Help with HDR please

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jpticar, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. jpticar

    jpticar TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hey everyone. In a week I will be leaving to go to ecuador for vacation and while there I would love to take some shots for HDR's. I know how to take the pictures but I am having a lot of trouble using photomatix to get a nice HDR look. Currently I have been putting the camera on aperture priority and bracketing three images but when I put them into photomatix the outcome is pure CRAP lol.

    I wanted to attach three sample images I took so that some of you good hdr guys could try to combine them and post your results. I'm having trouble attaching the files though. Could someone pm me an email address so that I can send them to them and they can upload for me? I want to see if I'm just bad with photomatix, or if I'm doing something wrong with my source pictures. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Brick

    Brick TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First of all, here are the settings I used for the tone mapping:
    Strength: 100
    Color Saturation: 32
    Luminosity: 0.2
    Microcontrast: 7.5
    Smoothing: Max

    White Point: .457%
    Black Point: .224%
    Gamma: 1.00
    (these previous three I don't adjust much. Color and Miscellaneous Settings left alone)

    I generally have Luminosity and Color Saturation set higher, however, the strong yellow light really tinted the picture and, due to the subject of the shot, we don't really lose anything when turning the saturation down. After the tone mapping I opened it in photoshop. You had mentioned you used aperature priority, but for these shots I think you needed a bit more on the darker end. If you shot at -1,0,1 I'd switch to -2,0,2. If you already did that I'd watch out to make sure you've got enough shadows on the -2 shot for night time photography. Anyway, first thing I did in photoshop was to pull up your -2 shot and use a layer mask to paint through the HDR on the street lamps so they weren't so bright (this step isn't 100% necessary if you're not that familiar with ps)

    Still a little unhappy with the yellow tint I did a hue adjustment (image>adjustments>hue/saturation Edit:Yellows. Saturation: -45). Then to up the contrast a bit I did a levels adjustment (image>adjustments>levels. Moved the left slider to 6 and middle slider to .94)

    If it were my shot I'd also probably try to remove the water spot on the left side. Or I might get lazy and crop it out :mrgreen:

    Anyway, that's how I'd do it. I don't claim to be any sort of expert, just a guy with a camera who likes HDR.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and also, there's an HDR specific forum around here as well, you might get more responses there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  3. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    plenty of bracketing and tone mapping is the key...try bracketing at a wider range with more photos...maybe 8 photos if you want.

    you can always google "HDR tutorial" and see what comes up

    EDIT: are you changing the aperture to bracket?
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,229
    Likes Received:
    5,006
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would recommend starting with the tutorials at www.hdrsoft.com the makers of Photomatix.

    The image straight out of the merge dialog always looks like **** and is dark.
     
  5. jpticar

    jpticar TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks for the help and info guys.

    Brick, thanks alot for taking the time to work with my pics and explain what you did. Maybe I need some work with all of the photomatic adjustment. This will def help!
     
  6. Brick

    Brick TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :thumbup: No prob, it was a good distraction from the homework I needed to be working on. :mrgreen:

    Good HDR takes a lot of practicing with the photomatix adjustments, photoshop, and probably most importantly - figuring out what sort of weather/lighting situations work well for HDR. Some shots just won't look good no matter how good you are with photomatix.

    My best advice is to take lots of pictures - eventually you'll figure out what works best with whatever look you're trying to achieve.
     
  7. gators12707

    gators12707 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow Brick definitely covered it... nice pic buddy!

    One other tip, I don't know what camera you are using, but you can try shooting in RAW if possible. Not only will you get a higher bit depth, but you can use RAW editing tools to turn one exposure into 3 going up in half or whole steps, giving you a total of 9 images to work with, and only having to worry about 3 identical shots.
     
  8. Brick

    Brick TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'd second this recommendation, I always shoot raw+jpeg. I was out shooting at the lake the other day and some ducks swam across. Bracketing 3 images with moving ducks wasn't an option so I used my middle raw shot to create a pseudo-HDR in photomatix. I still prefer bracketing, but when it's not an option having a raw file around is the next best thing.
     

Share This Page