My first couple tries at HDR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by firstapple, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. firstapple macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #1
    I wanted to post a few of my HDR's I processed tonight:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The last one is my favorite one so far, I think because of how much the colors pop. Anyways, let me know what you think, and if there is anything different I should be doing.

    As a side note, I am using iPhoto and Photomatix for the processing portion. As for the camera I am using a Nikon D40. All of these were single RAW files and then I duplicated them a bunch of times to make different exposures.
     
  2. skiesforme macrumors 6502

    skiesforme

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #2
    The last one is pretty good. Love the colors in it !! Keep up the good work.
    I am new to HDR's as well. These are couple of my first attempts at HDR :)
    I too have a Nikon D40. I have used both PS and photomatix for HDRs. I rely more on Local Adaptation curve for getting the best out of snaps.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Didn't see your flickr(if u have one) page link in your sig...
     
  3. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    #3
    No flickr, but instead I use SmugMug (See signature for link). Yours are very nice, love the texture of the water in the first one!

    I don't have photoshop, but instead have pixelmator... Not sure if I can use Pixelmator for anything (I will have to look into that).
     
  4. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #4
    I feel like you should think more about why people use (appropriately) the HDR process. For the first two photos, it doesn't appear that it was necessary. There weren't any extreme highlights or shadows-- something that would beg for a wider dynamic range than a single photo could capture. Yes, it makes the colors 'pretty' (arguable), but the idea behind HDR photography is to capture the image closer to how your eye records it. Common usage is sunsets or interiors where daylight is visible outside a window. In these scenes, if you were to use a single exposure, you would have to choose to sacrifice either your highlights or shadows, one would be blown out, or one would be underexposed. In that situation, you would do a normal exposure, then another for the highlight (usually -2 stops) and another for the shadows (usually +2 stops). Merging the three images allows you to incorporate detail captured in each exposure.

    Sorry if I sounded short, but you asked for feedback, and I'm just being honest. By all means, do what you want. :)

    (if you're asking my opinion of the aesthetic, people tend to go overboard with saturation and contrast in HDR images, so you might want to watch out for that to avoid photos that look like they were colored with crayons. I'd try to go for a more realistic look, just enough detail and color that was actually there)
     
  5. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    #5
    I understand why people "appropriately" use HDR. However, I am not one of those people. I did it to have some fun with some pictures that didn't look good by themselves. I was simply playing around with the technique and I liked what I got out of it.

    Did all these photos require HDR, no... But do they look better after the HDR process, of course. I personally like the cartoony/fake look the process gives the pictures. I have seen some great examples of overcooked HDR's on here, and I love them! When I can figure out how to get mine to be that drastic I will be ecstatic.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Very debatable. Making a "good" HDR picture depends on having the right lighting situation as well as the right composition, and to be honest none of those images really thrill me. But like you said, you were just playing around. No doubt that you can get better shots in different locales, times of day, etc.

    Also in response to your first comment about using HDR appropriately... you might want to be careful with that attitude. If you posted that on an actual photography forum you'd be torn to pieces.
     
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #7
    Hmmm... not a great reason to use HDR, IMO (or any other PP technique). Fun... OK. But, in terms of learning the photographic craft, it can be a bit of a creative cul-de-sac. Getting pix that did look good by themselves is more likely to sustain a long-term interest in photography. :)
     
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #8
    You mean art and the worth of a particular artistic method isn't subject to personal opinion after all? You shock me.
     
  9. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #9

    Too each their own I suppose, if you really want to get that "overcooked" HDR look just turn the "light smoothing" setting down and watch the hallowing appear. Then crank your saturation up and you my friend will have an overcooked HDR.

    Why you would want that, I dunno. But if you simply enjoy tweaking dials and watching stuff change then the above directions should get you started.
     
  10. tchaap macrumors member

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    Oct 22, 2007
    #10
    First Apple,
    I think the last photo is a really nice piece of work. Very nice.
     
  11. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #11
    I apologize if I offended anybody. I didn't intend these to be top notch HDR's. That was the first day with my new camera, and my first few runs of photomatix. Photography is simply a hobby I just picked up recently, so constructive criticism is important here for me. I will try to study up more on HDR photography, and the proper use, as well as best pictures and times to take the shots.

    I appreciate the good comments from a few of you, and I hope to continue to grow as a photographer in my leisure time.
     
  12. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Sep 10, 2006
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    Indianapolis, IN
    #12
    I like that one a lot.

    I LOVE that picture. How did you do it, exactly? Was that a single RAW exposure (I assume so, since the waves look crisp)? Which process/software did you use to make it, and what's Local Adaptation?

    Lots of questions, I know, but I haven't had much success with HDR yet. Thanks!
     
  13. skiesforme macrumors 6502

    skiesforme

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #13
    Thanks ! :)
    Good observation. That snap is made from just 1 exposure of 1 RAW :D. It's the TTHDR technique I saw on flickr. In short it's just 2 steps:-
    1> Take a snap and change it to 32 bit in PS. If I remember correctly it goes like ..Image>Mode>32 bit
    2> Now revert it back to 16 bit. This opens up the HDR options. Local Adapatation is one of them where you can use Curves to adjust the Image histogram. It's fun to play with. :cool:

    HDR tutorial => http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-create-professional-hdr-images.html
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #14
    Sure, personal opinion will always be the final say in what pictures you take and how you process them. But just don't expect people to be nice to you if you open yourself up to criticism. Asking people what they think of your pictures and then in turn saying "Well in my opinion these are perfect situations to use HDR" when they clearly aren't is pretty weak (not that the OP did this). Why ask for criticism if you're just going to reject it? [Constructive] Criticism only makes one a better photographer, and your opinion only counts for so much. But if you are happy with how you take your photos then that's great too.
     
  15. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #15
    All 3 HDRs look rather cartoony for my taste, particularly the first two. I much prefer skiesforme's HDRs that enhances original images with deeper contrast and wider color range.
     
  16. Regis27 macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2006
    #16
    I would say that your pictures (the first two at least) can't correctly be called HDR since you didn't actually compress a wide dynamic range that would have normally been impossible to capture. Notice how the shadows of the bench are also turning blue--this leads me to think that the most prominent aspect to the conversion to get you're popping-colors look was the tone mapping step (usually required in HDR because you have many much more tonal information in the image than can be displayed).
    There's nothing right or wrong about this, but my point is that you can probably achieve a similar effect without having to go through RAW and then several separate exposures just to get the tone mapping effect you're going for.
     
  17. firstapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    firstapple

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #17
    Regis,

    You are dead on and have a very good eye, as I really only did the tone mapping step! Again, those were my first HDR's using Photomatix, so I didn't mess around too much with all the options (mainly because I had no idea what I was doing). I will have to read up on the proper techniques before I try anymore, so I am not destroyed in the forums again. I don't mind the critiquing, and I only hope it will make me better. I am actually getting a D80 in the next few days (upgrading from my D40) since they have dropped greatly in price since the coming of the D90.

    I will begin to post more when I learn more about how to use the camera properly and how to use all the manual settings. All my pictures so far, besides my macros, have just been using the Automatic settings.

    Thank you all again for the opinions...
     
  18. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #18
    Here's another link to a great single or multiple exposure HDR processing tutorial:
    http://stuckincustoms.com/2006/06/06/548/

    I liked number three the best firstapple. There are some valid criticisms but don't let them hamper you from playing and experimenting more. Everyone has different tastes.
     
  19. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #19
    Doing "HDR" with one exposure isn't REALLY high dynamic range... all you're really doing is tone mapping...

    HDR means that the scene you're trying to image has such a high dynamic range that no single exposure value causes the absence of BOTH noisy shadows AND blown highlights. In that case, the only physically possible way of recording detail on every part of the scene is to have multiple exposures, even with RAW. Here "blown highlights" means that you've completely filled the electron well of the unit cell at some point during integration and no amount of fancy tone mapping will recover exactly what the brightness of that unit cell should have been (because you'll never know at what point during integration the unit cell was full). "Noisy shadows" means that so few electrons were collected in that unit cell that the SNR is too low to recover exactly what the brightness of that unit cell should have been.

    If you took a photo of a scene and the dynamic range doesn't rail at both ends, then you're not really doing HDR, you're just doing regular Photoshop.

    Granted I'm still new at HDR so I don't know everything there is to know..

    I use Photomatix to take my multiple exposures and convert them into an HDR file, since Photomatix will do this for free without having to register. Then I use QTPFSGUI to tone map the HDR because it's also free and has dozens of different algorithms to try. You can also change the parameters of each algorithm to find the look you're trying for.

    Here are a couple of admittedly outrageous HDRs that I generated with those two programs. Each is a 3 exposure HDR.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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