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General photography questions and answers: Discuss What do people think of HDR?...I've noticed that creating an 'HDR' technique is becoming quite popular, especially on flickr but I wondered what the members ...
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Old 26-01-2007, 19:17   #1 (permalink)
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What do people think of HDR?

I've noticed that creating an 'HDR' technique is becoming quite popular, especially on flickr but I wondered what the members here thought of it. I couldn't find any mention of it on the forums but I didn't look very hard.

I had a play around with a trial of photomatix and quickly came up with this to show what I mean. The subject and composition is terrible but that's not what I'm trying to show.

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Old 26-01-2007, 21:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

I'm not a big fan of anything that requires major automation to do the work. I'd prefer to combine the images manually and have more control over the output.

That said, I don't really know enough about the process involved in HDR to comment on whether or not it can be acheived manually.

I think some images make really good use of the technique and others go too far and look terrible.

I've tried some of the software currently available for HDR and I wouldn't use (or purchase!) any of them.
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Old 26-01-2007, 23:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

As with most photographic genres, HDR photography can be fantastic and can be rubbish. There are some pictures that couldn't be captured in one shot no matter how clever you are but HDR allows you to capture the scene that your eyes saw by letting you capture different lighting ranges and bring them together. A beautiful dusk sky, the mid-tones of a coastal road and the dark tones of a harbour with the reflection of lights in the water.... put them all together and you have a beautiful scene but trying to capture it in one shot is a non-starter. Bracketing can get you different shots to put together and HDR is just an extension of that.

Without question, done well the results of an HDR combined image can be absolutely stunning.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 27-01-2007, 07:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

When trying to sell a previous house, like Steve I used Photomatix to get the exposure correct for inside of room , plus exterior through the window. A very clever piece fo software, but often over used in the field. I prefer subtle HDR, where you question whether it has been used or not ........ less is more as they say

P-E has done some excellent work with HDR on some of his interior shots of Cathedrals etc. He may even have used it on the latest shot in Curves Fortnightly Assignment....I'm sure he'll correct me if wrong
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Old 27-01-2007, 09:17   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
Without question, done well the results of an HDR combined image can be absolutely stunning.

Cheers,
Rob
I can't argue with that .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
P-E has done some excellent work with HDR on some of his interior shots of Cathedrals etc. He may even have used it on the latest shot in Curves Fortnightly Assignment....I'm sure he'll correct me if wrong
I just used the LucisArt plugin which I use in most of my shots now and just adjust to taste (not everyone's cup of tea though).

I have an FM plugin for HDR which is pretty basic which I have used on some of my indoor shots but never used Photomatix.......just can't seem to achieve some of the stunning results I have seen around
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:55   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

I agree that HDR is easy to overdo so the image looks artificial, but (as has been said) if handled carefully it can produce great results. The latest version of Photomatix can produce a tone-mapped image from a single RAW file - although that is not the recommended way to do it.

I tried this with a pic I took the other day that had way too much dynamic range for a single image...

Non-HDR pic after a lot of tweaking in Lightroom to boost shadows and recover some highlights...


Processed from the RAW file in Photomatix...


Neither would win any prizes, but an interesting comparison perhaps?
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Old 27-01-2007, 15:02   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

I like HDR, I only wish I could master it.
It's not something I'd do all the time it's an option on creativity though.
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Old 27-01-2007, 18:33   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What do people think of HDR?

Silk's pair of images is very helpful and unless I know absolutely nothing about photography, the second image is most definitely better than the first. I am not saying it is perfect, but it is a good image with lots of detail and colour and a far more interesting shot than the first one.

HDR can do really spectacular stuff and I stick with what I said that done well, HDR can be superb, done badly it can be a mess.... pretty much like any other field of photography

Cheers,
Rob
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