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Author Topic: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range  (Read 13048 times)

Doug Peterson

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2011, 03:05:51 PM »

Chris, send me a raw file please. You know my address.

Can't say much else without the raw.

Sorry I've been absent for a while. We've been doing a New England Fall Color Workshop.

Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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Pantoned

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2011, 03:26:27 PM »

I spent the better part of a day blending a 7 exposure bracket to tame the contrast.  Had I submitted the unaltered image, the client would quickly have rejected it.

Have you tried exposure fusion?, 3 bracket shots should be enought and results (in my humble experience) are almost always more "natural looking" than hdr. I agree that photoshop masking is still the best.


« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 03:29:59 PM by Pantoned »
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fredjeang

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2011, 05:31:23 PM »

Chris
I've had a few discussions about this with my re-touchers as well.
Unfortunately it seems that at the moment, the layer/mask and spending quality time with your Wacom pen is the only real way to go.
I know this doesn't sound very positive, specially since it's such a time consuming process.
All the HDR softwares I've tried just don't have the sophistication needed.
The only other thing I can add is that I try to educate the clients on this style and explain the billing process!
am

I tend to agree with this.


There is an interesting plug-in:

Again, the motion softwares have a lot to offer.
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haefnerphoto

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2011, 09:29:49 PM »

Correct!  Lake Michigan it was.  Here was the process...

Shot a bracket from N to N-6 in 1 stop increments.
Processed the full bracket in PhotoMatix using Exposure Fusion.

Opened the fused HDR image and the Normal exposure in Photoshop.
Dropped the HDR image on top of the Normal image.
Used the luminosity on the base Normal image as a mask on the HDR image layer.
Hand blended from there.

Pain in the ass.

Chris, It is a pain in the ass but without lighting the scene you can produce an image that was not possible before the various softwares became available.  It's my workflow also, I explain to my clients that it produces an image as your eyes would perceive the subject and that the time spent refining it compares to the process of making a fine print.  Currently, I've found no alternative.  The time spent creating these final images is at least equal to the time spent taking them, in some cases, greater, but they are pretty damn good images.  Here's one from the other night.  Jim

Scott Hargis

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2011, 09:51:37 PM »

Correct!  Lake Michigan it was.  Here was the process...

Shot a bracket from N to N-6 in 1 stop increments.
Processed the full bracket in PhotoMatix using Exposure Fusion.

Opened the fused HDR image and the Normal exposure in Photoshop.
Dropped the HDR image on top of the Normal image.
Used the luminosity on the base Normal image as a mask on the HDR image layer.
Hand blended from there.

Pain in the ass.

Wait....what about lights? Are you firing strobes and/or using continuous lighting in each bracket? Or (in this specific instance) are you lighting the foreground, and then working the brackets to achieve good values for the conference room & window only?

ChristopherBarrett

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2011, 10:19:06 PM »

Scott, there is almost always a fair amount of lighting as well.  I mix strobes and hot lights quite a bit... using the strobe for big soft fill and my Dedos to pick up small areas.  Then I'm often turning the strobe off for the bracket to ensure that nothing is reflecting in the windows as they gain tone.

Doug, I'm off to Québec in the morning.  I'll get you a raw when I return.

Thanks!
CB
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 10:23:03 PM by CBarrett »
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ondebanks

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2011, 07:25:37 AM »

Correct!  Lake Michigan it was.  Here was the process...

Shot a bracket from N to N-6 in 1 stop increments.
Processed the full bracket in PhotoMatix using Exposure Fusion.

Opened the fused HDR image and the Normal exposure in Photoshop.
Dropped the HDR image on top of the Normal image.
Used the luminosity on the base Normal image as a mask on the HDR image layer.
Hand blended from there.

Pain in the ass.

That turned out really well. Your effort was worth it!

PS - is that a row of cabbages on the LHS? I can't keep up with the latest fashions in corporate decor...or maybe it's catering, not decor!  :D
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David Eichler

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2011, 02:22:50 AM »

Have you tried exposure fusion?, 3 bracket shots should be enought and results (in my humble experience) are almost always more "natural looking" than hdr. I agree that photoshop masking is still the best.




Pantoned, James and Chris are referring to the exposure fusion process, using the Photomatix option for this. Also, the term HDR gets used to mean various things by different people. Some people include exposure fusion within the definition. Some people use the term HDR strictly to refer to processes such as Photomatix's HDR/tonemapping option. Others include Photoshop layering and compositing for contrast reduction within the definition. In the broadest sense, could even include the Zone System. Gets rather confusing sometimes.
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Pantoned

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2011, 05:21:36 AM »

Pantoned, James and Chris are referring to the exposure fusion process, using the Photomatix option for this. Also, the term HDR gets used to mean various things by different people. Some people include exposure fusion within the definition. Some people use the term HDR strictly to refer to processes such as Photomatix's HDR/tonemapping option. Others include Photoshop layering and compositing for contrast reduction within the definition. In the broadest sense, could even include the Zone System. Gets rather confusing sometimes.

Sorry, I missed some in-between posts. I just wanted to suggest that -unlike hdr- with exposure fusion 3 shots can produce better results than 6, but maybe it has been my biased personal experience. I remeber gulliermo luijk saying something like this some time ago when he was developing his zero noise soft.

It would be interesting to see what is people experience regarding number of shots using exposure fusion. I know it is a very scene-specific subject but there is always room to learn from other people experiences. At least (for me) i'm far more interested in talking about post production workflows than the never ending camera storie


Arnau.
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LUWAfx

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #69 on: October 21, 2011, 04:10:57 AM »



Shot a bracket from N to N-6 in 1 stop increments.


Greetings Chris, when you say you shoot N to N-6,  do you mean ND Graduated Filters ? Sorry for this question,

but Im really new to this and would like to learn....


Luke
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ondebanks

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #70 on: October 22, 2011, 06:23:48 AM »

Greetings Chris, when you say you shoot N to N-6,  do you mean ND Graduated Filters ? Sorry for this question,

but Im really new to this and would like to learn....


Luke

No, Chris meant that he varied the exposure in successive frames, by shortening the shutter speed, from the "Normal" (N, the "recommended" metered speed for the overall scene), to 1 stop less, 2 stops less, ...down to 6 stops less (N-6).

The "N+/-X" terminology comes from deliberate under/over-exposure of film and compensating under/over-development - especially large format sheet film shooters using the zone system.

Ray
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LUWAfx

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Re: The Never Ending Holy Quest for Dynamic Range
« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2011, 07:21:58 AM »

No, Chris meant that he varied the exposure in successive frames, by shortening the shutter speed, from the "Normal" (N, the "recommended" metered speed for the overall scene), to 1 stop less, 2 stops less, ...down to 6 stops less (N-6).

The "N+/-X" terminology comes from deliberate under/over-exposure of film and compensating under/over-development - especially large format sheet film shooters using the zone system.

Ray


thx a lot ray for clearing this up

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