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Author Topic: Contemporary HDR?  (Read 1835 times)

earlybird

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Contemporary HDR?
« on: January 02, 2018, 11:31:32 AM »

Hi,
 I have used Photomatix and Nik HDR tools to merge HDR composites in the past, but transitioned to using tone mapping tools on single 16 bit files.
 
 I just got back from a trip to the desert where I made a few bracket sets so I may try HDR merging again.

 Last night I downloaded the SNS-HDR software and found its results to seem much better than anything I have tried in the past.

 The experience has caused me to wonder; are there any other new HDR merging softwares to try out or has SNS set a new standard?

 Thank you.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 12:23:19 PM »

Last night I downloaded the SNS-HDR software and found its results to seem much better than anything I have tried in the past.

 The experience has caused me to wonder; are there any other new HDR merging softwares to try out or has SNS set a new standard?

I'm a big fan of SNS-HDR, in most of its features, it's much better than the rest of the applications for tonemapping, IMHO. Not sure about how far the author has come with his Mac OS version, but it is reported to run fine under Parallels.

While it can handle Raw files, it really shines with optimally converted TIFFs. It automatically adopts the Colorspace Profile settings of the source documents, and with TIFFs one can e.g. already steer the color balance of different exposure levels with the Raw conversions.

Cheers,
Bart
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== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

earlybird

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 12:32:40 PM »

Hi Bart,
 Thanks for the helpful info.

 While working with the demo this morning, I had stumbled on the idea of prepping with CR2 to TIFF conversions for the very reasons you suggest.

 Thank you.

 
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stockjock

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 07:38:20 PM »

It looks like this thread is pretty much dead but I wanted to suggest looking at both Aurora HDR and Luminar 2018 from Skylum.  Aurora is explicitly for merging HDR photos although it can also operate on a single image.  Luminar doesn't have the photo merge functionality but it incorporates most/all of the other features of Aurora plus a whole lot of other features.  I use the programs on Windows and they are still incomplete for that platform versus the Mac versions but I've achieved some really remarkable photos that I couldn't with Photomatix, HDR EFex Pro or Merge to HDR in Lightroom.  You have to be careful not to get heavy handed and go overboard on the whole HDR look but using the features judiciously can add a lot of value to your image processing.  Luminar, in particular, is aiming to be a full featured image processing program.  I don't think it is there yet (especially on the PC) but if you use it as a plug in to Lightroom I think it is well worth the $59 you can usually buy it for.  Both programs have demos although Skylum doesn't make it easy to find them.  https://macphun.com/luminar-trial or https://aurorahdr.com/downloads.  I haven't tried SNS-HDR yet.
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kirkt

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 09:55:58 AM »

Aurora has come a long way since it was first introduced, and it can produce some high-quality images.  The workflow that it supports is severely lacking though - it cannot read or write any standard HDR formats (Radiance, EXR, TIFF) and the batch processing feature does not even write their own proprietary ".mpaur2" file format (which presumably stores the HDR result of a merge).  That is, if you have a batch of exposure sequences for HDR merging and you want to have Aurora segment each set, merge them and output a floating point, 32-bit per channel file for each merge operation, you cannot.  You can only output an LDR image for each sequence that has been toned with a single preset.  If you use it for HDR imaging, then you are bound and wed to it to the point of producing toned, LDR output.  That includes alignment and deghosting, merge algorithm and toning.

I have contacted their support a few times over the last year or two to suggest adding features and improving their toning, etc., and providing test image sets that demonstrate errors and artifacts and they usually respond, even though it is a somewhat generic response.  Hopefully they will improve the ability for their application to accept and integrate a standard HDR workflow and also improve their batch processing.  If you are interested in the application, download a trial and try to ignore the Trey Ratcliff hyper-promotional videos.  His over-the-top cartoonish HDR ship sailed a long time ago.

kirk
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Alan Smallbone

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 10:06:53 AM »

As another option, although I cannot say that I have actually tried it, Affinity Photo has a tone mapping persona(tool section). Maybe try your optimally processed tifs in that as well, can't beat the price. I have moved away from Adobe, and my PS replacement is Affinity Photo.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
Orange County, CA

guido

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 06:12:34 AM »

Another Affinity Photo fan. I'm new to the HDR party, but I've been quite happy with the result I've been getting with AP. The interface is nicely laid out and the ghosting prevention is first rate (manual override if needed) and the ToneMapping controls are powerful yet very easy to use. It reads raw files directly so there is no extra steps involved. My one concern is the processing time for merging 50mp images, it is the only time my i7 7700 seems slow... ::)
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guido

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Re: Contemporary HDR?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 09:08:42 AM »

Here is an example of some current HDR play with Affinity Photo:

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