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Author Topic: Two HDRs I thought they were ok but Im being critisized  (Read 12866 times)
sanfairyanne
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2011, 12:23:16 PM »
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Chris,

Im stood behind the camera... No seriously I have played with the odd landscape using myself to show scale to a shot but not in this instance.

These HDRs are Photomatrix pros default version. There is absolutely no addition of vibrance or saturation unless of course the software adds some during processing and converting to Jpeg.

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kikashi
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2011, 01:34:25 PM »
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I've seen far worse examples of HDR. I'd agree that they look a little over-saturated but given that I'm a fan of black-and-white, that's perhaps unsurprising. The second shot in particular I think is lovely.

Jeremy
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PeterAit
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2011, 04:35:30 PM »
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It's not a criticism of you, it's a criticism of HDR. I have fiddled with HDR quite a bit and never got anything I liked. I got a few "lovely" photos with no technical problems I could see, but they just looked fake. The fact is, the real world presents you sometimes with scenes that have black shadows and/or pure white highlights. That's how they are supposed to look! They may not look good in a non-HDR photo, and that is nature's way of telling us that some scenes are not meant to be photographed! I have seen a few (very few) HDR photos that look natural, and I suspect these are cases when the range was just a wee bit beyond what could have been captured in a single show.
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sanfairyanne
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2011, 05:32:11 PM »
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Peter,

When I get back to my computer (2 months) Im hoping I can pull out a non HDR image. As Ive said I want a natural look. Incidentally if anyone cares to look at the rest of the shots I have taken during this trip they can be viewed here:

www.pbase.com/sanfairyanne/southwest

The gallery in question is the one named American Southwest
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stamper
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2011, 03:15:41 AM »
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Stamper,

Ok back to being a beginner here, Im using the history graph on my LCD, if I see my test shot of the snow shows highlight clipping I reduce the exposure until theres no longer clipping. At that point that is where the darker areas of the image are too dark.

From what I read into your reply are you saying I shouldnt be too concerned with highlight clipping. If I raise my aperture by two stops I go from say a 100th of a second to a 25th of a second which is surely going to blow my highlight to hell. Forgive me please if I appear like a stupid dumb sh#t.

Bart, thanks for youre reply but I really dont understand you.

In my post I quoted + 2 EV. Technically using my Nikon D700 I could go +3 EV. I  have seen evidence that this is possible before the whites blowout. I use +2 to be safe. When the graph touches the right hand side of the histogram then I know there is a lot of exposure there that I can exploit in ACR. So touching the right hand side means that my image is underexposed by at least a stop which means I am losing half of the information in my images. Google for exposing to the right. If you are shooting at ISO 200 - assuming this is the native iso on your camera - then I wouldn't be too concerned about noise. They invented noise reduction plug ins to solve the problem. There is no free lunch but this is all possible with a little bit of knowledge. If most of the people looking at your images like them then you are doing something right. Wink
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stamper
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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2011, 03:33:05 AM »
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>No problem, the response was not directly an answer to your question, but rather a reaction to "Stamper". Your images look >fine, not overprocessed into something surreal, so I don't understand the critique you apparently received.

Most of the posters on the thread disagree with you. This is subjective and all comments are valid?

>Chris,

>Im stood behind the camera... No seriously I have played with the odd landscape using myself to show scale to a shot but not >in this instance.

>These HDRs are Photomatrix pros default version. There is absolutely no addition of vibrance or saturation unless of course the >software adds some during processing and converting to Jpeg.

I don't think that you can blame the person for the poor results that are produced all of the time. The settings in the program are mostly presets and the user can't fully control the process therefore there has to be some "crossing of the fingers". If a person wants to be fully in charge of the process he will have to look at other methods rather than HDR. There are alternatives that give "better" results. They are more time consuming and require more patience and knowledge. HDR is a time cutting process in which the program makes some decisions for you?

Read this if you have the time and patience. It outlays the two strategies involved. One automated and the other user control.

http://photo.net/learn/digital-photography-workflow/advanced-photoshop-tutorials/creating-hdr-images/part-1/
 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 03:47:06 AM by stamper » Logged

sanfairyanne
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« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2011, 08:43:27 AM »
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Stamper,

I started reading that article and didnt even stop for coffee, its very well written and doesnt use bull sh#t acronyms all the time. Ive copied and pasted the link to my email so I can look into it further upon my return from South America.

It makes me feel much better to know that by hand HDR process I am not limited to the fake looking HDRs I so despise.

Thank you very much.
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dmerger
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2011, 09:50:52 AM »
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A slight variation of the method described in the article is to use the "Blend If" blending mode for the different exposures.  Load the different exposures into PS in layers as described in the article, with the darkest exposure at the bottom, then the next darkest, etc.  Auto align the layers if necessary, e.g. if you shot hand held.  Use the Blend If sliders to blend the different layers. Make sure the blends are very gradual so that you get a seamless blend.  With this method, you can easily target which portions of each layer you want to use. Once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy. 

Here is an explanation of "Blend If".  http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binaryfx/blendif.html
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Dean Erger
Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2011, 10:03:50 AM »
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A slight variation of the method described in the article is to use the "Blend If" blending mode for the different exposures.  Load the different exposures into PS in layers as described in the article, with the darkest exposure at the bottom, then the next darkest, etc.  Auto align the layers if necessary, e.g. if you shot hand held.  Use the Blend If sliders to blend the different layers. Make sure the blends are very gradual so that you get a seamless blend.  With this method, you can easily target which portions of each layer you want to use. Once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy. 

Here is an explanation of "Blend If".  http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binaryfx/blendif.html

The best about the "blend if" thing is, you can have it faded by dragging a slider while holding "Alt" and such split it up. I didn't know this for ages - just needed to watch a LuLa video to see it.
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dmerger
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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2011, 01:07:36 PM »
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Yes, Christoph, that's what I meant by "Make sure the blends are very gradual so that you get a seamless blend."  I probably wasn't clear enough, so your comment is very helpful.
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Dean Erger
sanfairyanne
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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2011, 02:46:54 PM »
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Stamper,

I ordered the book you mention by Harold Davis, as I said earlier his explanation in the link was easy to understand. Hopefully the book will be.

I took a closer, more critical look - albeit only on my cameras LCD screen - at the shot that has no water. The cloud is shading most of the mid section of the mountain which makes the foreground look over-exposed.

Thankfully I have a big bunch of differing shots that morning from that location and one has some nice light on the mid section. Im very excited about getting back to a computer and trying to pull up something interesting.
The other two shots may have some potential, if not theres always autumn next year.

Thanks guys.
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stamper
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2011, 04:09:21 AM »
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Looking at the LCD to judge exposure is - imo - a mistake. Composition and the histogram is what you should use it for. Harold Davis explains somewhere that the best use for an image that started out as two bracketed shots is for that image to be set as a background layer in Photoshop and further enhancements made. It isn't, as some assume, the finished image that some people think. Huh
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louoates
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2011, 09:56:37 AM »
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I think that all of them are right at the edge of too-hdr. At least for my taste. OTOH I've seen so much way-over-the-top hdr processed images selling well at art shows that I wonder if that's the future of sale-able photography. A photographer friend of my has noticed that his heavily-hdr shots get way more views on Twitr than the traditional versions. Maybe the thumbnails look better and thus get more views?
In my own work I often use hdr when I really need supplemental lighting. In AZ there are lots of times when the bright sun areas and shadows are impossible to capture in one exposure. I agree though that through raw processing you can often get two or three exposure versions of the same shot and blend them in Photoshop very nicely.

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sanfairyanne
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2011, 10:49:05 PM »
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louoates,

Youre probably right about those way over the top HDRs having more interest. Personally I have no intention of ever selling a photograph. I would prefer to capture an image as best I can and portray it as my eyes saw it so I have something else to gaze at other than television when Im an incontinent old man.

Havent a clue what OTOH means.
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louoates
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2011, 12:21:57 AM »
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OTOH = On the other hand...
I sell stuff all the time, mostly landscapes via galleries, so I do a lot of comparison shopping of other work competitive with mine.

<start of rant> I have a standing joke with a photographer friend that we ought to form an organization named Photography Police to rectify the many atrocities popping up recently. First we see a shocking increase in the number of huge canvasses being displayed at art shows that are way beyond (like 5x) the size their resolution would normally make possible. I'm talking about images that are so soft (that's a charitable word meaning blurry) you can nearly see blank canvas between the ink drops. Second we see large canvasses sharpened so mercilessly you can see the halos from five booths away. And thirdly comes the topic of the day here, HDR. I hate to harp on this one beyond an earlier post but, really! I saw some canvasses last week at a photographers gallery space that was so HDR'd I swear he was selling cartoon illustrations. And that was along side some really nicely shot and printed work. Huh </end of rant>
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2011, 12:46:46 AM »
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So what I'm going to do is take HDR landscapes with my Canon S95, blow them up to 3x4 meters and mercilessly sharpen this with halos of at least 5 mm size ....
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EduPerez
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2011, 12:57:52 AM »
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So what I'm going to do is take HDR landscapes with my Canon S95, blow them up to 3x4 meters and mercilessly sharpen this with halos of at least 5 mm size ....

Why bother with the camera? Just download whatever low-res photograph you can find on the internet...
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2011, 12:59:44 AM »
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Damn - I still have to work on being even more efficient ....  Tongue
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 10:34:22 AM »
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I realise they are crap photos but one day I just might take a good one and it would be nice to be correctly exposed.

Is Stomper trying to tell me to accept some blown out snow as a trade off for better exposed dark areas.

They're certainly not "crap" photos, but the HDR effect is definitely noticeable in all of them (despite what some others have said), thus they have lost tones that people would consider "realistic", whatever that means. Because of those tones, some folks hate HDR. Ironically, many of the same people who complain about the "false" colors and tones of HDR have no problems with b/w images, which are even more "false". It's a subject thing. If you like the look, go for it.

As for the acceptability of blowing highlights in the histogram, it all depends on the images. Some images require good highlight detail to be effective, others require deep shadow detail. And some require both, which is where HDR comes in handy. Be aware, however, that even if an image's tonal range does not fit into the camera's histogram range (clips at both ends), all is not lost. The camera's histogram displays that tonal range for an 8-bit JPEG image, so if you're shooting RAW (as you should) and processing as 16-bit (as you should), you'll find that there is a lot more information included on both ends and that the image may not be clipping, after all. How much extra highlight and shadow detail exists depends on the scene and the exposure, of course, but there will definitely be more to work with.

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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2011, 10:50:53 AM »
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OTOH = On the other hand...
I sell stuff all the time, mostly landscapes via galleries, so I do a lot of comparison shopping of other work competitive with mine.

<start of rant> I have a standing joke with a photographer friend that we ought to form an organization named Photography Police to rectify the many atrocities popping up recently.

Well, I sell a fair amount of work, and could care less what other photographers do. I don't consider myself in competition with anyone, and certainly don't compare my work with that of others. What would be the point?

As for the "atrocities", just what would those be? Images with a style different than yours, perhaps? That fact is that what you're talking about are TECHNICAL and AESTHETIC considerations, which are the easiest, lowest, and least important factors in the creation of photographic art. Hell, anyone can make a pretty picture, it's simple. What's not simple is making images that say something, that have depth of meaning, that can make people think, that can make people feel.

My advice is to forget what your "competitors" are doing, as such distractions can only serve to hinder your own self expression.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

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