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HDR...whch type of program do you use?

This is a discussion on HDR...whch type of program do you use? within the Photoshop - graphics programs - pluggins - for photography forums, part of the Education & Technical category; I tried it again iwth a different image. #1 Photomatrix Pro #2 Dynamic Photo Same images...same processing in LR....

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    I tried it again iwth a different image.
    #1 Photomatrix Pro
    #2 Dynamic Photo
    Same images...same processing in LR.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

     

    "Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives"-anonymous
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    I suspect that you could get almost the same output if you tweak the settings just right in each. They have different default starting points, Like I say the interface on Dynamic HDR is much nicer, but for me it's toy money I'd have to spend and right now that is going to my other projects. If someone has a spare winning lotto ticket they don't need send it my way
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    I find it interesting that you guys like Dynamic's interface. I tried it once and thought "What the hell? This is way more difficult to use than Photomatix" and the result didn't look as good to me either. Maybe I should look again.

    I have a magazine here that mentions different features about Photomatix and realise I'm not utilizing the program enough anyhow. I'll have to spend some time playing around. Maybe I'll join in the 'testing' here

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    I've had a quick play again with Dynamic Photo HDR and also explored the 3 ways to process within Photomatix Pro 3.1

    I used a shot with a huge dynamic range. Middle of the day, bright sun and sky, dark shadowed cliff faces. Only 3 photos over a 2 stop bracket so the programs would have to work hard to get a good result.

    NONE of these have been processed in any way after leaving the HDR program I used. Photoshop was used to resize, frame and add sig only. Nothing else.

    Here's the results and my thoughts ...

    Dynamic Photo HDR.

    I found the interface better this time around. Seems last time I left with the perception it was awkward and although I still prefer Photomatix in this way (maybe just more familiar) I did fine DP HDR easier this time around. Particularly the presets that work quite well.
    The result above is pleasing also! Very natural looking and no obvious halo effect. Sky colour is more constant than I've gotten in PMatix at times as well. There is some blue in the shadows that I would process out in Photoshop etc and a tad of sharpening as well. But it's very close to a finished product right out of the box so to speak.


    Photomatix offers 3 ways to process HDR ... Tone Mapping with Details Enhancer, Tone Mapping with Tone Compressor, and Exposure Blending. Details Enhancer makes changes with individual shades etc within the image, Tone Compressor makes changes globally within the image, and Exposure Blending simply has presets (one is adjustable though) to then blend how you wish within the limits it presents.


    Photomatix - Details Enhancer


    This is the mode I usually use in Photomatix. That might change a bit now I've read the magazine and learned some about this program.
    As you can see, it's not any good right out of the box and I usually find that to be the case. This would need one of the original layers blended over it to correct that sky colour and halo. It would need some sharpening and the blue cast removed from the shadow of the cliff. Some contrast as well I think and perhaps more. There is usually some post processing to be done after the image is created in this way.


    Photomatix - Tone Compressor

    As you can see this version is similar to the DP HDR version which isn't surprising as it uses a similar process I think.
    Overall a much more natural appearance and apart from a bit of blue cast again there really isn't much to do in further processing other than some sharpening.


    Photomatix - Exposure Blending

    This one has resulted in a more even spread of the light/shadow relationship. It doesn't need a lot of processing ... maybe a bit of a colour boost (which I think I could have done within the program anyhow) and again remove that blue cast from the shadows and some sharpening as well.


    Picturenaut 3

    I just tried Picturenaut briefly here so my comments might be less than valid but I found it to be similar to DP HDR in that results in a more natural type of photo than some of Photomatix options do.
    Not much extra processing needed apart from maybe some constrast and colour boost and a bit of sharpening again even though it has a sharpening tool included.


    Conclusions
    I found that Dynamic Photo HDR and Picturenaut were indeed better for a natural result and the user interface on DN HDR was better than I'd first realized after a short try earlier.
    Photomatix is far more versatile though and allows for a greater range of results.
    All the HDR processes needed a small amount of post processing if only to sharpen but that's expected really.
    I've just learned a lot about Photomatix doing this (thanks for the inspiration Casil and Greg) and can me not using the Details Enhancer unless I want a more 'out there' HDR result for architecture, interior or car shots or something similar. The other modes are likely to lessen the post processing workflow and still get the desired result.
    Last edited by Mad Aussie; 11-21-2009 at 09:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by casil403 View Post
    Anybody else have a fave and why?
    My fave is Picturenaut. Why? Because it's free and works great.

    "Picturenaut's consistent multi-threaded architecture makes it the fastest tone mapper in the world. Nothing beats it running Reinhard's Photoreceptor Physiology in realtime on the full image. If you call a new 8 core box your own, you will see it haul through a 32 Megapixel image in realtime, while you find just the right slider settings."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    My fave is Picturenaut. Why? Because it's free and works great.

    "Picturenaut's consistent multi-threaded architecture makes it the fastest tone mapper in the world. Nothing beats it running Reinhard's Photoreceptor Physiology in realtime on the full image. If you call a new 8 core box your own, you will see it haul through a 32 Megapixel image in realtime, while you find just the right slider settings."
    Hi BF
    I like the cost of 'free' Can you post some results with this program?
    Feel free to make comments on any of my shots

    my blog: http://bambesblog.blogspot.com/

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    Added Picturenaut to my 'test' as well now and adjusted my conclusion a little.

    In the end though I'm happy I paid for Photomatix because I still like the flexibility and options it has.

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    this thread should have a sticky!
    Feel free to make comments on any of my shots

    my blog: http://bambesblog.blogspot.com/

    My flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bambe1964/

    A painter takes their vision and makes it a reality. A photographer takes reality and makes it their vision.

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    Thanks for the input MA...it is fun isn't it to see what kind of result one gets with various programs...just an experimentif anything but makes for an interesting discussion topic.
    We should try it with Adobe PS versus Corel Paintshop pro sometime.
    Anybody have any other faves to add to the list for comparison? I've heard FDR tools is another one.
    "Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives"-anonymous
    My website: www.albertaandbeyond.com

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    I found it very interesting, But my results are just the results of one person's style, on one image, followed by my opinion. Hardly a scientific test. But it is one that matters to me

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