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Author Topic: HDR: Why all the controversy  (Read 13620 times)

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WarrenPrice

« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2010, 09:52 »
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This thread renewed my interest in HDR.  I returned to Trey Ratliff's web site for a refresher and found a 15% discount coupon for Photomatix software.  I stayed up way too late playing with it.  Much more versatile than my previous package ... Dynamic-Photo HDR.

$84.95 with discount coupon code.  Google "LostinCustoms."


« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2010, 11:22 »
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Hi All,

 Yea, I have used it a lot recently for work and love it from surreal to photo realistic. I spend a lot less time shooting an interior as apposed to having to light every nook and cranny and spend more time on the backend in my office which is cheaper and easier than spending days at a location. We just shot a new High end Condo building with 84 floors and we shot 25 shots a day of interiors, got to love that. We started dropping in a model for an exposure and lighting them then just stripping the model into the shot in post.
 

Do you have any examples to post? Would be interesting to see the end result!

« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2010, 23:48 »
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Hi Elenathewise,

 I would be happy to but to be completely honest I don't know how to upload images to the site. If some of you smart people can steer an old man the right direction I would be happy to share some examples. Can you believe I don't know how to upload a photo here :o Embarrassing!

Best,
Jonathan

RacePhoto

« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2010, 00:53 »
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Hi Elenathewise,

 I would be happy to but to be completely honest I don't know how to upload images to the site. If some of you smart people can steer an old man the right direction I would be happy to share some examples. Can you believe I don't know how to upload a photo here :o Embarrassing!

Best,
Jonathan


Don't upload, link to it from one of your storage places or use Imageshack which is FREE. I like free...  http://imageshack.us/

You never posted an image to the web before?

« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2010, 00:59 »
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Hi Race,

 Yes but other sites make it way easier. My Facebook is a snap. I am old and feeble as my memory has proven twice this week but I will give it my best. I imagine I will screw it up a couple of times but I will figure it out and show some of my HDR experiments. Thanks for the road map :)

Best,
Jonathan

RacePhoto

« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2010, 01:05 »
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Hi Race,

 Yes but other sites make it way easier. My Facebook is a snap. I am old and feeble as my memory has proven twice this week but I will give it my best. I imagine I will screw it up a couple of times but I will figure it out and show some of my HDR experiments. Thanks for the road map :)

Best,
Jonathan


I'm an old fart, so you can handle it. :D

You'll need to have the image hosted somewhere, anywhere. Then use the third button in the tool bar above "Insert Image" or just use the [ IMG] command with a link and the [/ IMG] (no space before the "I") and that will show your image in the message. It's that easy.



« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2010, 10:19 »
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I just tried this and I think it will work.

-- another old fart

« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2010, 10:21 »
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By the way. The boots are not HDR.

« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2010, 12:28 »
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Nice, they have a bit of an HDR look from the contrast, very cool.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2010, 12:29 »
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Thanks again Race, you rock!

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2010, 16:53 »
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HDR is one of many "tools" that I use when it's appropreate.  On some things it works great.  But, even when I take an HDR spread, most often I use the only the middle normal exposure shot.  When HDR works though, it can make a really great pix.

One thing I have learned, never put HDR in your keywords until AFTER it's been approved ;-)

WarrenPrice

« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2010, 17:49 »
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Just for kicks I ran this 3 exposure image thru Photomatix and intentionally made it evident that it was HDR; submitted to SS with explanation that it was HDR in description field.  It was approved.

 ;D
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 17:54 by WarrenPrice »

« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2010, 18:14 »
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not always

Roadrunner

  • Roadrunner
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2010, 09:42 »
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The only thing I don't like about HDR is that it creates a lot of noise - even though I process it as close to normal as I can get.  I have to shrink most images to under 4 MP and use Topaz Noise reduction.  If I cut it to 4MP for stock, it usually gets rejected for "Blurry".  So I use HDR for my personal use or occasionally when doing a job for our church.

It is fun though.

« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2010, 10:05 »
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HDR does not create more noise - it does only brutal use of Photomatix. In fact HDR makes less noise as the random noise is averaged from several pictures.

HDR = high dynamic range - this is 32 bit image no possible to display on normal screens.

HDRI =high dynamic range image - processed (tone-mapped) 8 bit or 16 bit image made from HDR, this is normal low DR image but computed special way from HDR. If you do post process the wrong way, it will result in strange colors, halos, high noise etc. -  this is the whole problem of HDR controversy! Many ppl simply do tone-mapping the most extreme (and often awful) way. I bet you wouldnt recognize some high quality HDRI from "normal" images.

« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2010, 10:58 »
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basti,
  Thanks for the info but I have trouble understanding it. Can you elaborate? I'd love to see some tutorials if you know of any. I have Photomatix Pro and CS5 but haven't been happy with experimenting so far. I think there is great potential in HDR or HDRI (?) -- especially with selling landscapes at art shows, etc. -- with a little more tech info.

« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2010, 02:04 »
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Well, allright - first you need to make HDR - the normal way is to stack several exposures into one HDRfile. Maximum DR range of modern DSLR is up to 13EV, but usually they struggle with dark areas. So you better make more exposures. Some ppl say 2EV steps are enough, some say 1EV - depends on situation, but I usually do 1EV steps. If you stretch the EV steps too much and then process the images the extreme way, then it will result in serious noise. And you of course need to cover whole range of the image, better have images from nearly black to nearly white. It doesnt work properly sometimes, then removing one or two too dark or too light frames and stack HDR again. For example if you doo enough light frames but just few to dark, then the result tends to be too noisy or it doesnt allow you to process towards "normal looking" result - then removing one or two light frames could help.
You can stack HDR in any program you want, I use both Photomatix and Photoshop CS3 and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Photomatix can better handle ghosting but Photoshop can handle hand-shot sequences while Photomatix usually struggle with proper aligning.

Second impotant step is to tonemap the final HDR image again into something "visible" - the tonemapped result is usually called HDRI. Generally tonemapping is some special algorithm, which chooses some of the pixels to push 20-30EV DR into 8bit reality which in best case provides about 8EV. (here we go, btw. DR of most current DSLRs is far ahead from printers which can do just 8 EV with good ink and paper) If you do not enough frames, too wide steps between frames or push it too much into extreme look then the noise will appear. Its no beacuse of HDRI being noisy - its because you push the image over the limit. Pushing RAW too much delivers the same result, especially pushing exposure up.
The trick with noise works this way: You have one image with random noise pixels - but if you stack 5 pictures, then well, the noise pixels are not on the same places. Tonemaping algorithm is usually smart enough to make average result = so if you have pixel dot on one frame and not on eg. 4 other frames, it will throw away the noisy pixel. Of course the more frames, the better result. I did some pictures shot on iso 800 which in result have less noise then iso 100. It could be done even with Photomatix, but you need enough frames, better tight steps and no extreme pushing. Photoshop CS5 has great options for HDR tonemapping unlike CS3, but still it is far from easy use of Photomatix.


« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2010, 08:04 »
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Thanks basti. You cleared up lots of questions I had. Will try both programs again.

« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2010, 09:47 »
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I have recently taken several series of 3 shots using +-2/3EV. I'll see if I have time tonight to do one of these series calmy and post it here.  So far I only did a trial, without proper alignment and without playing much with the settings, but I was pleased with the results. One problem I found was with the vegetation, because always something move - an issue only for microstock's obsessions, but not for printing or artistic applications.

« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2010, 17:00 »
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So here we go, first example, not the best series to test it, because contrast was not as high as in other series.

Anyway, three shots taken with +-1EV, edited in Dynamic Photo HDR 4.7. First example without a heavy editiong, the second with bolder colors which I believe would go well in a poster/print despite some oversaturation.  There are too many controls to play with, leading to a huge range of results.  Still have a lot to learn.  I didn't notice any significant amount of noise indeed, even in the second one.




jbarber873

« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2010, 18:12 »
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    To go back to the original post, I think photography goes through these fads periodically. HDR is just another in a long line. Jonathan, you may remember the Hosemaster, which was just a fiber optic bundle with a high intensity lamp shining through it. You turned off all the lights, opened the shutter and "painted" your shot with the light from the hosemaster. You could open up dark areas, or apply a blur to just one area of the shot. ( this was before photoshop). All of a sudden, everyone had these shots in their book. Then about six months later, dozens of hosemasters were for sale in the back of PDN. ( they cost a lot of money- proving that the best business to be in is selling things to photographers)
  Then there was the "shoot everything way out of focus except for one little area" fad. And the " blue and green and yellow gel on the lights " fad. And  the "shoot lights through a coke bottle " fad. And the "ring flash " phase. And the "jumping" phase.
   The real skill is to know when these techniques advance the idea you are communicating, and when they just get in the way. There was a photographer named Hiro years ago who was always the first one to use  new techniques in a high profile way, but it always made sense and helped make the image memorable. I'm all for learning new techniques, and having them in your back pocket to be used at the right time. Just not all the time.

« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2010, 05:53 »
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 Hi jbarber873,

HA! I have one in the garage, I've even thought of doing some static portraits lately with it. Arron Jones was the rage now Trey Ratcliff. The hose was fun but boy did we burn through Polaroid's ;D

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2010, 06:16 »
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This discussion reminded me of an article I read about autotune... (which I wish I could find now :()

But anyhow the basic idea was that autotune was a great invention and had lots of great uses.  Then as with all good things it became overused, then WAY overused.  Sometimes the overuse became a trend in itself like with T-Pain using it heavily on EVERY song or Shmoyoho using it to create their own songs out of news and other types of content. .. but mostly it just gets overused... but it is still a great tool in moderation

So I feel that is very similar to HDR, it is very usefull but people have overused it very often, giving it a bad name.  When you hear HDR you generally think of some gaudy photo with horribly merged dark and light areas.  I suppose this happens when we discover any new technology, we tend to overuse it then eventually bring the use back to something more reasonable. 

Everything in moderation!

WarrenPrice

« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2010, 10:32 »
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This discussion reminded me of an article I read about autotune... (which I wish I could find now :()

But anyhow the basic idea was that autotune was a great invention and had lots of great uses.  Then as with all good things it became overused, then WAY overused.  Sometimes the overuse became a trend in itself like with T-Pain using it heavily on EVERY song or Shmoyoho using it to create their own songs out of news and other types of content. .. but mostly it just gets overused... but it is still a great tool in moderation

So I feel that is very similar to HDR, it is very usefull but people have overused it very often, giving it a bad name.  When you hear HDR you generally think of some gaudy photo with horribly merged dark and light areas.  I suppose this happens when we discover any new technology, we tend to overuse it then eventually bring the use back to something more reasonable. 

Everything in moderation!


Do you think Digital Photography will REALLY replace film?   ??? ;D

jbarber873

« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2010, 18:35 »
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This discussion reminded me of an article I read about autotune... (which I wish I could find now :()

But anyhow the basic idea was that autotune was a great invention and had lots of great uses.  Then as with all good things it became overused, then WAY overused.  Sometimes the overuse became a trend in itself like with T-Pain using it heavily on EVERY song or Shmoyoho using it to create their own songs out of news and other types of content. .. but mostly it just gets overused... but it is still a great tool in moderation

So I feel that is very similar to HDR, it is very usefull but people have overused it very often, giving it a bad name.  When you hear HDR you generally think of some gaudy photo with horribly merged dark and light areas.  I suppose this happens when we discover any new technology, we tend to overuse it then eventually bring the use back to something more reasonable. 

Everything in moderation!


Do you think Digital Photography will REALLY replace film?   ??? ;D


   i used to joke to my clients that one day they would invent a helmet that you put on your head and think of a photo, and it would pop out of the machine, eliminating the photographer. ( this was way before digital).
I don't make that joke anymore ;D


 

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