HDR making photo expectations unrealistic?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Cooler_King, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Cooler_King

    Cooler_King TPF Noob!

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    Just stumbled across an article about using Lightroom 2.0 to make HDR photos in simple steps.

    But are the colours and contrast in HDR photos leading to unrealistic expectations from 'regular' photographs?

    Some of the images made me think I would never be able to take photos like that without digital manipulation. Feel a bit depressed now.

    A bit like looking at real life after watching a Micheal Bay movie and all of it's multi-coloured filters glory. :lol:
     
  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Personally HDR does nothing for me it's as bad as selective colouring
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No, because regular photos miss so much of what we can perceive with our eyes.
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No
     
  5. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Well, no. There is the REALLY overdone HDR that you typically see. There's also tastefully done HDR that enhances a photo nicely like these two examples posted by HikinMike and BoblyBill respectively:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=1788568

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...e-island-worst-vacation-ever.html#post1769348

    These two examples are really not all that different from the "Zone System" employed with film by Ansel Adams.

    The cartoony, overdone, fake looking HDRs that you most commonly see don't give unrealistic expecations that "normal" photography can't meet because they look HORRID in my opinion.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good. Well not on the digital side, but on the manipulation side. Ansel Adams spent many days and nights in his darkroom working on perfecting a single picture. What makes people think the digital camera should be treated any differently?
     
  7. Sam6644

    Sam6644 TPF Noob!

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    I'm tired of seeing people who put HDR photos up on their site, or post them and make sure to label them with "and here's on I did in HDR!!" like its an accomplishment or a master craft.

    when I worked predominantly in film, I never came running out of the darkroom announcing, "and here's the one where I burned in this guys face!" or "And this one is solarized!"

    HDR is neat, the methods of producing HDR images is nobody's secret, it's not a trick.. its just enough neat little tool in the digital darkroom and frankly, I'm sick of people referring to it like its a style of photography or something.
     
  8. AfroKen

    AfroKen TPF Noob!

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    While I totally get what you are saying, don't you think a lot of the style is something that is often readily identifiable, provoking people to think of it as a style? I get that it's a technique, one of many. I get that. But I can readily see why people might refer to it as a style.
     
  9. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    A lot of what people see as the HDR style can be done with extreme saturation and color level adjustments. It looks cartoony, fake, and is overdone and trite. Every beginner tries it.

    Where HDR really shines is in evening pulling NATURAL looking detail out of areas that are blown-out/underexposed due to harsh light/deep shadows. Taking multiple exposures of the same scene with different settings and then taking the best exposed portions of each exposure and blending them into a single image is a great technique to have in your toolkit when you're forced to shoot in difficult lighting situations.
     
  10. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    half of the "HDRs" we see now are just tonemapping, right?
     
  11. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Pugs. I grabbed a photography magazine called "The Outdoor Photographer" and it features a large section on HDR. They do it the natural way and it looks amazing!
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Half? HDRs by definition are files with so much dynamic range that current technology simply can't display them properly. The tone of the pictures needs to be compressed into a viewable dynamic range, and tonemapping is one of the few ways that produces acceptable results.

    More accurate would be to say:
    Nearly all HDRs are tonemapped images.

    Even more accurately:
    All HDRs ever published on the internet or in a magazine aren't actually High Dynamic Range images at all, given that they are tonally compressed. :)
     

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