for the HDR treatment.  If it's simply to "expand the dynamic range of the photo", it's pointless as you camera can already capture the entire dynamic range present in the scene.  It's inefficient, a waste of processing time and storage space.  (granted the processing time can be minimal, and storage has never been cheaper).  

It's also important to note, that while HDR images expand the dynamic range of the scene, don't really "expand" the dynamic range of the final image that we see.  Most HRD software up-rezs the composite images to a 32 bit composite.  If my calculations are correct that's 4,294,967,296 colors.  This is a true expansion of the original Dynamic range.  However, since our monitors and printers are generally 24 bit sRGB displays or 16 million colors, they can't display the 32 bit images, do the software DOWN-rezs them to 24 bit 16 million color images.  This down rez effects both luminosity and color depth and compresses both. Both the uprez and downrez are "tone mapping".

To me, photo's with lots of dynamic range have a significant amount of contrast as they are reproducing a wide range of light to darks.  Most HDR software REDUCES this contrast by balancing the histogram and spreading the light and dark areas across the entire frame. This is done by making highlight areas darker and shadow areas brighter. This is done on a pixel by pixel basis by the HDR software analyzing the individual pixels themselves. Basically an inverse s-curve is applied to every pixel in the image, which results in a global reduction in contrast.  This allows the image to be displayed by media with limited (24 bit, 16 million color) dynamic range. The result is an image with balanced amounts of light and dark areas. The result is an evenly exposed photo, but evenly exposed photos don't result in powerful high contrast images.

So, I'd say that if you don't have 14+ stops of dynamic range in a scene, HDR might not be your most efficient method of reproduction.  So let's say a scene has more than 14 stops of dynamic range and I still want to do a single exposure capture? What options do I have.  Well, by using a ND grad and by shooting raw, I can balance the original exposure in camera.  Then by using Adobe Camera RAW/Photoshop I can selectively lighten the dark areas and darken highlight areas by hand (dodging/burning or local adjustment brushes in ACR), any other areas that might be too light or too dark. One can easily push/pull 1 stop out of a raw file and you can usually get 2. So conservatively, that puts me at 16 stops, which as I said before, is very close to what the human eye can naturally resolve.  

HDR is a tool, and like any tool you have to know how it's best applied, and when it might be best to use another tool...
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on August 12, 2011, 07:19:52 AM
many of the scenes we see on flickr or elsewhere do not contain 15 stops of dynamic range. If they don't, there is no technical reason to do an hdr shot of a car, tractor, building etc, etc if the shot is taken in broad daylight with good lighting. Now if you are doing HDR for artistic reasons then you might have a valid reason for the HDR treatment.  If it's simply to "expand the dynamic range of the photo", it's pointless as you camera can already capture the entire dynamic range present in the scene.  It's inefficient, a waste of processing time and storage space.  (granted the processing time can be minimal, and storage has never been cheaper).

I agree with that. I invented my own definition of 'HDR image', would like to know from you all if you agree/disagree:

An image can be considered an 'HDR image' if, and only if, it accomplishes 3 conditions:

1. The scene it represents was in fact a high dynamic range scene (see about high* later)
2. We used the necessary means to capture all the scene's information, from the highlights to the deep shadows (these means can be: bracketing at different exposures, use of ND filters, having a camera with a fantastic sensor capable of recording all the DR in a single shot,...)
3. We have processed the captured information (tone mapping process) so that all of it from the highlights to the deep shadows is visible in the ouput device (print, monitor, projector,...)

* The flaw, or I'd rather say subjective point of this definition is what is a 'high dynamic range scene'?. My choice is to relate the decision to how difficult is to compress the scene's DR into the output devices' DR (paper: ~4 stops, monitor: ~6-7 stops) in a realistic manner that looks pleasant to the observer. Based on my experience, a escene with >8 stops of DR begins to require some processing but can still be tonemaped successfully without too much effort. >10-12 stops definitively needs a more skilled processing, and I consider it a good figure to speak about HDR imaging (the day output devices can represent 12 stops of DR, 12 stops escenes will not require any tone mapping process so we won't be able to speak about 'HDR imaging' though, they will just be real world scenes with no more DR than the ouput device can reproduce).

Following some real world references of measured DR:

Desertic landscape with no sun in the frame: 3 stops
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/final.jpg) . (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/ldr_hist.gif)


Interior with artificial lighting outside the frame: 6 stops
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/mdr.jpg) . (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/mdr_hist.gif)


Interior with windows open to a sunny day: 12 stops
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/resultadolite6.jpg) . (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/ettr3/hdr_hist.gif)



Only the third could end in an 'HDR image' according to the definition.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on August 12, 2011, 10:46:57 AM
Guillermo,

Excellent analysis and I agree 100%.  1 question, how did you make your graphs?? They are great!

L
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: BartvanderWolf on August 12, 2011, 11:06:29 AM
I agree with that. I invented my own definition of 'HDR image', would like to know from you all if you agree/disagree:

An image can be considered an 'HDR image' if, and only if, it accomplishes 3 conditions:

1. The scene it represents was in fact a high dynamic range scene (see about high* later)
2. We used the necessary means to capture all the scene's information, from the highlights to the deep shadows (these means can be: bracketing at different exposures, use of ND filters, having a camera with a fantastic sensor capable of recording all the DR in a single shot,...)
3. We have processed the captured information (tone mapping process) so that all of it from the highlights to the deep shadows is visible in the ouput device (print, monitor, projector,...)

* The flaw, or I'd rather say subjective point of this definition is what is a 'high dynamic range scene'?.

Hi Guillermo,

Good definitions are rare. I prefer to think of HDR as a scene contrast ratio that exceeds the static dynamic range of the human eye's retina (100:1 to 1000:1, depending on your source). When the scene contrast ratio changes and exceeds that 6.5-7 EV equivalent range, the eye reacts chemically (dark adaptation) and physically (pupil reaction). This allows the human eye to span a huge dynamic range of some 9 orders of magnitude (10^9 or 30 EV). Mind you, I'm talking about scene contrast ratio, i.e. input luminances, as perceived by the eye. That is something different than linear gamma sensor DR before gamma adjustment.

If we make a photographic recording of such a scene contrast, we end up with an HDR image.

Whatever tonal postprocessing we apply to that image, in excess of a simple gamma pre-compensation for output, is called tonemapping. Nothing fancy, even a simple S-curve adjustment is tonemapping because we assign a different brightness to parts of the scene than they normally would have had with only a gamma precompensation for output.

More advanced tonemapping techniques allow to produce e.g. a printed output (with a max. DR of about 7 EV) of HDR images, without them looking unnatural despite the larger dynamic range of the original scene being squeezed into the relatively lower DR of the output medium. Without tonemapping such a scene would look like a low contrast version of the scene.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: stamper on August 13, 2011, 04:33:58 AM
Harold Davis - I don't have the link - stated that HDR should be used to create a good background layer in Photoshop. Then the real work begins which means the use of curves, saturation etc etc to make a good image. A good HDR means you don't notice it has been used in the process of an image. The OTT HDR images that photographers produce can easily be done with too much saturation, layer blend modes and over sharpening. You DON'T need HDR for that. I put a couple of images on Flickr which had been "overcooked" and was asked if they were HDR'S. There is too much baloney surrounding this topic? :(
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on August 13, 2011, 08:58:13 AM
Stamper, I've been saying the same thing for several years.  The tonemapped HDR (now LDR) image is just the starting point, not the ending point. 

As far as determining what is 'tonemapping', yes it can be any of the tools available in Photoshop or other editing packages.  Tonemapping doesn't have to be done using the available operators inside the HDR software.  Tonemapping is a nice term but it really is just editing.  I actually had this very conversation with a reader of my blog on the CS5 HDR Pro review I did.

Getting caught up in measurbatory, technical definitions of HDR is pointless.  10 stops.  11 stops.  6.8456043756034785603485092304534702308234098 stops.  Good HDR is good HDR and bad HDR is bad HDR.  That really is the point.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on August 13, 2011, 11:33:05 AM
Getting caught up in measurbatory, technical definitions of HDR is pointless.  10 stops.  11 stops.  6.8456043756034785603485092304534702308234098 stops. 

I agree conceptually, but not technically.  I still say that if the luminance of the scene does not exceed your cameras dynamic range, then there is no technical reason to do HDR....
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on August 14, 2011, 11:46:23 AM
I agree conceptually, but not technically.  I still say that if the luminance of the scene does not exceed your cameras dynamic range, then there is no technical reason to do HDR....

Don't disagree; but purely technical reasons are the only reasons to do things.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on August 14, 2011, 02:48:30 PM
how did you make your graphs?? They are great!

Yes, those graphs are great, and camera makers could introduce them in their cameras, instead of the silly JPEG histograms they have now. They were plotted with Histogrammar (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/histogrammar/index_en.htm), but be careful if you decide to use it since the EV plots only make sense if obtained from images with 0 processing (and believe me, mainstream RAW developers don't make things easy to obtain 0 processing outputs).
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on August 14, 2011, 11:20:05 PM
Don't disagree; but purely technical reasons are the only reasons to do things.

No, there are artistic reasons to do things too...
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on August 15, 2011, 04:37:19 AM
* The flaw, or I'd rather say subjective point of this definition is what is a 'high dynamic range scene'?. My choice is to relate the decision to how difficult is to compress the scene's DR into the output devices' DR (paper: ~4 stops, monitor: ~6-7 stops) in a realistic manner that looks pleasant to the observer. Based on my experience, a escene with >8 stops of DR begins to require some processing but can still be tonemaped successfully without too much effort. >10-12 stops definitively needs a more skilled processing, and I consider it a good figure to speak about HDR imaging ...

Yes, by just comparing scene DR with todayís output DR, there are probably (too) many scenes which could be called HDR.

Likewise I'd suggest that the actual differentiator of an "HDR image" is the application of Pixel-selection-based tone mapping techniques, e.g. mask-based exposure blending - as opposed or in addition to a global tone curve - in order to reproduce all relevant details in the shadows and highlights.

Such discontinuous tone mapping, when overdone or poorly implemented, may easily explain the hated "HDR look" as discussed here.

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on August 31, 2011, 08:00:52 PM
It's also important to note, that while HDR images expand the dynamic range of the scene, don't really "expand" the dynamic range of the final image that we see.  Most HRD software up-rezs the composite images to a 32 bit composite.  If my calculations are correct that's 4,294,967,296 colors.  This is a true expansion of the original Dynamic range.  However, since our monitors and printers are generally 24 bit sRGB displays or 16 million colors, they can't display the 32 bit images, do the software DOWN-rezs them to 24 bit 16 million color images.  This down rez effects both luminosity and color depth and compresses both. Both the uprez and downrez are "tone mapping".

It's not 32 bits per pixel in the ordinary sense, which would be 10 or 10 2/3 bits per channel.  It's 8 bits per channel with an 8 bit scaling factor.  Thus it is like a floating point number, and has much greater range than 4 billion colours.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on September 08, 2011, 12:54:39 PM
It's not 32 bits per pixel in the ordinary sense, which would be 10 or 10 2/3 bits per channel.  It's 8 bits per channel with an 8 bit scaling factor.  Thus it is like a floating point number, and has much greater range than 4 billion colours.

Ok (read the math just went over my head!  ;D), but the point remains the same.  No device we have today can display the composite image and it has to be down rezed for print or display on a computer monitor....
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 08, 2011, 02:04:48 PM
Quote
Most HRD software up-rezs the composite images to a 32 bit composite.  If my calculations are correct that's 4,294,967,296 colors.

There are bits and there are colors and the two may or may not correlate in any meaningful way. Lets not get color gamut, bit depth/encoding and range all lumped together.

Here's my understanding (and I'm more than open to correction, I am getting my head around all this HDR, Tone Mapping semantics).

The need for 32 bit encoding and floating point math is to have an unlimited set of values for describing what can be a huge number of tones. We all know that an 8-bit per color document in of itself doesn't have less or more dynamic range than a 16-bit per color image. The 16-bit per color document has the POTENTIAL to have more range. That is, if you have more range of tones than you can define with specific values, that's a big problem! So with 0-255, you can have a pixel value of 89 and 90. you can't have a value of 89.5 any more than you can have a value of 89.7. So my understanding is, higher bit depth along with floating point math provides an unlimited set of values to encode what can be a huge number of tones. A 32 bit LDR image is still LDR!

Tone Mapping. In a generic sense, any time you alter the tones of an image, using curves for example on a 24 bit image, you are tone mapping. Sound reasonable?

HDR and the range of the scene versus the capture. I agree that bracketing a scene that the camera can capture in one shot probably should not be called HDR. But playing devils advocate, lets say the scene is 12 stops and your camera can capture that range. But you bracket 2-3 shots and load into your HDR software of choice to tone map an appearance you desire (lets not go into the ugly HDR effects look that make myself and others want to vomit). We could alter sliders in our raw converter on one capture yes, and get the rendering with one image. But is it possible that bracketing and using a product we prefer, we can alternatively tone map better/faster/easier? Of course thatís not a great route to take if something is moving, you donít want to go the tripod route etc.

I've been playing with this a bit using just one image (tone mapping). In Lightroom I build a virtual copy, apply two different tone mapping moves but use Enfuse to create one image. First of all, I find Enfuse does a magnificent job of HDR/Tone Mapping, whatever you want to call it with a very natural look. Its also easy to use and cost very little (donationware). I've taken bracketed images into HDR Express, Photoshop's HDR and Photomatix and keep preferring the clean and natural look I get from Enfuse. Plus it works in LR which I love.

While a single capture may have all the tones we want to express, is it unreasonable to use the better HDR/Tone Mapping tools to produce a rendering we wish to express?
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 09, 2011, 07:52:32 AM
HDR is 32 bits per channel not 32 bits per pixel (i.e., 10 and change bits per channel).  And yes, it is uprezzed from the 8, 12, 14 or 16 bit original input images.

Andrew is right about why the need for floating point.  There are just far too many possible colours to be created to keep them all in an integer space.  It's got nothing to do with the dynamic range.

Insofar as bit depth and dynamic range, I heard an example not that long ago that sums it up beautifully.  Think of a building.  That building has 10 floors.  Between each floor are stairs.  The total number of floors is the dynamic range.  The number of stairs is the bit depth.  Within that 10 floor building you can have 8 stairs per floor or 16 stairs per floor (i.e., 8 bit or 16 bit).  But the total dynamic range (the number of floors or 'stops') doesn't change.  To take the analogy further, the HDR building might have more floors when it's an actual HDR image (which we know we can't use).  And rather than discrete stairs, the HDR building has an escalator that is smoothly variable between any of the floors.

Enfuse is a nice program, particularly with Tim Armes' LR front end.  It's not true HDR; however.  The images don't enter the 32 bit space but are retained in the native bit depth.  Enfuse is an image blending program rather than an HDR program.  Because you're not going through the strong local tonemapping routines of an HDR tonemapper that's why it tends to give more natural results.  It's the local contrast operators that really take you into the land of the surreal.  Natural results can be obtained with actual HDR programs as well; some more effectively than others, it just takes a little more work and practice.

WRT multi-processing a single file and feeding those into Enfuse, you're not gaining anything Andrew.  You're not gaining additional DRange by multi-processing the single RAW file, just pushing around what already exists.  Now, I will say I haven't tried it with Enfuse so I don't know if the result is different from running a single image through Enfuse (maybe that's not possible) but with an HDR app, it makes no difference.  While I like the results that can be achieved with Enfuse, my biggest issue with it is speed.  I find it brutally slow so it's not viable for a volume workflow.  But it does produce really nice results.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 09, 2011, 08:27:32 AM
HDR is 32 bits per channel not 32 bits per pixel (i.e., 10 and change bits per channel).  And yes, it is uprezzed from the 8, 12, 14 or 16 bit original input images.

Andrew is right about why the need for floating point.  There are just far too many possible colours to be created to keep them all in an integer space.  It's got nothing to do with the dynamic range.
The _number_ of colors that can be created using a 32-bit integer is equal to the number of colors that can be created with a 32-bit floating point number. But the distribution of those and the error is very different, floating point numbers can represent very small and very large numbers.

I believe that integer representation with gamma (such as jpeg) can have very similar properties to floating point numbers if implemented in the right way (regular jpeg is not suited for HDR).

-h

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 09, 2011, 08:43:01 AM
Well, I'm not a mathematician but I don't see how an integer based system can have as many colours as a floating point system.  If even going to one decimal point, I can get 9 more levels between each integer in each channel.  To me, that's more colours. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 09, 2011, 09:03:12 AM
Well, I'm not a mathematician but I don't see how an integer based system can have as many colours as a floating point system.  If even going to one decimal point, I can get 9 more levels between each integer in each channel.  To me, that's more colours. 
Simple example, 2 bits:
int: [0 1 2 3] (available codes)
float: [-1 -0.25 0.25 1] (available codes)

What is the _number_ of shades available in each? The answer is 4, 2^2 for both. What kind of data can be stored within them? Basically any data. But floating point is a lot easier to work with for many kinds of data and operations. The distribution of available numbers and the quantization error makes a lot of sense for many tasks.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 09, 2011, 09:32:36 AM
As I said, I'm not a mathematician.  As simple as your example may be, I still don't see it as being the same.  It seems to me that you're using an integer based equation (2^2) to describe a non-integer based system. 

In an integer system, I can combine R=8, G=57, B=240.  That gives me a combined colour.  It's sort of a neon blue.  But if I can combine R=8.1, G=57, B=240, that's a different combined colour.  It's very close to the previous one, but it is different.  Forget about negative numbers.  I don't think that all HDR image formats can accept negative numbers (not positive). 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 09, 2011, 09:52:56 AM
Enfuse is a nice program, particularly with Tim Armes' LR front end.  It's not true HDR; however.  The images don't enter the 32 bit space but are retained in the native bit depth.

So going back to the semantics of all this, HDR isnít solely about taking multiple captures that exceed the range of one and producing a new rendering from the group, it has to also involve 32 bit processing?

Quote
Enfuse is an image blending program rather than an HDR program.  Because you're not going through the strong local tonemapping routines of an HDR tonemapper that's why it tends to give more natural results.  It's the local contrast operators that really take you into the land of the surreal.  Natural results can be obtained with actual HDR programs as well; some more effectively than others, it just takes a little more work and practice.

So what are the advantages?

Quote
WRT multi-processing a single file and feeding those into Enfuse, you're not gaining anything Andrew.  You're not gaining additional DRange by multi-processing the single RAW file

I agree and I thought I made that clear. What I am doing is using an alternative tone mapping procedure that may be better, faster, easier.

Quote
While I like the results that can be achieved with Enfuse, my biggest issue with it is speed.  I find it brutally slow so it's not viable for a volume workflow.  But it does produce really nice results.

It is slow but the results are such that I get to my goals faster in the long run.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 09, 2011, 10:00:15 AM
Bob, what hjulenissen is trying to say is that floating point is chosen in HDR formats for simplicity of operations, but it is not strictly necessary to encode a high dynamic range image, and hence it is not a condition for HDR.

If you expand an integer 16-bit format with a gamma curve, you can encode and process HDR information on it. So HDR is not about floating point formats. I don't agree either that HDR is about bracketing, nor about any particular kind of local contrast algorithms. All those are tools to achieve the goal: represent on a limited DR output device a HDR input scene, but not a necessary condition to talk about HDR.

This is the number of levels devoted to each f-stop with 16-bit integer:

(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/superhdr/tabla.gif)
16-bit integer encoding, linear (left) vs 2.2 gamma (right)

Left is linear, as camera sensors capture information. Right is gamma encoded, and as can be seen the 2.2 gamma 16-bit integer format is able to represent a high dynamic range; in the 20th stop we still have 45 tonal levels. A specific floating point format would be more evenly distributed (gamma will always devote more levels to highlights), but using integer formats is still possible.

So if you have a camera that can capture in a single shot 15 stops of DR, create copies of this capture at different exposures, and blend them some way to obtain an output image that can display the entire DR of the original scene into some monitor or print, then you are doing HDR. Any extra proposed requirement for HDR is inventing a non-existent definition.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 09, 2011, 11:56:32 AM
... So HDR is not about floating point formats...

if you have a camera that can capture in a single shot 15 stops of DR, create copies of this capture at different exposures, and blend them some way to obtain an output image that can display the entire DR of the original scene into some monitor or print, then you are doing HDR.

+1

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 09, 2011, 03:19:36 PM
In an integer system, I can combine R=8, G=57, B=240.  That gives me a combined colour.  It's sort of a neon blue.  But if I can combine R=8.1, G=57, B=240, that's a different combined colour.  It's very close to the previous one, but it is different. 
I have tried to give you examples, but I have obviously been unable to present it in such a way that we can agree. Perhaps wikipedia is better at explaining than me.

Let us agree then that no camera, display (or probably printer) in the world operate on floating point number. For those devices it is all about integers. Anything that we operate on in-between originated as integers once, and will be converted to integers before we will be able to see an image.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 10, 2011, 02:05:13 PM
It seems to me that the benefits of using 32-bit floats in HDR representations is to be able to allocate bits to the representation of the low tones, up to the practical limits.  Using supersampling, which is one of the commonplaces of HDR, it is possible to take several integer samples and produce a normalized average of higher precision.  If nothing else, this allows for a greater amount of processing (e.g., relighting, etc) without losing tonal coherence. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 11, 2011, 10:31:53 AM
We've had this discussion before, GL.  We don't, and won't likely ever, agree. 

When I talk about HDR I'm talking about it in the technical sense as it relates to photography and as it was derived from the motion picture industry.  True HDR formats are 32 bit.  In the photographic sense bracketing is required because no capture device can represent such a broad brightness scale.  HDR has become the default term to describe all methods of extending dynamic range.  Like Xerox is the default term for photocopying and Ski-Doo is the default term for all recreational snow machines.  But it's not correct.  I like JP Caponigro's term of XDR to describe the broader discussion of extending dynamic range and XDR includes HDR.  When capture and output devices are capable of rendering the wider brightness range of HDR (or XDR) images then it won't be High or Extended any longer.  It will be normal.  Cameras can already capture far more range than displays and printers can reproduce.  If the camera can capture 15 stops of brightness there's no need to do any blending.  At that point, it's all about editing (tonemapping) to bring the image back into a range that can be seen on screen and printed.  We don't (and won't) agree that that is HDR (or XDR). 

H, don't disagree with the concept that the images started out in an integer space and will end up in an integer space.  It's what happens in between that's the issue and where I think I'm not completely following your line of thinking. 

Andrew, what are the advantages?  Depends.  Maybe there are none.  Horses for courses, as they say.  And if I misread your comments then I apologise.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 11, 2011, 10:33:47 AM
In the photographic sense bracketing is required because no capture device can represent such a broad brightness scale.
When you say 'such a broad', what broadness are you talking about?


It's what happens in between that's the issue and where I think I'm not completely following your line of thinking.
mmm so HDR is about what happpens in between, no matter where the information came from or goes to. Just look at these two scenarios:

Scenario A:
A scene with 8 stops of DR, a camera with 8 stops of DR, you bracket 3 shots and feed them into some 32-bit HDR tone mapping software. Then you render the final output to a print.

Scenario B:
A scene with 11 stops of DR, a camera with 11 stops of DR, you make a single shot, create copies at different exposures and blend them in Photoshop layers. Then you render the final output to a print.

According to your technical definition of HDR, the scenario with less scene's DR is HDR while the case with more DR is not. Fantastic.

Regards

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 11, 2011, 11:57:53 AM
What do I mean by such a broad scale?  Beyond what cameras can capture.  The new K5 can do up to, what, about 12 stops?  My D700 can do about 11.  So I'm thinking in the range beyond that.  Basically anything beyond what the camera being used can capture.  It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.

In both your scenario A and Scenario B there's no need for either HDR or XDR.  You're not gaining anything by using either HDR software, automated blending software or manual blending with layers.  It's a moot point. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RSL on September 11, 2011, 12:25:59 PM
Seems to me it's the result that matters -- not the means to achieve it.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 11, 2011, 12:47:42 PM
H, don't disagree with the concept that the images started out in an integer space and will end up in an integer space.  It's what happens in between that's the issue and where I think I'm not completely following your line of thinking. 
32 bits is 32 bits. If a 32-bit floating point number could represent more than 32 bits worth of information, it would be an information-theoretical break-through.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 11, 2011, 12:49:55 PM
What do I mean by such a broad scale?  Beyond what cameras can capture.

What 'cameras can capture' vary from camera to camera and from year to year, it's not that difficult a fact to grasp.


In both your scenario A and Scenario B there's no need for either HDR or XDR.  You're not gaining anything by using either HDR software, automated blending software or manual blending with layers.  It's a moot point.

You insist in being wrong Bob. Of course you are gaining something with the HDR software and with the blending, you are tonemapping the captured information, and that is the gain you have, display in the output format all the input information. Something which has always to be done someway since capture devices are linear and do not perform any form of local contrast arrangements.

So what you gain using HDR software to tonemap a {-2, 0, +2} bracket from a 8 stops camera over a 12 stops scene using HDR tonemapping software, is exacly the same as you will be gaining by tonemapping a single shot from a 12 stops camera over the same 12 stops scene using the same HDR tonemapping software.

You suggest you will have no problem to process HDR captures when cameras can capture the entire DR of any scene in a single shot, andt there will be nothing to gain. WRONG, you will have the same challenges as you have today, the need to tonemap all that captured information.

Your conception of HDR, the 32-bit floating point formats (BTW there are many 32-bit floating point formats, you regard them as a unique standard that take part in the definition of HDR), and need of bracketing is conceptually errated. Perhaps your lack of math knowledge prevents you from understanding that the real problem of HDR is not the capture of information in a high DR scene, but its later processing to adapt it to the output devices.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 11, 2011, 12:51:26 PM
Andrew, what are the advantages?  Depends.  Maybe there are none.  Horses for courses, as they say.  And if I misread your comments then I apologise.

Iím looking for clarity on the terminology. On one had, we hear Enfuse is not true HDR. Its exposure blending. We hear HDR is only true when 32 bit processing comes into play.

Quote
It's not true HDR; however.  The images don't enter the 32 bit space but are retained in the native bit depth.
Why is HDR only true when one uses 32 bits? Is that why Enfuse isnít HDR and what is the benefit of 32 bit, ďtrueĒ HDR over what Enfuse provides? Depends on what?
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 11, 2011, 01:57:12 PM
GL, if you continue to insist on using terms like 'wrong' then this discussion need go no further.

Yes, what cameras can capture varys from model to model and year to year as technology improves.  Where did I ever say that wasn't the case?  That's why there's no hard and fast number.  That's why it's not possible to say 11.4756947865740304575694 stops is the cutoff.  It absolutely depends on the camera being used.  If I'm using a K5 to shoot a scene that has 9 stops of brightness and someone else using, say, a Canon 10D, then I don't need to use anything other than a single shot and I don't need to do anything but edit (tonemap) a single shot but the Canon user will have to use some other methodology of capture if s/he wants to record the entire 8 stop range.  One person has no need for HDR/XDR, the other person does.  And let's be clear about something else as well.  Even if I take a single shot, process it multiple times and use those multiple layers to help with my editing (tonemapping), it's still not either HDR or XDR because nothing beyond what the camera captured is being created.  HDR/XDR are about capture and are methodologies to compensate for a capture medium that may be, in some situations, limited relative to what's being photographed.  Simple.  Maybe if you'd pull your head out of your algebra for a moment it would become a bit clearer.    ;D

I understand that there may be a need to edit (tonemap) the 8 or 11 stop scene into something narrower for reproduction on screen or in a print.  But you don't need to bracket and you don't need to use HDR or other blending methods to do that in the examples you gave.  The 'need' for bracketing is not, in photographic terms, erroneous.  You're missing the point of what I'm trying to get at.  If I have a camera that can capture 104,475 stops of light then there is no need for HDR or XDR or any other 'expanded' capture methodology.  What is needed then is to edit (tonemap) that 104,475 stops into something that can be used.  Tonemapping isn't an HDR-only term.  Tonemapping is simply a fancy word for editing.  I don't need to use the tonemapping operators of HDR software to 'tonemap' an HDR image.  I can do it quite well with the regular tools in Photoshop.  It's still tonemapping because tonemapping is just editing.

And just for the sake of clarity, people have been tonemapping since long before there was linear capture.  These concepts aren't new to digital photography.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 11, 2011, 02:02:14 PM
Yes, what cameras can capture varys from model to model and year to year as technology improves.  Where did I ever say that wasn't the case?  That's why there's no hard and fast number.  That's why it's not possible to say 11.4756947865740304575694 stops is the cutoff.  It absolutely depends on the camera being used.  If I'm using a K5 to shoot a scene that has 9 stops of brightness and someone else using, say, a Canon 10D, then I don't need to use anything other than a single shot and I don't need to do anything but edit (tonemap) a single shot but the Canon user will have to use some other methodology of capture if s/he wants to record the entire 8 stop range.  One person has no need for HDR/XDR, the other person does.  And let's be clear about something else as well.  Even if I take a single shot, process it multiple times and use those multiple layers to help with my editing (tonemapping), it's still not either HDR or XDR because nothing beyond what the camera captured is being created.  HDR/XDR are about capture and are methodologies to compensate for a capture medium that may be, in some situations, limited relative to what's being photographed.  Simple.  Maybe if you'd pull your head out of your algebra for a moment it would become a bit clearer.    ;D
...
So what you are sayiing is that a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR?

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 11, 2011, 02:07:09 PM
So what you are sayiing is that a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR?

Seems pretty reasonable to me.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 11, 2011, 03:10:18 PM
32 bits is 32 bits. If a 32-bit floating point number could represent more than 32 bits worth of information, it would be an information-theoretical break-through.
In many ways, you are correct here.  But the allocation of bits is different between the two coding strategies in such a way as to even out the actual numerical resolution independent of scale.  You have a finer resolution on the "smaller" numbers using floating point.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 11, 2011, 03:22:50 PM
In many ways, you are correct here.  But the allocation of bits is different between the two coding strategies in such a way as to even out the actual numerical resolution independent of scale.  You have a finer resolution on the "smaller" numbers using floating point.
Sure. But a gamma-encoded integer (such as most LDR image formats) will give you something similar. Its all a matter of how the bits are to be interpreted.

Bob did not seem to understand how integer representation of images could have as "many colors" as floating point representations.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 11, 2011, 06:42:19 PM
So what you are sayiing is that a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR?

-h

Yes.  That's exactly what I'm saying.  If it falls within the capture range of the sensor and no other means are needed to capture the entire brightness range of the scene then it becomes 'normal' dynamic range.  It's within the 'normal' range of what the sensor can capture.

And back to one of GL's points earlier:  No, I'm not using HDR as a proxy for all 32 bit image formats.  I'm using HDR as High Dynamic Range the method, distinct from the 32 bit image formats such as .hdr, .exr, .tiff, .psd, .bef, etc.  If you'd prefer, and to avoid future confusion, I can use HDRI rather than HDR. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: joofa on September 12, 2011, 04:20:40 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying.  If it falls within the capture range of the sensor and no other means are needed to capture the entire brightness range of the scene then it becomes 'normal' dynamic range.  It's within the 'normal' range of what the sensor can capture.

I think you are correct. This is what I understand as one way of describing HDR.

Sincerely,

Joofa
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 12, 2011, 05:55:38 PM
Trying to come up with either an analytical or 'dictionary' definition for HDR I think is somewhat fruitless.  It surely isn't an analytical term with an essential character.  As a 'natural kind' term, it is subject to the ins and outs of species definitions.  But among the commonplaces of HDR one should include the idea of /supersampling/ and the associated kinds of processes that this enables.  Normalized averaging of supersampled image data tends to produce representations that are most comfortably accommodated in floating point space, this partly due to the variable white/black points which dictate the need for increased precision, whether that increased precision is implemented in floating points quantities, or "wide" integers. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 12, 2011, 07:16:19 PM
So what you are sayiing is that a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR?

Seems pretty reasonable to me.

Seems oversimplistic to me Andrew; the same as the need for floating point formats. To begin with, HDR is not a term born in the realm of photography, but of computer rendered graphics, where it makes no sense to talk about any bracketing. Secondly, the need for bracketing a scene with a digital camera is totally circumstancial; you may need to bracket a scene in the 10D and not need to bracket in the K5, it will remain being the same scene with the same DR in both cases. Why should the same scene be 'High Dynamic Range', or 'not High Dynamic Range' depending on the camera used? if it were, you would be admitting HDR will not exist anymore one day, when cameras will be able to capture a huge DR.

The point is that the difficult part of HDR is not capturing DR (this is easily done), but mapping it onto a LDR output device. No matter how high is the DR cameras can capture, we'll still have the hard task to map it onto a print or a monitor.

All this is basically a semantic discussion, but IMO it is wron... ooops unreasonable to define HDR according to the input device used. It's a broader concept, in fact much closer to the output devices (render) than to the input devices (capture).

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 07:27:06 PM
Seems oversimplistic to me Andrew; the same as the need for floating point formats. To begin with, HDR is not a term born in the realm of photography, but of computer rendered graphics, where it makes no sense to talk about any bracketing.

How else would a photographer produce HDR? The camera system in a single capture canít. Otherwise the capture, no matter the range is non HDR (LDR?).

We therefore need multiple exposures. It should then be correct to call this mode HDR.

If we have camera systems that range from say 5 to 12 stops (the range isnít important), how do we differentiae between HDR and just a system that has a wide capture range? I submit that the original capture system range is what it is. If its inadequate for the user, they bracket and produce a high dynamic range variation (HDR). Otherwise we have to say ďthis range is HDR, that range isnítď. I think that is vastly more complicated.

Suppose some day we have a capture system that in a single capture, can provide the range we can see or more. We no longer need to bracket. We can retire the term HDR. If necessarily, we can say ďthis capture device has X range, that capture device has Y rangeĒ.

Quote
The point is that the difficult part of HDR is not capturing DR (this is easily done), but mapping it onto a LDR output device.
While true as well, we have to capture the data first. And we have to come up with some term to describe the capture. I feel that once someone decides they need to bracket and then map, they are implementing HDR. If they have a very wide range in a single capture, they have to probably tone map (something we have to do for most image captures no matter the range).

As for floating point, I still donít see how that has anything to do (yet) with HDR despite asking. IOW, using the bracket criteria for the use of HDR term is simple, is there any reason to lump the processing (specifically the math) to continue to use or not use that term? As yet, no one has explained why a bracketed image that isnít using floating point math is not HDR but taking that data into an application that does use floating point math is HDR.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 12, 2011, 07:33:36 PM
How else would a photographer produce HDR? The camera system in a single capture canít. Otherwise the capture, no matter the range is non HDR (LDR?).

This is a contradiction Andrew. You admitted that 'a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR'.

A photographer can produce HDR with a single shot, he just needs a HDR camera like the Pentax K5, or he can bracket a lower DR camera. HDR stands for 'High Dynamic Range', and that's it. It is not 'Higher than the camera Dynamic Range'. So everything considered 'high' (I think it was Eric Chan who defined 'high' as something clearly higher than the usual DR we are accustomed to deal with), no matter if we need a bracketing or a single shot to capture it, will enter the definition of HDR.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 12, 2011, 07:37:28 PM
Suppose some day we have a capture system that in a single capture, can provide the range we can see or more. We no longer need to bracket. We can retire the term HDR. If necessarily, we can say ďthis capture device has X range, that capture device has Y rangeĒ.

This is exactly what I meant, we won't retire the term HDR because the DR will be as high as it is today (we just didn't need bracketing to capture it), and we will still need to use tonemapping techniques exactly the same as we do today.

HDR exists in computer rendering graphics where there is no bracketing involved, and HDR techniques will exist for long there. Why should it be different with photography HDR?. You would be putting a minor fact (the need for bracketing in some cameras in some scenes) into the definition of a much broader thing, the concept of HDR (High Dynamic Range).
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 08:09:55 PM
This is a contradiction Andrew. You admitted that 'a bracketed sequence from a Canon 10D resulting in a 10-stops DR is HDR, while a single-shot image from a Pentax K5 having the same 10 stops of DR is not HDR'.

Its not a contraction because Iím using the term based on how the image is captured. The definition is, HDR is the process whereby one brackets.

Quote
A photographer can produce HDR with a single shot, he just needs a HDR camera like the Pentax K5....

My take on the semantics is, the photographer has a camera that can capture the range necessary without bracketing. So its not HDR, its a better capture device (better in terms of capturing a wider range).

Quote
HDR stands for 'High Dynamic Range', and that's it.
Yes it does. I submit however that one manís HDR is another manís LDR. So how do we define when to use the term? Thatís the issue as I see it. A simple way is to define HDR when one has to bracket because his camera doesnít produce the necessary range in a single capture. My definition is based on the fact that to produce the high dynamic range not possible with a single capture, a different method of capturing (bracketing) is necessary. This is simply my mindset in why Iíd use the term HDR. I am open to changing my mind here. But the issue is, all the cameras are different. Whoís to say the K5 is HDR but the 5DMII isnít? Someone has to set a value (10+ stops) is HDR? Where does this stop and start? There lies the problem. Who and how does one define a range as being HDR? Very complicated, open to too much debate.

By defining HDR as a process, one that requires bracketing, we donít have to put arbitrarily set range values on anything. We the photographer decide that the range of a capture device and the range of the scene we wish to capture are such that bracketing is (or isnít) necessary. Its not defined by a fixed value, YMMV. But if you find you canít capture the scene with one capture, you must bracket, you are therefore based on this process, implementing HDR. Yes its simplistic because I donít see the need to define the semantics in a more complicated fashion. That is why I wrote that what Bob wrote sounds reasonable to me.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 08:25:45 PM
This is exactly what I meant, we won't retire the term HDR because the DR will be as high as it is today (we just didn't need bracketing to capture it), and we will still need to use tonemapping techniques exactly the same as we do today.

Certainly not until a larger group even agrees on when and how to use the term. If we could agree that HDR is a process, then when the process is no longer needed, weíll stop using it. If we agree on what Tonemapping is, that its not exclusive to HDR (cause its not), then it will survive after the HDR term goes away. If we agree that HDR can be produced with or without floating point math, then we can agree what applications handle HDR.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 12, 2011, 08:38:32 PM
By defining HDR as a process, one that requires bracketing, we donít have to put arbitrarily set range values on anything.

Basically what you are saying here is that you are defining HDR as a process where bracketing is needed, just because you cannot find a better definition for it.


If we agree that HDR can be produced with or without floating point math, then we can agree what applications handle HDR.

I can confirm you HDR can be done without floating point formats. I produced this 16-bit integer TIFF (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/download/superhdr.tif) file encoding more than 16 effective stops of DR. Lift it by 12EV and you'll still have a lot of shadow detail with zero noise and no posterization. That file is ready for tonemapping using any tonemapping application or technique.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 08:59:10 PM
Basically what you are saying here is that you are defining HDR as a process where bracketing is needed, just because you cannot find a better definition for it.
More for simplicity and because what group is going to define HDR otherwise? Like I said, X stops of range is HDR but Y isnít? By using HDR as a term that defines a process, we are not stuck with fixed values as the technology improves.

I can confirm you HDR can be done without floating point formats. [/quote]
Thatís what I thought. It makes the HDR definition easier yet.

This isnít to say the proposal (originally brought up by Bob) will gain any ground. I think however its reasonable.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 12, 2011, 09:02:53 PM
In the end, Andrew it's unlikely we'll ever get that level of agreement.  Some, like me, define HDR (the process) more narrowly.  And while I can accept that HDR isn't necessary to produce higher dynamic range scenes, I'm not as willing as others to use the term to describe all methods.  I've said it before and I'll say it again; I prefer Caponigro's XDR terminology to describe all processes of producing higher/extended dynamic range which include software like Enfuse/Tufuse, SNS HDR (which isn't technically an HDRI software app), HDR software apps and manual blending.  

I absolutely agree that tonemapping isn't an HDR-only term.  Again, I've said it before and I'll say it once more, tonemapping is just a fancy word for editing.  

GL, I've addressed the issue of the origins of HDR and why I feel that in photographic terms bracketing is necessary.  You won't accept that and that's fine.  Your continued statements that everyone else is wrong and you are right simply make further communication on the matter pointless and unpalatable.  But to close the point, the K5 and D7000 aren't the first what you're calling "HDR cameras" (and why is that the arbitrary cutoff point?  why not the cameras that could capture 10 or 11 stops since in both these cases too the output devices we use can't reproduce all those).  You've got to go back a lot further, even earlier than digital.  You've got to go back to film.  Because colour neg. film and b&w film could both capture more brigthness range than printing media at the time could reproduce.  Which is, in part, why I wrote an article earlier this summer for the Northlight Images site suggesting that the Zone System was analogue HDR and making comparisons between them (I tossed ETTR in there too, just for kicks and giggles).  Different 'process' but with a similar end goal.  And yes, it still was a process.  I'm done.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 09:06:36 PM
In the end, Andrew it's unlikely we'll ever get that level of agreement.

Agreed. If that were even close to possible, weíd also have Canon and Nikon saving DNG, weíd have a true raw histogram on the camera, people would never mix up DPI and PPI, and never confuse dynamic range an bit depth. But some can hope for such clarity some day <g>.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 12, 2011, 09:36:58 PM
Iíd have to ask the following:

If you shoot an image with a 5DMII, one capture, is it HDR?
If you shoot an image with the K5, one capture, is it HDR?
If one is, and one isnít, what makes them different? For that matter, enter any camera model and again, is a single capture HDR and if so (or if not) why?

If you take one capture on any camera system and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? If so why, if not why? Or is it just tone mapping?

If you take one raw image and render it two ways in your raw converter, but blend the two in Photoshop, is this HDR? I seem to hear many say its not (its Tone mapping. I agree).
If you take one TIFF image and render it two ways in Photoshop and blend the two, is this HDR? Or is it just tone mapping (Iíd say it is).
If you take one image, TIFF or raw, render it two ways and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR?

If you take multiple images that are bracketed and bring them into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? Based on the type of capture device, it always is, it sometimes is, it never is? For that matter, if you just took pieces of each and manually assembled them in Photoshop (NOT Merge to HDR), is this HDR?

Messy isnít it?
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: joofa on September 12, 2011, 10:41:24 PM
Like I said, X stops of range is HDR but Y isnít? By using HDR as a term that defines a process, we are not stuck with fixed values as the technology improves.

I think you put it quite well.

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 13, 2011, 07:43:14 AM
Iíd have to ask the following:

If you shoot an image with a 5DMII, one capture, is it HDR?

In my opinion, no.
Quote
If you shoot an image with the K5, one capture, is it HDR?

In my opinion, no.
Quote
If one is, and one isnít, what makes them different? For that matter, enter any camera model and again, is a single capture HDR and if so (or if not) why?
In my opinion no because I consider HDR to be capturing something beyond what the sensor can capture in a single shot.

Quote
If you take one capture on any camera system and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? If so why, if not why? Or is it just tone mapping?
It's just tonemapping.

Quote
If you take one raw image and render it two ways in your raw converter, but blend the two in Photoshop, is this HDR? I seem to hear many say its not (its Tone mapping. I agree).
It's just tonemapping.  The reason, by the definition I use, is that you're not gaining any additional dynamic range by the multiple processing.  All that's being done is pushing around the range of brightness that was captured.
Quote

If you take one TIFF image and render it two ways in Photoshop and blend the two, is this HDR? Or is it just tone mapping (Iíd say it is).
Again, just tonemapping for the same reason as above.
Quote
If you take one image, TIFF or raw, render it two ways and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR?
Again, just tonemapping for the same reason as above.

Quote
If you take multiple images that are bracketed and bring them into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR?
Yes.  The resulting 32 bit image is an HDR image.  After tonemapping and dropping the bit depth it's once again an LDR image.

Quote
Based on the type of capture device, it always is, it sometimes is, it never is?
Capture device doesn't matter.  If you're capturing more drange in the bracket than can be captured in a single shot, blending those images in HDR software it's HDR.

Quote
For that matter, if you just took pieces of each and manually assembled them in Photoshop (NOT Merge to HDR), is this HDR?
No.  This is XDR (see, I do like that term)  :)

Quote
Messy isnít it?
Not so much.  ;D
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 13, 2011, 12:00:58 PM
It absolutely depends on the camera being used...
HDR/XDR are about capture ...

Basically what you are saying here is that you are defining HDR as a process where bracketing is needed, just because you cannot find a better definition for it.

Yes, and every day we see the sun walking across the sky, and it is therefore rotating around the earth.
Logical. Thatís probably how popular definitions are made.
OK, Bob, fine.

Peter

--
http://paulcarlisle.net/old/earthviewer.html
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 13, 2011, 12:11:34 PM
Sorry, Peter.  I'm not following what you're saying.  I have a feeling I just got lumped in with the 'earth is flat' crowd but I'm not entirely sure how or why.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 12:18:48 PM
By using HDR as a term that defines a process, we are not stuck with fixed values as the technology improves.

Fine, but if that 'process' is bracketing, HDR is destinated to a certain death as the technology improves. The better sensors are, HDR will not exist anymore. Too bad!  ;D
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 12:23:48 PM
If you shoot an image with a 5DMII, one capture, is it HDR?
If you shoot an image with the K5, one capture, is it HDR?
If one is, and one isnít, what makes them different? For that matter, enter any camera model and again, is a single capture HDR and if so (or if not) why?

If you take one capture on any camera system and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? If so why, if not why? Or is it just tone mapping?

If you take one raw image and render it two ways in your raw converter, but blend the two in Photoshop, is this HDR? I seem to hear many say its not (its Tone mapping. I agree).
If you take one TIFF image and render it two ways in Photoshop and blend the two, is this HDR? Or is it just tone mapping (Iíd say it is).
If you take one image, TIFF or raw, render it two ways and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR?

If you take multiple images that are bracketed and bring them into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? Based on the type of capture device, it always is, it sometimes is, it never is? For that matter, if you just took pieces of each and manually assembled them in Photoshop (NOT Merge to HDR), is this HDR?

Messy isnít it?

None of these questions refer to the dynamic range of the scene, which is the DR that has to be measured, captured and tone mapped to adapt it to the output device. So none of these questions is actually about HDR (remember, High Dynamic Range), just about camera shooting and image processing.

If there is not a high dynamic range scene, it doesn't make sense to talk about HDR (no matter if you make a 1 million bracketing, and use 64-bit floating point tone terrifying algorithms).

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 13, 2011, 12:28:01 PM
Fine, but if that 'process' is bracketing, HDR is destinated to a certain death as the technology improves. The better sensors are, HDR will not exist anymore. Too bad!  ;D

I donít see that as a problem. A loss of a term. Whatís the alternative? Someone, some standards body (oh god) has to agree that this or that range is HDR. Not going to happen. Doesnít need to happen. If we end up with a 20 stop single capture, great.

If some standards body today decided to meet and come up with a term that X number of stops is HDR, by the time they agree and post the findings, weíll probably have that 20 stop range camera or whatever they agree upon will be outdated and obsolete. Using the process to describe HDR has no such limitations.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 13, 2011, 12:29:57 PM
None of these questions refer to the dynamic range of the scene, which is the DR that has to be measured, captured and tone mapped to adapt it to the output device.

Actually the questions assume (my fault) that the scene exceeds the range of each capture device. Otherwise, there is no need to bracket or call (question) whether this is HDR or not.
The assumption is the photographers has a clue about the scene gamut and the range of his capture device and then acts accordingly.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 12:32:03 PM
I donít see that as a problem.

Don't you find strange that HDR disappears for digital photography, but remains for other disciplines (computer graphics, painting, the concept itself)? don't you think that is a clear evidence that a definition based on the way you captured DR one day is futile? (it's the first time I use this word in English, hope to be doing it right  ;D).
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 12:33:56 PM
Actually the questions assume (my fault) that the scene exceeds the range of each capture device. Otherwise, there is no need to bracket or call (question) whether this is HDR or not.
The assumption is the photographers has a clue about the scene gamut and the range of his capture device and then acts accordingly.

According to that, if you shoot a scene with 6 stops of DR using an old compact camera that has only 4 stops of dynamic range, you are doing HDR. If 6 stops of DR is 'high', the DR a Pentax K5 can capture would be astronomical!
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 13, 2011, 12:34:09 PM
Don't you find strange that HDR disappears for digital photography, but remains for other disciplines (computer graphics, painting, the concept itself)? don't you think that is a clear evidence that a definition based on the way you captured DR one day is futile? (it's the first time I use this word in English, hope to be doing it right  ;D).

Its an interesting point. But again, what are the alternatives? What do the other disciplines use to define HDR from what isnít HDR?
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 13, 2011, 12:37:05 PM
According to that, if you shoot a scene with 6 stops of DR using an old compact camera that has only 4 stops of dynamic range, you are doing HDR. So 6 stops of DR is 'high'.

Yup, for that user, camera system, scene.

Whoís to say what is and isnít high other than the person with their equipment, scene, processing options?

What makes a capture high resolution? What was considered high in 1994 and 2004 versus today is significant. What makes something wide gamut (today or 10 years ago)? At one point in time, Adobe RGB was a wide gamut space because there were basically no output devices whoís gamut exceeded it. Today, thanks to newer colorants, thatís not true. Stuff changes.

Again, if you or anyone else has a better alternative, Iím all ears.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 12:39:12 PM
Its an interesting point. But again, what are the alternatives? What do the other disciplines use to define HDR from what isnít HDR?

The lack of alternatives doesn't support a bad definition.
The other disciplines assume HDR is about compressing an input DR onto an output device wich much less DR capabilities. E.g. a 32-bit syntehical image over a LDR monitor, or a HDR sunset over an oil canvas.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: digitaldog on September 13, 2011, 12:41:36 PM
Tha lack of alternatives doesn't support a bad definition.

As yet, Iím not convinced its a bad definition. Its the best Iíve found thus far...

Quote
The other disciplines assume HDR is about compressing an input DR onto an output device wich much less DR capabilities. E.g. a 32-bit syntehical image over a LDR monitor, or a HDR sunset over an oil canvas.

Well then everything is HDR if you consider we need to compress our images to fit a print (and differently to a display). Another key word here is assume.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 13, 2011, 12:52:56 PM
Sorry, Peter.  I'm not following what you're saying...

Maybe, Bob, the question is indeed about the attributes of a good definition.
(Scientifically) intuitively, Iím rejection your definition. It seems to me dependent on your individual experience and in particular dependent on the very current state of camera technology. Some lines above I had tried to contribute a more general definition, by describing a HDR-discriminator in post-processing, independent from how the data were collected. In your terminology, you would see it (all) as tone-mapping. But I would not exclude completely that it is just based on my experienceÖ

Iím wondering, if there is any "definition theory"
to tackle the KPIs (key performance indicators) for the quality of a Definition.
Never came across this question.

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 13, 2011, 01:09:05 PM
Maybe, Bob, the question is indeed about the attributes of a good definition.
(Scientifically) intuitively, Iím rejection your definition. It seems to me dependent on your individual experience and in particular dependent on the very current state of camera technology. Some lines above I had tried to contribute a more general definition, by describing a HDR-discriminator in post-processing, independent from how the data were collected. In your terminology, you would see it (all) as tone-mapping. But I would not exclude completely that it is just based on my experienceÖ

Iím wondering, if there is any "definition theory"
to tackle the KPIs (key performance indicators) for the quality of a Definition.
Never came across this question.

Peter

--


I don't think the definition I'm using is dependent on my personal preference.  My definition is based in fact and in reality.  It doesn't involve some arbitrary cut-off point that no one will likely agree on.  It separates 32 bit HDR from other low bit depth methods of extending dynamic range - and at its origins HDR is a 32 bit format.  It recognises the fact that different cameras with different sensor sensitivities will capture different ranges of brightness and accommodates that fact into the definition.  It recognises the fact that tonemapping isn't an HDR-only term. 

As both Andrew and I have pointed out, and no one has yet been able to refute, if the definition is based on output alone, then every DSLR produced in the last 7 years or so is an HDR camera and every image shot on colour neg or black and white film was an HDR image (I don't include color positive film because it's narrower brightness range is reasonably close to what output media can render).  Yet those claiming it's based on output alone aren't accepting that anything less than a K5 or D7000 produces single-shot HDR images.  I reject that arbitrariness.  That is the essence of a bad definition.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 13, 2011, 01:41:46 PM
Well then everything is HDR if you consider we need to compress our images to fit a print (and differently to a display). Another key word here is assume.

Correct, that is why I tried somewhere to give a more general definition of HDR based on this DR compression. HDR happens when the required DR compression is so high (there is such a DR gap between the input and the output) that we cannot achieve it by conventional means, but need special techniques/effort. Camera bracketing could be considered one of these non-conventional means, but it will quickly go off as cameras get better in DR.

So the real challenge of HDR is the DR compression, and we could consider HDR as any situation where someone has to fit a 'high' input dynamic range scene into a 'low' output dynamic range device. Let it be a photograper, a painter or a 3D render specialist representing a scene of a room with a window wide open to the sunlight.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bDCeBcheAl8/Rl19B0x-q_I/AAAAAAAAAB8/hmAJdulx6WY/s320/mujer+en+ventana+copia2.jpg) (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/hdr/resultadolite5.jpg) (http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumb_529/1281598518oQL3CB.jpg)

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 13, 2011, 02:56:14 PM
The one thing that is clear to me at this point is that several different definitions are needed to keep everybody happy (I admit I feel most comfortable with Andrew's definition, which seems eminently practical).

So I suggest consulting with the experts at Epson's Paper-Naming division to come up with appropriate names for the different varieties of "HDR." We might then have "Archival DR" (or "ADR"), "Enhanced DR (EDR)", "Super Premium DR (SPDR)", etc.

Then we can argue about which name best fits each person's personal vision of "HDR."  

 ???
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: joofa on September 13, 2011, 03:31:17 PM
I admit I feel most comfortable with Andrew's definition, which seems eminently practical.

Yes, I think Andrew put it well.

Then we can argue about which name best fits each person's personal vision of "HDR."  

The way I see it the issue is that the definition of HDR is nebulous and variants of HDR definitions support both Andrew's and Guillermo's version. So in different contexts both of them are right - Andrew wants to apply HDR notion to signal acquisition and Guillermo to signal presentation.

So I suggest consulting with the experts

An important aspect of an "expert" is the ability to recognize the various contexts in the which ill-defined terms are used. I don't think there is any confusion in experts' mind that what exactly is HDR despite the variant definitions. The issue becomes pronounced when one group thinks that their definition should have more weight without sufficient persuasive logic.

Sincerely,

Joofa
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 13, 2011, 04:00:44 PM
32 bits is 32 bits. If a 32-bit floating point number could represent more than 32 bits worth of information, it would be an information-theoretical break-through.

-h
But the degree of precision is not the same throughout the range of quantities represented.  You have to see here that the "lower" tones of an LDR capture are not of sufficient precision to support the variable blackpoint.  You can't amplify 3 bit quantities and expect to see subtle tonal variations.  But if you have bits allocated where you need them, as in a floating point representation, you have some resolution that is more or less good enough across the entire range of tones represented, enough to allow for a lot of subsequent processing.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: joofa on September 13, 2011, 04:16:12 PM
32 bits is 32 bits. If a 32-bit floating point number could represent more than 32 bits worth of information, it would be an information-theoretical break-through.

-h
But the degree of precision is not the same throughout the range of quantities represented.  You have to see here that the "lower" tones of an LDR capture are not of sufficient precision to support the variable blackpoint.  You can't amplify 3 bit quantities and expect to see subtle tonal variations.  But if you have bits allocated where you need them, as in a floating point representation, you have some resolution that is more or less good enough across the entire range of tones represented, enough to allow for a lot of subsequent processing.

I think hjulenissen understands that the gap between floating point numbers is not uniform and I believe he has mentioned that before in different words, just that his articulation could have been better. I think he was trying to inform Bob here that both 32-bit integer and 32-bit floating point representations have the same number of "points (or colors)", just that set of these points or numbers are different between integers and floating points.
 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 13, 2011, 04:56:59 PM
Maybe, Bob, the question is indeed about the attributes of a good definition.
(Scientifically) intuitively, Iím rejection your definition. It seems to me dependent on your individual experience and in particular dependent on the very current state of camera technology. Some lines above I had tried to contribute a more general definition, by describing a HDR-discriminator in post-processing, independent from how the data were collected. In your terminology, you would see it (all) as tone-mapping. But I would not exclude completely that it is just based on my experienceÖ

Iím wondering, if there is any "definition theory"
to tackle the KPIs (key performance indicators) for the quality of a Definition.
Never came across this question.

Peter

Hold on for a moment, everyone.

Having spent years studying semantics as a grad student, I would press a point strongly here.  There are some interesting things being discussed here.  Unsurprising, given the bright bunch, some of whom are furthering our understanding of the subject.  But nothing proposed so far in the way of the semantics of HDR has been anything but a non-starter.  

If one is looking for a nominal essence here, something that might be used for a definition, I think it will be very hard, perhaps impossible, to find.  Is there a single necessary set of conditions for being "HDR" or for saying that one is "doing HDR"?  I suspect not.  I think you will more likely find clusters of conditions.  This is why I speak of the "commonplaces".  

In the end, I think the theoretical significance of "HDR" /per se/ in a technical theory of photography is slight.  But the things that we refer to when we say we are "doing HDR" have some very practical value, and help point the way to new theory.

There is nothing essential about bracketing, or "supersampling" of any kind.  However, the practice of supersampling leads into some very useful techniques.  By supersampling, you gain an increase in precision.  Thereby you allocate more bits, and perhaps use floating point to even out the allocation of bits along the entire range of numerical values represented.  With this increased precision, you have the opportunity to process image data having dynamic range that exceeds the dynamic range of your output media.  Thereby you gain the opportunity to have variable white and black points, virtual re-lighting.  All of this is facilitated by the gain in precision and the allocation of bits evenly across the range of values.  The fidelity of the "low tones" is improved.  

This describes widespread practices, but in no way suggests at anything essential or necessary in the semantics of "HDR".

The idea of "tonemapping" may turn out to have more theoretical significance, since as far as I can see, it just refers to the idea of mapping one set of tones onto another set of tones by whatever means.  But we use this generally, and not just when "doing HDR."  Sometimes we map tones having a greater dynamic range onto a set of tones having a lesser dynamic range.  Sometimes not.  
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 14, 2011, 12:25:03 PM
Having spent years studying semantics as a grad student, I would press a point strongly here...  But nothing proposed so far in the way of the semantics of HDR has been anything but a non-starter.  

If one is looking for a nominal essence here, something that might be used for a definition, I think it will be very hard, perhaps impossible, to find.  Is there a single necessary set of conditions for being "HDR" or for saying that one is "doing HDR"?  ...

The idea of "tonemapping" may turn out to have more theoretical significance, since as far as I can see, it just refers to the idea of mapping one set of tones onto another set of tones by whatever means.  But we use this generally, and not just when "doing HDR."  Sometimes we map tones having a greater dynamic range onto a set of tones having a lesser dynamic range.  Sometimes not.

OK - I'll try to explain.

Aside from the basic requirement that Scene DR > Output DR
(and we may discuss about the influence of absolute luminance in cd/m2 separately)
the clear HDR differentiator for me is:  that any global tone mapping function i.e. the "tone curve" fails to provide a pleasing rendition showing all relevant details in the highlights and shadows, so that pixel-selection-based tone mapping techniques are needed.

Whether it is Blending of different camera Exposures or different exposure variants from one shot, or skillful equipment of the tone curve with a luminosity mask Ė it is irrelevant, in my opinion.

Such Definition is independent from camera DR & technology
and fwiw Iím not aware about any reported alternatives in post-processing (I'll be happy to stand corrected)
- although there is certainly no full disclosure about current software mechanics.



Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 14, 2011, 01:35:20 PM
[...]
the clear HDR differentiator for me is:  that any global tone mapping function i.e. the "tone curve" fails to provide a pleasing rendition showing all relevant details in the highlights and shadows, so that pixel-selection-based tone mapping techniques are needed.

Whether it is Blending of different camera Exposures or different exposure variants from one shot, or skillful equipment of the tone curve with a luminosity mask Ė it is irrelevant, in my opinion.

This appears to rule out simple "compression" techniques which do involve global tonemapping functions, but which one would include as a part of "doing HDR" in some cases.  [You probably meant "e.g." here instead of "i.e." but I understood the point.]  Also, the "pleasingness" condition is rather subjective here, bringing in the entirety of aesthetics in such judgments. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 14, 2011, 02:07:03 PM
This appears to rule out simple "compression" techniques which do involve global tonemapping functions...

Yes.

Also, the "pleasingness" condition is rather subjective here, bringing in the entirety of aesthetics in such judgments.

Valid concern,
unless we could define "(HDR) pleasingness" by numbers, i.e. to reproduce relevant highlight & shadows details in a perceivable way.
Seems to me not impossible.

OT Ė however it may support the point:
http://www.cis.rit.edu/people/faculty/johnson/pub/hue_CGIV04_sm.pdf

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 15, 2011, 04:04:55 PM
I think trying to come to some agreement on a set of numbers that represent a 'pleasing' image would be about as difficult as coming up with a cut-off point to determine how many stops mean HDR.  ::)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 16, 2011, 12:03:35 PM
 
Just try the inverse approach, Bob:
Take all your bracketed HDR shots and glue them together in any digital way preferred,
but use a global (continuous) function only for tone mapping. Happy with the results  :o?

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 16, 2011, 12:29:42 PM
In point of fact, I have done that.  It's one of the things that makes Photoshop a wonderful tool for HDR.  I've used the regular editing tools in PS to tonemap many HDR images and not run them through the local tonemap operators of HDR Pro or any other HDR software.  No masking, no selections.  It's a different result but it can certainly be one that works.  Unless you consider Levels/Curves/Color Balance/HSB to be local adjustments.

The attached image was merged in HDR Pro, adjusted with Exposure & Gamma, then further adjustments were made using only global tools in PS.  No selections, no masking, no layering of other parts of other images.  This is referred to as 'soft tonemapping'.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 16, 2011, 01:30:04 PM
The attached image was merged in HDR Pro, adjusted with Exposure & Gamma, then further adjustments were made using only global tools in PS.  No selections, no masking, no layering of other parts of other images.  This is referred to as 'soft tonemapping'.

There are only two ways in which you can obtain a pleasant output image just by using global tools:
- The adjustments you made in HDR Pro were far from being global tools (they lifted the shadows for you, at the same time as they preserved the highlights and kept a good amount of local contrast), so this cannot be considered a case of using 'just global tools'.
- Your scene was mid to low DR, so no special tone mapping strategies were needed.

In any other case, global tools won't suffice the process for HDR images, and this is what Peter meant. The reason? DR gap between the input (scene) and the ouput (monitor).

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 16, 2011, 01:46:51 PM
In any other case, global tools won't suffice the process for HDR images, and this is what Peter meant. The reason? DR gap between the input (scene) and the ouput (monitor).
I think it makes sense to describe black/white clipping (what any LDR camera will do) as a special kind of global tone-mapping operator. So a scene may have its dynamic range, the final output medium may have its dynamic range, and in-between we have the choice of:
1. Global clipping of blacks and whites
2. Global smooth mapping (curves, levels,...)
3. Local tonemapping

If you only consider input (scene) and output (paper/display), it does not really matter how you got there (stacked images, sony-sensor, tonemapping, in-camera JPEG, whatever). A scene may have more or less dynamic range, but the output will (for now) be low dynamic range. No matter what we do, there will some operator mapping scene to output that usually will be non-linear.

Kind of unusual to think of people snapping the grand canyon with their cell-phone as applying an abrupt global tonemapping to a HDR scene in order to fit into the LDR lcd...


Anyways, I don't see how you can claim that global tonemapping never will suffice for HDR images. I see that local operators often will produce results that you and I and most people may judge as subjectively superior to global operators, but not that this will be the case for all scenes, all of the people and all of the time?

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 16, 2011, 03:56:42 PM
The one thing that is clear to me at this point is that several different definitions are needed to keep everybody happy (I admit I feel most comfortable with Andrew's definition, which seems eminently practical).
So I suggest consulting with the experts at Epson's Paper-Naming division to come up with appropriate names for the different varieties of "HDR." We might then have "Archival DR" (or "ADR"), "Enhanced DR (EDR)", "Super Premium DR (SPDR)", etc.
Then we can argue about which name best fits each person's personal vision of "HDR."  
 ???


I am out of my league on the subject of HDR, but logically-speaking, it must be exactly the opposite: in order to understand "HDR" the term needs to be universally defined.

Based on what little I read, since the term "High-Dynamic-Range" is in reference to a final image, then the image has to be the deciding factor as to whether it qualifies a "HDR" image or not, rather than "how" it was created.

If 5 shots with a 10D can't get me the same DR result as 1 shot with a K5 can, it would be logically-absurd to call the composite image produced from 5 shots with the 10D "HDR" ... when in point of fact the one shot from the K5 has greater DR. It seems pretty obvious that the actual range of the final image is the deciding factor as to whether it is HDR, not the methods used to get it there.

So until someone (or some entity) actually comes up with a concrete definition to go by, it will be impossible for anyone to agree on anything without such a reference point.

Jack


.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 16, 2011, 04:00:48 PM
In the end, Andrew it's unlikely we'll ever get that level of agreement.  Some, like me, define HDR (the process) more narrowly.  And while I can accept that HDR isn't necessary to produce higher dynamic range scenes, I'm not as willing as others to use the term to describe all methods.  I've said it before and I'll say it again; I prefer Caponigro's XDR terminology to describe all processes of producing higher/extended dynamic range which include software like Enfuse/Tufuse, SNS HDR (which isn't technically an HDRI software app), HDR software apps and manual blending.
 
I absolutely agree that tonemapping isn't an HDR-only term.  Again, I've said it before and I'll say it once more, tonemapping is just a fancy word for editing ...

Agreed. If that were even close to possible, weíd also have Canon and Nikon saving DNG, weíd have a true raw histogram on the camera, people would never mix up DPI and PPI, and never confuse dynamic range an bit depth. But some can hope for such clarity some day <g>.


I am sorry, but I find this discussion quite entertaining (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Jack



.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 16, 2011, 04:02:43 PM
Anyways, I don't see how you can claim that global tonemapping never will suffice for HDR images. I see that local operators often will produce results that you and I and most people may judge as subjectively superior to global operators, but not that this will be the case for all scenes, all of the people and all of the time?

If you only use global tools (by global I mean operator affecting the entire image, like curves without layer masks), you can arrange the input DR onto the output DR (a simple curve will suffice), but the result will not be satisfactory if the source DR was very high due to the lack of local contrast. Local processing is needed.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 16, 2011, 04:25:49 PM
The scene was not of mid to low contrast.  Note the highlights in the flowing water and the deep shadow areas of the rock.  Holding the highlights in the water and generating sufficient shadow detail wasn't possible with a single shot.  

Levels/Curves are global operators.  As I noted, the image was merged in HDR Pro then the Exposure & Gamma tool was applied.  This too is a global operator.  From there the only other tools used were Levels/Curves (to be honest I don't recall which and as I was doing this for a test I didn't save the working TIFF file) and Hue/Sat.  

To be perfectly frank, GL I really don't care whether you believe that's all I did or not or whether you believe the scene could have been properly rendered in a single shot.  We don't agree.  We won't agree.  Likely on anything.  And I'm just fine with that.

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 16, 2011, 04:28:20 PM

I am sorry, but I find this discussion quite entertaining (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Jack



.

It's a very nuanced discussion, isn't it Jack?  ;D

The issue with using the final image as the determination of whether an image is HDR or not is that the final image isn't HDR either.  Take a camera like the K5 or D7000 that can capture around 12 stops of brightness.  Most monitors can't reproduce that nor can any printing media.  So the final image, the one that appears 'proper' on screen or is printable doesn't have all the DR that the camera was able to capture.  It's been edited or tonemapped down into something narrower that can be used.  Think of it like a Zone System image where the exposure was increased to generate desired highlight detail.  If the scene DR was, say, 8 stops and the shadow detail was lifted 2 stops, you're most likely going to have blown out highlights without adjusted development of the film.  But if the film undergoes contracted development, those highlights can be brought back into range.  That's one form of tonemapping.  The contracted development maps highlight tones from higher to lower zones.  Then, in printing, additional techniques would be used to render a pleasing print taking into account the fact that the paper couldn't reproduce all 8 stops of brightness.  That's another form of tonemapping.  But that final printed image doesn't contain all of the brightness range that was captured initially.  So if we use the final image as the determination, until technology changes no image would be considered HDR.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 16, 2011, 04:50:03 PM
To be perfectly frank, GL I really don't care whether you believe that's all I did or not or whether you believe the scene could have been properly rendered in a single shot.  We don't agree.  We won't agree.  Likely on anything.  And I'm just fine with that.

Of course I believe that's all you did, the wrong part is thinking what HDR Pro did for you was a global operation. In any case, calm down man, you will survive without agreeing with me. I promise.

Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 16, 2011, 04:50:56 PM
So if we use the final image as the determination, until technology changes no image would be considered HDR.
"If the final image contains visible details that spanned significantly more than a 100:1 (or 1000:1?) range in the original scene"?

High-DR scene -> clipping -> jpeg: LDR
High-DR scene -> Bracketing -> tonemapping -> jpeg: HDR
High-DR scene -> Pentax K5  -> tonemapping -> print: HDR
Low-DR scene -> clipping -> jpeg: LDR
Low-DR scene -> Bracketing -> tonemapping -> jpeg: LDR
Low-DR scene -> Pentax K5  -> tonemapping -> print: LDR
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RFPhotography on September 16, 2011, 06:13:29 PM
Oh, I know I'll survive.  No calming down needed.  Merging to 32 bit then dropping to 16 bit using only Exposure & Gamma, leaving the default values drops to a lower bit depth with no alterations.

H, not entirely sure what you're trying to get at.  If the final image contains a range of brightness that monitors can't reproduce and that printing media can't reproduce then sure, if the desire is to leave it in that state as the final image then yes, if the final image is the ultimte determining factor; and ignoring that it doesn't fit my definition of HDR (nor I'd suggest pretty much anyone else's who'd be considered an authority on HDR), then yes that would be HDR.  I was writing on the basis that the 'final' image is something that could generally be 'used'; as in viewed properly on screen or rendered in a print.  I'm not going to go back and read everything again so I don't know where the italicised quote comes from.  

As it is, it's Friday night and I definitely have far better things to do.  ;)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 16, 2011, 06:55:22 PM
It's a very nuanced discussion, isn't it Jack?  ;D

 ;D




The issue with using the final image as the determination of whether an image is HDR or not is that the final image isn't HDR either.  Take a camera like the K5 or D7000 that can capture around 12 stops of brightness.  Most monitors can't reproduce that nor can any printing media.  So the final image, the one that appears 'proper' on screen or is printable doesn't have all the DR that the camera was able to capture.  It's been edited or tonemapped down into something narrower that can be used.  Think of it like a Zone System image where the exposure was increased to generate desired highlight detail.  If the scene DR was, say, 8 stops and the shadow detail was lifted 2 stops, you're most likely going to have blown out highlights without adjusted development of the film.  But if the film undergoes contracted development, those highlights can be brought back into range.  That's one form of tonemapping.  The contracted development maps highlight tones from higher to lower zones.  Then, in printing, additional techniques would be used to render a pleasing print taking into account the fact that the paper couldn't reproduce all 8 stops of brightness.  That's another form of tonemapping.  But that final printed image doesn't contain all of the brightness range that was captured initially.  So if we use the final image as the determination, until technology changes no image would be considered HDR.

Hmmm, curious to what the point of it all is, then? Onscreen monitor appreciation?

Maybe that is further justification of focus-stacking versus HDR "tonemapping" is at least all of the work I put into focus-stacking can be seen in a print!

Jack



.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 16, 2011, 07:59:36 PM
I think there is one point about the proper definition of HDR that all posters here should be able to agree on. In the words of the eminent philosopher Lewis Carroll,
ďWhen I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.Ē

Actually, I've learned quite a bit from this thread. And the discussion has remained nicely civil.

Eric
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jeremypayne on September 17, 2011, 07:30:06 AM
focus-stacking versus HDR "tonemapping"
Jack

Where does "versus" come into the picture with these two techniques?  It isn't an "either/or" ... or a competition.

That's like saying "a ladder vs a dirt bike".

Both techniques have their place ... If by technique we mean "bracketing for DR/SNR" when we say HDR ... But are tackling completely different uses cases.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on September 17, 2011, 08:08:38 AM
Where does "versus" come into the picture with these two techniques?

Maybe 'versus' was not the most appropiate word. It's rather a conceptual comparision of techniques: Focus Stacking versus HDR? (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=57829.0).
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 17, 2011, 10:53:42 AM
Where does "versus" come into the picture with these two techniques?  It isn't an "either/or" ... or a competition.
That's like saying "a ladder vs a dirt bike".


I disagree and I am not sure what you're quibbling about here. No, it is not like saying a ladder versus a dirt bike. A ladder has no similarity to a dirt bike, it isn't even in the same ballpark, whereas there are plenty of similarities between focus stacking and HDR image making.

I was not trying to put focus stacking "in competition" with HDR, so I am not sure where you pulled that out of. Did you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something?

The "versus" clearly means to show the differences between the two seemingly similar techniques. It is a manner of speech: "Focus Stacking versus HDR."  I could also have said, "Focus Stacking as opposed to HDR," which is another manner of speech, and essentially means the same thing: namely to show the differences in two seemingly similar subjects.




Both techniques have their place ... If by technique we mean "bracketing for DR/SNR" when we say HDR ... But are tackling completely different uses cases.

I realize both techniques have their place. Speaking of quibbling over word use, ending a fragmented sentence with "uses cases" isn't exactly stellar English either, Jeremy.

Jack


.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jeremypayne on September 17, 2011, 11:32:54 AM
BLAH BLAH

It was a typo, dude - get over yourself.  You'd argue with a doorknob ... and lose.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Peter_DL on September 17, 2011, 12:51:38 PM
Actually, I've learned quite a bit from this thread. And the discussion has remained nicely civil.

Well, Eric,
Iíd have been happy to accept this as a final word,
but then, the initial question was already quite upfront:  Do you hate HDR too ?
And if I remember correctly, some agreement with such rejection was expressed as well.

Now, as we have learned HDR = bracketed exposures,
and so it seems that some people donít like when others do exposure bracketing, if this is the definition for HDR  ???

Peter

--
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 17, 2011, 01:37:32 PM
It was a typo, dude - get over yourself.  You'd argue with a doorknob ... and lose.


Well, at least you got half of it right, Jeremy--and I think you've taken a large step toward recovery by recognizing that you're displaying the intellect of a door knob.

Perhaps I can be of further assistance in pointing out the fact you seem to have an pathological obsession with "competition": first you thought I was placing Focus Stacing in competition with HDR (wrongly so), and now you think you are in some sort of argumentative competition with me (again, wrongly so). In fact, I don't believe I originally addressed you at all until you started this bizarre off-topic digression of yours.

That said, I will leave you to your perceived "victory" sir, but the truth is the only thing you "won" here is creating a new low watermark for the word "petty."

Jack



.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 17, 2011, 02:13:17 PM
... And the discussion has remained nicely civil.

Looks like you jinxed it ;)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 17, 2011, 03:51:09 PM
Sometimes "versus" does sound like "as opposed to" making it an either/or proposition, but there is also a sense in which versus also means "as contrasted with."  The misunderstandings here are ... understandable.  Everything that came after that I think we can just dissipate as steam. 

In the end, the merits of "doing HDR," in whatever pragmatic semantics we have, come down to whether or not there is an artistic purpose served by it. 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 17, 2011, 05:48:58 PM
Looks like you jinxed it ;)
Yup. Sorry about that.

Maybe we need a new thread about "Do you hate 'versus' too?"   ;D
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on September 28, 2011, 06:47:51 PM
Simple example, 2 bits:
int: [0 1 2 3] (available codes)
float: [-1 -0.25 0.25 1] (available codes)

What is the _number_ of shades available in each? The answer is 4, 2^2 for both. What kind of data can be stored within them? Basically any data. But floating point is a lot easier to work with for many kinds of data and operations. The distribution of available numbers and the quantization error makes a lot of sense for many tasks.

No, it doesn't work like that.  Your example is just a wierdly shifted encoding.

A simple illustration would be 8 bits.   The integer version would be 0 ... 255.  The floating point version might be 4 bits main part (mantissa or significand) plus 4 bits exponent for a total of 8 bits.  But the exponent would vary from 0 to 15 (four bits).  The mantissa represents a fraction, with a hidden bit (always included in the math) in what would be the fifth bit (most significant bit).  That is added to the fraction, so the fraction ranges from 1.0 to nearly 2.0.  But if you put a 1 in the least bit of the exponent, then you multiply those values by two.  So:

0000  0000 = 1.0 x 2^0 = 1.0 x 1 = 1.0
0001  0000 = 1 1/16 x 2^0 = 1.0625
1111  0000 = 1 15/16 x 2^0 = 1.9375

0000  0001 = 1.0 x 2^1 = 1.0 x 2 = 2.0
0001  0001 = 1.0625 x 2 = 2.125
1111  0001 = 1.9375 x 2 = 3.875

0000  1000 = 1.0 x 2^8 = 1.0 x 128 = 128
0001  1000 = 1 1/16 x 128 = 1.0625 x 128 = 136
1111  1000 = 1 15/16 x 128 = 1.9375 x 128 = 248

0000  1111 = 1.0 x 2^15 = 1.0 x 32768 = 32768
0001  1111 = 1.0625 x 32768 = 34816
1111  1111 = 1.9375 x 32768 = 63488

So you can see that an 8 bit floating point number (in 4,4 form) has a much greater range than an 8 bit integer:   0 ... 63488 versus 0 ... 255.

That is why the floating point numbers used for 32 bit floating point colour have three 8 bit mantissas and an 8 bit exponent.  This is how they can store a huge dynamic range.

Yes, it does have to be compressed for viewing, which can lead to some posterization problems if not done well, but it does allow you to render or capture a scene with a high dynamic range and display it in a meaningful and sometimes beautiful way.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 29, 2011, 12:16:00 AM
Sorry, Monito. Your illustration doesn't contradict Hjulenissen's assertion, which I understand to be addressing the number of data points expressible in equal numbers of bits in integer versus floating point. In your example, the range of values is greater for the floating point representation, but the number of distinct values representable is still 2 to the 8th power, or 256 in either case.

Eric
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on September 29, 2011, 04:55:13 AM
Ah, I see now what you and Hjulenissen are getting at, Eric.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 29, 2011, 10:29:29 AM
Ah, I see now what you and Hjulenissen are getting at, Eric.  Thanks.
I must admit that his post was a little terse for clear understanding.

Eric
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 29, 2011, 05:00:38 PM
I must admit that his post was a little terse for clear understanding.

Eric
"terse" is not in my vocabulary.

Anyways, the discussion was a fundamental disagreement about the "number of colors" available in integer vs floating point numbers. My initial reply (that was not accepted) was a lot more compact, something ala: given a N-bit data element, you can encode up to N bits of information. This means up to N different "colors". How those bits are to be interpreted, how they will physically map to camera/display/printer hardware, and how preceptually relevant all of those colors are going to be is a question of how that information is decoded. If desired, a 32-bit floating point number can be "converted" to a 32-bit integer (not changing one bit) and back again without loss of colors: i.e. 32bit integers can hold the same information as 32bit floats.

A practical example is using integers to represent gamma-encoded values. In this case, the numerical precision is spent in the darker tones, just like floating point, and like images should be encoded.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 29, 2011, 05:31:56 PM
Hi h,

It was totally clear to me the first time around, so I was a bit surprised that some others didn't seem to get it, a fact that I attributed to the myth that (digital) floating point numbers can represent vastly more different "numbers" than can integers of the same length.

Regards,

Eric
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on September 29, 2011, 06:05:44 PM
Granted that a 32 bit floating point color number has as many colours as a 32 bit integer colour number.  It however has 256 times as many colours as a 24 bit colour integer (8 x 3 channels), plus more range.  Our images use 24 bits (in 32 bit containers).
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on September 30, 2011, 02:10:07 AM
Granted that a 32 bit floating point color number has as many colours as a 32 bit integer colour number.  It however has 256 times as many colours as a 24 bit colour integer (8 x 3 channels), plus more range.  Our images use 24 bits (in 32 bit containers).
But we're discussing image data having 3 x 32 bit floats, or 32 bits per channel, 96 bits per pixel.  It represents both astronomical dynamic range and accommodates fractional results with sufficient precision.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on September 30, 2011, 02:10:54 AM
Granted that a 32 bit floating point color number has as many colours as a 32 bit integer colour number.  It however has 256 times as many colours as a 24 bit colour integer (8 x 3 channels), plus more range.  Our images use 24 bits (in 32 bit containers).
I think that a thorough discussion of pros and cons of integers vs floating points is beyond the scope of this site and this thread. It introduce a lot of details that most of us simply does not have to think about. My point was simply that one should not make choices of format only based on it being float or int.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 30, 2011, 09:46:58 AM
I think that a thorough discussion of pros and cons of integers vs floating points is beyond the scope of this site and this thread. It introduce a lot of details that most of us simply does not have to think about. My point was simply that one should not make choices of format only based on it being float or int.

-h
+1.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on September 30, 2011, 10:10:52 AM
I think that a thorough discussion of pros and cons of integers vs floating points is beyond the scope of this site and this thread. It introduce a lot of details that most of us simply does not have to think about. My point was simply that one should not make choices of format only based on it being float or int.

Perhaps, but the issue of pixel coding and bit size is important to many aspects vital to practitioners of digital photography today.  Bits per pixel affects dynamic range at the sensor.  Choice of bits per pixel (8 bit vs 16 bit) is a factor in avoiding processing artifacts when doing conversion and post-processing with programs like Photoshop.  An understanding of how the image data is transformed in HDR processing will help the practitioner avoid some pitfalls and achieve more refined results.

But we're discussing image data having 3 x 32 bit floats, or 32 bits per channel, 96 bits per pixel.  It represents both astronomical dynamic range and accommodates fractional results with sufficient precision.

As far as I know, the standard HDR conversions and file formats are 32 bit floating point per pixel, not 3x32 = 96.  It is still an improvement over 24 bit integer (3x8) pixels for many things, encoding a greater number of colours and a wide range, to my understanding.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: RSL on September 30, 2011, 10:32:19 AM
I think that a thorough discussion of pros and cons of integers vs floating points is beyond the scope of this site and this thread. It introduce a lot of details that most of us simply does not have to think about. My point was simply that one should not make choices of format only based on it being float or int.

-h

+ at least 10.37689953
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Monito on September 30, 2011, 10:37:00 AM
The HDR format Photoshop uses is HDR Radiance, and that is 32 bits per pixel, 8 x 3 channels plus an 8 bit exponent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGBE_image_format
http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/refer/filefmts.pdf

There are other formats, for example the 64 bit HDRi format, useful in scanning:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDRi_%28data_format%29
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: LKaven on October 01, 2011, 02:54:12 AM
Hmmm.  Maybe I was wrong.  If I was, I apologize.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 01, 2011, 03:40:37 AM
The HDR format Photoshop uses is HDR Radiance, and that is 32 bits per pixel, 8 x 3 channels plus an 8 bit exponent.

Indeed, and here (http://www.anyhere.com/gward/hdrenc/Encodings.pdf) is a nice summary of some of the more common HDR file types, of which the ILM OpenEXR format offers the best compromise between file size, magnitude range, and accuracy (to resist accumulating errors) for postprocessing of photographic HDR images.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 02, 2011, 12:21:50 AM
Hi,

Mixed feelings, but I sometimes find it useful. Mostly I use Merge to HDR in Photoshop.

Some samples: http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Special-methods/HDR/HDR

Best regards
Erik

OK slightly pejorative title, but I've recently been looking around at a few other forums, especially ones for people new or newish to photography (was going to name them but am chickening out). I have to say most of the HDR shots posted on this site, whilst not always my thing, are for the most part technically competent and at the more subtle end of the genre - but really there are some seriously ugly images being produced out there!

Photomatrix and the saturation slider are certainly a killer combination in the wrong hands!

Neil.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: theBike45 on November 27, 2011, 06:33:51 PM
 I use two methods, the HDR as well as sun blocking filters, in those cases where movement
occurs in the frame. If appropriate (level horizon) I prefer the filter method, although HDR is
(usually) a whole lot simpler and less error prone.  Never looks as good as what the eye saw, but that's
always true when using a device (camera) that can't come close to matching the capability
of the human eye.  As far as picture value, technical accuracy is never anywhere near as important as
the other characteristics, assuming, of course, that the thing's in the proper focus, etc.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: famalam on January 17, 2012, 05:52:05 PM
Not against HDR itself, more it's rampant abuse by amateurs, and the way it's lapped up by people who haven't had time to realise how terrible most of it looks.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: JonathanRimmel on January 17, 2012, 06:43:27 PM
I don't hate HDR. I hate grunge HDR. Although, I must say it has it's place. One photograph I found it quite useful on was that of some rusty old tools. Using a more extreme HDR technique really brought out the texture and detail. What gets me the most is using the same technique on people *Gasp*!
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: stamper on January 18, 2012, 04:12:40 AM
Not against HDR itself, more it's rampant abuse by amateurs, and the way it's lapped up by people who haven't had time to realise how terrible most of it looks.

Is the rampant abuse by professionals OK? ;)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Rob C on January 18, 2012, 04:47:48 AM
Is the rampant abuse by professionals OK? ;)



Stamper, in today's world economy, I doubt any photographer feels particularly rampant; best left to the lions...

(Sorry folks, this is a little north-of-the-border in-joke.)

Rob C
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: famalam on January 18, 2012, 02:00:24 PM
Is the rampant abuse by professionals OK? ;)

ah touchť lol :)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jessuca09 on February 06, 2012, 02:10:02 AM
HDR? Is this some new hormone replacement therapy?




(http://www.herfree.com/avatar.php)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on February 09, 2012, 12:58:53 PM
HDR is a tool like anything else, sometimes it gets abused, sometimes not but that is all an opinion by the viewer, if the person who took the image is happy and it was their intent to have an image look like that then who is say their vision is wrong? Like many things in life, there are polarized positions, it is up to the viewer to form their own opinions of what they like or dislike. I have seen images that were not hdr but look garish and over processed but that is just my opinion, I respect the photographer for their work, as long as it was their vision.  :)

Alan
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: louoates on February 09, 2012, 07:12:28 PM
I dabble in HDR for specific goals I know I can't achieve in one shot. I think it's curious that some folks to identify themselves as "HDR" photographers. Much like those labeling themselves "pinhole", "panorama", "medium format", "large format", "Holga", "cell phone", etc. photographers.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on February 15, 2012, 10:35:53 PM
It was a typo, dude - get over yourself.  You'd argue with a doorknob ... and lose.

;D
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: John R on February 18, 2012, 05:23:20 PM
I did at first. Saw too many garish images. But the way I look at it now, as most have said, it is really a tool where you can try to create a look or quickly rectify image light disparites with presets- or you can vary that as well. You can go for the so-called authenic and true look to bring light levels under control or you can use it to create something artistic. I did these two. Are they garish? To me the first looks like an illustration. All I really did was to accentuate what was already there. With some effort, you can do the same in photoshop without using an HDR specific program.

(http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/i-SRfs73S/0/M/Feb-5-12-Downtown-HDRsmallcrop-M.jpg) (http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/6157147_wZQ4vV#!i=1699753773&k=SRfs73S&lb=1&s=A)

(http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/i-Sz7r97Z/0/M/Feb-12-12-Downtown-HDR-373-HDR-M.jpg) (http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/6157147_wZQ4vV#!i=1710452280&k=Sz7r97Z&lb=1&s=A)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhotoEcosse on February 19, 2012, 09:55:07 AM
I see HDR as having two completely separate applications (probably many more).

1. To compensate for the limitations of current digital camera sensors by allowing the full tonal range, as interpreted by the human eye, to be more closely reproduced in an image. Done well, it should not be possible to tell that HDR has been used.

2. As an artistic tool capable of producing a wide range of "treatments" extending from the subtle to the outlandish. Used this way, HDR will be more or less obvious and whether any individual hates or loves a particular image will depend upon personal appreciation (or otherwise) of the artist's rendition.

Horses for courses, different strokes for different folks and a plethora of similar inane cliches.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on February 19, 2012, 10:24:02 AM
I see HDR as having two completely separate applications (probably many more).

1. To compensate for the limitations of current digital camera sensors by allowing the full tonal range, as interpreted by the human eye, to be more closely reproduced in an image. Done well, it should not be possible to tell that HDR has been used.

2. As an artistic tool capable of producing a wide range of "treatments" extending from the subtle to the outlandish. Used this way, HDR will be more or less obvious and whether any individual hates or loves a particular image will depend upon personal appreciation (or otherwise) of the artist's rendition.

Point 1 is wrong. The existence of HDR techniques and software is not beause of the limitations of digital sensors. Even if you had a digital sensor capable of capturing in a single shot what today requires bracketing (and these sensors will become true with electronic noise being reduced with technology advances), the problems in HDR scenes would be the same, and HDR techniques will still be necessary because of the limited dynamic range of the output devices (print, monitor, projector) compared to real world scenes and human vision.

So the only difference with today's situation once we have super HDR cameras, will be that only one shot will be needed. But unless the cameras include the tone mapping algorithms to process the RAW capture, we'll still have to work hard on post processing HDR scenes.

Regards
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: MrSmith on February 19, 2012, 04:55:18 PM
"Are they garish?"

for me yes totally OTT.
but then you can't please everyone and i expect some people will find them totally acceptable.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: John R on February 20, 2012, 02:05:42 PM
"Are they garish?"

for me yes totally OTT.
but then you can't please everyone and i expect some people will find them totally acceptable.
Actually, I agree and do find most of the HDR images I have seen as being OTT. But I have to tell you, all the colours you see in the Toronto city hall are pretty much there, as well as the red aura in the sky from the lights of the downtown city core. So the scenes colours are OTT all by themselves! Here is another version where I attempted to remove the green-yellow cast created by the lights under the arches. I will try to reduce the red in the sky to what I saw.

I also found the HDR program leaves a lot to be desired, with most images being soft. It is difficult to get a more subtle and realistic look than is often admitted. The program seems to have difficulty registering despite all the measures I take to ensure trueness. Perhaps I should avoid zoom lenses. I am still experimenting and my friend and I just wanted see how this HDR method would work with city skyline images. Green-orange is by far the most prevalent of the many colour casts given off by city lights. They often look quite garish. However, your point is taken and when my experiments are done, I doubt I will persue this kind of photography, except for fun and on rare occasions. C'est la vie.

(http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/i-g9bWnRD/0/M/Feb-12-12-Downtown-HDR-373-HDR-M.jpg) (http://johnroias.smugmug.com/Other/Pictorials/6157147_wZQ4vV#!i=1718906853&k=g9bWnRD&lb=1&s=A)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: hjulenissen on February 20, 2012, 02:13:31 PM
limited dynamic range of the output devices (print, monitor, projector) compared to real world scenes and human vision.
I dont think there are any theoretical limits to how large the DR of monitors and projectors might become? With LED or another efficient source of light, the peak brightness can be very high without needing a nuclear powerplant in the room next-door. Blacks may be limited by display/screen reflectivity, wall/floor/roof reflectivity and presence of bright sources or light (such as bright image pixels).

For paper the limit seems to be in the 100:1 range until we find something blacker than charcoal.

-h
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: AJMorris on February 22, 2012, 12:12:27 AM
In my opinion HDR is a Love/Hate thing. I have seen some really crappy and weird looking HDR images although im sure that some people out there like that style. its not for me. On the other hand I use HDR when the use of a neutral gradient filter would kill the details in an uneven horizon. I dont want the tops of my mountains to look dark and the bottoms bright. I take particular care to produce an image that doesnt look crazy, but accurate to what we see with our eyes. Sometimes its just the better option.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhotoEcosse on February 26, 2012, 07:58:53 AM
I posted this image in the Landscape and Nature section but I am also adding it to this thread as I am interested in the use of HDR for dealing with exposure problems.

In this case the "correctly exposed" version was taken at 1/400 at f/9, ISO 200 in Aperture Priority. Because the histogram showed both burned out highlights and dense shadows, two more exposures were taken at -2EV and +2EV and then combined with the "middle" exposure in HDR Efex Pro from within Lightroom.

The middle image did, indeed, have small areas of burned out highlight and, more importantly, large areas of shadow on the left-facing walls of the mill where no detail was visible. Combining the three images in HDR allowed those problems to be corrected to the extent that the left-facing walls are still clearly in shadow but some stonework detail is visible. (which is much closer to what the eye could see)

(http://www.premier-pages.co.uk/prestonmill22.jpg)

.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 26, 2012, 10:30:06 AM
To me, the scene does not look like requiring HDR, but as something where a properly exposed single shot would benefit from a bit of highlight recovery and shadow opening in LR.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhotoEcosse on February 26, 2012, 11:03:16 AM
I had tried that, Slobodan, but no amount of "Fill Light" in LR would bring back any detail in the shadows of the original image. Only the +2EV exposure had the detail you can see in the HDR version above. I probably could have reduced the highlights with the "Recovery" slider but (in LR3) that would have affected the whole image. In HDR Efex Pro, I was able to attack the highlights selectively using the Control Points.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 26, 2012, 12:42:02 PM
... no amount of "Fill Light" in LR would bring back any detail in the shadows of the original image...

Say what!?

LR isn't able to pull out any shadow detail from a RAW file!? 
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: PhotoEcosse on February 26, 2012, 01:57:37 PM
Not if it has been beyond the dynamic range of the sensor. The Fill and Recovery functions in Lightroom (or ACR) can only reveal what was captured by the sensor in the first place. When only one end of the histogram is "off the scale" then a different exposure might have been better; but when both ends are off the scale, then the sad fact is that the dynamic range of the scene was greater than current sensors can cope with (that image was with a Nikon D300). New generations of digital sensors will undoubtedly have greater DR capabilities.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: jjj on February 26, 2012, 11:17:35 PM
Not if it has been beyond the dynamic range of the sensor. The Fill and Recovery functions in Lightroom (or ACR) can only reveal what was captured by the sensor in the first place. .....New generations of digital sensors will undoubtedly have greater DR capabilities.
And new generations of LR can make older RAW files look sharper [Process Version 2010] and increase Dynamic range too [Process Version 2012] when compared to images processed in older software. That's the beauty of RAW.
Take this image (http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com/#id=album-6&num=content-1560). Flash failed to provide enough fill and sky was burnt out when I first tried processing this in 2006. However in LR4, it is vastly improved over previous attempts to process image and although it has a bit more of a HDR look than I like, I'm much happier with it. And this was only a quick tweak in LR4. I may go back later as I still think it can be improve upon.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: slackercruster on June 14, 2012, 08:53:57 PM
OP...Nope, luv it.   Surreal to low key...like it all.

Been experimenting with LDR too...low dynamic range.

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/jpeg555.jpg)

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/3sa.jpg)

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/s34adg.jpg)



These 2 are not mine, the pix are by anon photogs, just the LDR work is mine.)

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/simp1.jpg)

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/s123rf.jpg)


Les Krims sent me a couple of his images below. Really fantastic tone mapped hdr street pix he is doing. Les has really evolved with the times if you know his earlier work.

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/lcmm.jpg)

(http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/Color%20photography/139-WavingWomanTowelHead.jpg)
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: slackercruster on June 14, 2012, 09:03:51 PM
OK, that's fine, I certainly don't expect everyone to dig these images. I was mainly responding to the suggesting that they look like 'renderings' which I took to mean fake.

I'm curious though about what you mean by low-contrast. With the exception of the last one, to my eye these all have a wide range of contrast. Some even have blowouts and pure blacks. So it makes me wonder what you mean by lack of contrast.

Renderings are good. They catch a person's eye. The person asks are those artists renderings or a photo or what? Then they require more study on the part of the viewer.

Now, I'm not sayin to grundge up every pix you get your hands on, but surreal has its place just as difussion does.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: slackercruster on June 14, 2012, 09:18:39 PM
Iíd have to ask the following:

If you shoot an image with a 5DMII, one capture, is it HDR?
If you shoot an image with the K5, one capture, is it HDR?
If one is, and one isnít, what makes them different? For that matter, enter any camera model and again, is a single capture HDR and if so (or if not) why?

If you take one capture on any camera system and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? If so why, if not why? Or is it just tone mapping?

If you take one raw image and render it two ways in your raw converter, but blend the two in Photoshop, is this HDR? I seem to hear many say its not (its Tone mapping. I agree).
If you take one TIFF image and render it two ways in Photoshop and blend the two, is this HDR? Or is it just tone mapping (Iíd say it is).
If you take one image, TIFF or raw, render it two ways and bring it into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR?

If you take multiple images that are bracketed and bring them into what is called HDR software, is this resulting image HDR? Based on the type of capture device, it always is, it sometimes is, it never is? For that matter, if you just took pieces of each and manually assembled them in Photoshop (NOT Merge to HDR), is this HDR?

Messy isnít it?

We discussed this on another forum.

1 RAW image processed with 3 exposures in LR gives you HDR, at least more DR than you get without the 3 for 1 processing.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/182420-thematic-post-your-high-dynamic-range-photos-here-9.html#post1964595

If something is just tone mapped and no DR increase, then just call it tone mapped. Some people call it pseudo HDR. I don't.
Title: Re: Do you hate HDR too?
Post by: slackercruster on June 14, 2012, 09:48:08 PM

OK guys, I made a poll for you with the Pentaxians on this topic.


http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-technique/189470-high-dynamic-range-luv-hate.html