first HDR picture, and questions

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by Abby Rose, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    Ok. I downloaded photomatixs free trial version and put it to work. However, I'm kind of confused, I'm hoping you guys can help me out.

    Here are the three original exposures I put into the program. Now, I'm not sure if they are similar to what most people use. I set the bracketing option on my camera and took three shots 1 EV apart. Its the option with the biggest difference between the pictures. I could manually make the difference, greater, though, without setting the bracketing option.

    [​IMG]

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    I chose the option 'generate hdr image' and it did but it looked like crap, which the tutorial said was to be expected. Once that was generated, it said it needed to be tonemapped so I chose that option, which made something that looked like a cross between the lightest and middle original exposures (the first two photos) but with less black and contrast. It didn't look too good. But it gave me a chart of sliders to adjust. I twiddled things around and they began to look better. I ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    which does indeed look better than any of the originals, I think. I opened it in pse8 and did a little bit of contrast and clarity adjustment, as well as dodging the blue sky which was sort of grayish. It's still a little gray, but better now. However, it doesnt look that different to me than this edit that I did on the middle one of the original exposures. I adjusted contrast, clarity, and blacks here. There is less detail in the sky, for sure, and the tree shadows on the wheat stubble.

    [​IMG]

    So, I do think it looks better, and fairly natural, but I wonder if it's worth it for me. Its nice, but not dramatically better, I dont think. And what about the cartoon results people are always complaining about? I wanted both a natural and cartoon result to compare, but I couldnt figure out how to get a cartoon one. I do prefer the natural ones, but I'd like at least the option to play around with a surreal one.

    How should I have done this different? :confused: Or did I do it right?

    Oh and also, panorama questions. I have enough shots to make a panorama of this scene which was my plan, but what is the best way to go about it if I stick with photomatix? Should I make three panoramas with the different exposures first and then combine them in photomatix? Or should I make HDRs of each batch of exposures first and then make the final blends into HDRs? Or would it turn out the same?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  2. Bynx

    Bynx No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont think 3 shots are usually enough. 5, 7, 9 or even more depending on the just how bright the brightest area is and how dark the darkest. I think your brightest area is blown and the darkest are still too dark so at least 2 more exposures were needed. One faster shot for the highlights and a slower shot for the shadows. I just put your Photomatix shot through Shadows/Hilights in Photoshop.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    Really? I thought everything was sloping to the right, but that's where the ground slopes (except on the right side of the back of the wheat) so I thought it was ok... but yeah, it was handheld.

    thanks for the edit Bynx
     
  4. kalmkidd

    kalmkidd TPF Noob!

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    its deffffffffffffff to the left lol
     
  5. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    I still don't see it... are we talking about the horizon? :scratch:
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i think to the right.
    think of a histogram. it is titling to the highlight side. depends on how one views an image. sort of stage right , stage left
     
  7. Bynx

    Bynx No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To the right, to the left? Somebody is looking at it through the back of the monitor.
     
  8. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There are actually very few visual references in this to make a determination about how level it is. Lots of landscapes are not perfectly straight horizontal planes, after all, they're sloping hills. There's a lot of that going on where I am currently, in Tennessee.

    I notice a couple of tree trunks on the right side of the composition that are pretty straight up vertical, and that may be a visual clue. The plants in the foreground aren't all leaning to the right, which is another clue. There's something far off in the background as well that may be a utility pole, but it's too small in the version to know. At the original size, that and other things may be visual cues that the OP can use to tell how straight it is.

    Here's the thing; When there are no real visual cues to know if a shot is off-level, there's no sense getting all hung up on the idea that the horizon ought to be straight and that if it's not, something's wrong with the shot. This may be perfectly level and accurately reflecting a sloping ground in an area with rolling hills. And since that's what the OP said was going on, I would say that it's perfectly acceptable.
     
  9. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    THANK you. :) I thought you meant that the land looked tilted downward to the left. Understand how I was confused? :lol:

    Yup. :) I still stick by what I said before, that it's straight, but I see how one might think it was crooked. I see this every day though, so it looks fine to me because I know that this is how it really is. However, should I "fix" it so that people who havent seen it think it's right?
     
  10. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's up to you, but the way I try to handle these sorts of issues is to include something of visual interest in the photo that helps compliment the landscape, and vice-versa, providing context to the composition. That will also help establish which way is "up" for those obsessed with such things. ;)

    Examples: Barns, other kinds of buildings, tractors, people, animals - something, anything...
     

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