first HDR attempt, don't wanna hijack anyone's thread

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nickXedge, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. nickXedge macrumors 6502

    nickXedge

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island
    #1
    Okay, I've only very recently started in photography. I have a Canon 1000D with the kit lens, but I also have the 55-250mm IS, which is what I used to shoot this photo. I've literally only been shooting for about a month, and I don't get a lot of time at that. I was looking out my back window in my apartment and I saw this squirrel so I snapped a few quick shots. After I checked out the images I got, they seemed a little bland cause of the scenery.

    I have Photoshop CS4, because I was able to get it for $200 with education discount, so I tried playing around with it there but I don't quite know enough to make it look much better. So I downloaded the trial of Photomatix, so please bare with the watermarks, I'll purchase the full version soon.

    I hadn't planned on making an HDR when I was shooting, so I didn't have a couple shots prepared. I took one RAW file I had and used Photoshop to create 3 TIFF files with different exposures and I used these 3 images to make the HDR.

    This is the original RAW file, converted to JPG so I could upload.
    [​IMG]

    This is a JPG of the HDR I ended up with.
    [​IMG]

    I tried to keep it realistic and not surreal. I wanted to enhance the shot, not turn it into a comic book drawing. Both files are also 1/4 the original size, so they're not huge in the thread. Again, this is my very first HDR attempt, and it was from a single RAW file. All feedback and criticism is welcome. You can be harsh if you feel it's necessary, just don't be rude please. Thanks.
     
  2. designguy79 macrumors 6502

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    Michigan
  3. nickXedge thread starter macrumors 6502

    nickXedge

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
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    Long Island
    #3
    Okay, how about now? I think I fixed it, but I can always see them so I'm not positive.
     
  4. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    This is not an HDR picture.

    Maybe you tone mapped the image, but the dynamic range of the original picture was well within the limits of the sensor, and you did not take (or need to take) multiple exposures to fully capture the DR in the scene.

    HDR and tone mapping are two different things. As you have experienced, any image can be tone mapped in order to enhance or affect the contrast. HDR images are usually tone mapped because you need to compress the high dynamic range back into an image that is displayable. However, if you shot multiple exposures and just cut/paste blended the different properly exposed parts together, you would have an HDR image that you did not tone map.

    All 3 methods are valid and each has their particular use. But IMO only 2 of them can be rightly called HDR.

    Regarding the photo, well it is a bit busy. The subject is lost in the foreground noise, and is quite small. I understand probably gear limitations (lack of a supertelephoto lens) played a part in this, and really it was more of a technical exercise than real photography, so it's not really a bad thing. I take pictures of junk sometimes too in order to play around with a new technique. But usually I don't show them.

    Ruahrc
     
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #5
    What Ruahrc said about HDR photography.

    As for the color of your photo, basically all that you needed to do to it was to boost the saturation a bit.

    Because of all the branches in the way it is going to be busy no matter what. However, if you crop it so that the squirrel (and especially it's head and eyes) are within the rule-of-thirds zone then it would probably be much better. Think of a tic-tac-toe board: generally speaking, you want the focus of your photo to be at the intersections of the lines.
     
  6. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Yes, they work now. I agree with Ruahrc -- the foreground is too busy and the subject is too far away to make this an interesting shot. As for the "HDR" part, I think you could have achieved the same result by playing with the saturation, clarity, etc.

    If you want to play around with HDR tone mapping, try doing a series of shots at dusk or dawn.

    Oh, and read this article, too!

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml

    Have fun!
     
  7. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #7
    The post has been answered, but I'll chime in with a suggestion about posting in general. Please use TIMG tags, it's easier on everybody. :)
     
  8. nickXedge thread starter macrumors 6502

    nickXedge

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    #8
    Thank you all for the wide range of feedback regarding all aspects of my post. I genuinely appreciate all of what everyone said and it will certainly help me to produce better work in the future.

    I don't know what TIMG tags are. I'll use that next time though, as I'm sure someone will explain it to me in a matter of minutes. Thank you for the suggestion.
     
  9. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
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    #9
    Sorry, thought you knew, since you posted with IMG tags.

    When you post an image from a hosted site, they always come in as [ IMG ] and [ /IMG ] at whatever the original size is and they'll easily fill the screen, sometimes to an absurd level.

    Before clicking the "Submit" button, just modify the [ IMG ] and [ /IMG ] to [ TIMG ] and [ /TIMG ] (without the extra spaces). That'll post them as thumbnails, and not take so much space or bandwidth. They're clickable, so we can see the full-size image if needed. My first response above shows them as TIMGs. :)
     
  10. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    May 5, 2007
    #10
    Comically your 'HDR' image has blown highlights. Unlike the original. And the crazy saturation hurts my brain.

    Keep shooting.
     
  11. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    Photomatix is really good for HDR but pretty expensive when you consider how little you may use it. When you start doing real HDR, try something very simple. Maybe just an open field with sky. It wont make for an interesting image, but it's a lot easier to learn the basics this way. You can push it to the limit without getting to much haloing in key areas.

    Btw, using TIMG uses the same amount of bandwidth as posting with just IMG. It just makes it just resizes it via html! :)
     
  12. nickXedge thread starter macrumors 6502

    nickXedge

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    #12
    I see. When I first previewed my post, the images were huge, so I shrunk them so they wouldn't be so huge, but that's way better, thanks!
     
  13. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
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    #13
    You're correct, of course. My fingers were typing one thing while my brain was thinking another (image attachments), all the while on a conference call simultaneously. Bad JNB! :D

    That's what we're best at here: pointing out the mistakes of others! :p (Trust me, I "got learned" the hard way ;))
     
  14. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #14
    I did a try with HDR Photostudio. Ilike it a bit better than Photomatix but it gives me roughly the same results. Note the wierd reflection of the window at the couch armrest. Photomatix did the same. I guess it's a reflection in the lens that got amplified. All was done from 3 jpeg's in about 10 min. For comparison I post on of the original pics (the longest exposed one).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Massachusetts
    #15
    A tiny bit too gray, no? :confused:
     
  16. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    yes, that is true. there is some glare that should be removed. HDR Photostudio has a tool for that but I guess the fact that I'm shooting against the window with a no so good kit lens makes this much worse. Also this was made from three JPEGS instead of RAW.
     

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