Sunset - HDR or not? CC Please!

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by Hartley, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Hartley

    Hartley TPF Noob!

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    Hi Y'all,

    Yesterday evening, I sat out on the point and took a bunch of pix of the setting sun, fog, etc. over San Francisco bay. I took a number of HDR triples (2-stop spacing) as well as single shots then took 'em back and worked on them.

    First, this is an HDR of the sun going down over Mt. Tam:

    [​IMG]

    I really don't know where the weird colors came from in the rocks in the foreground, tho I know I could just wipe them to black with a little more time..;)

    Here is the same scene, only it's not HDR - just the regular tools in Lightroom:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I know the ocean moved (durn ocean) I need to pay more attention to >level<, especially when the ocean is in view..:blushing:

    I'm really not sure which one I like best - they are certainly different. I'd be very interested in your thoughts!

    Hartley
     
  2. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    you must be kidding right?
    its obvious the normal one is "better"
    the HDR lacks any contrast, is just noise on the rocks and looks flat.
    that is the total opposite of HDR,

    the -/+2 stops = hdr is a misconseption.
    1. you usually need more than 3 images to make a GOOD hdr image
    2. -/+ 2 is too much. Try doing 1 stop, or if possible, -2/3rds.
    as usually the tones aren't that far from each other (human eye sees 11ev and cameras can see 6 / 8 ev if i am correct.)
     
  3. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    In this case the non HDR looks much better. Did you use an ND grad on the sky? That may help to get some orange highlights into the edges of the rocks.
     
  4. Hartley

    Hartley TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments, guys. I will make a couple 1-stop sets tonight (assuming there is a sunset) and see how that works.

    No ND grad - I bought a cheap set of grad filters (blue, orange & ND) and tried them, but I found that they made my AF crazy when the light got low. I bought cheep ones just to fool with them - at 72mm, good ones are pricey..:)

    I take a lot of sunset and sunrise pics and I have not been pleased with HDR for either one - probably me..:confused: I have taken a few mid-afternoon HDR shots that I liked, but sunsets seem to elude me.

    On the Lr-adjusted non-HDR ones, I found that using the pic shot at -2 stops worked better than the "normal" one - pulling up the light looked better than leaving it alone and trying to pull the sun down. Here's one when the sun was almost gone:

    [​IMG]

    Hartley
     
  5. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    the reason we learn to use cameras is becaus cameras are not always correct.

    Cameras meter by reading the scene in a grey, they try to make thing 18% grey
    different materials have different reflective properties meaning some might be 27% grey meaning you would have to over expose by 1 stop (i think.)
    and some could be 5% grey (close to white.) meaning you would have to underexpose to get a correct reading.

    blue skies (Read Understanding exposure by Bryan peterson brilliant info.)
    have a reflective value of 18% therefore EV Can be set to 0ev

    if you point to something green, that has ehm... reflective property of about 10% i think thus when metering from green, you want to underexpose by 2/3rds

    I am not 100% sure about the reflective values, but it is just an example.
    basically, cameras cant always guess the correct exposure, that is down the photographer.

    What you should do is, take a few shots (if you can, set the camera to change stops by 1.3rds which means your metering will be -2 -1 2/3 -1 1/3 -1 -2/3 - 1/3 0 +1/3 +2/3 + 1 +1 1/3 +1 2/3 +2

    that is 14 shots.

    that way you have a better chance of getting a good chance of getting a correct exposure + have enough images to get a good hdr (assuming you learn to tone map.)

    read my post here for a tip on making hdr
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...me-out-absolutely-terrible-2.html#post1969985
     
  6. Hartley

    Hartley TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the help, William! I've been taking pictures a long time, but this digital stuff has me working hard just to keep my head above water..:D

    I downloaded Photomatix to see how it worked for me instead of FDRTools - since it's free to try. So far it seems simpler, so maybe it will do better for me.
    My T1i takes 3-picture bracketed sets, so it's tempting to leave it at that - but since I have a tripod, I should be able to take as many as I want - the only potential problem is that the fog is moving pretty fast.

    Glasgow, eh? My parents-in-law came from Kilmarnock - the wife & I spent some fun times touring Scotland years ago (when I was stationed in Germany and she was going to med school in Belgium) - we should do it again before all the relatives die off..

    Hartley
     

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