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Author Topic: Uwe Steinmuller of DOP on dynamic range and HDR  (Read 26486 times)
feppe
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 11:10:39 AM »
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In that case the both of you Wink are alone in assuming that HDR images, and more importantly the subsequent tonemapping, are "not interesting (nor useful) for people who want a reasonably realistic representation of the original scene...".

Sure, one can (very easily) produce crappy pictures using these techniques, but one can also achieve realistic results that cannot be achieved with other techniques (unless one does timeconsuming manual exposure blending/masking).

I somewhat agree with your observation about "the life squeezed out of it", but I wouldn't confuse one person's processing preferences with the capabilities to produce vastly different (more to your liking) renderings of the same base images. Tonemapping is as much an Art as it requires technical skill.

I'm in full agreement with you. I didn't say HDR can't be used to produce realistic results, and in fact implied that it can. I've seen realistic results from Photomatix, Oloneo or others, results which I have been unable to replicate with my own images, or which have been inferior to manual blending - although in fairness I have only spend several hours on a few "proper" HDR programs over the years.

I get much better, realistic and consistent results with manual blending and the occasional Tufuse Pro blended layer added in for the tough cases.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 02:34:35 PM »
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So you are ok with somebody advocating crap, right?

Given the highly subjective nature of crappiness, this is probably not a valid angle of attack. No photography website is immune to posting crappy pictures from time to time... And anyway this is only an introductory tutorial,  not an opinion piece claiming to be the final word on the only correct method for HDR.
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BJL
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 03:32:06 PM »
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Yeah, ok...but ya know, if an image looks surreal, (as in an obviously condensed tonal range) I'm not sure that is particularly interesting (nor useful) for people who want a reasonably realistic representation of the original scene...

Most HDR type stuff looks phony...and while it may be trendy, it's not really all that desirable, is it? Really?
I agree that there is a lot of artistically worthless "because I can" HDR stuff out there. And for my tastes, Uwe has bought the highlights down a bit too much in his examples --- though perhaps for illustrative rather than artistic purposes.

But darkroom printers have been making judicious use of low contrast printing papers and dodging and burning to get a "convincing" or artistically satisfying even though far from literally accurate representation of a scene with high subject brightness range. So I think there is some use for "tonal compression", if done with good judgement. In-camera auto-HDR, not so much.


P.S. I should have read the whole thread before posting the above, since it had pretty much all been said. Sorry for the waste of bandwidth.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 03:36:53 PM by BJL » Logged
DaveCurtis
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 03:43:17 PM »
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The majority of Uwe's HDR work seems to have that "fake" look. And I must say, I am no great fan.

However I was rather impressed with an HDR article here on LL by Alexandre Buisse.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml

I struggle to tell which shots of Alexandres are HDR. Well done!
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Schewe
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2010, 05:30:54 PM »
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However I was rather impressed with an HDR article here on LL by Alexandre Buisse.

I agree...that article DOES help advance the understanding of "HDR" and when it's useful without making any of the images look like "HDR" images. Controlling the scene contrast range by either stacking exposures or using other post processing techniques is pretty fundamental to digital imaging and yes, in the old days we were limited by exposure/processing and paper contrast or grad filters...it's nice to see good examples of digitally processed images to control the scene contrast range. The only thing missing was how he did them :~)
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stever
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2010, 06:16:46 PM »
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Since there are exmaples that HDR can make natural images and all(?) the published descriptions don't seem to work does that mean the "secret" method is too valuable to share--  or are natural images just a result of trial and error?
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2010, 07:19:53 PM »
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Since there are exmaples that HDR can make natural images and all(?) the published descriptions don't seem to work does that mean the "secret" method is too valuable to share--  or are natural images just a result of trial and error?

Have you tried some of the suggestions? My suggestion is to try SNS-HDR (Windows only), but there are other high potentials. And yes, there is some trial and error involved, AKA learning curve.

Cheers,
Bart
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Ray
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« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2010, 10:35:29 PM »
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On my way home to my bucolic paradise, after attending Christmas celebrations in Brisbane yesterday, I was stopped by floods. The road was impassable and I had to return to Brisbane.

On the return journey, it was getting late and at one point I noticed the setting sun reflecting  on a flooded field. I immediately stopped the car at the side of the highway and took the following hand-held shot with my D7000 (24-120 at 50mm, ISO 100, F4 and 1/80th sec with a -1 EC adjustment in ACR 6.3).

No HDR required.  Grin
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2010, 12:16:30 AM »
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For those who would like a wider field of view, here's a 24mm shot of the same scene, same exposure and similar processing.

Again, no HDR required  Grin .
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daws
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2010, 01:17:51 AM »
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The majority of Uwe's HDR work seems to have that "fake" look. And I must say, I am no great fan.

However I was rather impressed with an HDR article here on LL by Alexandre Buisse.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml

I struggle to tell which shots of Alexandres are HDR. Well done!

Meaning no disrespect to Buisse or his article, his "Reflections of Ben Nevis on Midway Loch, Scotland" and "Abandoned truck in the Uyuni salt flat of Bolivia" looked quite HDR-fakey to me.
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Ray
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2010, 01:26:31 AM »
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How about a 70mm shot! It's often better to get closer to the subject.

Phwoar! Look at at that! I certainly don't need HDR. Eh? What?  Grin
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JR
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2010, 01:56:36 AM »
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Ray,

They are very saturated. Did you crank up saturation or did you just happen to have a colorful evening?  Wink    The scene brightness is certainly very high though.
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Ray
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2010, 03:10:10 AM »
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Ray,

They are very saturated. Did you crank up saturation or did you just happen to have a colorful evening?  Wink    The scene brightness is certainly very high though.

The last one I'm most pleased with. That's exactly how it was. Spectacular! The first two I was just practicing.  Grin
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LKaven
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2010, 05:53:05 AM »
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Ray, you could have gotten a few things out of using HDR in those images.

By supersampling the image into 32-bit space, you could have increased the fidelity on the low tones after tonemapping, and sculpted the shoulder on the highlights, perhaps to be a bit more like slide film.  I think both of these would have been extremely beneficial.  There was a lot of good detail in the trees that would have been less vague, and you could have preserved a bit of the gradation in the sunset.  You could have done all this without intrusive artifacts. 
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Ray
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2010, 05:47:39 PM »
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Ray, you could have gotten a few things out of using HDR in those images.

By supersampling the image into 32-bit space, you could have increased the fidelity on the low tones after tonemapping, and sculpted the shoulder on the highlights, perhaps to be a bit more like slide film.  I think both of these would have been extremely beneficial.  There was a lot of good detail in the trees that would have been less vague, and you could have preserved a bit of the gradation in the sunset.  You could have done all this without intrusive artifacts. 
 

Good point! But such a comparison will have to wait till another occasion. Unfortunately I wasn't carrying a tripod. I'm not totally familiar with my new camera and new lens yet, but I have found that the remote cord for my D700 does not fit my D7000, which is a nuisance. The remote cord I bought for my Canon 60D about 6 or 7 years ago fits all subsequent Canon models, so I'm annoyed I have to carry two remote cords when I carry two Nikon cameras and tripod.

The shots were taken at full aperture of F4, so are probly not as sharp as they could have been. The last one was 1/40th sec at 70mm, or 105mm full-frame equivalent. Even with VR, slower than 1/40th is a bit risky at that focal length.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2010, 06:34:25 PM »
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Great shot anyway Ray!
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Ray
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2010, 09:33:05 PM »
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Great shot anyway Ray!

Thanks, Pierre. I think a little dramatic license is sometimes in order  Grin .
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John Camp
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2010, 01:11:52 AM »
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Hmm, when Schewe used the word surreal in his first post, I thought he was using the word loosely, as most people do. But Uwe's first image is a lot like the surrealist painter Georgio de Chirico's painting of similar scenes...It had never occurred to me that de Chirico was an HDR painter, but he was. 8-)

JC

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hjulenissen
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2010, 08:00:52 AM »
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Hmm, when Schewe used the word surreal in his first post, I thought he was using the word loosely, as most people do. But Uwe's first image is a lot like the surrealist painter Georgio de Chirico's painting of similar scenes...It had never occurred to me that de Chirico was an HDR painter, but he was. 8-)

JC
I believe that some painters used color hue/saturation to overcome the dynamic range limitations of the medium? The work of painters is perhaps an important clue to how real scenes should be mapped to limited media in a way that happens to agree with human taste.

-h
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2010, 08:08:12 AM »
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Since there are exmaples that HDR can make natural images and all(?) the published descriptions don't seem to work does that mean the "secret" method is too valuable to share--  or are natural images just a result of trial and error?

No, not hardly "all" the published descriptions 'don't work' to create realistic images.  As Bart says, it does involve a learning curve and some trial and error.  But once you understand the software, understand how to bracket properly (a HUGE aspect of the task that isn't really well understood) and that the tonemapped LDR image really may just be the starting point rather than an end point, then you begin to develop a comfort level, a workflow and can generate repeatable results.  

I think it's a little unfair that HDR gets such a bad rap when people are Topazing the shit out of images and no one seems to bat an eye.  Or when guys like Dave Hill develop a processing methodology that creates anything but a realistic look and people fawn over it.  Doesn't make a lot of sense.  What it does do; however, is provide further proof that the appreciation of 'art' and what is or isn't 'art' is entirely subjective.  
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