My first shot at HDR

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by carbon_dragon, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Recently bought Photomatix. I know this HDR is old hat, but these are my first attempts. The boats are from some M8 photographs I took in High Falls State Park. The others are right outside my condo door and were taken with my NEX-7.
    00ag3U-486949584.jpg
     
  2. First one outside my condo.
    00ag3V-486949684.jpg
     
  3. Last shot, also outside my Condo.
    00ag3Y-486951584.jpg
     
  4. I knew there was a reason I've never bothered with HDR!
    Sorry David, but I could make multiple layers in PS and swing the hue and saturation sliders differently on each one to get much the same effect.
    Your first shot of the boats looks basically nice. I don't think the HDR treatment improves it any.
     
  5. They are flat, HDR images need tweaking after Photomatix.
    Add some contrast with curves and see if your happier
     
  6. Were these handheld? Did you correct for ghosting? The images appear soft, not fully aligned and somewhat ghosted.
     
  7. Those first three are from the Painterly 2 preset. I like the HDR "look" though that's not the only thing people get out of HDR. I realize you can use it just to compress contrast. Here is the first picture with the default preset. It's what you'd get if you were looking for something more conservative.
    The look I'm mostly going for though is a dreamy sort of look, somewhat similar to HIE's (due to its lack of an anti-halation layer). Also, I like these shots, but I just want to see what the software does. The last two are quick shots outside my front door.
    00ag8o-487081684.jpg
     
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Your first shot of the boats looks basically nice. I don't think the HDR treatment improves it any.
    I agree! Sorry David. Might make a really lovely B&W. This HDR look is getting to be the 2010-2012 equivalent of a photo style that is over used and will be severely dated, like Light Painting, Polaroid Transfers, the soft graining Nancy Brown look of the 80’s etc. One creative photographer comes up with a unique look or process and everyone else tries to copy it until we are bored to death of the look and it disappears (thankfully). Making a convincing HDR (one that doesn’t scream HDR) is far more difficult....
     
  9. Well it depends on what you want. I'm starting with the presets. With the boats, that was the only picture in my files that I
    had multiple exposures for that I could try the program on. With the other two I just ran outside and shot several shots
    literally a few feet from my front door. From there I want to see what it creates and decide how to work it into my
    photography. The "stock" HDR look may seem dated to many, but I like it as a painterly interpretation of a scene, for the
    right images at least. The original boat picture was just useless with the dynamic range I was getting out of the camera.
    Perhaps a graduated ND might have been useful but I didn't have it with me at the time (years ago now). But this painterly
    preset looks pretty good to me for this image. And the more stock HDR look (without the extreme tone mapping and the
    higher saturation) is a more realistic version of the same picture.


    I'm an old HIE photographer and I like the dreamy interpretation HIE has for scenes because of the missing anti-halation
    layer. I've tried over the years to try to replicate that. I've done photoshop layers with gaussian blurs, I've tried old lenses
    wide open, and now I'm also trying HDR because it does seem to produce a kind of dreamy look.


    Not sure where I'll go once I've had a chance to understand the program's capabilities, but I'm not a pro so I really have to
    just please myself. I like peaceful, beautiful landscapes and I think that once I understand this program, it will be useful as
    a tool to create them, at least for some images.
     
  10. Well...your first attempts at HDR look better than my first attempts at HDR. The issue with using an HDR program like Photomatix is that it's easy to get lulled into letting the program do all of the work and spit out the result and that's a far as you take it. What you generally end up with, in a lot of cases, is an HDR image with a bunch of faults (e.g., freakish saturation, ghosting, weird skies, color banding, bad noise, etc.) and it's one of the big reasons why HDR is such a...shall we say, contentious topic around photographers. This is where doing additional post work on the HDR image really pays off. Every HDR image that I produce ends up with a trip through Lightroom and Photoshop (and frequently a plugin like Topaz Adjust) to get it to where I want it to be, and the difference it makes is tremendous.
    In terms of resources for learning how HDR works and how post processing can improve it, I'd highly recommend "The HDR Book" by RC Concepcion. Also, Blake Rudis over at everydayHDR.com posts tons of free tutorials about how to process HDR in Photomatix and post process what you get out of Photomatix. He's an excellent resource. Good luck!
     
  11. Well...your first attempts at HDR look better than my first attempts at HDR. The issue with using an HDR program like Photomatix is that it's easy to get lulled into letting the program do all of the work and spit out the result and that's a far as you take it. What you generally end up with, in a lot of cases, is an HDR image with a bunch of faults (e.g., freakish saturation, ghosting, weird skies, color banding, bad noise, etc.) and it's one of the big reasons why HDR is such a...shall we say, contentious topic around photographers. This is where doing additional post work on the HDR image really pays off. Every HDR image that I produce ends up with a trip through Lightroom and Photoshop (and frequently a plugin like Topaz Adjust) to get it to where I want it to be, and the difference it makes is tremendous.
    In terms of resources for learning how HDR works and how post processing can improve it, I'd highly recommend "The HDR Book" by RC Concepcion. Also, Blake Rudis over at everydayHDR.com posts tons of free tutorials about how to process HDR in Photomatix and post process what you get out of Photomatix. He's an excellent resource. Good luck!
     
  12. I did buy a book to read, can't remember the title offhand. Naturally I have a lot of learning to do. It would be interesting to
    see what the more experienced folks are using HDR for. Maybe some examples would help?
     
  13. How does this look to much, to little, to dark? Don't know what you are looking for in your adjustments. It's your copyright so you know, I just tried to make it a little more dramatic well look the way I would like to see it in HDR.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Well, it's not to my taste, but I'm not the photographer, and it's not my vision that counts.
    I'll mention, though, that you have some very strange color casts going on, and that surely isn't your intent. Perhaps you should consider monochroming it? Either that, or maybe you could correct the color by local hue-shifting.
     
  15. It's an interesting interpretation, more dark than I usually go for.
     
  16. I just did this for David W. Griffin. Those colors are what is available in his HDR that he originally created. I didn't want to change the colors which I could have done. Then again I didn't spend a bunch of time on his HDR either since it isn't my work to being with. I could have made it lighter, just wasn't sure what you were looking for. Topaz Adjust 5 has other tools to play with not just HDR tools. Thought maybe something more dramatic for the post might show a different style. I could have laid off the illustration look a little more to keep more of the original look of the photograph. There is just so much you can do with HDR that it is hard to tell exactly what you really want to see. I think your originals look good and with a few fine tuned adjustments you could take it anyway you want the detail is definitely available in your photographs.
     
  17. A little lighter. I didn't make any change to the colors. [​IMG]
     
  18. Interesting interpretations, Duane. In terms of David's earlier question about when HDR is used, I generally use it for one of two reasons.
    1.) When the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the range my camera is capable of capturing. Basically, if I'm getting either blown highlights or clipped shadows on my histogram no matter how I adjust my exposure, I'll consider bracketing to give me (at a minimum) an overexposed image with no clipped shadows and an underexposed image with no blown highlights. I shoot RAW and check my histogram frequently. If I can get a good histogram with a single exposure, I'll typically just use Lightroom and/or Photoshop and plugins to get the picture to how I want it to look and not bother with HDR, or
    2.) I want to accentuate texture or grunge up my picture. In my experience, HDR is quite good at bringing out texture, and if I think that it would yield a better result than a single exposure then I'll either bracket or I'll use a single RAW exposure, create a few copies in LRwith varied exposure, and run those through Photomatix. Although I know a few photographers that bracket everything, I generally prefer to avoid the HDR process if I can because it's more time consuming than simple raw processing. But in the right circumstances, it's a useful tool to have.
     
  19. I just did this for David W. Griffin. Those colors are what is available in his HDR that he originally created.​
    Oh... An understandable misunderstanding. Sorry. I was actually addressing David's original post.
     
  20. This is my very first HDR. City of Cleveland in August 2011. I used a freeware application I haven't used since to bring out the look. I just adjusted the brightness and contrast a little after the photograph was done. I have been practicing ever since to come up with more and more HDR for my 2012 collection of photographs for this years book "I Spy HDR" due out around Xmas 2012 or January 2013 which ever I decide is the better date to release it. Didn't used Adjust 5 here at all. Just a combining program I found.[​IMG]
     

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