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Author Topic: A Thank for the HDR Plea  (Read 7598 times)
Luis Argerich
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2009, 08:25:16 AM »
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Thanks for a great article Alexandre, nicely worded and the images are just gorgeous.

I'm on the side of "HDR is a tool not a style" style depends on each photographer personality, I could oversaturate and pump local contrast in non-HDR images if I wanted that look.

HDR detractors puzzle me, how can you be so efervescent about a tool ? You may like or not the final result and you may like or not the photographer's artistic style but what he used in the middle of the road... who cares?

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Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2009, 09:04:56 AM »
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As I already told Alexandre through email, I enjoyed his article, just couldn't agree with this: "To create an HDR image, one needs a set of bracketed images (i.e. of captures of the same scene with different exposure compensations) and dedicated software".

HDR doesn't need any dedicated software, just any tool that allows local levels control is suited for HDR. Photoshop Curves or Levels Adjust + masking can do this for example.


Quote from: tim wolcott
We all want more dynamic range, but as the new chip coming with amazing range no one will remember HDR.
This is incorrect. HDR images need three circumstances: a high dynamic range scene, capturing all that high dynamic range information, and displaying (through adequate tone mapping) all the captured information in the output device. The new chip you are talking about only refers to the second stage (capture), but as long as the output devices (paper, screens, projectors,...) remain in a limited dynamic range, HDR tone mapping processes will be necessary to have HDR images.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 12:17:07 PM by GLuijk » Logged

NikoJorj
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2009, 09:13:46 AM »
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Quote from: tim wolcott
So here is an image captured without HDR and shot the right way.
Ouch!
It's not so common, and even quite rare indeed, that I really do feel like the usual rant of Mike Johnston, TOP, about color.
Please take no offense, the link is much more sarcastic than what I mean - but I can't help thinking something like "too much for sRGB", and saw that the file may be untagged, so it may just be a simple color management glitch.

That said, I just can't add much to Alexandre's answer : you may have a nice sunset pic indeed if you wait for the sunset, and if you wait for the golden bullet to arrive on the market, that won't help to take pictures in the upcoming years.
Beyond these trivial cases, discarding high dynamic scenes just because they don't fit the way we use the medium is only limiting, and in a bad way.  I agree that limiting oneself may be a very productive helper for creation, but I feel that true only if it's your will that limits you, and not if the constraint is a compulsory or outer one.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2009, 11:41:54 AM »
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Quote from: tim wolcott
So here is an image captured without HDR and shot the right way.  I waited 6.2 hours for this to become just perfect with the right cliffs and trees lit up all together. Tim

what else did you miss while waiting an entire day for this one shot.

Of course the sun also moved quite a bit during that time. Based on the color in the trees I am guessing this was shot in October which means that the sun moved more than halfway through its arc in the sky during that time.

If that is the case and this is the light that you wanted why did you wait at all? Why not just leave and come back when the sun was where you wanted it to be?

What if you had come back and the sun was right where you wanted it to be but the dynamic range was still to high to capture with any camera, sensor, film, etc? Would you just not make the shot you want?

The way I see it HDR is just the latest in a series of tools that helps photographers create the photographs they want. Before HDR we had the Zone System, Burning and Dodging, Graded Papers, Split Grad ND Filters, and many other tricks

The only "proper" way to do anything in photography is to do it the way you want. If it works for you and you are happy with the result it was the proper way.
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tim wolcott
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2009, 12:16:12 PM »
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Like your sentence, you are correct on this.  The problem with the internet is people take everything so harshly.  That was not my intent!!!  HDR will become extinct once we get these new chips.  Hopefully sooner than later.  Shot in Sept but thats really not the point and there was no other fall there at that time.  The winter storm you see was about to destroy any chance of anyone getting any shot at all.  One chance one shot.  

The dynamic range was to high, but I was waiting for the beams to get better, than I had to wait for a soft cloud to block a little of the light hitting the white clouds in the sky.  Yes I did do a little dodging and burning.  I realize its just a tool, but would love to see a really great print from a HDR to see it in person.  Having a really nice gallery, I have only seen bad ones with defects all over.  

Yes I do find Mike Johnson insane at times.  But maybe he's doing it for attention.  I'm the first one to ever print digital photographs and when I see bad after bad.  It gets old.  Its not that HDR can't be done right, I just have not seen anyone do it well.  I would like to see someone put the money into the software if the chip tech slows down.  Alex image looks very good would like to see it in person.  

I wasn't trying to offend you, just trying to make a point that most attempts shouldn't be attempted, and used to just to be used.  I agree that I have more dynamic range than most camera's and ye I do also have to wait.  But this will all be a thing of the past soon.  Hopefully.  Tim  

Quote from: Wally
what else did you miss while waiting an entire day for this one shot.

Of course the sun also moved quite a bit during that time. Based on the color in the trees I am guessing this was shot in October which means that the sun moved more than halfway through its arc in the sky during that time.

If that is the case and this is the light that you wanted why did you wait at all? Why not just leave and come back when the sun was where you wanted it to be?

What if you had come back and the sun was right where you wanted it to be but the dynamic range was still to high to capture with any camera, sensor, film, etc? Would you just not make the shot you want?

The way I see it HDR is just the latest in a series of tools that helps photographers create the photographs they want. Before HDR we had the Zone System, Burning and Dodging, Graded Papers, Split Grad ND Filters, and many other tricks

The only "proper" way to do anything in photography is to do it the way you want. If it works for you and you are happy with the result it was the proper way.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2009, 12:23:19 PM »
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Quote from: tim wolcott
HDR will become extinct once we get these new chips.  Hopefully sooner than later.

Actually, it's the opposite that is the case. Some form of tonemapping will be necessary to properly visualize the best tonal range from a high dynamic range sensor into the  much lower dynaic range of a traditional display or print. It's the case now, and it's only getting more so.

If you take a bracketted exposure of a landscape, you can in reality doing no different to what a high dynamic range sensor would do, just in 3 or more frames rather than 1. Be that HDR image be from multiple frames or one, you still have the problem of mapping that nicely to a display or print. That is why a higher dynamic range sensor means more need for good HDR tonemapping, not less.

Graeme
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 01:10:32 PM by Graeme Nattress » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2009, 12:25:55 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Sorry, but who anointed you the czar of correctness?

HDR techniques utilizing tone-mapping and multiple exposures have been around since the 1930s ... have you heard of Charles Wyckoff?

Live and let live, man ...

I saw a show at the Harry Ransom Center a year or two ago that had a print from the mid-1800's by a photographer whose name I forget.   It was a scene of a room lit by window light that was composited from several exposures he made over the course of a day.  He had exposures for the window, for the shadow areas...  he also made exposures at different focus points to extend his depth of field beyond the limitations of the lenses of the day.  Then he combined these together with all hand made tools in his darkroom over the course of a week to produce one print.  



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tim wolcott
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« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2009, 12:42:33 PM »
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Would have liked to have seen that since I'm a history nut on processes.  Would love to see anyone of you guys with a good print to come to the gallery.  Nobody hates waiting more than I do for the shot to happen.  If you guys are so much into this what a good software or are you doing by hand in the computer.  Tim

Quote from: craigwashburn
I saw a show at the Harry Ransom Center a year or two ago that had a print from the mid-1800's by a photographer whose name I forget.   It was a scene of a room lit by window light that was composited from several exposures he made over the course of a day.  He had exposures for the window, for the shadow areas...  he also made exposures at different focus points to extend his depth of field beyond the limitations of the lenses of the day.  Then he combined these together with all hand made tools in his darkroom over the course of a week to produce one print.
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craigwashburn
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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2009, 12:48:00 PM »
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Quote from: tim wolcott
The dynamic range was to high, but I was waiting for the beams to get better, than I had to wait for a soft cloud to block a little of the light hitting the white clouds in the sky.  Yes I did do a little dodging and burning.  I realize its just a tool, but would love to see a really great print from a HDR to see it in person.  Having a really nice gallery, I have only seen bad ones with defects all over.

HDR has been used for decades in one form or another through dodging and burning, and then composite masking in photoshop and altering levels, and now through tonemapping.  The current computerized form of it was developed in the mid-80s for improving the quality of 3D computer graphics.   Only lately has the computing power been available to the general public to see widespread usage (or abusage).  Note that none of these techniques are replacements for the others - different uses for different situations.

Tonemapping done poorly, or simply with bad taste, results in that "bad ones with defects all over" you're talking about.  You've just seen amateurish usage of what is a complex tool.  There are plenty of professionals out there who use the tool in a more subtle way to achieve their desired ends.  

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tim wolcott
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2009, 01:22:37 PM »
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If you have seen some good software what is it.  By the way to set the record straight Alex's use on that images as said before was the proper type of image to use it on.  Most are trying to use HDR on images that are far from what the eye sees and therefore looks fake.  Thanks Craig, Tim

Quote from: craigwashburn
HDR has been used for decades in one form or another through dodging and burning, and then composite masking in photoshop and altering levels, and now through tonemapping.  The current computerized form of it was developed in the mid-80s for improving the quality of 3D computer graphics.   Only lately has the computing power been available to the general public to see widespread usage (or abusage).  Note that none of these techniques are replacements for the others - different uses for different situations.

Tonemapping done poorly, or simply with bad taste, results in that "bad ones with defects all over" you're talking about.  You've just seen amateurish usage of what is a complex tool.  There are plenty of professionals out there who use the tool in a more subtle way to achieve their desired ends.
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stamper
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« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2009, 04:02:45 AM »
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So here is an image captured without HDR and shot the right way.  I waited 6.2 hours for this to become just perfect with the right cliffs and trees lit up all together. Tim
[/quote]

Re the image posted in post #12 by Tim. If I had seen it without the explanation I would have sworn it was an over done HDR. IMO the colours are over saturated. Tim you are posting images that look very similar to what you are criticizing? At the end of the day does it really matter how you shot them? You will be judged by how they look to other people?
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Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2009, 06:35:56 AM »
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This is a sample HDR image from a 12-stops dynamic range real scene. One shot for the interior produces the outside window to blow, and a shot preserving the outside views produces too much noise in the interior. By shooting twice 4EV apart we get both the outside and inside information.

Once the information was captured and blended (there is a great tutorial by Joan Trujillo explaining how to achieve this here: Yet another method to reduce noise with two exposures), by using a masked lifting curve (the mask was obtained automatically from the scene's luminance in 1 minute) we can display detail in the shadows without blowing away the window. The result is reallistic and natural and no extra software needed, just Photoshop curves and the mask:

___


Many people obtaining natural HDR images with methods similar to this, are actually not aware that they are doing genuine HDR. On the other side many people using Photomatix and etc... over low dynamic scenes obtaining terrific unreallistic images (99% of 'My first HDR' posts in the forums fall in this category) are actually not doing anything that can be called HDR because dynamic range is playing absolutely no role in their images.

HDR is becoming very paradoxical when applied to digital photography.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 06:51:01 AM by GLuijk » Logged

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