HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography - post your HDR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by valdore, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #1
    HDR on Wikipedia

    High dynamic range imaging is the process of merging three or more differently exposed but otherwise identical photos into one, which increases the Dynamic Range of the photo, bringing to light an often dramatic tonal range in the photo.

    The two primary types of HDR are:


    1) Bracketing usually three or more differently exposed but otherwise identical photos from the camera, either by setting the auto bracketing function on your SLR camera or manually adjusting the shutter speed. A tripod and a shutter trigger are often required for this.

    Advantages:
    The more exposures captured straight from the camera give you and your HDR editing software more data to work with, helping to make a superior photo.

    Disadvantages: Doesn't work well when there are moving objects in the composition. Moving people, animals, cars, traffic lights changing color, et cetera.

    2) HDR from one RAW file - make sure your SLR camera is in RAW mode, capture the best mid-range exposure you can, and then use software such as Photoshop, Aperture, or Lightroom to assign different exposure compensations to the photo, such as 0 (original mid-range shot), +2 (overexposed), and -2 (underexposed). After exporting these three versions of the same photo, you are ready to take them into your HDR editing software.

    Advantages: Works just fine with moving objects, and when you do not have a tripod on hand.

    Disadvantages: Sometimes there is not enough data in a single photo capture to make a good HDR image. If there are any very darkly lit areas of the photo, there will be an unacceptable amount of noise.


    And now for the HDR editing software that will be required:

    The two primary HDR editors out there are Adobe Photoshop (CS2, CS3) or Photomatix Pro (www.hdrsoft.com).

    Photoshop> File> Automate> Merge to HDR

    or

    Photomatix Pro > HDR >Generate>Browse>Select>OK, then HDR>Tone mapping.

    In my opinion, Photomatix Pro (demo available, $99 to purchase) is superior to the HDR function in Photoshop, allowing for far more creative control.
    _______________

    Other thoughts - for HDR, make sure your ISO setting is as low as possible. 100 is a good place to start. HDR tends to bring out noise you didn't even know was there even at low ISOs, therefore a good noise filter program/plugin is helpful too, along with shooting at the lowest ISO you can get away with. ISO 800 or 1600? Forget about it.

    A great, in depth HDR tutorial on the web: Pete Carr's HDR Guide

    And now: Examples:

    HDR from six source images, tripod mounted, adjusting shutter speed for each...
    [​IMG]

    Seven source images..
    [​IMG]


    From one RAW:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is arguable that cityscape photography is perhaps the greatest use for HDR, and since so much of what I shoot are cityscapes, I've spent lots of time working with HDR. But it definitely has uses for interior photography and even portraiture, for both artistic and practical uses.

    Have fun and post your creations for us.
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    with Hamburglar.
    #2
    thanks Valdore! great idea! :p

    What time of day do you shoot your cityscapes?
     
  3. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    Cambridge, MA
    #3
    Very timely, as today I tried out HDR for the first time. I used photomatix pro, and haven't bought it yet, so excuse the watermarks. Super easy, but I don't know if it's worth the money yet

    I didn't realize Photoshop could do it. The fact that photomatix had a photoshop plugin made me think it couldn't, but now it makes more sense why the plug in is just tone mapping. I might give that a shot too.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
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    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #4
    HDR is very useful for shooting interiors. I don't have any lighting set-up, and the dynamic range of a pic like this extends from gloomy corners to the light through the windows. Without HDR I'd be able to get the highlights right, or the shadowed areas... but not both.

    For any Quakers out there, this is Swarthmoor Hall, near ulverston, home of George Fox...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Daringescape macrumors regular

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    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    I just posted this pic in the photo of the day thread, but I will post it here as well. I shot it last night and really like how it turned out.

    my living room - 5 exposures, canon rebel xti, 18-55 kit lens
     

    Attached Files:

  6. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #6
    Wow! Amazing shots, the cityscapes look like paintings! Something else to take up my time trying...

    Waiting on my 1250x90mm scope, gonna try my hand at beginning astrophotography and take advantage of the reach for terrestrial stuff, too.

    Thankfully, all I need the wife to say is, "oh, what pretty pictures of the kitties," and I'm god for another hardware/software expenditure.
     
  7. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    Cambridge, MA
    #7
    Anyone know any good Photoshop HDR guides? This one is pretty good, but leaves out all the details on toning.
     
  8. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #8
    Come on, you're scaring us newbies away with those super cool pics! :p

    Anyways, I just got a RAW capable camera, so I practiced with HDR for a few minutes. Nothing spectacular, but it's still an improvement over the original!

    [​IMG]

    I know, blown out highlights, and probably not the best subject for HDR. But hey, it's my first! :)
     
  9. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
  10. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #10
    I was thinking they look CG. Pretty incredible shots.
     
  11. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

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    May 25, 2005
    #11
    Hope you're making a christmas card out of it!
     
  12. jsfpa macrumors regular

    jsfpa

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    Oct 26, 2003
    #12
    Here are a couple of mine.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

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    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #13
    Here's something...

    One of my partners at work does HDR. We are both into photography, but I do more macro and nature work, plus the product photography for our company and a little freelance wedding etc. He's a real processing genius (our CTO and lead programmer) and works almost exclusively in HDR nowadays.

    He just got a D300 and has some stuff here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhythmandcode/

    Seems like the photo circles at Flickr like his stuff...


    P.S. make sure to check out the HDR panos from Amsterdam. Awesome!
     
  14. Chris14 macrumors regular

    Chris14

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #14
    A little help with HDR please...

    This is aimed at anyone who can help...
    Okay, so I have been fiddling with HDR and Photomatix Pro, but can't seem to get any thing near the results of Valdore :confused:

    Here are my three source images:

    http://aycu24.webshots.com/image/35063/2000699212882380452_rs.jpg
    http://aycu06.webshots.com/image/38125/2000642042411763501_rs.jpg
    http://aycu26.webshots.com/image/36865/2000612014592124117_rs.jpg

    But every time I try to make turn them into HDR with Photomatix they look awful. I try to fiddle around with the Tone Mapping but it results in ugly images, Eg. Over saturated and the clouds are ruined. Anyone want to give it a go and see if they can get good results? Are my source images the problem or am I not using Photomatix correctly?
     
  15. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #15
    Dude, your stuff is freaking amazing.

    Here's a pano I shot recently. I usually shoot 4 sets of exposures and use layer masks in Ps to bring them together.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. valdore thread starter macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    Jan 9, 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #16
    This is turning out to be a very interesting topic...


    For HDR I often prefer sunrise and sunset. Though I've found uses for the technique at all hours of the day and night. :)

    I borrowed your source images...

    [​IMG]

    Here are the settings in Photomatix...

    [​IMG]


    Thanks! I'm flattered. I'm also enjoying seeing all these HDRs from everyone.
     
  17. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

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    #17
    ooOoOo, looks so inviting!
    Egg nog at your place ???;)
     
  18. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

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    #18
    You can also make a single image HDR from a JPEG right? I guess it wouldnt have as much detail as a RAW though, but it would still work.

    1 JPEG image HDR.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Chris14 macrumors regular

    Chris14

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #19
    thanks

    Thanks for the help Valdore, I guess it is really just about trial and error in the Tone Mapping department anyway. That still looks better than anything I could make. I will keep on at it... Thanks again!
     
  20. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #20
    Here are a few of mine (all are from at least 3 RAWs):

    B&W HDR:
    [​IMG]

    The prototypical "clouds look cool in HDR" shot:
    [​IMG]

    One of my over-the-top liberal uses of the HDR effect:
    [​IMG]

    This one didn't need much HDR processing but it did help give the image a little added punch. IMO, HDR is best done when its effect is subtle. It's harder to do but true tone HDR looks much better.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #21
    eh. does anyone else think these images look like videogames? Not that there's anything wrong with videogames, but they just seem so unnatural to me. And muddy.

    I don't mean to bash the style, but I thought I'd share my opinion.
     
  22. valdore thread starter macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    #22
    Those are fantastic.

    BTW, you say that was over the top HDR on that interior photo, but I think it looks just right.
     
  23. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #24
    I thought the same thing on some of the images posted....
     
  24. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

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    Jul 7, 2005
    #25
    I disagree. I, like others, like the subtle HDR shots most. Although I do love seeing a really good over the top HDR photo like Valdores. Its neat. Some photos after HDR look not all that different than the originals... my HDR that I posted is almost identical, with just a little more brightness and colour, and it evened the light a bit, like Doylem said about his indoor HDR shot.
     

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