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Author Topic: Using HDR tone mapping for ordinary images  (Read 14222 times)
leuallen
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2012, 01:56:05 AM »
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Here is a quick  adjustment done on a virtual copy in LR. Increased color temp warmth, increased fill light, increased brightness, and increased vibrance. It has more of the look of a low, warm, diffused sun rather than a dull overcast.

Larry
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2012, 03:28:04 PM »
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Larry,

Here are the "U-boat images". This rock from Gotland (Sweden) reminds me of an U-boat ;-)

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/images/Articles/U-boat_1/

Thanks for sharing!

Best regards
Erik


Erik, here is a quick edit. I used 6 masks, none of which took over a minute or two to create. I tried too keep the look similar to what you sent. Notice the extra detail in the rocks. I selected a bright area of one of the rocks to create a mask. The mask contained only the rock highlight areas so one pick did it. I then lightened and adjusted midtone contrast of the rocks mask slightly for a little more snap.

Also note the whites in the sky selected with one click. I opted for more contrast in this area but I could have made it as soft as yours if desired. None of the whites are blown. Seemed to achieve good detail in this area. The sky mask was made with one click selecting a blue. Brightness was reduced and saturation increased. Increased color balance warmth-more for the foreground and less for the sky (to keep good blues). One click selection of golden grass tones-played with saturation and brightness.

Took into LR. I usually make my final tweaks there as I know how it is going to print for there. Increased contrast slightly, added a little vibrance, and put a graduated filter on the foreground grass running diagonally (-.5). Reduced saturation of blues slightly as I had too much in SNS. Cropped to 16:9 as yours. So you like the 16:9 ratio? I use it quite frequently as I use a GH2 and the aspect ratios can be changed very quickly without any penalty for cropping. This allows me to see the final composition in the camera without trying to visualize what the crop would look like.

I could have gone many different routes with this image, all quickly and without too much effort.

But the image I was referring to was your second image on Dec. 8. I think I could do more with that.

If there is enough interest, I will put together a PDF with screen shots and how the masking process works. If not enough interest, skip it, for it is a lot of work to put together.

I could have probably obtained a similar result using just LR and PS but this was much easier.

Thanks

Larry

On looking at the conversion after posted, it looks a little flat and could use more foreground staturation. Oh well, I don't usually process for the web, I usually print anything that is worth anything. In other words for the web I would push it more over the edge for more drama and to compete with other images. For the web, I think you can get away with this as the image is usually on viewed briefly. In print it lives a longer life and the jarring impact wears thin.


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leuallen
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2012, 07:06:36 PM »
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Erik, here is a quick version of the U-boat rock image done in SNS. This is a three image HDR.

I completed a tutorial explaining how SNS masks work. I don't have a web site so don't know how I will distribute it to anyone who wants. It is 7.2 mb in size and a PDF.

Thanks
Larry
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Andrew Makiejewski
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2012, 08:30:33 PM »
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Erik, here is a quick version of the U-boat rock image done in SNS. This is a three image HDR.

I completed a tutorial explaining how SNS masks work. I don't have a web site so don't know how I will distribute it to anyone who wants. It is 7.2 mb in size and a PDF.

Thanks
Larry

Only had a quick look, but very, very nice. I would be very interested.  One suggestion would be to get a free DropBox account. You then could provide a link to the file in this forum.

Andrew
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Capture the moment.
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2012, 11:08:40 PM »
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Hi,

You can put it on my website if you want.

Best regards
Erik



Erik, here is a quick version of the U-boat rock image done in SNS. This is a three image HDR.

I completed a tutorial explaining how SNS masks work. I don't have a web site so don't know how I will distribute it to anyone who wants. It is 7.2 mb in size and a PDF.

Thanks
Larry
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leuallen
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2012, 09:25:53 AM »
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Link to SSN Tutorial.PDF

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8ETvhCd81aFMTUyMTU4OTctZGQxZS00NTBmLWE5MDgtMDIwNWM1ODA3M2I4

It is on my google plus account. I new to this so don't know if this works. Under 'file' drop down at the top is the option to download. Images are too small on google to see what is happening. Viewed full size in a PDF gives a much better idea.

Larry
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2012, 10:16:17 AM »
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The Google download works just fine for me.
Very nice, clear description of the process. I think I will try out SNS.
Thanks for posting this.

Eric M. (not Erik K.)
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
RobertBoire
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2012, 11:58:43 AM »
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Larry... or anybody,

From my own limited experience with HDR (Photomatix, CSx) I find that the tone mapping required to render the synthesized bracketed images to LDR either end up giving unnatural results or require a lot of work to end up with a naturally looking end result.  Often all I really want to do is something conceptually simple - equivalent to using layers for digital blending to synthesize split neutral density filters. However this cannot be done if you use LR and at any rate I find the process relatively complicated.

Are you aware of any plug-ins that allow blending to be achieved quickly? Does SNS-HRD allow that? I had hoped that Photomatix Exposure Fusion would do this, but I find that the results still need a lot of work.

Thanks

R
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leuallen
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »
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I find that I get the most natural results using SNS. I have purchased Nik, Photomatix, Oleoneo, and CS5. I have tried the 30 day trials of a couple of others that did not make the grade.

The natural preset as it comes out of SNS is a very good starting point. My approach to processing the file is to conceptualize it into areas of interest and to work on each area separately. You have to pay particular attention to the sliders microcontrast, microdetails, and midtone contrast. There is a tendency to pump them up and say "Wow! Look at the increased sharpness and detail." But this comes back to bite you with a non-natural look. I tend to take some of these down a bit from defaults if the area is say in shadow. If the area were brighter I might bring them up a bit. You tend to see less detail and sharpness in shadow, so this is what you expect in the image. Bright areas are just the opposite. The beauty of working these areas with mask is that you can have both in the same image. Other programs I have worked in raise the details globally which is OK is some parts of the image but not others. Then you have to do a lot of work to balance things out. The same goes with saturation. Dark areas are naturally less saturated, bright areas more so.

Although I really like SNS I must warn some about its warts. Little documentation or online info on how to use it. But it is fairly intuitive and playing around goes a long way to fixing that. There is no undo! At least that I have found. Again you develop workarounds. The brush sizes are not changeable-you must enlarge the view to get the same effect. No chromatic aberration removal. You must do that in LR and then export .tif's into SNS. No LR integration means a somewhat awkward workflow if you need to export .tif's into SNS. And a few other things that I may have forgotten. But the good news is that the developer has stated that he is working on many of these things. Considering that the developer appears to be a small one man outfit in Poland it is remarkable what he has already come up with. So, considering that, it is understandable for the lack of some feature. He does come out with frequent updates that address some of these shortcomings.

The good points:

Very natural results if desired.

The masking tool is awesome!

Many controls that address a wide range of adjustment possibilities. For example, the brightness, midtone contrast and few other tools have an option to effect only the brighter ranges. For example, saturation, has the option to effect only the saturation of the brighter areas. This is just the kind of thing that is useful and parallels how we see things.

I have not noticed any halos or artifacts - yet.

The blending of the very high areas is very smooth with little banding or color shifts. I shoot into the sun frequently and other programs have resulted in banding around the sun area which shows harshly and often with weird colors introduced. For example, I have often gotten slightly greenish bands around the sun area. I have reprocessed some of these files and have gotten excellent results without this banding problem. You can checkout and example here on this forum (without the color shift, but showing smooth transitions). Look at Erik Kaffehr CS5 version of the rock image. Look at the sunspot. The look at my SNS version latter in the post.

The controls are generally pretty intuitive and easy to use. I've used others that I had a hard time figuring out what the controls did or they forced you into some convoluted workflow. Had to do things in a certain order and going back to make adjustments was a pain.

If I seem over the top in pushing this program it is because I want this guy to make money. I want him to be able to keep pushing out all this good stuff so that I can use it. Or maybe Adobe to buy him out or hire him and bring this stuff to LR and PS.

Check out my SNS-Tutorial (post above), it will give you an idea of how the program works and its results.

Larry
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2012, 01:13:30 AM »
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Hi!

I'm impressed by your processing, but my "aimpoint" differs from yours. I want to keep the rock in the foreground dark, but with ample detail.

Best regards
Erik


Erik, here is a quick version of the U-boat rock image done in SNS. This is a three image HDR.

I completed a tutorial explaining how SNS masks work. I don't have a web site so don't know how I will distribute it to anyone who wants. It is 7.2 mb in size and a PDF.

Thanks
Larry
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leuallen
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2012, 12:24:08 PM »
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Erik, I respect your artistic vision. As I said, it was a quick conversion. I often process an image and then look at it latter and think to myself "What was I thinking". It usually takes me a couple of rounds with time in between to come up with a final version.

Anyway, here is a version with the rocks darker. It was very simple to do. One click on the dark rocks to create a mask. Bring down the brightness and play with the other sliders to get something that looks good. I could have easily gone darker, had the highlights brighter, or one of many different variations. It all depends upon your final vision.

I was initially focused on the area around the sun spot and how well SNS handled it. I've had problems with sort of thing in other HDR programs.

What impresses me the most is the quality of the mask and ease of creation. Note that there are no halos between the sky and rocks. I have considerable experience in creating masks in PS and and I could not have done as well with manual masking without considerable manipulation and time spent.

Subsequent changes are easy in SNS if you save your original SNS file in their proprietary format (.sns). You can then reopen the original file and make changes and then export to tif for LR or PS. So I reopened my original file and just made changes to the rocks, the sky I was happy with so no changes.

Larry
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Vegard
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2012, 11:09:09 PM »
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Are you aware of any plug-ins that allow blending to be achieved quickly? Does SNS-HRD allow that? I had hoped that Photomatix Exposure Fusion would do this, but I find that the results still need a lot of work.

Thanks

R

Perfect Layers?
I haven't tried it myself yet. Unlike SNS-HDR it also runs on Mac.
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Hening Bettermann
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2012, 05:03:04 PM »
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> Are you aware of any plug-ins that allow blending to be achieved quickly?

I am happy with ImageFuser. Donation ware, simple, intuitive, and includes alignment. It can do both Exposure Bracketing and HDR. I have not tried the latter though.

Good light!
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2012, 06:21:03 PM »
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Unlike SNS-HDR it also runs on Mac.

Hi,

From what I've heard SNS-HDR runs fine on a Mac, under Parallels.

Cheers,
Bart
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kikashi
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2012, 04:08:20 AM »
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Hi,

From what I've heard SNS-HDR runs fine on a Mac, under Parallels.

Cheers,
Bart
Or Fusion.

Jeremy
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2012, 01:20:35 PM »
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Link to SSN Tutorial.PDF

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8ETvhCd81aFMTUyMTU4OTctZGQxZS00NTBmLWE5MDgtMDIwNWM1ODA3M2I4

It is on my google plus account. I new to this so don't know if this works. Under 'file' drop down at the top is the option to download. Images are too small on google to see what is happening. Viewed full size in a PDF gives a much better idea.

Larry

Thank you for that! I'm a big fan of the program but haven't had much chance to play with it since the layers tool was added.
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leuallen
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2012, 01:47:48 PM »
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Ben, I hope you get a lot out of the masks (layers) feature. I find it fantastic. I understand that there are lots of goodies coming in new upgrades.

Larry
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Roland DG
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2012, 04:36:27 PM »
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Here is an image that I "tuned" up with PS

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stamper
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2012, 02:32:57 AM »
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This is an example of why many photographers dislike HDR. Sorry not my taste. Sad
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2012, 02:39:58 AM »
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I do a lot of HDR myself, but I agree with Stamper.

I personally prefer HDR to give a result that more closely approximates the scene as viewed.

Regards

Tony Jay
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