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Author Topic: Do you hate HDR too?  (Read 332124 times)

Alexandre Buisse

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #100 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:








And more
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bill t.

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #101 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.
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PhillyPhotographer

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #102 on: December 06, 2008, 09:51:59 pm »

Quote from: mnmblu



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.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 09:52:47 pm by PhillyPhotographer »
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PhillyPhotographer

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #103 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 !










bill t.

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #104 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.
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JDClements

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #105 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.
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lensfactory

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #106 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.
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PhillyPhotographer

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #107 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

bill t.

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #108 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.
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Ray

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #109 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:








And more

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.
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Alexandre Buisse

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #110 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.
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Ray

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« Reply #111 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.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 04:19:24 am by Ray »
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Alexandre Buisse

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #112 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.
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Ray

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« Reply #113 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.
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PhillyPhotographer

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #114 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).



usathyan

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« Reply #115 on: December 10, 2008, 11:29:51 am »

Quote from: mnmblu



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!
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Ray

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« Reply #116 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]
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PhillyPhotographer

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #117 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.

gr82bart

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« Reply #118 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.
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jjj

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Do you hate HDR too?
« Reply #119 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.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 10:52:20 am by jjj »
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