My first attempt at HDR, not so good.

slowclown

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So I borrowed my girlfriends camera since I still saving up for one(she just got the Pentax K10D) to try an HDR image. I've seen what some other people have done with HDR images and I'm hooked. So I did some reading and gave it a shot, no pun intended. I used the 5-frame auto bracketing on the camera but since I have no tripod all the shots were hand held.

Not too thrilled with the outcome. I expected it to be pretty bad anyways but there didn't seem to be a big difference in exposure between the 5 shots. Any pointers you guys can offer? Here is the pic and info.
1/60 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100
stopsignif8.jpg
 

Parkerman

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So I borrowed my girlfriends camera since I still saving up for one(she just got the Pentax K10D) to try an HDR image. I've seen what some other people have done with HDR images and I'm hooked. So I did some reading and gave it a shot, no pun intended. I used the 5-frame auto bracketing on the camera but since I have no tripod all the shots were hand held.

Not too thrilled with the outcome. I expected it to be pretty bad anyways but there didn't seem to be a big difference in exposure between the 5 shots. Any pointers you guys can offer? Here is the pic and info.
1/60 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100


Its a must with HDR pictures. You can pick one up for cheap at walmart. I still use a walmart tripod.

Umm, also.. what program did you use to do it in?
 

GwagDesigns

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I think the effect on the stop sign looks good, i just think that when you metered you might have metered off of something darker, blowing out the sky. Theres a tip i learned that when when the suns pointing at you, got say, a sunset, you should meter just to the side of the sun. I know it took me a while to start getting it to where i liked.
 
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slowclown

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Thanks for all of the replies! The tripod is a must I know. When I get my own camera, the tripod will be right next to it in the shopping cart.

Umm, also.. what program did you use to do it in?
I used Photoshop CS2, "Automate > Merge to HDR".

when when the suns pointing at you, got say, a sunset, you should meter just to the side of the sun.
Thanks, I'll try that next time.

I think the effect on the stop sign looks good
Thanks, for that I layered in one of the RAW files underneath just to make the stop sign sharper. Being that the shots were hand held, the lettering was a bit blurry.

Any other pointers?
 
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slowclown

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You can pick one up for cheap at walmart.

Being from TN, Walmart was always a staple of everyday living but for the past 5 years living in LA, I haven't been to a Walmart. They're as scarce here as biscuits and gravy.
 

ghpham

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How does one go about HDR?
Does one need special equipment?


HDR is nothing more than exposures blending. You do not need special equipment as you can do this in Photoshop. There are some special softwares like Photomatix that will blend your shots together (RAW files), do tone mapping and output a LDR version for your viewing and print outs.

Basically, you should do as many shots as you need to cover the highlights and shadows of your scene. I've seen some people cover as much as 7 underexposed, and 7 overexposed shots and including one "proper" exposed shot and blend them all together. The problem is not to over do the settings when you blend, because then, the result will no longer looks "natural".
 

JerryPH

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CS2 and CS3 are weak at HDR compared to Photomatrix. You will find that all of those popular HDR pics that really have some incredible punch come from Photomatrix users.
 
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slowclown

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Parkerman

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Once you have done the HDR merge, play with the tone mapping of it to get it to the look you want... And then from there when you are done with the HDR options. Play with the exposure of it. And you can also play with the shadows/highlights adjustment.
 

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Its a must with HDR pictures. You can pick one up for cheap at walmart. I still use a walmart tripod.

Umm, also.. what program did you use to do it in?

If you're going to get an SLR, I wouldn't recommend getting a tripod at Wal-Mart. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing they only have the cheap flimsy tripods that are made for point and shoot cameras. When you get an SLR with a lens, that adds quite a bit of weight and those cheap tripods will usually not support that much weight...so you'll find the camera slowly falling down from its "locked" position, resulting in blurred photos.

You need to get a decent tripod from a camera dealer. Manfrottos are good.
 

Parkerman

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If you're going to get an SLR, I wouldn't recommend getting a tripod at Wal-Mart. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing they only have the cheap flimsy tripods that are made for point and shoot cameras. When you get an SLR with a lens, that adds quite a bit of weight and those cheap tripods will usually not support that much weight...so you'll find the camera slowly falling down from its "locked" position, resulting in blurred photos.

You need to get a decent tripod from a camera dealer. Manfrottos are good.



The one i have came from wally world, there is no way that it would fall down from the locked position... unless i have it tilted up on its side.. which i rarely do that. I mean, it may not be as "nice" and as smooth as a higher end tripod.. but, it gets the job done for now. No need to waste money on something i dont NEED yet. Would rather put that money towards a new lens until i see my current tripod failing.

Also depends on the camera/lens weight, I have a D40 with the kit lens... It doesn't weigh a whole lot.
 

MarcusM

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The one i have came from wally world, there is no way that it would fall down from the locked position... unless i have it tilted up on its side.. which i rarely do that. I mean, it may not be as "nice" and as smooth as a higher end tripod.. but, it gets the job done for now. No need to waste money on something i dont NEED yet. Would rather put that money towards a new lens until i see my current tripod failing.

Also depends on the camera/lens weight, I have a D40 with the kit lens... It doesn't weigh a whole lot.

Hmm...what model do you have? I just looked and only saw the $18.88 model online - OSN MX-350 Deluxe Compact 24.5" Tripod
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5030909

I find it hard to believe an $18 tripod would work well with an SLR. All I know is that I used a cheap Target tripod with my P&S Nikon Coolpix 4300. It worked fine until I bought a zoom lens for it (the Coolpix 4300 had a coupler that you could buy that screwed in over the fixed lens and allowed you to screw on other fixed lenses). I started noticing my night shots were blurry and I couldn't figure out why until one night I was watching the camera literally slowly creep down with the weight of the lens. And the lens was not huge; together with the camera it definitely weighed less than a DSLR w/kit lens. [Edit - Oh, BTW, just to clarify, I didn't mean the whole tripod was tipping over. I was referring to the weight of the camera and lens causing the tripod head to drop down. So picture the head dropping down so the lens ends up pointed at the ground]

But who knows, maybe your Wal-Mart tripod is better than my old Target tripod! That's just my experience.
 

Parkerman

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Mine doesnt look like that..

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5030904

I wanna think it was cheaper... *shrugs*

I can understand your thinking.. Maybe mine is just better than most. I actually feel like i would break it before it moved.. I just forcefully tried to get it to move down when i had it tightened up, didnt really budge.

The only crappy part about it like i stated earlier was the part where you can tilt the camera on its side. That part sucks.
 

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