HDR revisited

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by beavo451, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #1
    There was a discussion about the use of HDR in photography in this thread started by ksz with some excellent photos of the Taj Mahal found here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=238755

    There were some discussion into the actual creation of the HDR image to make it look good without weird lighting effects. I decided to do some investigation into the hdr merge process and here are the results. All 4 HDR images are merged from the same set of 4 images. It was a rainy day, so excuse the content.

    Thoughts and comments about the creation of an HDR image?

    1. 0 EV photograph
    2. Photomatix HDR mege + tone map
    3. Photomatix HDR mege + tone map + curve tweak in PS
    4. Photoshop merge to HDR
    5. Photoshop merge to HDR + curve tweak in PS

    1
    [​IMG]

    2
    [​IMG]

    3
    [​IMG]

    4
    [​IMG]

    5
    [​IMG]
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    It's much more effective visually when you're shooting a scene with a much wider tonal range than the examples I've seen here.

    Here's a good example with workflow:

    http://www.harzergruben.de/DRI/dri.htm
     
  3. beavo451 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #3
    Doesn't really matter. Nearly all daytime scenes have a wider range than the camera. Not that the sky is blown even though it is a heavy overcast day.

    Also, I am demonstrating the Photoshop merge to HDR function. The link you provided is a manual merge.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    The 5th photo is the best.

    The sky in the 2nd photo looks like a muddy turquoise colour, while the sky in the 3rd looks slightly purple. The 4th photo isn't contrasty enough, while the 5th photo does have a blown-out sky, but hey.....the sky was covered with white clouds on a rainy day. Stuff happens. ;) Still looks best, though.
     
  5. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    Interesting results...I think the sky in #3 (with Photoshop curves applies) is the more pleasing since it's a shade of blue instead of a shade of aqua, but the curves have slightly exaggerated the colors in the rest of the scene. My preference would be as follows:

    1. Using Photoshop layers and perhaps the magic wand tool, select out the sky from #3.

    2. Take photo #2 as the baseline and add the sky from step 1. Except for the sky, the rest of photo #2 shows the most accurate colors. Also, shadow detail in the two trees on the left side is nicely rendered in this picture.

    Finally, the last two pictures (Merge to HDR in Photoshop) are the least pleasing to me. They are virtually identical to the original 0EV shot and exhibit plain or muted colors (very low saturation). The sky still appears a bit blown out.
     
  6. beavo451 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #6
    Thanks Abstract and ksz for your thoughts. As we have seen, HDR is a tricky animal. :mad:
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    Yes, Photoshop's HDR function is good, but everyone I know who routinely shoots HDR does it manually because it's easier to get much better results.

    Please don't ask for "thoughts and comments about an HDR image" if you're really not looking for them.
     
  8. Teddy's macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    Oh... on how much I hate HDR's :mad:

    I prefer to play around with it and then select the better picture. Just like the "old-35mm-days".

    Use special filters.
     
  9. beavo451 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #9
    And you ignored the Photomatix merge entirely. Merging software is another technique among many. I apologize for not being clearer on my intent. I am looking for comments about the automated merge and its appropriate use.

    Would you be able to tell a photo is HDR or not just by looking at it? Why must we be rooted in the past when new technology is avialbale?
     
  10. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #10
    While I like to play with HDR sometimes, I dont like what Photomatix does with some colors, especially the greens. pics tend to look very artificial unless you really use it in moderation (which is hard :) ).

    I got a graduated neutral filter a short while ago and it's very interesting to use and lets you achieve a greater dynamic range directly in-camera.
     

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