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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Pictures taken in HDR...C ould someone explain the process in producing photos in HDR. ( high dynamic range )...
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Old 27-09-2007, 16:41   #1 (permalink)
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Question Pictures taken in HDR

Could someone explain the process in producing photos in HDR. ( high dynamic range )
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Old 27-09-2007, 16:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

I'll try, but others have had more practice!

If the scene has very high contrast, you cannot expose correctly for all of it. You get either black shadows with no detail or blown highlights - everything light becomes white and again the detail is lost. In other words, the 'dynamic range' of the scene is more than the sensor/film can handle.

One way around this is to take two or more shots at different exposures, and then combine the correctly exposed parts of each. So you would take one shot exposed for, say, the sky, another exposed to bring out the shadows, and perhaps a third for the mid-tones.

Combining them can be done in several ways, and there is dedicated software like Photmatix which makes the job simpler. It is, however, possible to do it in a decent image editor, and ages ago I did a brief tutorial on how to do this in Paint Shop Pro 9. The same general principles apply to Photoshop etc.

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...psp9-1351.html

One danger is that you can overdo the technique and end up with something that looks like a painting. Maybe that's what you want, but to look realistic you need to go easy with it, especially with Photomatix.

Hope that helps.
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Old 27-09-2007, 16:59   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Shooting 2 or more shots and merging together for a scene that has more shadow and highlight detail than your camera can cope with in one shot. A couple of ways to achieve this: bracket exposures or manually adjust shutter speed...creating shots that show detail in the darkest and lightest areas of the scene. Merging these shots can also be done in a number of ways, I prefer to use Photomatix only as I can't get the same results using other software. Merging the shots without over doing it is the trickiest part....there are other alternatives to HDR: blending two exposures OR using filters....each have pro's & cons.



3 shot bracket, merged with photomatix.

HTH.
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Old 27-09-2007, 17:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Well Silky beat me to it AGAIN!
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Old 27-09-2007, 17:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

My learned friends ^^^^ have said it all and

this might help

I've tried it with very little success so far but if you can get it right then the results are spectacular. IMO the best subjects are very dark foregrounds (seashores) merging back into bright skies. The tonal range of these subjects are very difficult to capture with one shot and HDR is the perfect answer
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Old 27-09-2007, 17:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Lovely shot there Ken!

Combining different exposures in the way described above is one of the biggest 'God Sends' that digital has given photography. The Ansel Adams/Fred Archer Zone System was devised specifically to allow film photographers to capture on one exposure the SBR (Subject Brightness Range) of scenes that didn't match the density range of film exposed and developed normally. Although the zone system is/was not difficult to learn and use, see my zone2tone website for full info, the digital method is far easier and more flexible (and in colour!) than the ZS could ever be.

To be able to capture say three different levels of exposure and combine them to produce images totally impossible in traditional photography is amazing and makes me really excited when working.

Fortunately, since we can scan film negatives, the method is also available to film users whom only need to calibrate their development for normal dev and then do the same as if with a dslr. Brilliant!

One thing I have noticed, and it is mentioned above, is that if the process is not done with care then a 'painterly' effect i.e. the colours looking unreal, can result.

Cheers

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Old 27-09-2007, 17:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Well that's a very good example, Ken - better than any of mine! - and thanks for the link J.
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Old 27-09-2007, 17:43   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

That Ken is a tad good at HDR's ...... not jealous
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Old 27-09-2007, 17:45   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

That is beautiful Ken and a very good demonstration of what HDR images can look like when well executed.
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Old 27-09-2007, 18:15   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Nice one Ken! Great to see an HDR that doesn't look like an HDR!
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Old 27-09-2007, 19:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markulous View Post
Nice one Ken! Great to see an HDR that doesn't look like an HDR!
I take the viewpoint that a decent HDR has me questioning whether they caught perfect lighting , or it must be a decent HDR
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Old 27-09-2007, 19:18   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Very interesting to read all of your comments on HDR raised by Alan.

May I add that to get the best start in obtaining the shots (probably 3) is that you should use a very good tripod so that the camera takes three identical positioned shots and not to try and get results initially by a hand held camera. This is to eliminate the errors in the overlay of the three shots

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Old 28-09-2007, 08:30   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Thank you all for your replies, I will be giving it a go.
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Old 28-09-2007, 12:33   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

I wrote a beginner's guide to HDR tutorial for another forum, but not sure what the rules are here for linking to it? Could somebody please advise if it's OK and, if so, I'll post a link.

I've found church/cathedral interiors to be good candidates for HDRs: you often have bright stained glass mixed with dimly lit stonework, and the ethereal look you can achieve with HDR seems to suit the subject matter perfectly. Here's one from Salisbury Cathedral:



I know exactly what people mean about the 'painted look'. It doesn't suit every image but sometimes I quite like the artificial feel. Here's an example:

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Old 28-09-2007, 12:45   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by GainfulShrimp View Post
I wrote a beginner's guide to HDR tutorial for another forum, but not sure what the rules are here for linking to it? Could somebody please advise if it's OK and, if so, I'll post a link.
Couldn't you copy it from there and post here? We don't allow linking to other forums. Sorry!

#1 looks good - as you say, interiors work well for HDR. Think it's because throwing light around indoors looks OK

But I'm not a fan of the #2 "look" - tho' realise it's really no different from any other processing (I'm thinking 'chocolate box' dodge and burn - which I've been known to do, on occasion!)
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Old 28-09-2007, 13:49   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

Cheers, GS - a great guide too!

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...ing-18219.html
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Old 28-09-2007, 15:55   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

This is an interesting area of photography which I have just started dabbling in but clearly some already have a lot of experience. I have tried manually combining which was OK but took many hours and I have tried Photomatix which took seconds and was much better. Following advice elsewhere on this Forum, I have also used PS CS3 and converting from HDR to 16 bit Tiff using 'Equalize Histogram' followed by some additional tonal adjustments before the final conversion to 8 bit.



The above was produced from 3 different Raw images at different exposures using a tripod and processing with PS CS3 only.
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Old 28-09-2007, 16:49   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

GainfulShrimp how long have you been using potomatix, your images are great ! !
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Old 28-09-2007, 17:08   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Pictures taken in HDR

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GainfulShrimp how long have you been using photomatix, your images are great ! !
Thanks J. I think I first tried it in early 2006. I've only had my 20D since summer 2005, so that would seem about right.

Photomatix is a lot of fun. The 'align images before blending' option is a real bonus as it allows you to do bracketed HDR without a tripod, if you've got a relatively steady hand - by using continuous shoot mode combined with autobracketing. It works best this way with IS lenses though, because the +2EV shot often requires (relatively) lengthy exposures.
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