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mtngal Feb 7, 2010 1:48 PM

Tree in HDR
While playing around with a trial plug-in, I went looking through old pictures that might benefit from it. For the most part, I was looking through some pictures that I hadn't bothered doing anything with for some reason, and had mostly forgotten about. This is an HDR I did back in the summer, the first day I tried a couple of new lenses - thought this one was fun and worth a look. The scene was well beyond the dynamic range of my camera - the sun was very bright.

5 frame exposure bracketed series, 2 stops between frames:

VTphotog Feb 7, 2010 5:50 PM

Nice! There is an amazing amount of detail for a picture of that size. You have gotten a really good balance of color shadow and light. It looks very natural.
What plugin is it you are using? It seems to do a nice job, but that could be your skill showing again.


Bynx Feb 7, 2010 6:06 PM

Very nice and that subtle bit of sunlight shining through...brilliant.

mtngal Feb 7, 2010 6:45 PM

Thanks! This was done with Photomatix, then a bit of extra contrast added in LR (I think - I usually do with Photomatix pictures), then I used Topaz Lab's Detail (the new plug-in I'm playing with) for a bit of sharpening (it didn't need much) and a bit of change with the green. I'm not quite sure I've figured out quite what it does when you move that particular slider, but it changed the brightness of the green and I liked it. It's a bit fantasy, but not hugely so. It was nice that the old tree didn't have any straight lines - the picture didn't need to be de-fished. This was my first real outing with the fisheye and I found it great fun - not something for "serious" pictures.

Bynx - I did shoot it specifically to get a bit of the sun showing through the branches. Though I didn't have much choice - that's where the sun was and that was the angle I wanted - figured that I'd make use of it.

tsjiaotai Feb 19, 2010 7:07 AM

nice shot mtngal ; the fun thing of this forum is the way it gives me new ideas of shooting stuff - I would never have come up with this technique of shooting bright light trees but now I'll try it ! :)

mtngal Feb 19, 2010 10:31 AM

Trees are tricky when it comes to HDR - the day I shot this it was quite still and California Live Oak trees have small leaves with stiff stems. Taking multiple exposures when it's a bit breezy will not work, especially with larger leafed trees - you'll get ghosting because of the moving leaves. But it's always worth a try if it's around noon and really strong, contrasty light.

MartinSykes Feb 19, 2010 11:05 AM

It's worth trying single-shot HDR on shots like this. A bright sky (but not blown to white) and dark tree (but not clipped to black) is perfect for pseudo HDR.

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