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Opinion of HDR . . .
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

piticu wrote:
.... I agree that this technique is badly overused


Yes.

HDR certainly has it's place - just not all of the time, every time....


PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is kindda funny when you think that the majority's description of hdri is "unnatural look", cause the hdr has roots in exact problem of compensating larger dynamic range of human eye than that of a digital camera. In other words was an effort to make a picture to look more natural


Now here is the tricky part... You can see when a picture is HDR because you know/see that the dynamic range transcends camera abilities, and as such you may brand it as *unnatural*. On the other hand, the picture may look very close to how the scene looked originally, so most *natural*. I created such a picture just yesterday... It is an obvious HDR creation, yet the colors and mood are close to how it was that evening. The sun was setting, many clouds in the sky hindering the sun's rays in their way to Yerevan. The result was some city parts lighting up in a beautiful golden yellow and others remaining in the shadows. Without HDR, it would have been difficult to capture enough detail in the shadow areas and it would be difficult for me to emotionally relive the moment.



PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another nice example power of HDR! Thank you for sharing!


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fotomachi wrote:
Without HDR, it would have been difficult to capture enough detail in the shadow areas and it would be difficult for me to emotionally relive the moment.



But have you communicated that moment to others with this image? For me the Hdr is still there in front of me, and the artificail tones fight against the depth that is so evident in what seems to me to be half painting half photograph. But I wonder, does this matter? It is a dramatic image.
I think this sort of landscape cries out for a 5x4, ie film! It has the dynamic range to deal with the shot and can even look like a photograph. Wink
Perhaps there is quite a process involved in re-educating our eyes to seeing in print what our mind sees everyday when we look at the world. A new new way of seeing. We've become so accustomed to what a photo should look like that we miss the point of it's reason to be.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see the above example as looking natural.
It isn't as my eyes would see such a scene.
It lacks a full range of highlight and shadow tones. An effort has been made to balance the DR but it has thrown away many natural highlights and deep shadows. The tones are very unbalanced with the mid tones compressed. Overall it looks as if the most of the real dynamic range of the scene has been thrown away.
I have little doubt the original is better and no doubt that a good RAW conversion of the original file would show far more tones.

Could somebody state what they believe the DR of a good print from film (Any type) is and the DR of a well exposed slide on the best stock they can think of?
A link to back up their 'Opinion' would also help!

Edit I started writing my reply before Xpres had posted.
His reference to depth is good and I also agree that this could be a dramatic image. Removing the tones from the picture has of course remove any drama that may have been there.
It is a case of re-educating our eyes to translate a three dimensional scene into a two dimensional image. Have a look at some classical paintings and see if you can find any examples of artificial HDR?
One point he made. Does 5x4 film have more DR than other formats?


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Overall it looks as if the most of the real dynamic range of the scene has been thrown away.
I have little doubt the original is better and no doubt that a good RAW conversion of the original file would show far more tones.

Could somebody state what they believe the DR of a good print from film (Any type) is and the DR of a well exposed slide on the best stock they can think of?
A link to back up their 'Opinion' would also help!


There is no original, only originals. Real HDR images are assembled from multiple exposures, though it is possible to created "HDR" images from a single exposure as well (though it can be discussed what the added advantage of such a HDR image might be). In the case of this photograph, the DR was larger then my D80 could handle, either showing beautiful detail in the clouds or in the city dwellings, but not in both at the same time. In these cases, I apply HDR techniques. The purpose of the photograph is to show the light of the setting sun in the city. The originals cannot show this, since they show either the setting sun or the city with a gigantic white spot in the sky Rolling Eyes On the other hand, I can also imagine it is difficult to see the picture as natural, as it still is an obvious HDR creation. I will quote myself:

Quote:
It is an obvious HDR creation, yet the colors and mood are close to how it was that evening. The sun was setting, many clouds in the sky hindering the sun's rays in their way to Yerevan. The result was some city parts lighting up in a beautiful golden yellow and others remaining in the shadows. Without HDR, it would have been difficult to capture enough detail in the shadow areas and it would be difficult for me to emotionally relive the moment.


This moment was very short lived, not more then 5 minutes. The sun was more often behind the clouds then it could break through them. I was in Yerevan for the last two days of my 5 week trip in Armenia and I didn't particularly like the city. After spending so much time in the countryside, the Big City was just too much for me. But the beautiful colors and feeling generated by the sun breaking through, illuminating parts of the city but the clouds obscuring others, and the sight of Mt. Ararat in the distance, well, that just made my stay in Yerevan worthwile. The image comes the closest to what I have experienced and I really don't see how I could have been able to translate this experience in a single exposure without blowing up the sky or turning the shadows a black pit of Hell Twisted Evil

Good information about DR can be found at this link.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation.
It seems many use HDR to retain detail in a sky with no thought to the Blanket change done to the whole.
There are of course many old trusted traditional ways of doing this without having to resort to HDR plug ins.
Perhaps there lies the answer. Are HDR plug ins/actions just an easy way out?

A correct RAW exposure and a simple Layer mask will save a sky for more 'Effect' try a Polarising filter


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "problem" of HDR images, at least of many of them, is that no display can reproduce HDR. So an HDR picture turns into a tonemapping image and thus loses deep shadows and bright highlights.
If you want that, it's a perfect method to achieve that.
But I like shadows (and highlights) in a picture. That's of course my personal reference.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree I like shadows and highlights as well.
Without them we would not have good images. A full range of tones is essential for most work.
Recently I have even been experimenting, or trying to master specular highlights a technique used to great effect by many of the master painters and some photographers.
As for deep blacks, without them were would we get our contrast? But most importantly are all of those lovely luminosities between. Photography is about capturing and reproducing that infinite variety, not trying to iron it out into blandness. 'Painting with light'
If you want HDR first realise what it should be!

See this old post from Dale_Cotton. Pretty simple stuff but it makes more sense than HDR plug ins.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t13184.html
As things are I have no problem getting a 10 stop DR from my Pentax K10D and a camera like the Canon 5D can manage 12. What more do we want?
Perhaps just the skill to process all that information correctly?
I know Im still learning it everyday.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 exposures, 1 stop in between, Nikkor 24mm 2.8 at f5.6 with .6 nd gradual filter. Blended in Photmatix 3.1, bw conversion and resize in Photoshop


PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really cool! I love it!


PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cezar this is a nice example of good use of the effect.
Your excellent composition and choice of subject is what makes it really work.
Nice Very Happy


PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Cezar your image is very dramatic and works well.

I think this work is like those we have been saying are good and where it should be used, if we have said any negatives it was in the direction of those who over work this process, which seems to be an all too common practice these days.

Jim