HDR Test, Please Critique etc.

gunnyz39

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Ive been seeking assistance and asking a lot of questions here and there. And well i was hoping i could get some critique on these 2 images. I have a Nikon D3000 and I took a few photos and opened with Photomatix Pro on my Mac. I Created the HDR and this is how the images came up. I tried to use the settings in Photomatix but the image just doesnt come out as vivid and good as others around here. Maybe my target image is too broad? Thanks in advance.

HDR Test 2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

HDR Test | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 

robolepa

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I really like the second one - HDR Test
 

bigtwinky

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While it is personal taste, I really love HDR images that don't have the overbaked looked to them.
So for me, both these images are fine. I do like the second one as well.

How many exposures and at what level of difference did you do?
 
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gunnyz39

gunnyz39

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Thank you, I guess after looking on the forums at some of the pure talent here I was expecting to see something more vivid and poppish so to speak. I assume that will need to be done in photoshop?

With the mountain scape I took 3 images .. -2.0,0.0,2.0 and for the sunset I did -2.7,-2.0,0.0,2.0,2.7 <---- maybe overkill as 2.7 to 2.0 didn't vary that much.

I was trying to do more of the grunge look but not too overdone.
 

Bynx

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If you are using Photomatix 4 there are presets you can choose from. Painterly or Grunge will give you the overcooked look you are looking for. Grunge will really overdo it. I like painterly myself and use it often. After Photomatix its necessary to tweek the image in Photoshop.
 
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gunnyz39

gunnyz39

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Bynx said:
If you are using Photomatix 4 there are presets you can choose from. Painterly or Grunge will give you the overcooked look you are looking for. Grunge will really overdo it. I like painterly myself and use it often. After Photomatix its necessary to tweek the image in Photoshop.

Ah, oh.. I think I have photomatix pro for Mac, it's version 3.8-,? It has the preset "grunge" that looks awful IMO. I'll have to try photoshop. Thanks for the input. Guess I have the never happy attitude when it comes to the photos I take.

Now, is it best to photograph in Raw? I've been using jpeg fine setting
 

bigtwinky

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Yes... RAW is much better.
A RAW photo will contain more data in it than the JPG. So the more data and pixels you have to play with, the nicer the end results, specially when you are smushing multiple images together.

I only shoot RAW.
 

Bynx

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Agree, always shoot Raw if you can. You can go down to jpeg from Raw but not the other way around. Raw has so much more info it gives you the latitude to get the pic a lot better than what it originally looks like.
 
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gunnyz39

gunnyz39

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Ah! Ok, thank you. I am going to take a few shots today and try that out. Makes perfect sense.

How many photos do you usually take when compiling an HDR? Is the 3 I take a decent/sufficient amount?
 

Majeed Badizadegan

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Ah! Ok, thank you. I am going to take a few shots today and try that out. Makes perfect sense.

How many photos do you usually take when compiling an HDR? Is the 3 I take a decent/sufficient amount?

Whatever is required to capture the full dynamic range of the image. Could be 1, could be 10. Expose for the highlights and shadows as necessary. I haven't done metering before, but a lot of people here swear by metering for the highlights and shadows.
 

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