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Author Topic: Do you hate HDR too?  (Read 246387 times)
KeithR
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« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2008, 12:15:13 PM »
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For me there are lots of really interesting sunrise/sunset images that just can't fit within the confines of a 16 bit 'box'. I'm still stumbling my way through some basic HDR techniques, using masks or Photoshop's HDR function, and I'm just starting to try out Photomatix.

I find it a bit frustrating that I can't really visualize what's going to happen with the image as I work it, at least not like I can tell ahead of time how a 'standard' capture will turn out with a bit of massaging. A few complex stitched + HDR images have turned out beautifully, while others are just dead on arrival. Sort of feels like 20 years ago when I was first shooting K64, and every yellow box was full of surprises because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

'Course, it's probably just me.
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Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
[a href=\"http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm]http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm[/url]
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2008, 09:27:56 AM »
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Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the link.  Looks like it will be a good read.  I've been interested in experimenting a little with HDR.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2008, 02:55:18 PM »
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Hello,

Don't know if you've come across this, but in my search for info on HDR I came across this artical where the photographer compared PS HDR(CS2), I know it's been improved in 3, and Photomantix. In addition to the comparison, he also shows how he also utilized, along with the HDR tone mapping additional PS layers and masks to get the effects that he wanted. I very good step by step comparison. Just thought I'd pass it along.
http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171797\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I've seen that tutorial before.
I understand the basic principles well enough. My problem is that I'm not consistently able to "pre-visualize" what I'm going to get from a particular image before launching into the HDR process, like I can with "standard" exposures.
This is not a trivial problem; I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds mk II, often taking multiple frames to stitch into panoramic images, and in challenging light this can mean taking three or more exposures of each frame to catch extremes of highlight and shadow. Even with a reasonably fast computer with 4 gig RAM, the processing times can get pretty tedious. And nothing is more frustrating than spending serious time on an image only to recognize at the very end it just won't work.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2008, 03:07:10 PM »
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Yes, I've seen that tutorial before.
I understand the basic principles well enough. My problem is that I'm not consistently able to "pre-visualize" what I'm going to get from a particular image before launching into the HDR process, like I can with "standard" exposures.
This is not a trivial problem; I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds mk II, often taking multiple frames to stitch into panoramic images, and in challenging light this can mean taking three or more exposures of each frame to catch extremes of highlight and shadow. Even with a reasonably fast computer with 4 gig RAM, the processing times can get pretty tedious. And nothing is more frustrating than spending serious time on an image only to recognize at the very end it just won't work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172045\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Geoff, you can put together a prototype relatively quickly if you knock the raw's back to smaller res jpgs - that should give you a sense of potential without investing 45 minutes of cpu time.
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jjj
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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2008, 05:38:00 PM »
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I find using HDR can add a new perspective to a subject that's been shot to death.
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Nice pics, BTW.
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Moynihan
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« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2008, 06:28:48 AM »
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This thread has been an interesting read. I have been thinking of learning how to do some HDR. I also enjoyed the images posted by folks of their own work, both as good photographs, and as restrained use examples of HDR.

I think it can be very interesting, if the technique does not dominate the image. That may have its place too, but not for me. I see alot of HDR that results in very artificial images. The most irritating ones to me are the ones that remind me of those Thomas Kinkcade style paintings. If I had a limb caught in a trap with only one of his style paintings to look at, I would consider gnawing it off.

Anyway,

I have always thought that no photograph ever looks "real", at least totally realistic in comparison to the view to the eyes. As has been pointed out above, our constantly flicker-scanning eye's view is constantly being stitched into "whole" images by the brain. The image we remember depends also, on what we remember it in relation to (which itself changes through time, and can change the memory itself), and what we are remembering the image for.

I think pre HDR images have made us so used to less DR and the deep shadows etc. that that is defined as "real", when actually, neither are.

Both can be enjoyed. At least by me, as long as it  does not look like a Kinkcade  

Some of the threads about HDR vs non-HDR remind me of the film-is-dead vs fim-is-better arguments one experiences in forums less mature than this one. I hope to learn how to do it. I will not always use it. But when I do, I hope I can as well as the posters in this thread.
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innesfoto
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« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2008, 08:53:13 AM »
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Hi everybody
I am going to stick in my two pennies worth.
As a photographic dealer for over twenty five years now turned full time landscape photographer for the Austrian tourist board, I would say I have met just about every type of photographer and camera buff out there. (maybe not you personally so donīt take this the wrong way)
But, Everything from the " I hate everything Digital because itīs not real photography" to the " I know everything about cameras and what fits on what, and who made it" To the "I donīt have a clue about all the technology but just want to take photographs" to the "I do know about the technology and just want to take photographs" and so on....
What so many photographers fail to realize is that the camera is only a tool, a means to an end if you like. Along with the mortgage worth of bits you stick on it.
There are really next to no cameras that are not any good on the market these days.
Some are better than others, and some are better at certain jobs than others.
But 95% of a good shot is the photographer him/herself.
With that in mind, "HDR" is another tool in the bag, if you know how to use it, and know how to apply it, it can produce the most wonderful work that would otherwise not be possible. It is not for everything, and I except it is a fashion at the moment. Much of the work out there  is over enthusiastic amateurs trying there hand at something new.
And why not? we where all there once!
As for the technique itself? Well I can only speak as a frustrated artist, that could never paint or draw. So when I discovered photography, I was able to put all of those pictures that I had in my head down on paper. But one of the down sides of Photography was always that it was a compromise. Between light and shadow.
A painter can look at a scene and say " My eye sees the shadowed areas perfectly, so that is how I will paint them" the same applies to the highlights. This is not only because the human eye has a massive dynamic range, but also we also have only about a 6-7° point of focus. This means we have to scan a scene with our eyes to take in the full picture and tonal range. In doing this we create something akin to a "HDR" photograph, Hence, so many people say they look like paintings.
 To say "I hate HDR" is like saying " I hate music played on a piano"  What you really mean is not that you hate music, and not that you hate the piano. just the combination of the both played by that musician.
I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Thanks for reading.
Andy Innes
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kaelaria
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« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2008, 09:00:55 AM »
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That shot looks unnatural and processed to me.  You can't even see that scene with the naked eye.

Nope, still hate HDR.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2008, 09:07:49 AM »
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I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Thanks for reading.
Andy Innes
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180002\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It *does* look processed and not natural -- I like it.  Nice shot,  good work.
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Gabe
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« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2008, 12:20:26 PM »
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It *does* look processed and not natural -- I like it.  Nice shot,  good work.
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Yup -- works for me too. Very nice shot.

I can think of all kinds of wonderful images that bear little resemblance to reality.. I don't really understand the fetish some folks have for photos that must adhere to the bounds of perfect 'normalcy', to be honest.

"Normal" photos are fine, of course, but to me, if an image works, it works.
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OnyimBob
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« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2008, 12:15:40 AM »
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Yup -- works for me too. Very nice shot.

I can think of all kinds of wonderful images that bear little resemblance to reality.. I don't really understand the fetish some folks have for photos that must adhere to the bounds of perfect 'normalcy', to be honest.

"Normal" photos are fine, of course, but to me, if an image works, it works.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180035\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'll second that motion!

I think it's a great image, I'd put it on my wall in a flash!

I love the composition, the mood, the "HDR" colour. I'd love to know the story behind it - where is it? what's the little structure for?

Who cares how it was made? Well, actually I would like to know that too?

Bob.
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Moynihan
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« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2008, 09:04:43 AM »
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I have enclosed an HDR to demonstrate my case, This shot would not have the depth on a normal single exposure.

Does not look "real" (whatever that means), but I really like the image.
Thanks,
jay
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2008, 09:48:34 AM »
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Besides the known HDR tools there are also:
Enfuse - http://wiki.panotools.org/Enfuse
Tufuse - http://www.tawbaware.com/tufuse.htm
Farrar Focus Digital Darkroom 6 - http://www.farrarfocus.com/ffdd/

Just tools to archive the desired image visualisation.....
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innesfoto
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« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2008, 06:49:38 AM »
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Thanks for your comments chaps.

Although many of you have made comments on the print, it is not the the issue here.
The issue is, Have we not got so carried away with the technology that we are forgetting the art?
A point in hand, I was always mad about everything with lots of knobs and buttons to play with. My first love was HiFi, and back in the 70īs the Japanese crammed their kit with so many filters and treble and bass controls and ways of changing the tone of what you where listening to, that we started to forget about the music and became obsessed with the tonal quality! Until the the British gear started to appear on the market with the philosophy of "Keep it simple" get rid of all the stuff that destroys the signal. And guess what? it sounded better. So thats what I bought. Simple and good and sounded great!
Once I had got past not having something akin to a christmas tree lighting up the corner of my living room, I started to listen to my records with new ears.
My point is, however much we love a new toy with shed loads of features that will practically cook the dinner, what we really want at the end of the day, is end result. ie: the picture. And most serious photographers are artists at heart, and the camera is a means to an end.
So ask yourself the question, "Am I an artist ? or am I a just a big kid who loves expensive toys?"..............
"Yeh, just thought that one through myself for a moment, and I think I am both!"
Damn there goes my argument!

As for previous questions about where the previous HDR was shot;  and what is the little hut.
It was shot in South Burgenland, Austria. and the little house is a small chaple that dot the landscape around here. I have included a second "HDR" to demonstrate that     HDR`s do not automatically have over saturated colour and unrealistic shadow detail.
This is Bernstein castle, South Burgenland, Austria. shot an hour or so after dawn.
Keep the comments coming chaps.
All the best

Andy Innes
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sesshin
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« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2008, 11:40:54 PM »
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Love that last one Andy!
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amcinroy
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« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2008, 05:30:02 AM »
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The north antrim cave project continues.....

Here's two images are very opposite ends of the HDR spectrum

The first is an extreme HDR image taken last weekend consisting of 5 exposures spanning a mighty 12 stops !!

The second is a more subtle single exposure RAW HDR spanning just 2 stops.

Again, you can catch up with the project here
http://www.andymcinroy.com/5port.htm

Portcoon Cave - Side entrance
 

Cathedral Cave - In colour
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Andy McInroy Photography
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innesfoto
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« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2008, 01:16:08 PM »
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The caves are very interesting, but I am not sure why you made so many brackets,
was there really 12 stops between shadow and highlight?
Or do you find you get a smother graduation through the tonal range?
I am really interested to know if you think using five instead of three brackets  has any merit. I use a Canon 5D at the moment and it has only 3 brackets with a maximum 2 stops over and under. I plan on buying the Canon Eos 1dsMk 3 which as you will know has 21Mp but will produce up to 7 auto brackets +-3ev which I thought would be more than enough, I have found the biggest problem to be Chromatic fringing after the tone mapping, if anyone has had the same problems i would be interested to hear if you have found a way around it. I use Photomatix Pro, and I suspect the Raw converter could be a lot better, and is what is causing the problem. I have tried using the Canon converter  which produces a better image but is a much slower process.
Before anyone asks, I use a selection of lenses but all of them are L series Canons and they all produce chromatic problems in Photomatix Pro.  have tried using chromatic correction in Canonīs digital photopro Raw converter but it made little difference.
So I guess it can only leave the tone mapping process. As the lenses produce almost No obvious chromatic problems.
Anyone got any ideas?

Regards
Andy
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Quentin
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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2008, 08:03:10 PM »
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The caves are very interesting, but I am not sure why you made so many brackets,
was there really 12 stops between shadow and highlight?
Or do you find you get a smother graduation through the tonal range?
I am really interested to know if you think using five instead of three brackets  has any merit. I use a Canon 5D at the moment and it has only 3 brackets with a maximum 2 stops over and under. I plan on buying the Canon Eos 1dsMk 3 which as you will know has 21Mp but will produce up to 7 auto brackets +-3ev which I thought would be more than enough, I have found the biggest problem to be Chromatic fringing after the tone mapping, if anyone has had the same problems i would be interested to hear if you have found a way around it. I use Photomatix Pro, and I suspect the Raw converter could be a lot better, and is what is causing the problem. I have tried using the Canon converter  which produces a better image but is a much slower process.
Before anyone asks, I use a selection of lenses but all of them are L series Canons and they all produce chromatic problems in Photomatix Pro.  have tried using chromatic correction in Canonīs digital photopro Raw converter but it made little difference.
So I guess it can only leave the tone mapping process. As the lenses produce almost No obvious chromatic problems.
Anyone got any ideas?

Regards
Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try Enfuse.  Its a free and pretty incredible alternative to tone mapping (I have Photomatrix Pro 3 and I am beginning to think Enfuse might be better unless you want the more extensive feature set of Photomatrix).  You need Enfuse.exe and EnfuseGUI.  Try it.  No CA to speak of.

Quentin
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 08:10:21 PM by Quentin » Logged

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amcinroy
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« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2008, 03:46:37 AM »
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Andy,

Every cave is different in terms of it's depth and lighting. These are all natuarally lit using only available light. Where the view is looking outwards from the deepest caves, the contrast is simply immense.

The images don't really show how dark these caves are. I'm working with a headtorch even to be able to see the camera. This gets turned off during the exposure and I sit by myself in the dark and think about what ghosts might be lurking around me.

In that 1st example, even the 30second exposure does not reveal the darkest shadows. Those remain pitch black. Meanwhile, the cave mouth essentially requires a full daylight exposure of about 1/15th of a second. Without the 2 additional exposures midway through the range then you're left with  gaps,  discontinuities and artifacts in the tonemapped image.

In some of my more extreme brackets from the deepest caves I'm working with 7 exposures spanning 14 stops !!

Andy
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 03:55:28 AM by amcinroy » Logged

Andy McInroy Photography
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2008, 12:29:51 PM »
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Try Enfuse.  Its a free and pretty incredible alternative to tone mapping (I have Photomatrix Pro 3 and I am beginning to think Enfuse might be better unless you want the more extensive feature set of Photomatrix).  You need Enfuse.exe and EnfuseGUI.  Try it.  No CA to speak of.

Quentin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180713\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for this.  (And to whoever posted additional links above.)

Need to give this a try.
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