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-   -   Sharing My First HDR (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/hdr-98/sharing-my-first-hdr-165811/)

AaronB Feb 6, 2010 2:05 PM

Sharing My First HDR
 
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I really should slow down and get to know my new FZ35, along with basic theory...but it was hard to resist trying a quick HDR with Photomatix, experimenting with settings as I went. Please forgive the watermark: I'm not against paying for registration but I do want to know that I'm going to use something before I pay for it, especially since it sounds like there is editing software that will also do HDR. However, I've yet to explore any other software options, save the SilkyPix program that the Pany came with, so I'm not sure about anything yet!
Normally I wouldn't take a sun rise/set shot littered with cars--and a For Sale sign!--but I was grabbing the paper off the driveway this morning and had to grab the camera after I saw the clouds.
I used the auto-bracket setting maxed to +/-1 in P Mode; the middle exposure follows the HDR image. I would have liked for the blue in the sky to pop a little - would that be helped by adjusting Tone Curves?
Ha. I totally forgot about reading the paper.

mtngal Feb 6, 2010 3:33 PM

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A picture with lots of potential - the HDR is definitely nicer than the middle exposure. If you don't mind, I did a very quick change to it, to brighten the sky a bit. It took out some of the grey in the sun as well as restoring the blue in the sky. If you don't like it let me know and I'll remove it. All I did was use a levels adjustment layer (I use CS4, but this can be done the same way in Photoshop Elements - I don't know about Silky Pix). While I liked the way the global adjustment handled the sky, I thought it was too light for the cars, so I added a gradient mask to block out the adjustment from the lower part of the picture (this take a couple of clicks - VERY easy). I thought this managed to bring back what you liked about the sky, without affecting the other good things that the HDR software did.

I'm sure others will have different ways of adjusting things, I just get along well with levels better than with curves.

And as far as trying before you buy - very wise. I bought a software program sight unseen because of the reviews and hated it - never could manage to get what I wanted out of it. So kick the tires, play with it, see whether you'll keep using it before you plunk down money.

Hards80 Feb 6, 2010 3:57 PM

hey aaron, good first attempt at hdr. and mtngals endit helped give it a little more "pop"

i am guessing from the softness you shot this handheld?

so then going for only +1/-1 is probably ok, as the +evs can really bring down the shutter speeds.

if you are doing to really do it right, use the tripod and then bracket a +2/-2. that will give you a wider exposure range to work with, and you will see the difference in the shadows and highlight detail.

nice first attempt though, great cloud texture. look forward to more.

AaronB Feb 6, 2010 4:43 PM

Mtngal, your change is nice. I appreciate you telling me what you did, too. And it's definitely what I meant about the sky. It seems the more I read the more I see "layers" and "masks" as fundamentally important to post-processing. So much to learn!

Yes, Hards', this was handheld. I'll definitely try bracketing manually using +/-2 with a tripod next time.

Thanks for the feedback!

mtngal Feb 6, 2010 6:18 PM

Don't be intimidated by layers and layer masks - all it means is that you can make changes to specific parts of your picture (of course, I thought layer masks were very mysterious until I read an article that told me to click on a button, choose a brush and start painting on the layer that was created when I clicked on the button. That's how easy they can be). They are really very easy to use, and you can get great results without understanding everything about Photoshop. I'm constantly learning new things and ways of doing something with Photoshop, it's all great fun and I've only scratched the surface of what's available.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes (always work on a copy of the original) - playing with post processing doesn't cost anything except some time.

Chato Feb 7, 2010 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtngal (Post 1049028)
Don't be intimidated by layers and layer masks - all it means is that you can make changes to specific parts of your picture (of course, I thought layer masks were very mysterious until I read an article that told me to click on a button, choose a brush and start painting on the layer that was created when I clicked on the button. That's how easy they can be). They are really very easy to use, and you can get great results without understanding everything about Photoshop. I'm constantly learning new things and ways of doing something with Photoshop, it's all great fun and I've only scratched the surface of what's available.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes (always work on a copy of the original) - playing with post processing doesn't cost anything except some time.

You have the delightful gift of making your HDR shots look like a normal photograph. Which, in my opinion, is what to strive for.

Dave


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