First Attempt at HDR

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by cestlefun17, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. cestlefun17

    cestlefun17 TPF Noob!

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    I'm normally not a fan of HDR. I find the look to be far too processed and often cheesy, detracting from the image rather than enhancing it. I was still curious to try it though and shot this image in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn (they have a large arch there like the Arch du Triomphe).

    I used Ilford PanF+ (ISO 50) black and white film (HDR works better in B/W in my opinion) and used an abstract composition (HDR often looks less real to me, ironically). I used Photoshop's settings to also tone down the effect.

    [​IMG]GAP2 by William Santagata, on Flickr


     
  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nice composition. I don't get all the HDR hype either. In my opinion, this image would have been just fine without HDR.
     
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  3. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ummm... Not quite sure how you achieved a high dynamic range with film. Sure you didn't just mean scanned tone-mapped and boosted the contrast?
     
  4. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Shooting B&W film using the zone system gave High Dynamic Range results more then 50 years before people did HDR with digital.


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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The underside of the moldings are in shade, but the underside of the arch is not in shade, which throws this back into the "overdone" pile for me.
     
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  6. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not really, the Zone System is about mapping subject luminance to specific densities in the negative and therefore tones in a print. But you have to develop your own film otherwise it's meaningless. Using Ansel Adams' test data (which he freely and generously published) you could get a decent DR out of B&W film but it was an optimal development that you could stretch, by increasing the dilution of the developer and essentially under-develop the highlights while supporting shadow values, by a tone or two but it was hardly HDR. Normally you didn't really use more that Normal-1 (as AA put it) especially for strip film as you have to give the same development to the whole roll (I'm assuming that the OP is using 120 roll film as before).
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  7. cestlefun17

    cestlefun17 TPF Noob!

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    It is a true HDR as I took the same picture three times using a tripod, adjusting the shutter speed to bracket the exposure and then used the "HDR Pro" function in Photoshop to combine them. Below is a raw scan of the normal exposure. I see what you mean regarding the underside of the moulding being in shadow but not the underside of the arch itself, but that is as it actually appeared (it was an overcast day). I am going to continue playing with it; perhaps dodging the underside of the arch will make it look more realistic.

    [​IMG]GAP Normal by William Santagata, on Flickr
     
  8. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Normally you would use HDR where the DR of the subject is larger than the DR of the media you are using to record it, i.e. if you can't capture all the information with one exposure. What you have above is a slightly underexposed shot of a fairly flat scene (it's not a great scan, are you using auto functions? As it looks as though the filmbase and holder are compromising your exposure). That one exposure contains more tonal information than you've presented in your finished shot.
    Photography is a visual art and all you need to do is look, so I don't get why you're trying to do HDR with it unless you're not really looking because you've actually reduced the DR in your finished shot not expanded it. Sorry to be blunt, but actually seeing what you're doing is fundamental and key to understanding photography and the very best advice I can give. Peace :)

    Edit: Offered as serious and helpful advice. It is very easy to trick and fool your own eyes, the natural tendency is to attach a significance and value to your actions and not see past it. Learning to takes a little practice.

    mod-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  9. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The whole use of the zone system in exposure and developing b&w film allows the shooter to increase the Dynamic Range of the image so yes it was the original HDR.

    Most people think tone mapping is what HDR is, it's NOT. There are many technique that can be used to achieve a higher dynamic range.


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