Photomatix Question (ugly sky)

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by JayhawkCWE, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    Hey Guys,

    First post here, was looking for a photography forum with some knowledgeable people and hopefully I've found it.

    I'm a long time photographer but am new to HDR. I picked up the Photomatix plugin for CS4 and am having a few problems with it. For the most part it works great, but when I run some photos through it that have a lot of sky in them, the sky turns out a dull greyish blue color. All of the other colors turn out fantastic, but it always looks like there's a storm brewing over the horizon.

    This has to be a fairly common issue if it's happening to me, because I have no clue what I'm doing.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Provo

    Provo TPF Noob!

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    I would help out if you posted an example but from what you are describing it sounds like the smoothing is set low or smoothing light click on to min or low.

    another possibility is a combination of strengh and smoothing play with the sliders.
     
  3. Bynx

    Bynx TPF Noob!

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    I think two of the faults with HDR software is the ease in creating dark sooty clouds and bright fluorescent yellowish green grass. Both are attributable to the problems mentioned by Provo. The screen is interactive so as you move the sliders you can see the result. So just back off the slider for the clouds. As for the grass, take it in photoshop and using Selective Color, reduce the yellow and increase the cyan in the Green with maybe a little extra black.
     
  4. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm actually doing this for a student of mine and these are her photos. The top one is an example of the sky. I know this photo has some other issues such as the noise at the bottom, but we can fix that. The sky is the most important thing to us to figure out right now. The second photo is more the effect we're looking for. The only workflow difference between the first and second photos is that the second photo was actually bracketed in the camera, whereas the first photo was one RAW photo that we bracketed in photoshop and then took into photomatix. both were taken in similar light and you can see there's a pretty big difference. could the way it was bracketed make THAT much of a difference or did we do something else different by mistake?

    Again, thanks for any input.

    bracketed in camera:
    [​IMG]

    bracketed in PSCS4:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    btw, the saturation settings are similar as well... I figured after looking at my post that I should mention that...
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yes, the number exposures and how they are used can make a difference.

    This comes up over and over again. taking one image and making it into 3 and then running it as an HDR image. It isn't . HDR is about contrast range and if one file contains all the information you can move it too tonemapping and get similar results, but it isn't true HDR.

    As you have discovered there is a huge difference in the result using the same or rather very similar settings
     
  7. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    I realize it's not true HDR but I also was under the impression that RAW photographs contain enough information to adjust the exposure and get good results. I've had a lot of fantastic results working from one photograph, but as you can see, I've also had some less than fantastic results...
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yes a raw file does contain a huge amount of information but it isn't the same that separate exposures can provide.

    this is a techique that takes a lot of practice and work to control.
     
  9. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the info, I hope you don't mind that I keep asking questions. The only thing I'm not square with on true HDR is how to reconcile movement when you're exposure bracketing. I don't know what FPS my camera works at when exposure bracketing, but I can't imagine more than 5 to 7, as I'm thinking it would be close to the rate at which burst mode fires.

    Obviously, there is going to be movement between exposures. Photomatix has an align function, but it doesn't fix everything.

    Soooo, as a consequence of this, when I take any shot with movement of which I'm planning on making an HDR composition, I usually just do one shot and trick it.

    Suggestions?
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is certainly an issue, movement. For myself, i am doing a lot of urban x stuff, and so movement doesn't come into the decision making. I use a tripod, mirror lock up and anywhere from 5 to 9 exposures with a remote release cable, so things are very stable.

    A tripod, fast continous burst with AEB helps. However, i was at a recent demo of a new product coming out shortly from NIK that is amazing what it does with movement. My local dealer had someone from NIk come in and do a live demo and answer question directly rather than a webinar which can be helpful, but isn't the same.

    He told us that Nik has been working on this product over about 5 years now and one of the issues was to control the movement problems.
     
  11. JayhawkCWE

    JayhawkCWE TPF Noob!

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    That's awesome. I really like Nik software, especially Viveza. Silver Efex I find I can do what it does fairly easily in Aperture or Photoshop.

    I'm a trainer for Apple. I teach people how to use all of our Photography software and I feel behind the curve now because I get a lot of questions about HDR. I have a degree in Photography, but when I got it Digital wasn't really being taught all that much (2006).

    You aren't in the city are you? I'd really like to see a Nik demo.
     
  12. Provo

    Provo TPF Noob!

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    You can view Nik Demos and kinda live brief overview of how the software works and what it can do live by signing up for a nik webinar on their site.

    I try to catch as many as possible that way you can ask questions to the instructor and follow along.

    http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php
     

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