PDA

View Full Version : Should I use this or not? HDR of Aqueduct



ericmark
02-17-2010, 12:34 PM
http://www.photography.ca/Forums/members/ericmark/albums/structures-landscape/299-5234-hdr2-pontcysllte-aqueduct-misty-day-quite-dull-needed-more-than-3-images-but-result-good-so-not-sure-if-i-should-use-even-though-really-should-have-used-5-images.jpg
I like the image but should I use it in an exam? This needed 5 not 3 images set in bracketing. OK I know I made a mistake. But it looks good and so tempered to use it as one of the four I need to enter for exam. Thoughts please.

Rules are I can only take in the original RAW images and I need to redo all processing in exam room. Only program loaded on the Mac's is Photoshop CS4 so for next 4 weeks not interested in any other program even if it's free and 100% better.

Yes British exam and have to use American software. But that's life. The subject is "Structures in the Landscape" and since this is a World Heritage site seemed a good venue. However the mist resulted in many of the shots being too grey and grainy looking and the trees stopped me getting ideal distance so whole bridge needed telephoto from surrounding hills which mist prevented. Only place I could get had two water treatment plants either side of river Dee. Not really what I wanted in picture.

It is the Pontcysllte Aqueduct if interested build by Thomas Telford used both to feed water and for narrow boats. One of the few canals with a flow with weirs at every lock.

scorpio_e
02-17-2010, 12:50 PM
My eyes are glazing over. Can you please clarify what you are asking for?
I think the top right corner is WAY to blown out. It really distracts from the image. The images lacks contrast.

Hope that helps

ericmark
02-17-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks it was that sort of thing I wanted so you would bin that one and start again?

Marko
02-17-2010, 01:20 PM
All in all this image has a nice feel to it. Personally, it's not my style of processing as has too much of a 'fantasy' feel to it.

The blown sky as scorpio pointed out is way blown and a major distraction. For me, it means the image is NOT a keeper.

Hope that helps - Marko

Kevin.OBrien
02-17-2010, 03:49 PM
I agree with ericmark and marko about it not being a keeper. But maybe if you go into CS4 and try to do something with the top right (if the data in the .raw isnt lost) and try get some contrast and shadows on the bridge then it may be a keeper. But overall I like the concept and the composition of it.

Mad Aussie
02-17-2010, 04:37 PM
I can see ways I could probably process this into something saveable but it will always be something less than what I'd wanted I think.

I think, especially for an exam, I'd take another set.

ericmark
02-18-2010, 04:44 PM
Thanks what you all have said is what I thought but other non photography people had said how good it was and so I had started to waver. Glad you have put me back on straight and narrow.

Yes I have the three RAW images but even the darkest is well over exposed where the sun lit the mist and lightest is only just picking out shadows. Should have used 5 instead of three images. But too late now.

Only cure would to be to crop. Seems a little odd but for "Digital Photography" exam we submit on paper so suppose no one would know if I did crop. But would feel happier returning and trying again.

Write it off to experience. At least I have few more weeks to get what I need. I wanted to use HDR but after trying quite a few been rather disappointed to find centre image on it's own so often better than three combined. Plus seems to give super blue sky.

I can understand what histogram does but the radius and threshold is just trial and error can't get it into my thick scull what they do. Every HDR site I find seems to use other than Photoshop CS4 and I just can't work it out. Other than messing with both sliders seems to get image clearer there seems seems no rhyme or reason as to where they go.

Not that they would have helped here but keen to learn. "Bambi" kindly pointed me to Joseph Cartright's interview and it did help. And the Picturenaut software does seem to do a better job as far as colour goes but not allowed that in exam.

Any help on those two sliders would be most welcome.

Chantelle
02-18-2010, 05:26 PM
I agree with the above, but you could always try put more contrast in this image and then crop that top half of the photo out.

Mad Aussie
02-18-2010, 06:04 PM
The filters that use Radius and Threshold usually work on finding contrast in the pixels of the image/selection.

The Radius slider then controls the area around that point of contrast ... a larger or smaller area (includes more or less surround pxels).

The Threshold Slider is harder to understand but in the most basic terms it tries to make sure you don't overdo the function ... be it sharpening or whatever.
The Threshold Slider then watches the affected pixels and comapres those to their neighbours and limits the effect. It's can almost cancel out what you are doing.
Most people just leave the Threshold at 0. I often do also although I will sometimes bump it up a small amount.

Mad Aussie
02-18-2010, 06:32 PM
Hey Eric ... I had a go at saving this image seeing as I sprouted that it was possible in my opinion.

It was a bit hard working with such a small photo but here's the result and under it ... your shot from above for comparison ...

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u104/Mad-Aussie/10%20photographyca/Jan-Jun/ericmark1.jpg
http://www.photography.ca/Forums/members/ericmark/albums/structures-landscape/299-5234-hdr2-pontcysllte-aqueduct-misty-day-quite-dull-needed-more-than-3-images-but-result-good-so-not-sure-if-i-should-use-even-though-really-should-have-used-5-images.jpg

Here's what I did ...

Curves treatment to increase the contrast.
Selected the blown out section and added a heap of monochromatic noise.
Then used the Clouds filter under Render in PS.
Had to to then use curves on just that section to make the clouds show properly.
Cloning and Healing tool next to fix the artifacts around the blown out area.
Some colour boosting and colour adjustment.

That's it.

ericmark
02-18-2010, 10:51 PM
Goodness that must have taken some time but result is great. I also considered adding something not as good as yours. http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs198.snc3/20543_499575305062_570000062_11038953_7129854_n.jp g same basic idea. However I looked at the time and although it can be done I think to ensure I don't run out of time in the exam I'll select another set of images. Why make it hard for myself.
However I have copied out your method and I am going to play with it may come in handy some day.
It is very different to my trade as an electrician. Either it works safely or it doesn't there are is no near enough. I was going to say Black and White but that's not right it's all Black, Gray, Brown and Blue with at little Green and Yellow for good luck!

Mad Aussie
02-18-2010, 11:08 PM
I like your effort as well.

Mad Aussie
02-18-2010, 11:09 PM
Oh hey ... was my explanation for the radius and threshold sliders of any help?

ericmark
02-19-2010, 12:58 AM
Yes it was. Sort of working things out now. Seems course is run both as evening class and day class but in the day most students are 16 year old and no real interest in learning. As a result the lecturer is not getting into things as he should. So it's left to us who do want to learn to look it up on internet.

He has people in class who openly say why do I need to learn about aperture and speed what's wrong with auto. But I only paid 5 for class so can't really complain too much. And slowly it's sinking in. I was taught more about Photoshop when I did IT course and Photoshop was just taught for 4 weeks than on this course which should go on all year. But last time it was version 7 and there are so many extras now.

I think only way is to practice. I have now given up taking Jpeg photos they just fill up my memory card and unless I need to take loads very close together Jpeg will stay off.

But I look at the RAW panel on CS4 and there are so many options and it seems many tools do basic the same thing. If I look at histogram at top and make sure it spans whole length then once opened seems no need for me to set levels.

We were told to set Un-sharp mask at 175% and radius 1 but not a clue why we should set it to that? In RAW there are also settings for sharpening I see it move histogram but not a clue what I am doing. Maybe we learn that next year suppose they have to have something left to teach next year!

Considering course does not finish until June seems odd to have exam in Easter. I am also doing maths and what a difference. The maths lecturer does not miss a minute of time. And it's go go go. But this art course seems to be so laid back progress is nearly zero. You have taught me more in last week than course has taught me in last 3 months.

It does not help that college uses MAC's great as they are all of us have been taught with PC compatibles to date and the lecturer spends loads of time showing silly things like how to take a screen shot.

Anyway you have all been a really great help. And I am sure I will pass. Mind you can't say same for maths. We are taught in maths about the magic proportions and how since the ancient Greek's we have used this number to proportion structures and paintings. We are shown the last supper all divided and shown how it all fitted. Talk to Art lecturer and he had never heard of it! Seems odd to learn about Art in maths class but so many famous artists of past were also mathematicians.

Sorry off subject I know once I start no stopping me. Did try your method no where near as good as yours seems I need a lot more practice.

Mad Aussie
02-19-2010, 02:25 AM
But I look at the RAW panel on CS4 and there are so many options and it seems many tools do basic the same thing. If I look at histogram at top and make sure it spans whole length then once opened seems no need for me to set levels.
Not sure what they told you but the histogram isn't that simple at all. It shows a graph that represents the different shades (or colours) of pixels in your photo. Those will vary tremendously depending on the photo. A photo of almost just snow is going to be heavily lop sided towards the right hand side. A photo that is mainly dark will be lop sided the other way, to the left.
The important thing is to let the histogram suggest to you if you have any of the darker sections of your photo simply too dark or any of the brighter sections, too bright. Basically, unless you intended to 'clip' one of those areas, the histogram graph, no matter what shape it might be according to the photos contents, should dive into both bottom corners and not have either the dark or light side up the sides of the graph.
All of this tells you very little about whether you need to set the levels or not. A good, calibrated monitor and your eyes are best for that.


We were told to set Un-sharp mask at 175% and radius 1 but not a clue why we should set it to that? In RAW there are also settings for sharpening I see it move histogram but not a clue what I am doing. Maybe we learn that next year suppose they have to have something left to teach next year!
To set unsharp mask to 175% and radius to 1 can only apply to a specific photo at a specific resolution.
As I said earlier. the radius affects how many pixels are affected when the sharpening is applied around the pixels the filter has selected to sharpen. The more resolution, the more radius you usually need. Sounds like you had a sample photo and the lecturer has failed to mention that those settings work well with that photo because of it's content, size, and original sharpness/softness but the settings need to be varied for each photo. At a given resolution you can sometimes find settings that will do an ok job over many photos, especially if the effect is slight.


Considering course does not finish until June seems odd to have exam in Easter. I am also doing maths and what a difference. The maths lecturer does not miss a minute of time. And it's go go go. But this art course seems to be so laid back progress is nearly zero. You have taught me more in last week than course has taught me in last 3 months.
You'll find isn't unusual if you hang around here long enough. None of us know everything, but many of us do know what works for us and what tools and settings to use to get those results. Feedback is vital, and if you are the sort of person that can handle both negative and positive feedback and at least try out things you are told here, you'll learn quickly. Come here with pre-conceived ideas that you know it all and just want pats on the back and your learning will be slow.
We all learn here. I know I sure do.



Sorry off subject I know once I start no stopping me. Did try your method no where near as good as yours seems I need a lot more practice.
Not many of us (especially me) can learn things in one go. Practice (and repetition) makes per ... reasonable to great :)

ericmark
02-19-2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks yet again. And yes I will accept criticism and listen to what is said. Unlike some great artists I will not cut off my ear. I'm Welsh not Dutch!

jlabel
02-19-2010, 02:37 PM
The picture is interesting it has some Tolkienish to it, like a painting of another world, tho the upper corner is blown out, and I suggest you use HDR technique to repair it