HDR - second attempt - guidance still needed

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jasonkt, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. jasonkt

    jasonkt TPF Noob!

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    This time around I tried out the photoshop:automate:hdr feature. I also spent more time messing around with contrast and shadows etc. I'm still not happy with the results. I used 6 exposures, raw files, converted to 8 bit and tried to understand tone mapping, increased contrast in trees/fields, decreased contrast in sky, adjusted shadows, contrast and saturation, but I did not adjust levels, color, brightness, exposure (except when in 32 bit), etc.

    My goal is to understand what I need to do create different effects, and while playing on my own is one way to learn, I am getting a lot out of these tutorials and links that have been posted. I still need your help! I am not going for one specific look, so this picture didn't come out this way because I wanted to. It came out this way because I left it at that, you know? Thanks for the tips!

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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    At this size, the image doesn't look bad at all, except for the colour of the clouds. My thoughts would be to select the clouds, convert them to a layer (from the final HDR) and work with them that way. You can also try omitting certain images (IIRC, Photoshop HDR app allows you to preview the merged image as you select and deselect from a range of input images) and seeing if one in particular is the issue.

    To move slightly off topic, I would suggest that looking at this particular image, it would have been better suited to using graduated neutral density filters to deal with the bright sky.
     
  3. jasonkt

    jasonkt TPF Noob!

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    Thanks tirediron, I checked into neutral density filters, I haven't worked with filters yet but now it kind of seems like "duh". I'll look into getting one this week when I'm getting a new lens from B&H, seems like a Lee .6 hard filter is the way to go for my first one? It may be a few weeks or more before I would think about another one.

    What is it that makes this image better for a filter than HDR, though? Is it the lack of detail in the foreground? I imagined some better effects there. I have a lot of exposures of this pic, I might be able to do a better job with it. I'll see and post an edit if I can.
     
  4. jasonkt

    jasonkt TPF Noob!

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    further editing (still just guessing mostly)...

    [​IMG]

    also here are 3 of my exposures just for comparison:

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  5. 92sir

    92sir TPF Noob!

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    I personally dont like the hdr feature is photoshop I prefer photomatix. Since its ok to edit your pictures I took a quick shot at it hope you dont mind if its a prob just let me know.
    [​IMG]
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  6. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    Photomatix does a better job than Photoshop, it's easy to use and there is a version you can download for free. The free download leaves a watermark on your photos but gives you a good idea what it can do. Also you should shoot in raw and use those or save as tiff's or Photoshop files (no jpegs).
     
  7. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    I agree with ^^^ i use photomatix for my hdrs and it is way better then photoshop
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Looking at the three images you've posted, it's easy to see what's happened. The software has "magnified" the glow in the clouds and esentially given you an output which is the sum of the last two imputs. If the clouds hadn't had that gold glow, it wouldn't have been a problem; using 3-4 stops of G-ND should have produced a image with the sky you see in #3, and the foreground partway between the first two images.

    The reason I suggested this image was better suited for filter correction than for HDR correction was because the exposure issue is very simple; too bright above the clouds, too dark below it, and a nice horizontal division between the two. To my mind, HDR is best suited to more complex exposure situations where there are many areas of light and shadow, and of varying intensity. I'm an advocate of 'get it right in the camera, not the darkroom'.
     

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