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Norm in Fujino
01-26-2007, 03:02 AM
Blending exposures can be fun, and create some unusual results--which, however, may or may not be your cup of tea. Blending separate exposure frames is the usual way it's done when the dynamic range is really excessive, but you can use a single RAW frame as well, developing multiple times then blending the result.

Here is a single RAW exposure taken this evening, developed three times in Silkypix, once each for highs, mediums, and lows, then blended in Photomatix. Sharpened twice in PS, once for haze, then final sharpening after resizing.

It's a bit over-the-top surreal for my normal tastes, but definitely adds some eye-catching detail.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/P1263854_HLw1.jpg

Olympus E-300 + ZD50mm f2.0 macro, 1/400s @ f4, ISO 100

Prospero
01-27-2007, 06:49 AM
Nice picture, Norm. The technique really brings out the detail in the foreground while keeping the sky the right colour. It's a pity there's a bit of a halo above the mountains in your picture.

Anyway, its a very nice technique for creating HDR, but it doesn't beat real HDR in my opinion. Unfortunatly real HDR requires absolutely no movement and a very good tripod. Also, when I experimented with HDR I found it very hard to get it to look convincing.

Here's a very nice gallery of someone who uses lots of HDR. There are some really great pictures. I think it's really worth taking a look at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valpopando/

Norm in Fujino
01-27-2007, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the comments and link, Prospero. There's a very fine line at the point of eliminating all "halo" effect so that the picture looks entirely "conventional" and retaining some of the "luminosity" that makes this technique rather interesting. I'm not sure what I think of it, yet, but it can be eye-catching when not used excessively. Here's another example:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/P4085961_def_TM1_f_w1.jpg

I don't see any haloes here, but it still isn't "natural"; whether one likes the effect is of course another matter.

Prospero
01-27-2007, 07:38 AM
Yes, you're right. I don't see any halos in that picture either, but it doesn't look real either. The stormy sky and the foreground don't seem to match. Perhaps if the foreground had been a little darker it would have been better.

Here's a shot I took a while ago. I had exposed it so that the sky was not blown out and then darkened the sky a little and brightened the foreground a little. This is in a way its similar to doing HDR with one raw file. Only, I didn't go as far as you did with the above image. I kept the foreground a little darker but did raise local contrast and saturation to add definition to the foreground.

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/delft3.jpg

D Thompson
01-27-2007, 07:40 AM
Norm - While I like the 1rst shot, I like the 2nd shot much better. It has more of a HDR look IMO. It is almost taking on the look of a painting. Nice shot and great job on post work.

I haven't had much luck using 1 shot to try HDR. I've converted the RAW using 3-5 exposures and just can't get the look right. Also, sometimes CS2 will tell me there is not enough dynamic range and goes no further. When it does work, I get a proper exposed photo, but not really looking like some others HDR. I've seen others using Photomatrix and I may have to look at it when I get back from my upcoming trip.


Prospero - thanks for the link. There is some amazing looking stuff there. Also - great shot!

Prospero
01-27-2007, 03:04 PM
Prospero - thanks for the link. There is some amazing looking stuff there. Also - great shot!

Thanks, Dennis. Your right about the link, the guy is really good at making HDR pictures. While you can clearly see that it is HDR he is using, it is not that the pictures seem fake, which I think is very often the problem with HDR.

snap
01-31-2007, 01:28 PM
I like these pictures. HDR is a technique I have not yet explored. For doing HDR, would it be better to get the Photomatix plugin for CS2, or use the Photomatix stand alone program?

Norm in Fujino
01-31-2007, 07:44 PM
I like these pictures. HDR is a technique I have not yet explored. For doing HDR, would it be better to get the Photomatix plugin for CS2, or use the Photomatix stand alone program?

I use PS7, not CS2, so I use the standalone version; I've got no idea about the utility of the plugin, but it might integrate better with your other adjustments.

snap
02-01-2007, 09:59 AM
Norm - While I like the 1rst shot, I like the 2nd shot much better. It has more of a HDR look IMO. It is almost taking on the look of a painting. Nice shot and great job on post work.

I haven't had much luck using 1 shot to try HDR. I've converted the RAW using 3-5 exposures and just can't get the look right. Also, sometimes CS2 will tell me there is not enough dynamic range and goes no further. When it does work, I get a proper exposed photo, but not really looking like some others HDR. I've seen others using Photomatrix and I may have to look at it when I get back from my upcoming trip.


Prospero - thanks for the link. There is some amazing looking stuff there. Also - great shot!

I have had the same experience with CS2 -- a message saying there is not enough dynamic range. Maybe using the stand alone Photmatrix is the way to go, and avoid CS2 altogether for HDR work.

AllanC
02-09-2007, 04:49 AM
there's a good reason that you cant get enough dynamic range from one shot, even converting to different exposures. The dynamic range isn't there in the first place! One shot is one shot, no matter how much you adjust it you cant actually alter the dynamic range avaliable. You really have to use at least 3 images seperated by minimum 2 stops. What norm has done, and in my opinion exceptionally, i love both of the images, is to use a blending technique. This gives a very good HDR "type" of image, this prob. wouldn't have been possible using the automate to HDR function in photoshop. Technically, they are two completely different processes which give very similar results. I have to say also that what Norm did is far more difficult and time consuming than using the HDR function in photoshop, IMHO.

HDR image from 8 shots

ISO 200, f8, 1/320. (middle shot) +/- 4ev, using shutter

tcadwall
02-09-2007, 11:13 AM
Good job Allan,

How much time elapsed for these shots? IOW - I don't think bracketing on the D70s can handle 8 shots... Assuming you didn't crop the left side of the image, you *can* see that the clouds moved during the interval... (by looking at the reflection in the water).

But I probably wouldn't have noticed that, had we not been discussing that this was HDR... I probably wouldn't have looked that close.

Thanks for the explanation!

AllanC
02-09-2007, 12:02 PM
there is likely less than a minute between the 8 shots and it was a real still day. i think its just the shape of the clouds that you are seeing, or perhaps i've just looked at it too many times to see what you see... lol. for a fuller explanation see in the nikon forum.