Quick question about HDR - no pics.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dancingsphinx22, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    I've noticed a lot of HDR images on here, and some of them just look...well, a little funny. I've seen some sports cars in HDR, and they looked killer. But other than that, it seems like the technique ruined the overall image.

    So what kind of photography is HDR good for? Or does it depend more on how the photog applies the technique? In other words, is it the techinque that's wrong for the image, or is it user error?

    Thanks,
    ~M
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    user error would be my .02 cents It can be used very creatively, but it takes work with various programs to bring out the best of the technique.

    It is very useful when the lighting range is too long for our present day sensors .
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Many photographers use the technique in a scene that doesn't have enough dynamic range to warrant using the technique.

    Then they process the image in a way that to them is artistically sweet.

    And that's the rub, what you consider a ruined image, others consider splendid.
     
  4. bentcountershaft

    bentcountershaft Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think HDR is really rather subjective. I prefer two different types of it. The subtle ones that you have to question whether or not is was HDR and I have to admit I like some of the over the top ones as well, depending on subject matter. I saw one recently of a large castle in the mountains that was really over saturated and dramatic looking and it reminded me of good fantasy artwork. Certainly not for everyone but occasionally it can work.
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    There is no such thing as user error. As said, it's subjective. HDR is a love/hate thing especially with the cartoonish look that you can get. I personally like it, some hate it, some think it's overdone.... But you know what they say about opinions:)
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    when i voted for user error i was thinking along the lines of the individual who thinks the processing is a one click does it all thought process.

    I have seen terrific work, some realistic some over the top, and tooooooo much bad processing which i classify as user error.
     
  7. irfan

    irfan TPF Noob!

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    When its done right and I think "wow thats a good exposure", i like it. Most other times it grosses me out.
     
  8. BrianLy

    BrianLy TPF Noob!

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    I really like HDR, and I really do love CS5 for having the HDR setting right there for me to play with.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The human eye/brain combination can see a greater range of light in one scene than a camera can. I've heard some gross estimates (oversimplifications) that we can see like 20ish "stops" of light in one scene where a camera can only see about 7. HDR is essentially just a trick to compensate for that.

    HDR is a process intended to give better dynamic range to a photographic image that would otherwise not have as much. For example, shooting the inside of a room looking towards a window. Done "normally" either you will see what's outside and the interior will be dark as heck, or you will see what's inside and the outside will be completely blown out.

    Example...

    [​IMG]

    Or...

    [​IMG]

    Now obviously neither of those is ideal. However if I take a series of exposures and assemble them into one that gives my more of the dynamic range of the scene, we get this...

    [​IMG]

    Much better.

    btw, many people mix up tonemapping and HDR. They are not the same thing, and tonemapping is a process employed when creating HDRs in part because even our monitors and printers cannot display the full dynamic range of an image, so we must basically adjust the luminence to turn bizarro HDR results into something a bit more reasonable. Some people go kinda crazy with tonemapping (sometimes even without doing an actual HDR) and create surreal scenes that appeal to some people, but tonemapping <> HDR.
     
  10. ChrisStone

    ChrisStone TPF Noob!

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    I think HDR works great for some shots, and for going after an artistic or dramatic look. However, I do think it is a fad that might be fading.. the second I see an HDR image, be it from a magazine or movie ad, I spot it as HDR right away, and just gives me a sort of 'been there, seen that' sort of feeling. Just my 2c :meh:
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My mom used to say blue jeans were a fad. I pointed out that they've been making and wearing them about as long as cotton has been around.

    HDR is not dissimilar... photographers have been employing a variety of tricks to increase the dynamic range of photographs for a very long time.
     
  12. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    Manaheim - thanks for the explanation. I think I get it now.

    The images you posted are examples of what previously I referred to as "killer" HRD images - they are beautiful, rich, nicely detailed and overall pleasing. I thought that's what all HDR images aspired to. I didn't realize that the glowing, cartoon-ish images were just another type of HDR, created for artistic purposes or plain old preference.
     

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