Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Landscape & Nature Photography => Topic started by: Paul Kay on April 09, 2007, 02:26:33 PM

Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Paul Kay on April 09, 2007, 02:26:33 PM
I have been shooting a lot in order to try Photomatix and see what the resultant images are like! Sometimes I'm very impressed and the results are very photographic with superb tonality but sometimes not. The conditions and light quality seem to be very decisive in dictating final results. Here are two images from North Wales taken in the last few days for comment:
[attachment=2265:attachment][attachment=2266:attachment]
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Gordon Buck on April 09, 2007, 09:46:36 PM
Nice shots, my compliments.

Sometimes I like HDR and sometimes not.  So far, my results with HDR and Photomatix) are rather unpredictable although better than I can get with CS2/3beta.  The only conclusion that I've drawn is that if chimping the histogram indicates that multiple exposures are necessary then HDR (and Photomatix) can produce an image that I like.

That said, sometimes tinkering with the Photomatix settings produces an odd image that I really like -- I just don't understand how to do this consistently but am hoping to learn.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: seanmcfoto on April 09, 2007, 09:53:40 PM
Paul,
Those images look good and still look quite natural.

Gordon,
I've just started with Photomatix and I have to agree, sometimes it's not easy to get it looking good.. Practice, I guess.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: :Ollivr on April 10, 2007, 04:48:52 AM
Congrats, nice images! There are some halos due to the tonemapping but its a matter of taste if one worries about that. I think some pictures can have a bit of halo and still look good.
In case you dont like the halos you could try to use the HDR/Tonemapped frame as a layer for havng the microtonality in the rocks and another non-hdr frame for the critical parts prone to halo (paint over it).

O.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: LoisWakeman on April 10, 2007, 05:21:49 AM
Paul - in general, my answer is I don't like them, as all too often they are flat and dull, or just plain weird but not in a good way. But I suspect that is as much to do with the way the tools are used (not well) as the technique in general.

As for your images: the first is very naturalistic. The second is not (well, as far as I can tell as I wasn't there with you) - but it does have a serene and surreal, dreamy charm of its own, and I would have been pleased to have taken it. The sky looks a bit muddy (only on my laptop which has a weedy monitor - so not conclusive), but apart from that, it's very attractive.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: laughingbear on April 10, 2007, 06:47:28 AM
Greetings,

this is an interesting thread. I also started recently to expore the possibilities of HDR for Landscapes, and while I have not established an informed opinion yet, my gut feeling tells my this is an interesting tool to work with.

The below example is a panorama crop that was made from 4 pictures, shot in 3x exposure blending @1EV. The resulting 4 TIFF's were processed in Photomatix and then in PS.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: JeffKohn on April 10, 2007, 04:11:59 PM
I think the examples in this thread are pretty good. But more often than not the tone-mapped HDR images I see on the web have an artificial look to them due to too much local contrast or halos. Sometimes it can be an interesting look if that's what you're going for, but not really what I would consider a realistic looking photo.

I've played with Photomatix quite a bit, and have rarely been able to get a tone-mapped result that I was happy with; it either comes out too flat-looking or too cartoonish-looking. I can almost always get what I consider to be a more natural looking result by manually combining the exposures the old-fashioned way in Photoshop (using layers and masks). This latter approach usually results in something more similar to what we're used to seeing from film shots with ND-grad filters (except that you have more control over over the light-dark transition with masks).

As :Ollivr mentioned, sometimes a combination of the two approaches (HDR tone-mapping and layered exposures) can work well.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: SlimE on May 16, 2007, 10:01:04 AM
I tend to feel that HDR is only a great tool if the shot really has the dynamic range to justify it. Otherwise its hard to get natural looking results.Nice photos though!
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Neil Hunt on May 16, 2007, 01:18:39 PM
Your shot of Penmon Lighthouse is one of the best HDR images I've seen, perhaps I'm biased by the fact that its one of my favourite spots in the world.

In general though I just can't get into HDR, maybe because the viewer's attention isn't directed around the image the way it would be with more defined highlights and shadows.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: RomanJohnston on May 29, 2007, 11:50:36 AM
Desirig a mmore natural look in my work, I have not been a big fan of HDR.....they can make for some beautiful work....and I often see shots just like this that I DO like....but not my cup of tea in my own portfolio.

Personally I think HDR is in it's infantsy....and has a LOT of maturing to do.

For me if "flattens" the natural light to the point of loosing its direction...and all the other visual clues we as humans look for.

That for me is a deal killer.

Nice work though!!!

Roman
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on June 01, 2007, 08:53:57 AM
HDR is simply one of many tools one can use to create an image. It can be done well or done badly, and is not appropriate for every image. But it should not be ignored, either; every well-rounded photographer should know how and when to use it.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: RomanJohnston on June 01, 2007, 09:03:41 AM
Quote
HDR is simply one of many tools one can use to create an image. It can be done well or done badly, and is not appropriate for every image. But it should not be ignored, either; every well-rounded photographer should know how and when to use it.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=120601\")

I have yet to see a work flow that dosnt kill the dynamics of the natural light. (looses its crispness.....you know...that micro contrast) Therfore it isnt in my kit of tools. If I could find a workflow that wouldnt do that to the shots....I would consider it....Till then no dice...my tools will always out perofrm what I have seen so far.

If you have any enlightning materials....I am ALL about learning....I went through great pains to figure out the best path for me in the world of compressing Dynamic Range.....My tutorial here is the best I have come up with so far.....but feel free to point out somthing that works better....(it is similar to the tutorial here, but with some twists)

[a href=\"http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthreads/information/php/2007_Articles/rjohnston/roman2.php]http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthreads/in...ston/roman2.php[/url]

Roman
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Brentbat on June 04, 2007, 04:24:14 AM
Folks

I've spent the last 3 months really focusing on HDR.  And I have to say that I am a convert if it is used carefully.  I really don't care for the "over-cooked" HDR images, but instead I try to use it subtely.  Here's a couple that I shot.

 (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/214/513181756_fdc49425b1_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/513181756/)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/505145129_68f7707a9b_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/505145129/)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/230/487889476_a2046d0412_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/487889476/)


So the two most important sliders in Photomatix that impact how natural your tonemapping is going to be
1) Strength - Keep closer to the middle for more realistic images, over to the right for more "intense" images

2) Light Smoothing - This is the key one.  If you want your images realistic, then leave it hard over to the right.

Hope this helps...  I agree with previous contributors... HDR is just one more tool in the photographic arsenal... In the wrong hands it can look awful, in the right hands it can create scenes that are very difficult to do through traditional bracketing/blending.

Hope this helps.

Brent
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: RomanJohnston on June 04, 2007, 07:19:20 AM
Nice Images...the middle one comes closest I have seen to removing that synthetic feel...but it still has it.

Somthing about the process flattens the light out....makes the picture look like a REALLY good Computer Generated scene.

Roman


Quote
Folks

I've spent the last 3 months really focusing on HDR.  And I have to say that I am a convert if it is used carefully.  I really don't care for the "over-cooked" HDR images, but instead I try to use it subtely.  Here's a couple that I shot.

 (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/214/513181756_fdc49425b1_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/513181756/)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/505145129_68f7707a9b_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/505145129/)

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/230/487889476_a2046d0412_m.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentbat/487889476/)
So the two most important sliders in Photomatix that impact how natural your tonemapping is going to be
1) Strength - Keep closer to the middle for more realistic images, over to the right for more "intense" images



2) Light Smoothing - This is the key one.  If you want your images realistic, then leave it hard over to the right.

Hope this helps...  I agree with previous contributors... HDR is just one more tool in the photographic arsenal... In the wrong hands it can look awful, in the right hands it can create scenes that are very difficult to do through traditional bracketing/blending.

Hope this helps.

Brent
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121015\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Brentbat on June 04, 2007, 11:44:51 PM
Quote
Nice Images...the middle one comes closest I have seen to removing that synthetic feel...but it still has it.

Somthing about the process flattens the light out....makes the picture look like a REALLY good Computer Generated scene.

Roman
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121023\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, you are right Roman, by definition of HDR, it is flattening out the tonal range that you would normally capture, but it does this to include shadows/highlights that would otherwise be lost.

Any way you look at it, you are going to compress something if you are trying to render high range subjects.  There are definitely some subjects that I think are not suitable for HDR treatment, and for those I will use masks and exposure blending.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 08, 2007, 01:25:35 PM
Quote
HDR is simply one of many tools one can use to create an image. It can be done well or done badly, and is not appropriate for every image. But it should not be ignored, either; every well-rounded photographer should know how and when to use it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120601\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm new to the technique and the few times I have tried creating an HDR it has NOT been successful. When would you use it and when would you not? If the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the sensors dynamic range and you don't want shadows going black you would use the technique?
Marc
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 08, 2007, 01:40:23 PM
The images are very nice so I took a stab at HDR without much initial success.
Using Photomatix what settings/techniques do you use to get good results? I started with 3 exposures -2. 0 +2 used HDR/Generate then HDR/tone mapping played with the sliders a lot but never got anything close to good results. Any help would be appreciated.
Marc

The original (single exposure) conversion, the final (single exposure) and the HDR
[attachment=2613:attachment][attachment=2612:attachment][attachment=2614:attachm
ent]
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: jani on June 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM
Quote
Yes, you are right Roman, by definition of HDR, it is flattening out the tonal range that you would normally capture, but it does this to include shadows/highlights that would otherwise be lost.
This is why it should either be called CDR (compressed dynamic range) or CHDR (compressed high dynamic range), not HDR. Calling it "HDR" only adds to the confusion.

It's not HDR until what you see has a high dynamic range. As long as monitors and printers don't allow a high dynamic range, "HDR" isn't really HDR.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: VidJa on June 11, 2007, 05:49:15 PM
Tanks guys for this nice tread. I haven't done much myself but here is one, the first one is non-HDR in evening light and the second one HDR in morning light, but almost a 11 months later.

normal
(http://rombalboni.demon.nl/pictures/640/DSC_0718.jpg)

hdr with photomatix
(http://rombalboni.demon.nl/pictures/640/DSC_5264_5266.jpg)

My Webpage (http://rombalboni.demon.nl)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: JeffKohn on June 13, 2007, 09:32:30 AM
Quote
This is why it should either be called CDR (compressed dynamic range) or CHDR (compressed high dynamic range), not HDR. Calling it "HDR" only adds to the confusion.
The process of converting an HDR image to 8/16-bit is called tone-mapping, so I think tone-mapped HDR is a pretty good description of what we're talking about.

I agree with the "compressed" comment though, because most of the images coming out of photomatix that I see have heavy local contrast which really clobbers sublte tonal variations. That's my biggest complaint with photomatix tone-mapping.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: jani on June 13, 2007, 11:44:50 AM
Quote
The process of converting an HDR image to 8/16-bit is called tone-mapping, so I think tone-mapped HDR is a pretty good description of what we're talking about.
Not really, because the end result isn't an image with a high dynamic range. The end result is a quite normal dynamic range.

But seen from that point of view, "compressed dynamic range" is almost as bad, because it might give the impression that the dynamic range is somehow worse than for another image.

Perhaps simply "tone-mapped dynamic range" is accurate enough, as long as that is the technique being used.

But I'm starting to warm up to "compressed high dynamic range".
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: markhout on June 13, 2007, 02:36:33 PM
FWIW, I'm learning to use HDR not to get an overtly artificial look, but rather to explore the dynamic range in the image. This is an initial test (3 merged images), straight from Photomatix with only saturation toned down and sharpened for web use:

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/146/339893196_974158e832.jpg)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: wmchauncey on June 15, 2007, 04:11:08 PM
Mark, I liked your last HDR, but I have some questions from a newbee.
What were your camera settings and what glass did you use?

And for others, does anyone use CS3 for HDR and what results obtained?
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: markhout on June 16, 2007, 09:07:07 AM
Quote
Mark, I liked your last HDR, but I have some questions from a newbee.
What were your camera settings and what glass did you use?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123022\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This is a high dynamic range image, from 3 exposures, one with average exposure, one 2 stops over average and one 2 stops under average. Merged with Photomatix; levels, some saturation, cropping, cloning, sharpening and jpeg conversion in PS CS.

More tech data:
Nikon D80, Tokina 12-24mm at 12mm, f/9, 1/320, 1/80 and 1/20 sec exposures, ISO 100. RAW files corrected for white balance only, converted to TIFF before HDR generation in Photomatix. And a tripod, of course.

Here's another one, with similar settings. Also see my Flickr page (the url is in my footer):
(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/151/339893420_1625840d5d.jpg)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Digiteyesed on June 16, 2007, 01:10:41 PM
I've been playing with Photomatix as well. Here's an example of an image I've produced with it:

http://www.urbanrefugee.ca/example08.php (http://www.urbanrefugee.ca/example08.php)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 16, 2007, 07:25:42 PM
I downloaded photomatix and gave it a try the result is washed out and grey? I convert into Dcam3 colorspace and that is my working colorspace in photoshop is that possibly the problem? I've tried default settings and all sorts of slider combinations. I shot -2, 0, +2 not sure how everyone is getting such nice results?
Marc
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: markhout on June 16, 2007, 09:25:24 PM
Quote
I downloaded photomatix and gave it a try the result is washed out and grey? I convert into Dcam3 colorspace and that is my working colorspace in photoshop is that possibly the problem? I've tried default settings and all sorts of slider combinations. I shot -2, 0, +2 not sure how everyone is getting such nice results?
Marc
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123195\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not sure about dcam3, but I did find that using the ProPhoto colorspace results in a much too saturated HDR image. The images shown above in this thread are sRGB's all the way throuh (i.e. raw file processed into sRGB space). Also, although my examples above are in +2, 0, -2, I founds that sometimes +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3 gives an even better result. Finally, did you try to use straight RAW files into Photomatix? Sometimes the Photomatix RAW processing is not ideal.

Can you post a jpeg of the file you refer to?

Hope this works,

Mark
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 16, 2007, 09:35:46 PM
Quote
Not sure about dcam3, but I did find that using the ProPhoto colorspace results in a much too saturated HDR image. The images shown above in this thread are sRGB's all the way throuh (i.e. raw file processed into sRGB space). Also, although my examples above are in +2, 0, -2, I founds that sometimes +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3 gives an even better result. Finally, did you try to use straight RAW files into Photomatix? Sometimes the Photomatix RAW processing is not ideal.

Can you post a jpeg of the file you refer to?

Hope this works,

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123218\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mark
I used DXO to convert into tiffs (dcam3 colorspace)
The original (single exposure) conversion, the final (single exposure) and the HDR
Marc
[attachment=2645:attachment][attachment=2644:attachment][attachment=2646:attachm
ent]
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: markhout on June 17, 2007, 05:36:00 PM
Quote
Mark
I used DXO to convert into tiffs (dcam3 colorspace)
The original (single exposure) conversion, the final (single exposure) and the HDR
Marc
[attachment=2645:attachment][attachment=2644:attachment][attachment=2646:attachm
ent]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123222\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
OK - I thought you had taken 3 differently exposed pictures. The HDR doesn't look bad though. The histogram (attached) is quite nice, it may not be the ideal image to start off with (it's pretty monochromatic - only blue!), but I'm sure that if you tinker around in Photomatix you'll get what you want.[attachment=2650:attachment]
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 18, 2007, 01:23:04 AM
Quote
OK - I thought you had taken 3 differently exposed pictures. The HDR doesn't look bad though. The histogram (attached) is quite nice, it may not be the ideal image to start off with (it's pretty monochromatic - only blue!), but I'm sure that if you tinker around in Photomatix you'll get what you want.[attachment=2650:attachment]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123361\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The HDR was from 3 exposures -2,0,+2
Why did the foam turn out grey in the HDR not white?
The grey in the stone arch doesn't look right either,
As you say maybe not the correct scene for starters?
Marc
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: markhout on June 18, 2007, 10:41:21 PM
Quote
The HDR was from 3 exposures -2,0,+2
Why did the foam turn out grey in the HDR not white?
The grey in the stone arch doesn't look right either,
As you say maybe not the correct scene for starters?
Marc
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123428\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Someone noted earlier that HDR is in actual fact rather a compression of the dynamic range, and that's what you see in the histogram. This is an initially very contrasty scene that due to the HDR processing gets compressed without clipping in the histogram. Tweaking the HDR settings in Photomatix will allow you to get white foam, and otherwise a levels/curves tweak in PS after the HDR processing will get you there. Also, in the course of experimenting with Photomatix I found that some scenes require more than just+2 and -2 steps.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on June 20, 2007, 03:54:35 AM
Quote
Someone noted earlier that HDR is in actual fact rather a compression of the dynamic range, and that's what you see in the histogram. This is an initially very contrasty scene that due to the HDR processing gets compressed without clipping in the histogram. Tweaking the HDR settings in Photomatix will allow you to get white foam, and otherwise a levels/curves tweak in PS after the HDR processing will get you there. Also, in the course of experimenting with Photomatix I found that some scenes require more than just+2 and -2 steps.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks
I'll keep trying
Marc
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: tagor on June 22, 2007, 02:22:17 PM
Quote
And for others, does anyone use CS3 for HDR and what results obtained?
CS3 works ok for creating HDR images (merging files into a 32bit floating point HDR image), but the tonemapping options it provides are VERY poor.

-- Tilo
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: photographist on July 04, 2007, 11:36:30 AM
At Outback Photo, Uwe and Bettina have taken an interesting path with HDR.  They've published a number of HDR based images that are touch the artificial issues noted herein, but for the subject, they gave a dreamy, otherworldly feel.  I personally liked it.

They also have outlined an HDR workflow that lends itself better to the landscape environment.  They use HDR to create a well balanced image, but have noted that often the highlights or "the sparkle of the image" is lost.   They take the final HDR generated image and selectively overlay the original "single image", recapturing that spectral and light feel.   The additional step can make a world of difference!


Outback photo can be found at  http://www.outbackphoto.com/index_news.html (http://www.outbackphoto.com/index_news.html)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: BernardLanguillier on July 04, 2007, 11:54:16 AM
Still not really convinced.

I am yet to see a realistic application of HDR software that clearly tops a quick overlay and masking in PS.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: jani on July 04, 2007, 02:53:39 PM
Quote
Quick is the key word for me.  I'm learning, and by no means an expert, but I've been finding moderate use of HDR compression faster in areas that would require complex or precise masking.

Which of these images is using HDR compression?
Image 1 (http://green-bicycle.com/photos/148059527-M-1.jpg)
Image 2 (http://green-bicycle.com/photos/147781606-M-1.jpg)
The white pages look completely identical to me.  
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Forsh on July 04, 2007, 10:40:13 PM
http://www.mobypicture.com/user/littletonhairsalon/view/17414018

http://www.last.fm/user/littletonsalon

http://www.kiva.org/lender/botox

http://denver-colorado.weebly.com/

http://littleton-juvederm.weebly.com/

http://plancast.com/p/lrw9

http://www.salonandspa.services/component/tags/tag/17-juvederm-in-littleton

http://www.salonandspa.services/our-services/juvederm-littleton

http://botox.flavors.me/
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: Gordon Buck on July 05, 2007, 02:16:54 PM
I've posted some of my own HDR efforts at My Webpage (http://hornerbuck.com/HDR.aspx)

These images are the result of various experimenting with CS3 and Photomatix (standalone and plugin).  The cameras were either the Canon 20D or Canon G3.  Exposures varied between 2 and 7.  Most were made with camera mounted on the tripod but some were handheld.

Some of my images are a bit "over the top" but I like them anyway.  Early on, I was intentionally trying to get a "different" look but now I'm tending to try for a more photographic look.

It is very convenient to set the 20D for a 3 shot autobracket at -2, 0, +2; brace myself and fire away.  I then ask CS3 to align the resulting individual images.  Seems to work.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: TerryM on July 08, 2007, 12:11:39 PM
I also have found that Photomatix is great on some photos, but not on others. If there is a wide, dynamic light range and a wide tonal range, it will probably do well. Otherwise, forget it.

Here is one I did that came out rather well. shot from the top of Clingmans Dome in TN/NC.

http://www.pbase.com/terrym123/image/78695389 (http://www.pbase.com/terrym123/image/78695389)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: lightpause on July 10, 2007, 11:00:01 PM
I really enjoy producing HDR images, what I don't like in HDR is the "abuse" of the technology. By abuse I mean people that manipulate their photos in a way that is not realistic. When I produce a HDR image as with any other image I try to recreate the moment I lived on the location rather than produce a over edited image.
I think though this is a personal opinion and many people I know like the "over edited" results HDR produces, though for me I would be more inclined in leaving the HDR processing to a very soft level, something that you look at and you think that it might be HDR but you are not sure.
Having said that, Photomatix is surely one of the best spent money I ever spent.

All the best,

Rod
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: MartynD200 on July 13, 2007, 06:44:18 AM
I use HDR for quite a few of my landscapes...but like some have said before, it doesnt work with all images. Heres a few examples from me.

Created with : D200+ NX+PSCS3+Photomatix

http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467770.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467770.jpg)
http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467593.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467593.jpg)
http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467794.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467794.jpg)
http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467789.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/purplepond/image/76467789.jpg)

Martyn
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: barryfitzgerald on July 26, 2007, 08:27:46 PM
I like a lot of the images here.

HDR is fine, but sometimes people just go overboard on the "render" look, if its not overprocessed, it can look good. If it is, it looks awful (to me)

It's like anything...nice for some variation, but not something to be uber overdone.
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: JeffKohn on July 30, 2007, 02:20:37 PM
I almost always use the Photoshop layers approach, but this particular shot was beyond my capabilties to manually merge in PS, so I gave Photomatix a try. This is probably the first image I've tried where Photomatix tone-mapping produced a result that I felt was better than I could achieve with layers in Photoshop:

http://www.pbase.com/jkohn/image/82837616/original (http://www.pbase.com/jkohn/image/82837616/original)
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: marcmccalmont on August 06, 2007, 02:01:24 AM
Quote
I almost always use the Photoshop layers approach, but this particular shot was beyond my capabilties to manually merge in PS, so I gave Photomatix a try. This is probably the first image I've tried where Photomatix tone-mapping produced a result that I felt was better than I could achieve with layers in Photoshop:

http://www.pbase.com/jkohn/image/82837616/original (http://www.pbase.com/jkohn/image/82837616/original)
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Jeff
beatiful picture! curious how many exposures you blended? and what settings you used? I have yet to get a good output from Photomatix
Marc
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: JeffKohn on August 06, 2007, 01:14:34 PM
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Jeff
beatiful picture! curious how many exposures you blended? and what settings you used? I have yet to get a good output from Photomatix
Marc
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Thanks Marc. That was 3 shots at -1, 0, and +1 EV spacing. I don't recall the exact settings for the tone mapping except that the defaults were too strong and I had to back off the Strength slider and lower the Luminosity slider. I've not had much luck with Photomatix in the past either, so I was actually a bit surprised this one worked out. The tone-mapping produced too much saturation on the sunlit portion of the canyon wall that I couldn't satisfactorily fix in Photomatix; but some selective desaturation in Photoshop took care of that.

I'm beginning to think maybe the excessive "false contrast" effect that many tone-mapped HDR's have is a result of using HDR for images that don't really need it. The traditional case of bringing the expsure of the sky down to match the ground doesn't seem to be what HDR is best at. Film photographers used grad filters in this situation, and I think the digital equivalent (photoshop layers) is more effective than HDR tonemapping.

I think HDR worked for this shot because you had heavy contrast not just between land and sky but between different parts of the canyon (sunlit versus shade). So the tonemapping didn't have to try to create local contrast where there shouldn't be any. I'm currently editing some shots from Lower Antelope Canyon, and Photomatix seems to be doing a good job with some of these as well (except for color shifts and saturation problems, but since I'm converting to black and white that isn't really an issue).
Title: Opinions on HDR
Post by: flyingpanther on August 14, 2007, 10:16:54 AM
(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1211/1066429140_08bd03658b_o.jpg) (http://www.imagekind.com/Showartwork.aspx?IMID=334dcd9a-de30-4da6-b4cc-da639d1dfc05)

I created a HDR tutorial page here if you are intersted: http://flyingpanther.wordpress.com/hdr-tutorial/ (http://flyingpanther.wordpress.com/hdr-tutorial/)