What's going wrong? First HDR experiment

Gillraen

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Hi everyone!

I'm new here and I would like to use this section to start annoing you with all my questions!
I've stareted using a semiprofessional camera only a few months ago and, considering I've never had the opportunity to attend a photography course, I need lot of advices and corrections. So please don't be too hard woth me: I still have a lot to learn!

This month I decided to make my first experiment with HDR but the result is simply D I S G U S T I N G ! ! !

$the View from the Shard_HDR light.jpg

I know that the conditions were not, for sure, the ideal ones: I was in London, on the top of the Shard (Europe's highest building) but I've had lots of trubles because of the reflections on the glass and, above all, because I didn't have a tripod. So i tried to be as still as possible but obiousvly the result is not perfect!

My question is: could only that contitions justify such a bad result?
Is there something I can do to turn out of this a decorous HDR image?

Or maybe the problem has turned out somewhere else in the procedure?

Consider that I shooted 11 images: I set the camera manually using a quite short time and a wide opening to avoid movement considering that i didn't have a tripod neither any other kind of support but my own legs! I changed the exposure settings starting from +5 and ending with -5. Then I merged the images using PhotoshopCS5's merge as HDR pro.

I didn't expect a prefessional result but honestly something better than this!


Is there someone who can help me understranding what has gone wrong exactly?

Thank you in advance to everyone!
 

ronlane

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Welcome to the site Gillraen. I'm not sure what you were expecting out of this. Using a wide angle from high up, I'm not sure how much more dynamic range you are going to get. You've mentioned no tripod, this is pretty much a must have for hdr. Also, when shoot out of a window like this, you need to get the lens as close to it as possible, if you have a lens hood, leave it on the lens and put it up against the window to help with the glare.
 

ShooterJ

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Nothing went wrong in processing. The software did it's job. The camera did, as well.

Shooting a landscape through a window probably isn't going to give you satisfactory results when the window is clearly in the frame.

A tripod would help you, and I'd find a location to shoot from that's unobstructed.
 

ShaneF

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Agreed, a tripod is a must. You picked up a lot of glare off the window for the inside of the room, i have a friend who likes to shoot from high buildings and you cant always get out side. I dont know how well it works buy hes says he turns off all the lights or hangs a dark blanket over the window and sets the camera up inside and as stated above puts the lens hood tight to the window.. Its no substitution for being outside but it might help.

Croping out the window frame would help this picture a lot.


$Untitled.jpg
 
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12sndsgood

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I do as ronlane suggested, I will stick my lens hood onto the glass. ive actually held it in place firmly this way if your lens hood has a flat surface. Helps reduce glare and helps steady the camera tremendously.
 
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Gillraen

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Well, my idea was to come out with something like this

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/149/340170471_d5f83ffb9d_z.jpg

That one is taken a little bit later, with a darker sky and much more lights in the city.
From mine I expected exentially stronger lights and much more shades in the sky while I feel the result terribly flat! The opposite of what an HDR image is supposed to be!

About the refelctions I think that the lens hood is a very good advice! =)
I have one, unfortunately i didn't had it with me that evening! But sure I'll bring it for the next time! And I'll avoid showing part of the floor in the image, altought I liked the idea!

Anyway, considering all your preciuos advices up here I came out with an idea: you all have said that the problems come above all from the reflections and the movements due to the lack of tripod.

What if I take only one of the original shoots (one of thoose in the middle, with a correct exposure), I crop it (as in the image up here) and try to remove as much as possible the reflection and then I turn out of this other images simulating with the computer the different levels of exposure?
Could it work or is strictly necessary taking the original shoots directly with the camera?
 

480sparky

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It would help to see the 0EV shot to even see if the scene needed HDR.
 

TehYoyo

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Agreed, a tripod is a must. You picked up a lot of glare off the window for the inside of the room, i have a friend who likes to shoot from high buildings and you cant always get out side. I dont know how well it works buy hes says he turns off all the lights or hangs a dark blanket over the window and sets the camera up inside and as stated above puts the lens hood tight to the window.. Its no substitution for being outside but it might help.

Croping out the window frame would help this picture a lot.


View attachment 50812

Even so, you can see the window reflections.
 

EDL

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Well, my idea was to come out with something like this

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/149/340170471_d5f83ffb9d_z.jpg

That one is taken a little bit later, with a darker sky and much more lights in the city.
From mine I expected exentially stronger lights and much more shades in the sky while I feel the result terribly flat! The opposite of what an HDR image is supposed to be!

About the refelctions I think that the lens hood is a very good advice! =)
I have one, unfortunately i didn't had it with me that evening! But sure I'll bring it for the next time! And I'll avoid showing part of the floor in the image, altought I liked the idea!

Anyway, considering all your preciuos advices up here I came out with an idea: you all have said that the problems come above all from the reflections and the movements due to the lack of tripod.

What if I take only one of the original shoots (one of thoose in the middle, with a correct exposure), I crop it (as in the image up here) and try to remove as much as possible the reflection and then I turn out of this other images simulating with the computer the different levels of exposure?
Could it work or is strictly necessary taking the original shoots directly with the camera?

Need the tripod and probably less exposures with a wider EV.

Asking about artificial EV control in post with a single exposure is going to open a small can of worms. Some folks agree it is acceptable, some don't. I'm in the camp that is is not. To me, HDR REQUIRES more than one exposure. Unless you have a very wide dynamic range in the shot, then typically 3 exposures are suitable. Try the shot again with 3 exposures separated by 2 EV and see what you get (and bring the tripod this time!).
 

JRE313

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