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View Full Version : It is quite obvious that I suck at HDR



anco85
07-07-2008, 09:48 AM
I'm a big fan of the "shiny unrealistic" HDR look....


For those of you who haven't stopped reading yet, we shall continue.

I've been trying to get surreal effects down for some time, but my images never turn out as some of the results I see on flickr.

No matter how hard I try, they look too realistic.

My best effort so far was this:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2250/2461338994_a72c543aa0.jpg


While I'm trying to go for something like this:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3147/2645534518_6cbb09c6cc.jpg

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I use photomatix BTW

truflip
07-07-2008, 09:50 AM
You're way better than most, anco
On the first shot, desat the orange container a bit.
It's too bright and takes away from the car ;)

anco85
07-07-2008, 09:52 AM
Hey flip, long time hey.

That was my best result, all the others come out with that grey-ish tint that I HATE.

I'll try post some pics of my other attempts if I remember. I just can't seem to get the look as the broom pic

herc182
07-07-2008, 10:00 AM
I personally started with more of the look you are trying to achieve and am now happy I am getting more realistic results!

Light smoothing in Photomatix pro is the way to go to make it look a bit more dramatic / cartoony.

The picture you posted shows a degree of "edge or soft glow" and softening...almost orton effect. Definately NOT just HDR

I would email the guy and ask him (or her)

truflip
07-07-2008, 10:10 AM
yea long time indeed.
i still lurk this forum though
i just tend to keep it quiet :D

try using 10 exposures. I know someone who does 15 exposure HDR's and they look really good. like.. good as the broom.

I think the more images the better.
also play around with tone mapping. adjust the meters manually.
IMO the default options in photomatix is kinda bad.

herc182
07-07-2008, 10:17 AM
The right way to do HDR is to meter the highlights, then the shadows. Calculated the difference (in stops) then bracket to cover that range. More exposures (15?!!) will only create more chance for movement and camera shake.

I only ever do 3 exposures 2EV apart (because I always handhold). I have captured pretty much the whole range with that every time...

truflip
07-07-2008, 10:21 AM
He did stationary subjects. Car against an old rustic building for example-- which is similar to anco's photo.
Obviously for shots such as nature scenes, you probably wouldnt want 15 (moving leaves, plants etc..) or people shots if you're into HDR'ing that.

Why wouldn't use use a tripod for HDR anyway. even if its 3 quick shots at 2EV apart.
Sure Photomatix has that feature that aligns the photos but still.. =\

bgrablin
07-07-2008, 12:34 PM
I agree with Truflip, the containers need to be desaturated a bit.

I tried messing around with your photo a bit, using the same image with the exposure change in 1/3EV increments with 7 photos. Bringing the light smoothing down to the lower setting is going to give you your shiny unrealistic look.

anco85
07-07-2008, 02:23 PM
But you see, there's that grey tone I was talking about.

herc182
07-07-2008, 02:39 PM
Maybe that grey tone is there because there isnt enough information (i.e. not enough dynamic range captured).

XaiLo
07-07-2008, 03:48 PM
I agree with Truflip, the containers need to be desaturated a bit.

I tried messing around with your photo a bit, using the same image with the exposure change in 1/3EV increments with 7 photos. Bringing the light smoothing down to the lower setting is going to give you your shiny unrealistic look.


Who want realististic, I see that every day :p lol nice tweak

Visual Reality
07-07-2008, 05:19 PM
He did stationary subjects. Car against an old rustic building for example-- which is similar to anco's photo.
Obviously for shots such as nature scenes, you probably wouldnt want 15 (moving leaves, plants etc..) or people shots if you're into HDR'ing that.

Why wouldn't use use a tripod for HDR anyway. even if its 3 quick shots at 2EV apart.
Sure Photomatix has that feature that aligns the photos but still.. =\
I've done handheld HDRs with the D80. It's certainly possible. Can't wait for the D300 when I can shoot at double the framerate...

As for exposures...3 is the minimum, with 5-7 being often used. 9 is the most you should ever need for any scene...15 is overkill.

anco85
07-08-2008, 12:43 AM
How do I do more than 3 with the D80?

P.S. The mustang was done hand held

Visual Reality
07-08-2008, 04:00 AM
You can't...you need the D200/300 to take more than 3 with the bracketing feature.

anco85
07-08-2008, 04:08 AM
I see. Damn you Nikon

herc182
07-08-2008, 04:18 AM
well you can do more exposures, just not using auto bracketing. You would have to dial it in yourself (i.e. manually changing shutter speed - NOT ISO).

I shoot handheld because i cant be bothered carrying a tripod around! I never know when I will need a HDR so carrying the tripod would be a waste of time. And my tripod is cack so its not worth the plastic it was made with :D

anco85
07-08-2008, 04:48 AM
ROFL. I'll keep that in mind.

So what's the final verdict? More exposures?

herc182
07-08-2008, 04:52 AM
Final verdict is that I have found IMO that three is enough. And they can be done handheld...and any HDR software (in my case corel PSP) has an alignment feature that works very well (assuming you dont have parkinsons disease - it wont work miracles).

Having said that, if I got the D300 i would take 5 exposures.

Note that you need a fairly decent computer to process the files. 3 raws on my laptop takes a while...5 might struggle.

anco85
07-08-2008, 05:07 AM
Ok, so 3 exposures. Lets ignore the mustang for a second.

No matter what I do, I always get this type of result (not my pics, but they look similar)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3019/2635783894_1b7d91a5ac.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/2648132939_d210e5285c_o.jpg

herc182
07-08-2008, 05:09 AM
thats the result of TOO much light smoothing I think. On photomatix.

Furthermore, it probably needs the levels / curves to be tweaked. You could even try to remove a colour cast.

anco85
07-08-2008, 05:14 AM
I see, so in other words, even more stuff I know nothing about :D

herc182
07-08-2008, 05:18 AM
I see, so in other words, even more stuff I know nothing about :D

believe me, i was in that boat...

this might help:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/photoshop-curves.htm

anco85
07-08-2008, 05:24 AM
Wow, thanks again Herc

truflip
07-08-2008, 12:17 PM
So what's the final verdict? More exposures?
Meter the shadows and and highlights. If shadows is -2 and highlights is +2, then you can do exposures of -2, 0 and +2 (as most people would)

I would personally go in the way of doing -2, -1, 0, +2, +2. You can also set your EV's to 0.5 increments and go for 10 exposures and try that... or go 0.3 increments and yea, that IS extreme/overkill but hey, if it works for the better, I think it's worth it.

anco85
07-08-2008, 01:00 PM
Thanks Flip

Visual Reality
07-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Seconded on the -2, -1, 0, +1, +2. Some scenes may need a -3 or even -4 to tame a really bright highlight though (like the sun).

Don't bother with less than +1/-1 increments.