My first attempt at HDR

Discussion in 'HDR Discussions' started by WesternGuy, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Those of you who have read my previous post and the answers to it, will see that I appear to have two choices. So I am going to try both of them (one in this post and the other in my next post) and see if I can make either of them work for me and if they both work, then I guess that is success...

    My first HDR attempt was of a sunset in Naples, Florida on a holiday last November. I took 3 images (all I knew about that my camera could do at the time, the usual +2, 0, -2) loaded them into Lightroom 3.3 where I do most of my editing and then ran them through HDR Pro in CS5 and the result should show below, if I can correctly follow the instructions I was given...I didn't record any of the setting at the time, but I do remember doing a bit of tweaking in the HDR component of CS5 after the tone mapping.

    I am going to start a "log" or "journal" of some kind so I can record the software I use and the various post-conversion editing that I do, I just have to arrange something so I can print a copy of the image to go with the log entry. I am thinking I will design a Word document to handle all this info and share it with folks, if they would like, when I get it finished to where I am happy with it and feel it "works for me".



    [​IMG]
    IMG_1211-Edit.jpg by edgeland1rm, on Flickr

    Success at last. C&C welcome, but be kind, this is just a start and I want to learn from this. Here is the "0" or regular image...

    [​IMG]
    (flickr reference edited out for looks - my doing to compare with and without)

    Works for me, for now. I have since acquired Photomatix Pro 4.0 and Nik's HDR Efex Pro - relatively cheaply with discounts and I am looking to see what happens when I run the same pics through these apps, but that will take me a while as I have other things making demands on my time - like actually going out and taking pictures, now that the daytime temp is above 0° C for a few days.

    Regards,

    WesternGuy


     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What does the "normal" shot look like? There is a chance this photo could have been made without using HDR techniques.

    The shadow area in the clouds on my monitor are just "blobs of grey" which are very distracting.

    Your idea about tracking info for yourself is a good idea, (imho) If your using PS, you can have the software track that for you. I started logging info when I first started with digital; in fact made up all sorts of forms, etc and then found out the software could do that but i had to inform it to do so. just a thought
     
  3. myshkin

    myshkin TPF Noob!

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    people have a tendency to pick odd subjects for their first attempts. I made the same mistake. Shoot somewhere during sunset where you want the sky and foreground exposed well, or shoot indoors with a room with weird lighting. Don't bother trying to get a great shot just take some shots and practice processing.
     
  4. Bynx

    Bynx No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When commenting on a picture its pretty difficult when the pic is so small there is no detail to comment on. The comment made that this shot could have been made without HDR is to be ignored. Whether it could or not doesnt matter. The point here is you did it as an HDR. Now whether another method could have produced a better result is another story. So first off Id like to see a larger post so I can see the details in both the water and the clouds. This kind of shot can work as an HDR but where there is a vast range of light from very bright to very dark works better and HDR really brings it out there.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bynx , the comment was made to help the op realize time would be better spent working with images that will give better results up front.

    I have made several images of similar subject matter with better results, so I am not just throwing BS around.
     
  6. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks Ann. The "normal" or "0" shot should be the second image posted. If it doesn't show up for you, follow the lead to my flickr account - click on the "edgeland1rm" under the HDR image and that should take you there - the "normal" shot is posted on flickr as well, you just have to scroll down a bit to find it.

    I know what you mean by "blobs of grey", but hey, I am just starting out, besides the sunset seemed like an ideal place to start. There wasn't much detail in the clouds to begin with as I recollect, particularly with the sun behind them. Maybe I need to do some adjusting of the tone mapping parameters (any suggestions?) next time...

    As far as "tracking the information" is concerned, now that I have Phototmatix and Nik's HDR Efex software, I will probably need to track the info for myself and that way, I can also track which piece of software was used, but thanks for the info that PS can do that as well - didn't know that, so I will have to check it out.

    Regards,

    WesternGuy
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  7. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Bynx, thanks for the comments. You have identified, I think, one of the problems with posting in general. One goes from the original raw image (large, very, detailed) to a jpg for posting to places like flickr...smaller image, less detail, etc., but I will see if I can figure out how to post a larger image from flickr, if that is possible.

    WesternGuy
     
  8. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks myshkin - believe me my objective was not to try and get a "great shot" - I simply felt that sunsets, because of the wide range of light and contrast would be a reasonable place to try out HDR for the first time. Right now, I am making a list of things I want to shoot when things warm up and access roads are open and cleared of the metres of snow that falls in the mountains each winter, so I can hardly wait for Spring to come.

    WesternGuy
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I realize we all have to start someplace, and my comment was an attempt to be of help
     
  10. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ann, no problem - I hope you were able to see the "normal" shot for comparison. :sillysmi:

    I guess you have raised another question for me, at least, and that is - what consitutes a "good candidate" for HDR, because on this forum and a couple of others, I have seen everything from the inside of beautiful cathedrals to vehicles partially buried in the ground, to "questionable" landscapes and so on, and then there are the works of people like Brian Matiash and others who cover an incredibly wide range of subjects. I have even seen people use it on wedding portraits ?? This topic could be the subject of a whole new discussion thread - I'm sure.

    I chose the sunset, because I thought it would provide me with a reasonably high contrast scene, that's all. Most of the things I shoot do not have enough contrast in them, I suspect, to warrant the use of HDR, the one exception may be some of the mountain landscapes, where you have the sky and mountains surrounded by thick, evergreen forests and I want to bring out some of the detail in the forests - I have tried many things to get that detail, but what works for the trees does not often work for the mountains and blows out the skies, thus I want to try some HDR on some of this type of landscape (look at my avatar, small as it is, for example). I will do this later this year, after Spring comes to the mountains, while there is still some snow left on the peaks, but after the metres of regular snow are gone from the trees and some of the roads, now closed for winter, are re-opened. I'm making a list and checking it twice, so to speak :mrgreen:.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  11. Bynx

    Bynx No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Too often the remark is made -- You could have done it another way other than HDR. Probably true but the remark should be ignored when reading it in the HDR forum. Whats the point of saying that when the very point is to create an HDR image. Whether that image is good or bad is what should be discussed and how it can be improved as an HDR and not as anything else. You want something else, go to that forum. This one is for HDR so take them for what they are. There are so many things to discuss about every HDR image but suggesting not to do it as an HDR isnt one of them especially to someone posting their first HDR image. Whether the HDR is good or bad is the point and how to fix any problems that others see is more important than stating that it could have been done as something other than with HDR tools.
    WesternGuy you might try TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting as the means to upload your pics.
    When you get there just click BROWSE, then select your image. Then click UPLOAD NOW the type the coded words and click UPLOAD NOW. When the next window opens select IMG Code for Forums & Message Boards. Copy and paste that into the message box for the site following any message written.
     
  12. myshkin

    myshkin TPF Noob!

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    westernguy sunsets are great times to take advantage of HDR but your shot is more of a direct sunset shot with nothing really in the foreground. Most people use it at sunset to get the sky and sunset in the back and to have something well exposed in the foreground. As bynx says HDR can be applied to anything including the type of pic you shot, but when learning I don't think its a great shot to practice on.
    You don't need to wait till the snow melts to practice. Turn on a couple lamps in your livingroom and give it a go. Go to a church or library or mall.
     

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