Conservative (real estate) HDRs from today

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by Jon_Are, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    My goal was to create realistic interior room shots, capturing all the darks and all the lights without utilizing flash. I would appreciate some criticism.

    Thanks,

    Jon
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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Very nice examples of what you can use HDR for!

    Great work.
     
  3. boomer

    boomer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Awesome!
     
  4. bmrust

    bmrust TPF Noob!

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    These look great! My only concern is that #2 looks just a little too oversaturated. might just be my monitor though.

    Very nice work!
     
  5. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    I am a fan.
    I have used the same technique and find that it really grabs the attention of someone viewing the image and gives them a real feel of what it was like to be standing in that room at that moment.
     
  6. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    very nice
     
  7. Enough Already

    Enough Already TPF Noob!

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    Great use of HDR. I recently sold my house and the agent was a photography buff. Manually bracketed 9 images and got fantastic results not much different from these. These are really good..
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Um, okay, well you've got the restrained part of realistic HDR down. Now for the problems with the images themselves.

    Your blues have become very over-saturated in some areas. This is a product of cool light spilling in from outdoors, in contrast to the warm interior light, which is amplified by the HDR processing. (Good rule of thumb for HDR is that everything is increased; saturation, chromatic aberration, fringing, noise, everything.) A good way to correct this would be to go over each exposure and mask in a correct WB over those areas. Once you've removed noise, aberrations, yadda yadda, and corrected WB in all of the exposures (copy the layer mask you use to correct WB and use it for all the images to save time), then process them into an HDR image. This over-saturation that I'm referring to is most prominant in the first image (the grass has turned blue, which is becuase it's in shade), and the third (towels and windowsills, where the cool ambient is strongest).

    In the case of the third image, it wouldn't be a bad idea to shoot a few correctly exposed images of a grey card in each area with a different WB. That would be: the bathtub, left window, sink, back window, and interior wall closest to the camera. Doing that will give you references for how to correct the WB of each area of the image in post. (Definitely not something you can fix on-location, other than preparing for it by shooting a grey card...a lot.)

    The second image doesn't display this odd WB behaviour. That's because the light in the room is all from outside, and so is relatively the same temperature.

    Lastly, your Sigma 10-20 has some very unusual barrel distortion, which is apparent in the first image. It distorts at the corners and edges rather strongly at 10mm, but the centre of the visual field is relatively free of distortion. Find yourself some good distortion correction software to fix this (its not something you'll be able to fix easily with the transform tool in Photoshop without cursing your life and everything that brought you to this point).

    Lastly, was it your intention to blow-out the highlights outside in some of the images?
     
  9. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thanks MusicaleCA. I really appreciate your taking the time to make these comments.

    White balance: Honestly, I didn’t notice the issues until you pointed them out. Your suggestion to correct it sounded reasonable until I realized that this is all done before HDR processing. Because I used, typically, six images on each shot (and I ended up producing 15 HDRs from the shoot), I’m not sure that is practical for me. Maybe I’ll try it on a few and see how it flows. I guess it might not be so bad, copying the layer mask as you suggested.

    The second image – the one you mention has no WB problem – is the one I fretted over the most. I wanted to convey a warm, sun-filled room (which is was), but it now looks a bit over-cooked to me.

    Barrel distortion: Yeah, this is one of the things I learned from this job. I thought all BD could be corrected in post, but not so much. Before even seeing your post I resolved to stay away from the 10mm as much as possible (maybe go to 15, 13 in a pinch). I’m also looking into PTLens, which seems to be highly recommended. Would this – or some similar software – correct virtually all barrel distortion? Or would I still have to be mindful of my focal length.

    Blown highlights: I knew they were blown, but I tried to minimize it. I needed to brighten up some of the interiors, and I couldn’t do it and recover everything. It was a compromise that I am OK with.

    I’m all about learning, so I welcome any more insights.

    Thanks, also, to those who complimented my work.
    [FONT=&quot]
    Jon[/FONT]
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    My suggestion to streamline those WB corrections is to work with a single, correctly exposed image first. Open it again, adjust the WB to fix one area, and then put it over the original. Mask it so that the WB is adjusted in the right place. Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary to fix the image. Then, keep all those layers and masks open (you should also note down every new temperature and which areas they fixed). You can then use that as a guide to correct the other images, and copying the layer masks will speed things up (and make sure that you don't end-up with wonkiness because of differing masks in different exposures).

    Yeah, it kinda sucks. It's the only way I've ever found to correct this though. *sigh* Maybe someone else on here knows better. (manaheim might...he does plenty of HDRs, methinks) Aside from the above, which will be more accurate, you could just try selectively adjusting the areas of the image with wonky WB, by subtracting blue, adding amber, etc. It might be acceptable, or it might not. Won't know if you don't try. (And I have sympathy for the PP nightmare that'll be; my computer would choke doing extensive editing to a 32-bit image.)

    PTLens will probably fix everything quite nicely. However, you should still be mindful of your focal length while shooting. Fixing the distortion in post is a stop-gap measure, and should only be used if you absolutely must use a focal length that suffers from serious distortion. <snip; I'm a dummy and I'm tired; long night>
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  11. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    <fires up the Bat Signal for Manaheim>

    I dunno. I'm going to try some things, of course. But I wonder if it's worth the bother for real estate images. Architectural Digest? Maybe. Realtor.com? Perhaps not. (speaking of the WB issue here). I know I should always strive for my best image, but I must be practical about it, too.

    Selectively subtracting a hunk of blue is worth trying, as well.

    The demos at the PTLens web site are mighty impressive. It's reasonably priced, too. I'll try the 10-day demo first, but this decision is very near to a no-brainer.

    Jon
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Photos 1 and 3 are great examples of when to use HDR but it didn't work. You still have totally blown areas outside which should have been corrected.

    Unfortunately, I am not an expert in this technique and I hope Manaheim sees your thread so he can help you. If he doesn't, you may want to just pm him.
     

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