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Travis
04-30-2008, 09:59 AM
I think I'm gonna try a shot at HDR this weekend.... I haven't done any deep research as to the technique aside but will before I attempt....

All I know so far is that I take that same shot at multiple exposure settings and I guess kinda stitch them from there using a software program...

I am looking for any advice as to what not to do(mistakes that you made when you first tried)... and are there subjects that suit HDR more than others? ie landscapes vs portrait or macro...?

clusty
05-02-2008, 09:39 AM
I am not much of a HDR expert, but I guess the classic subject for a HDR image would be sunrise/sunset.

Alex Wilson
05-02-2008, 10:50 AM
HDR is only really useful if the dynamic range of the image can't be captured in a single exposure.

So, the typical successful HDR images are landscapes (with a large tonal difference between the sky and ground), interior images (churches are good candidates, where you get a range between the bright stained-glass and the darker interior areas), night-time cityscapes (lots of range between the bright lights from buildings/cars and the darker areas).

True (multi-image) HDR portraits are pretty much impossible since people would move between shots, though you could alway composite an HDR background with the person. Not to mention that the increased contrast of HDR is very unflattering to the skin tones.

If you like the re-contrasted look of HDR images, but you have just a single image that already has the full range, you can still use HDR processing on it, but you can pretty much get an identical result using the Shadows and Highlights tool in Photoshop, or anything other processing that increases local contrast (http://alexwilsonphoto.com/blog/2007/03/05/using-local-contrast-in-photoshop/) (link to a PS action I made that does the same thing with layers).

Travis
05-03-2008, 10:01 AM
HDR is only really useful if the dynamic range of the image can't be captured in a single exposure.

So, the typical successful HDR images are landscapes (with a large tonal difference between the sky and ground), interior images (churches are good candidates, where you get a range between the bright stained-glass and the darker interior areas), night-time cityscapes (lots of range between the bright lights from buildings/cars and the darker areas).

True (multi-image) HDR portraits are pretty much impossible since people would move between shots, though you could alway composite an HDR background with the person. Not to mention that the increased contrast of HDR is very unflattering to the skin tones.

If you like the re-contrasted look of HDR images, but you have just a single image that already has the full range, you can still use HDR processing on it, but you can pretty much get an identical result using the Shadows and Highlights tool in Photoshop, or anything other processing that increases local contrast (http://alexwilsonphoto.com/blog/2007/03/05/using-local-contrast-in-photoshop/) (link to a PS action I made that does the same thing with layers).


thanks alex :)

tegan
05-05-2008, 08:01 PM
I would also add that HDR is only ONE method of getting detail and tone and even the HDR\illustration look does not fit all landscapes.

A neutral grad filter on the camera will often do the same thing and yet give a more natural look to the photo as a bonus. The dynamic range optimizer or variations thereof on individual cameras will also produce greater detail in shadow and highlight areas.

Increasing contrast by the way, reduces the tonal gradation and the detail in the darker tones, so that is not be recommended either in colour or black and white. It also washes out the brighter tones.

Tegan

Travis
05-05-2008, 11:12 PM
Thank you everyone.....

I know that HDR is kinda overdone but wanted to give it a try for learning purposes....

It rained all weekend here and I was not afforded any decent landscapes shots to try... maybe next weekend...

Alex Wilson
05-06-2008, 09:26 AM
Increasing contrast by the way, reduces the tonal gradation and the detail in the darker tones, so that is not be recommended either in colour or black and white. It also washes out the brighter tones.
Tegan

HDR, though, just increases *local* contrast, so it does the opposite.

tegan
05-06-2008, 11:35 AM
HDR, though, just increases *local* contrast, so it does the opposite.

Sorry, I did not mean to suggest that HDR is not to be recommended but rather the general notion of increasing contrast.

Tegan

Barefoot
01-20-2009, 11:45 PM
Pardon me for butting in here, but I was reading over all the posts and didn’t see where anyone had followed up with any HDR images. I’m a big fan of HDR and have made several attempts at it myself. Most of the time, the shots I make could easily be made with the proper exposure without having to resort to the processes involved in HDR photography. It’s just that I like the tone mapping options available in some of the software used to merge the images.

Here’s one shot at night of a bridge not far from my home. It was done this past summer and I’m sorry I don’t remember just how many frames I used to create the image. It was at least three, and maybe as many as five or six.

Mad Aussie
01-21-2009, 12:28 AM
Hey Travis ... did you listen to Podcast #59 - HDR with Joseph Cartright - http://www.photography.ca/blog/?p=198 ?

If you are going to try to use the HDR Software for the first time you might want to have a listen to this one. Understanding the visible ranges within the image you create is necessary because the HDR rendered image tends to look like crap at first until you know what to do with it.

I don't. Haven't looked into it myself yet. I tried once but it looked like crap so I went back my own method of manually blending the exposures via layers and masking etc. After listening to that podcast I now realise that I need to know more about HDR softeware if I'm going to use it. Either that or stubbornly keep using my own way.

tomorrowstreasures
01-21-2009, 10:19 AM
Pardon me for butting in here, but I was reading over all the posts and didnít see where anyone had followed up with any HDR images. Iím a big fan of HDR and have made several attempts at it myself. Most of the time, the shots I make could easily be made with the proper exposure without having to resort to the processes involved in HDR photography. Itís just that I like the tone mapping options available in some of the software used to merge the images.

Hereís one shot at night of a bridge not far from my home. It was done this past summer and Iím sorry I donít remember just how many frames I used to create the image. It was at least three, and maybe as many as five or six.

I think you did a lovely job!

Marko
01-21-2009, 10:39 AM
I agree - very nice HDR image barefoot.

mindforge
01-21-2009, 12:34 PM
I really like HDR and even though it is widespread now and everyone with a DSLR is trying to do it - to get the really good looking ones is pretty hard sometimes.

To me, HDR is a tool to give us the capability to expose everything in a scene the way we want it. Also, it is possible to HDR people. After all, all HDR is just trying to give us the same quality that our vision has and allowing a scene to have more stops and detail everywhere.

I use HDR principles in almost every step I take but I have stopped using photomatix to do it. Now, I simply create a new layer and mask with the same image and manually paint in exposed shadows off my raw file or for that matter... I can go in and make another file for the sky. This gives me a little more control and is a little less destructive to the image. You have to be careful sometimes, but you can get some great images without utilizing any special software and just making several images off your raw. I usually make three. One for the light, one for the shadows and the real one. Then I just use layer masking and opacity levels to control how much I want. I'll make a brand new one today and post it.

Barefoot
01-22-2009, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the positive comments! I went in search of the files that were used to generate the image which took a little while as I’ve shot the bridge countless times. I found them in a folder from July of this past year, and it looks like I used three exposures at f/16, ISO100, and shutter speeds of 30, 15, and 8 seconds.

I listened to the podcast with the interview of Mr. Cartwright tonight and found it very informative. Having first tried my hand at HDR a little over a year ago now, I’ve never really went to any great lengths to fully understand the principles behind the technique. I simply enjoyed the results of the process and the examples of work offered by those that had mastered the art and wanted to see if I could duplicate it. My very first attempts involved long exposure macros in pitch dark rooms using a small RGB light source or other peculiar means of lighting.

If I may, I’d like to share an example of that work from nearly a year ago. It's an image of a novelty item known as a “Light Cube” that one can find in lounges and clubs. It’s a submersible cube of lexan or some such material fashioned to look like an ice cube with a clear white LED light inside. They look pretty cool floating inside a cocktail. I simply placed the Light Cube over a small display of red, green, and blue LED lights that I found somewhere and using a black background cloth to hide everything but the cube, I made several different exposures and let the software do the rest.

Sadly, I seem to have let the practice fall by the wayside. It was a lot of fun.

Mad Aussie
01-22-2009, 12:57 AM
cool effect