HDR Example #8

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HDR Example #8

New postby mike » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:42 pm

Image
HDR photo - Shot at ISO 1600 to capture the water movement - Like how it came out. But I don't like the water. May have been better at a lower ISO

Image
Original Photo

I think that HDR make this photo better.

Maybe I can photoshop the water out of the natural photo and get a great photo.

The photo looks artistic if you like that look.
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Re: HDR Example #8

New postby SNEAKers » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:20 pm

Mike,

I like this HDR best of the ones you've posted. Very nice!

Do you use photoshop for creating the HDRs?
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Re: HDR Example #8

New postby Jon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:24 pm

Don't mean to be a downer, but these images don't look like true HDR images, just ones that have had the exposure, contrast, fill light, saturation, and hue altered slightly. I'm not sure what your HDR program is saying that it's doing, but I was under the impression that an HDR photo is a composite of multiple exposures of the same image. Like more than one file, that the photo program grafts together to come to some optimal exposure for all areas of the photo. Kind of like the old burn and dodge type deal when printing with regular film, where you can combine a perfectly exposed foreground film with an underexposed sky, (with some tricky handwork) and come out with a deep contrast and bright image.

So for instance set your camera up on a tripod and you take a picture with settings ISO 200 and F 8 and 1/160th shutter speed.
The light meter is dead center, and gives you a bright foreground trees, but the sky is overexposed(whitewashed).

So you can while leaving the camera on the tripod, change the settings to ISO 200 F 8 and 1/500th shutter speed.
This meter will be a little to the right. (as long as light is constant) and the foreground will be underxposed (darker/black) but the sky will be perfect exposure (blue with puffy clouds)

Taking these and running them through an HDR will combine the perfectly exposed bits of the 1st photo (the foreground) and the perfectly exposed bits of the 2nd photo (the sky), so that you don't have to compromise on pixel density or ISO quality or depth of field. It will spit out one nice looking photo, and the more gradients along the overexposure/underexposure that you take, the higher pixel depth you can achieve.

Here is my crummy example from when I did this a while back.

Here is my overexposed photo (washed out sky) ISO 100 f16.0 1/25 sec
Image

Under exposed photo (good sky but dark foreground) ISO 100 f16.0 1/400 sec <--- only changed shutter speed
Image

And here is a generic HDR combining those two
Image

It looks kinda crummy, and not that dazzling, but I did not edit any of the contrast or lighting or saturation or anything on that image yet. You can definitely tell the difference between it and either other photo, and there are some peices of both in the photo. I don't know that I'm that enthused about my photoshop's ability to do HDR composites, and I know that people buy much more expensive software to accomplish this task better. However this is the basics of how you can achieve maximum pixel density and perfect exposure for subjects which are in obvious different amounts of light.
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Re: HDR Example #8

New postby mike » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:07 am

Thanks for your comments. I have mixed feelings about this particular photo. It was too grainy due to it being at ISO 1600, and it looked more a like an old-fashion photograph or maybe a painting. But, some people really like that look.

I used PhotoMatrix Pro HDR software to make the image. For this particular photo, I used 3 photos (listed below):
Image

It takes the best contrast of the 3 photos and assembles the final photograph. For example, it take the foliage trees from photo #1. Then it takes the water from #2, and takes the rocks from #3. HDR works great when there is a high contrast of light, and you cannot get a good photo with only one shot. I included the best one-shot photo to compare it to the HDR shot.

After you get done with the HDR photo, you can still take it up in photoshop for additional changes. I didn't photoshop any of the listed photos yet. Personally, I would have preferred to take the water from a single shot and impose it over the HDR photo. HDR seams to diminish the quality of moving water. Just my opinion.

Most people set their camera up with auto-bracketing. For example, they set it up to take a shot -2 stops, 0 stops, and +2 stops. Then they let the camera take 3 quick shots at these stops. In these pictures, I shot each photo separately. You can also take more then just 3 shots. You are only limited by the amount of memory on your computer. But, I find that if you have too many bracketed photos, it doesn't work out so well. I like to take 3 photos. I set the stops to maximum and minimum exposure needs. Obviously a tri-pod is needed. I am using a dSLR camera, but you could also use a P&S. But, you have to have it set on manual exposure and at a set F stop.

Sorry Jon, I did make it looks like a non-HDR solution. I was just comparing it to a single shot photo. Which is better kind of situation. But, you are right, you need multiple shots to make a true HDR photo.

My favorite photo is #6.
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Re: HDR Example #8

New postby Jon » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:16 pm

ah yes that is HDR then. From what you were showing it didn't look like it was composed of multiple shots. I'll retract my previous statement =). I haven't personally used photomatrix, but when I remember doing the HDR in photoshop there were ways to manually set an area of exclusion.

Moving water is always gonna get fuzzed cause the shots are never going to have the water in the same location and it's going to take average pixels from each of them. Same thing will happen with motion, or if you have wind and the tripod even moves slightly. That is what happened for my HDR shot above from Wanaque Reservoir. The wind was blowing and the shots are microscopically different, but if I use more than any two it gets blurry. Things get fuzzed. I'm sure if you spent 1000 hours in photoshop you could clone your favorite shot of that water in there.

another thing you can do is take long exposures of water, like 1 or 2 second, and you have a greater chance that the streaks will be in the same spot across multiple exposures, or that you wouldn't notice it as much if they don't line up.
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Re: HDR Example #8

New postby kennykb » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:40 pm

Great HDR work, guys. Let me put in my $0.02 as a clueless weekend photographer.

If you find yourself faced with overly high contrast and lack a tripod, you can work handheld if you're at some distance from the subject and stand still. What you need to do afterward is register the images and produce an extended-dynamic-range image from them. I understand that Photomatix and Photoshop can do this, but I use Hugin, it's free and does a decent job. It lets you fiddle control points manually and gives you a very precise alignment.

Once I have an extended-dynamic range image. I do the tone mapping with Luminance HDR. It seems to have all the tonemapping algorithms included.

Sometimes it comes up with something nice, sometimes it doesn't. Moving water is dodgy. But sometimes the effect of misregistered water is artistic, and sometimes all the water is in the same exposure zone and you don't have the problem. I think that's why I got lucky with
Image
Mine Lot Falls [HDR] by ke9tv, on Flickr

and
Image
Mine Lot Creek [HDR] by ke9tv, on Flickr

because the water was in deep shade in both shots.

Sometimes it works to take the best low-range exposure of a given area and matte it in. That's what I did in
Image
Base of Mine Lot Falls [HDR] by ke9tv, on Flickr

The matte work was less than perfect - I couldn't quite get the haloes out of the trees at right, but it certainly made a shot that I couldn't have got otherwise.

And sometimes moving water just doesn't work in HDR mapping, whatever you do. I just couldn't quite get it right in
Image
Plattekill Falls in HDR by ke9tv, on Flickr

It's more reliable for architectural shots like
Image
Overlook Mountain House by ke9tv, on Flickr

But even there, you have to use some restraint. I'd have spoilt the shot if I attempted HDR on the dramatic lighting in
Image
Overlook Mountain House by ke9tv, on Flickr
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