My first HDR - How can I improve?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bazpaul, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. bazpaul

    bazpaul TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey guys,

    I become like a mad lunatic and am obsessed with all forms of photography. I probably shouldnt be moving to HDR so quickly and should master everything else first...but browsing some amazing shots on the web and watching the tutorials i though i must try one myself.

    Anyway, this is mine, i think the composition is decent. i wanted to get rid of that block in the bottom center but then would had to sacrafice the tops of those tree's. was this a good choice? Also it was a bit windy and with an exposure of 6s (iso 200, f=10) for Ev=0, the trees are a bit blured....should i have upped the iso?? probably!!

    Anyway i dont think im doing the tone mapping and post processing right? any comments or criticisms???

    i can post the raw Photomatrix file (.exr) if someone wants to play with it and tell me what they did!!

    cheers guys!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm not 100% certain since I've never tried HDR, but a 6 second exposure for HDR seems a bit extreme. It seems you could bracket 1 second exposures (at the longest...possibly even shorter) and get plenty of light for all the different aspects of the shot. That also would lessen the blur of the tree branches. Something else that could help with the blur is the use of the timer. If you have the camera on a tripod, beanbag, etc., pressing the button will cause a tad bit of camera shake at the instant the shutter first opens. Using the timer will allow the camera to quit shaking by the time the shutter opens.

    There also seems to be some distortion that is bugging me. The groove in the pavement along the bottom of the shot seems to be straight horizontal, but the building seems to be leaning to the right.

    As far as your use of HDR, I think you did a good job. The image looks natural and not too cartoony, and all the different elements are exposed nicely for my taste.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm questionning why you thought this scene required HDR processing?
    Can you post up the original well exposed image?
     
  4. Matty-Bass

    Matty-Bass TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah, HDR won't work for every single shot, I think this shot would have looked nice with an underexposed sky that focuses on the building clarity. It loses contrast and intensity with a lighter sky.
     
  5. bazpaul

    bazpaul TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Cheers guys!

    Yeh i thought 6s was long, but i didnt want to up the iso, so 6s exposed it just right with thay aperture and iso. I now think i should have upped the iso.

    To the other posters.....i though the shot could be good for HDR, because of the contrast between the sky and the lights at the side of the image and on the memorial itself. I thought there would be alot of highlights in there....such as the arches in the left of the picture.

    The sky really pissed me off, as Brisbane usually has a pinky sky the you can see in the cloud, but this day the sky ws boring as f&*k! in tone mapping i actually brought up the brightness of the sky to contrast the lights on the Memorial......i dunno maybe this wasnt a good idea.

    (when i get home from work i'll post the 0EV shot.....but its nothing special)

    Thanks again
     
  6. bazpaul

    bazpaul TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok guys i got the orginal unprocessed 0EV shot: 6s (iso 200, f=10)

    i think the HDR look better...but i think i should bring the shutter speed faster

    [​IMG]
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First, you have local WB issues that should be addressed. See the lights on the left? Those are green. Look almost like sodium vapour (ick).

    The image has barrel distortion that really needs correction, and perspective distortion correction would not go amiss either. That or shooting at a higher altitude.

    Your aperture is a bit too small IMO. Get your lens at the hyperfocal distance, where the back of your DoF is infinity, and open up the aperture a bit more to reduce diffraction, those (not so) lovely streaks from point light sources, and give you more light. And move to the right a little. The image lacks absolute symmetry, which appears to be an important element in this image.

    The blurring is caused by ghosting, which is unavoidable in HDR when there is any movement in the scene (and this is one of the reasons that solid HDR results demands such sophisticated gear). If you increase the ISO you increase noise, which is further increased to a point of pandemonium by HDR processing (if you increase your ISO, then you're in a worse spot because then you need to use noise reduction, which creates blur in the images, which would increase the effect of ghosting, and you're back to square one minus three). So, you should shoot at ISO 100, period. The 500D has just above 11 stops of dynamic range at ISO 100. This begins to fall-off slightly at 200. By 400 to 800 you're around 10 stops, and beyond 800 dynamic range drops below 10 stops steadily. Then there's the consideration that tonal range also drops with increased ISO. By 400-800, the 500D drops below 7-bits. At 100 you're working at a comfortable 8-bits. (Colour sensitivity also drops off quite sharply with increased ISO.)

    In short, upping the ISO will just damage your attempt to create a good image. ISO 100 is your friend in long exposures. Low noise, high dynamic range. You can reclaim that stop of light by using DoF to it's fullest advantage and opening up your aperture.

    If you wanted to illuminate the stone in the foreground, a flash or two would be good choices. Or, during the exposure, using a single flash multiple times zoomed-out could work as well; just point and pop, and keep testing until you get it right. Ah, the wonders of digital. If that's not an option, just push that area in post; if you keep to the low end of your ISOs, you'll have plenty of room to do so.

    And those hooks on the stone are distracting. Definitely think you needed more altitude on this one.
     
  8. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    nice post musicale
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I just think it's funny how half my post isn't about the HDR processing.
     
  10. Windyplains04

    Windyplains04 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey there i was just wondering which program you used to make your HDR image. I've got the photomatix trial but have the irritating watermarks all over my photos.
     
  11. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's because you need to, you know, buy it.
     

Share This Page