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Author Topic: Two HDRs I thought they were ok but Im being critisized  (Read 14235 times)
louoates
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« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2011, 01:06:04 PM »
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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.

Good points. In my examples of "atrocities" I certainly don't mean a "style" that I don't like. These are simply prints made by folks (usually new to Photoshop and HDR) ignorant of the results of printing beyond gamut limits and resolution limits.

I also agree that one should never try to mimic anyone else no matter what the style used or good/bad techniques.
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LKaven
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« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2011, 10:31:04 PM »
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Sanfairyanne, hang on.  You've been getting constructive criticism, but I don't think anyone has made it clear to you that there are a million ways to render these fine scenes that you've got to please almost anyone's sensibilities.  You got the captures -- in this case, the /data/.  That was the hard, camping-out-in-the-cold part.  Now comes the rest.

These are good images, and the source material is good enough that with a little more finesse in post, they'll both be cracking good. 

There is some natural gain in saturation it seems from supersampling in HDR.  Objects in supersampled HDR look more "painted" in a way that they eye does not see them.  This might be partly because we only sample an object sparsely with our eye in the way we perceive it, and the traditional film image is more or less faithful to that.  If you stared at a rock for a solid minute, you would receive sun rays reflected off every micro-facet of it, but your mind wouldn't see it as a /cumulative/ image.  In HDR, there is some cumulative effect. 

It is a bit more subtle than I first thought, and I don't think the remedy for it is to reduce saturation globally.  One of the generally difficult problems with HDR is how to sculpt the toe, especially when you have such good fidelity on the "low" tones. 

I'm thinking you could take one of the original captures (the one closest to your final rendering, perhaps the 0EV shot), and use it to re-introduce some of the color from the original shot into the HDR using a "color" blend mode, and a luminosity mask to pass the low tones.  But you could also pave some new ground here as well.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2011, 12:45:26 PM »
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...but I don't think anyone has made it clear to you that there are a million ways to render these fine scenes that you've got to please almost anyone's sensibilities.

Trying to "please" others is the one sure path to mediocrity.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2011, 07:15:02 PM »
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Trying to "please" others is the one sure path to mediocrity.
Sure enough, but nothing to do with what I said.
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ErnestMcGill
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« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2011, 02:55:36 AM »
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The photos are too small. 

How can anybody fairly evaluate those photos at that size?
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Greg Campbell
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« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2011, 01:23:23 AM »
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Peter,

This is essentially the criticism I get, they look false.

All "IMO!"    Smiley

I must admit the first (mountains reflecting in lake) isn't too bad, but it still stands out immediately as 'not natural.'  The reflected image needs to be darkened, to match the real-world reflectivity of water.  I also think the middle tones (forest around mid-picture) are somewhat muddy and indistinct.  I'd re-set the black level to drag the darkest forest tones down a stop or so. 

The tonal scale for the second (the waterfall) is, IMO, completely whacked.  Cheesy  The snowy mountains are somehow no brighter than the foreground foliage?  The HDR process created a situation where the quality, brilliance, and apparent direction of the light is mismatched - the viewer's eye sees this and says, "Huh?!"   Overall, it looks for all the world like a poorly merged composite.  (something we've all seen way too many of.)

The tonal characteristics of the are close to looking natural.  Perhaps the basic composition is a bit too bi-polar. Tongue The colors, textures, shapes, etc. of the mountains don't seem to compliment or otherwise 'communicate' with their counterparts living in the trees.  IMO, you need to establish some sense of continuity between them.  If you could find a place where the shape of the trees mirrors that of the mountains, you'd have that 'bridge' that allows one half to relate to the other.  Or re-compose to show a river flowing between them, etc.  If I took this, I'd put it down to "Well, that didn't work as well as I'd hoped."   Cheesy     
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kenlip
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« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2011, 10:11:26 AM »
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As they say, 'A picture is worth a thousand words", so I have taken the liberty of tweaking (just a little) the images you posted to illustrate to you how I think the images might be improved.   Remember, this is simply MY opinion and may well be worth what you are paying for it :-)

The Waterfall:

The thing that struck me most was that everything seemed to have a red cast.  Even the rocks were red.  Of course, it is possible that the colour of the light at the moment the image was captured was reddish, but I think the image is improved by desaturating the reds a bit.  I also did a bit of selective dodging and burning on the snow and mountains, to make it a bit more interesting and to provide a more definite backstop to the flow of the eye as it explores the image.



The Mountains and Trees:

One of the first things that struck me was that the composition was not balanced.  There is an area on the left that adds nothing to the interest of the image and it upsets the balance.  Also, the yellow peak is a distraction, drawing the eye away from the main area of importance of the image.

Besides the cropping and a little curves adjustment for the overall image, some selective dodging and burning in the snow/mountain area adds some interest and improves the 'modelling'.


The Reflection:

This image is a bigger challenge.   When I first saw the image, all I saw was two bright red stripes.    It looked totally unnatural.  The  red 'stripes' are oversaturated.

There is a lot of information close to the waterline, yet it is hardly visible in your version.

My tweaking involved...
Reducing the red saturation
Duplicate layer of the background layer
Levels to brighten the entire image to bring out the detail in the waterline subjects
Added a mask to the Levels layer
Painted mask to allow all of background layer through except the area of interest near the waterline.
Some selective dodging and burning in the snow/mountain area
Added a bit of local contrast with Unsharp Mask


IMPORTANT!   Always keep in mind that these are some of the ways the I might approach the images.   They are NOT the only ways and there are undoubtedly much better ways.   You should look at what I have done and decide for yourself if there is any merit in my ideas.

Ken





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pwatkins
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« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2011, 07:36:33 PM »
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I'm very curious to know what the location is - where is this?

By the way, the photos are quite good, in my opinion.  They are photos worth waiting 3 months for.

--Paul
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john339
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« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2011, 11:02:32 AM »
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As has been mentioned, criticism is somebody's opinion.
I personally like the shots. I also visited your Southwestern gallery and my wife and I enjoyed the photos very much.
Keep shooting and follow your instincts because your photos are very good.
Thank you for sharing with us.
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Plekto
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« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2011, 11:28:47 PM »
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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.

That's the interesting thing.  HDR looks more like what our eyes see since we focus and adjust constantly as we view a scene.  But we've been programmed by over a hundred years of lenses and film's limitations that we tend to see technically closer to realistic photographs as "fake".

My suggestion would be to decrease the HDR about 10% so that there are some shadowy areas.  But to me the photos look fine.  I also shoot almost entirely in black and white, so I'm used to this sort of scenery effect, which is more commonly done.
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