What are you looking for with HDR?

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by mrshaleyberg, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. mrshaleyberg

    mrshaleyberg TPF Noob!

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    I really love the look of HDR, and have started trying out what I can do with it. I'm going to be doing some pictures of my husbands car in a few days, and want to turn a few into HDR. With HDR are you trying to get a surreal look to the photos, or what? Does it just depend on what look you're going for? Or when you do HDR is your goal to not be able to tell it's been turned into an HDR?

    Thanks. Haley
     
  2. 20civic04

    20civic04 TPF Noob!

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    most HDR you see is overdone, not that it doesnt look good but its not really what HDR means. the real meaning of hdr is basically being able to have more detail in both the lightest and darkest parts of a photo. here this can explain it better than i can High dynamic range imaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  3. mrshaleyberg

    mrshaleyberg TPF Noob!

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    Should you use a tripod when shooting a sequence of pictures that you're going to use for HDR?
     
  4. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Opinions on the ultimate goal or use of HDR photography vary so widely that it's tough to draw a generalized picture.

    I make use of HDR occasionally for certain tough landscape scenes. For what it's worth, my personal goal in using HDR is to create a photograph that looks as close to natural as possible. The only tip-off, ideally, is that somebody might look at the photo and think," Wow... that's some uncannily perfect lighting." Personally, I see HDR as a supplementary tool for my photography. As such, I generally avoid creating HDR photographs that diverge too drastically from the feel of a single exposure.

    There is undoubtedly a trend in HDR which has a vast following, wherein photographs are specifically created as "an HDR of so-and-so"... photos that are intentionally processed to look much, much different than a single exposure, in which the HDR processing is the central characteristic of the image. Indeed, many people think of and enjoy using HDR in that sense. I just favor the more natural-looking approach.

    Absolutely... in all situations except where impossible to do so. I've successfully made HDRs from hand-held brackets in situations where I was shooting with a very fast shutter-speed (1/800th for the neutral exposure), but it's hit-or-miss... you don't know if it'll work out until you're back home in front of the computer. Consistent, top-quality results demand that you keep your camera as steady as humanly possible... and a tripod is the best way to do that.
     
  5. Wheels47130

    Wheels47130 TPF Noob!

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    I enjoy both types of HDR photos. I like the real look as well as artistic look. The programs allow you to do both, so why not. I shoot both styles. You will find though some shots just look better without any HDR work. Some photos I shoot after doing it they look worse. There are only a few real pros at it. So give it a try and see what you like best. It's a new fun way to get creative. If you haven't been there yetbi suggest. Reading. More at Stuck In Customs HDR Photography great site to read up more.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with!
     
  6. Bynx

    Bynx TPF Noob!

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    Whats been said pretty well covers it. But for me HDR is a kind of correction to your cameras limited 'eye'. It cant get details in the highlights at the same time keeping details in the shadows. And the greater range between the highlights and shadows makes HDR really shine. The difference between the realistic look and the artistic look is caused by Tone Mapping. Once you have combined the images in a program like Photomatix so there are details in both the shadows and highlights, then the image gets altered by playing with the sliders during Tone Mapping. As to whether a tripod is needed or not. Well if you are careful and concentrate on putting the center mark of the lens on a particular spot during each exposure a series of shots for HDR are possible if you use Photomatix. It does a pretty decent job lining up the shots which are slightly out of alignment. That said, Id still recommend using a tripod. But if you dont have a tripod dont give up on a good HDR scene. Try using something to support yourself or the camera so you can get as close as you can in keeping those shots in alignment.
     
  7. myshkin

    myshkin TPF Noob!

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    Just jump in and start playing. as people have said everyone has different tastes with HDR. Once you get a good feel for tone mapping you will see the style you like.
    At this point I have my settings I keep and do slight adjustments normally.

    One tip is keep the exps from your first brackets. You might have a great HDR series but not the skills at first to take advantage of it. ONce you learn photomatix better you will likely want to revisit early trys
     
  8. mrshaleyberg

    mrshaleyberg TPF Noob!

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    Is photomatix better than using photoshop CS5 with HDR? Also, my camera will take up to 9 different exposures, does it really matter how many you take, or is 3 the norm?
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have not tested cs5 yet, but have photomatrix and several other programs as well.
    PS is a great piece of software, however, imho, there are othere speciality programs that do a better job. It is hard to be all things to all people.
    There is a nice program called HDExpose and Nik is releasing a program shortly that looks very interesting.

    Try several , usually they have trials version which will give you an opportunity to judge for yourself.

    How many exposures may be a personal thing. For my work i tend to take 7 -9 maybe more depending on the lighting conditions.
    Dan Burkholder always says " you can't be too thin, too rich or have too many exposures

    For instance, i my use Photomatrix for the merging and basic tone mapping and the run it through HDStudio then into Photoshop for a bit more tweaking with curves and then in one of the topaz actions for additional work. Shorlty i will be taking a better look at 32float to give me more control over the specific tones than global changes.

    Everyone has a different workflow and idea of what they need to pull off their personal vision of the final image.

    This technique is no different than many other tools available in the area of photography, the real "trick" imho, is working hard to become accomplished at using the tools available creatively and expertly which in most cases is much more than clicking on a few buttons.

    So, again, i would recommend downloading serveral trial versions of software and working with them , getting the most out of our images coupled with the most of the various products.

    Have fun and practice a lot, I believe this to be true regardless of the specific product,
     
  10. myshkin

    myshkin TPF Noob!

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    I personally think photomatix does a better job then PS. I have only seen a few people make great results with PS.
    I have tried many programs and like ann suggest trying more then 1. That said I always come back to photomatix
    Does the D700 allow bracket difference of 2 or just 1 when bracketing? I have the D300s and it only goes upto 1. If the D700 allows 2 then you can get away with 3 exps, but if its 1 then I suggest atleast 5 exps. Overall I normally take 9 exps with a separation of 1. You then can use all 9 or take out 5 of the 9 to process.
     
  11. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I absolutely can't stand overcooked HDR images. If I make an HDR image people should have to either check the file name (I'm lazy and never rename my images) or just know that getting the scene exposed that way without any noise was impossible. There should be no immediate giveaways that it was HDR. That's just me. I've used as few as three and as many as 9 images to get an HDR image. Since I'm lazy, I usually will run the images through LR, then photomatix pro (tried Oloneo and was unhappy with the results of nighttime HDRs), then back to LR then maybe PS if I'm feeling spunky.
     
  12. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    a d700 is what i use and it will allow up to 9, but with a remote release cable i sometimes do more, just making the changes my self, and my use 1/3 differences rather than a full stop.

    also, you may want to consider using your mirror lock up function as it will help with sharpness.
     

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