HDR Advice

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by Shane79, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Shane79

    Shane79 TPF Noob!

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    I am new to HDR and have been getting a lot of good feedback from the users at Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips. Unfortunately I am running out of time before I go on my big vacation and want to learn as much as possible before I leave.

    These are examples of my first and only HDR photo's to date. Please let me know what you think I can or should do differently to improve those photo's. Also, I am posting a link to the original RAW files for one of these pictures if you are able to show me what you can do better. Whatever you provide will be appreciated.

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    The original RAW files can be downloaded HERE (46MB)
     
  2. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it might just be me, but none of these pictures look like they require HDR. Unless you are going for the "HDR look," I'd suggest just getting 1 properly exposed picture and then dodging and burning areas you want to emphasize or deemphasize. Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. Shane79

    Shane79 TPF Noob!

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    I am not that advanced. HDR is really the first different technique I've tried.

    So I guess in response to your comment, what type of photo's would require HDR? Any possibility of showing me what a burn and dodge photo would look like? Maybe even a tutorial on how to do that?
     
  4. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can find youtube tutorials on everything you can imagine.

    HDR is most useful when you are taking pictures where there are dark shadows and bright highlights... Personally, I like to make HDR photos that look as little like HDR as possible.
     
  5. Shane79

    Shane79 TPF Noob!

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    See I thought that was what I was doing with my HDR, keeping it as natural looking as possible. Good to know though. I do see some considerable improvement in shadows when compared to the original, but maybe that burn and dodge is an easier trick to get those standing out. I'll check those tutorials on youtube, thanks.
     
  6. hulk

    hulk TPF Noob!

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    If you're going for the 1 properly exposed pic, don't forget to shoot in RAW so that you have more DR to work with.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    DR = dynamic range.
     
  8. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd say the 3rd one looks the most natural... the bad thing about HDR is that you're letting a computer do your thinking for you, and it doesn't know that dark things are dark... take for example the wood stairs in the other three pictures... it looks whacked out because the computer program lightened it, thinking that it was dark because it was in the shadows rather than thinking it was just a dark subject in the picture.
     
  9. Santo

    Santo TPF Noob!

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    I love the third image.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The good thing about effects like HDR, is that they are done in post-processing (after the shoot). So you don't have to master the technique before you go on vacation.

    Back in the days of film, we had a technique called 'bracketing'. Basically, it means taking several shots at different exposure levels and then later we could choose which shot was the best. Many cameras even have a feature called Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB).
    Now with digital and instant feedback we can just shoot, check, adjust and shoot again. However, the new trend is to use bracketed shots for things like HDR.
    So when you go on vacation, just set up your tripod and set AEB (if you have it). Then take at least three shots (one at the meter reading, one under and one over). You will then have three shots to pick your favorite from and three shots to use in an HDR process if you want to.

    Just remember to bring enough memory (cards and/or backup storage) to allow you to keep all these shots until you get home.
     
  11. McNugget801

    McNugget801 TPF Noob!

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    I can tell the clouds will make or break your HDR's. Unless I am shooting something rusty and crusty I dont shoot HDR under a cloudless sky.
     
  12. hchristensen

    hchristensen TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Mike - bracket your shots for any scenes you think you might want to play around with later. In general, this is an alternative method to using a graduated neutral density filter.

    However, if you are going for natural-looking images, using HDR software probably isn't the best way to go. Try blending 2 or more images together using a mask in photoshop. I just wrote a blog entry on the topic: Hank Christensen Photography Blog ยป To HDR or not to HDR
     

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