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Old Nov 28, 2009, 2:38 PM   #121
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Walter S,
Your stuff with the Panny is dynamite. A SLR in your hands would be nuclear.
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Old Nov 28, 2009, 2:54 PM   #122
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At the transfer station and intriged by the colors. Light coming from all over the place so shot HDR. What do you think?

if you still have the shots download the trial of easy hdr and see what the result is i think you would get a better result
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 11:57 AM   #123
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The K-7 allows you to take 3 or 5 bracketed shots and you can set it for anything between 1/3 to 2 stops between frames. I tend to leave the camera set for 2 stops between frames and 5 exposures - having that great of a range was important for this scene, though it isn't always useful to have such extreme ranges. I don't always use all of the frames, if there's not any information in the extreme ends of the series. I've had better results with the K-7 than I did with the K20. The K-7 has a EV compensation range of +/- 5 stops total, so setting 2 stop between frames really does give you from -4 to +4 range.

The K20 lets you set 2 stops between frames and 5 frames, but it doesn't actually do a full 4 stops between the "0" and the most under/over exposed shot - the EV compensation is only +/-3 stops, and when I was using it, it seemed like the lightest and darkest frames looked like they were 3 instead of 4 stops different. For lots of scenes this is really all you need, but there were times when I wanted more, and I wasn't about to try to remember all of the figures to set the appropriate exposure settings manually.

The K-7 also has the ability to do HDR in-camera, where the camera does all the work combining 3 frames itself. I know it really takes 3 pictures rather than just "pushing" shadows or pulling back highlights, because the first time I tried it, it was windy and I got ghosting in the tree leaves. It has a more limited dynamic range capability since it's only 3 frames, and it has NO tolerance for camera movement, making a tripod necessary. But I've found in some cases it gave me a better shot than the one I got from photomatix and it saves you the extra processing time. If I'm just out with a tripod and not pressed for time I'll do both, then keep which one I like better.

Like you, Walter, I've been having much more fun and more success with the K-7's HDR capability.
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 12:57 PM   #124
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...Your stuff with the Panny is dynamite....
Thanks for your faith in me, paniolo! I'll try not to explode then....
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Old Nov 29, 2009, 1:12 PM   #125
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The K-7 allows you to take 3 or 5 bracketed shots and you can set it for anything between 1/3 to 2 stops between frames.
The K-7 has a EV compensation range of +/- 5 stops total, so setting 2 stop between frames really does give you from -4 to +4 range.

Thank you for your thourough comments on the K-7. You have quite a lot going for you in that camera, mtngal! Looks like that camera is tailor-made for HDR-shots. Very nice. Must have a look at it sometimes. Pity its so expensive. A bit over my budget.

Price for the house only is the equivalent of $ 1770,- or NOK 10.000,-


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Old Nov 29, 2009, 3:14 PM   #126
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Since I'm at it here, I might as well post another HDR. It's been a while since I did, so here we go.

I call this picture - "King of the hill" because, even though all other trees around this one have shed their leaves, this guy had an almost full green foliage to show. It looked as if this particular tree was not really in synchronisation with the season, or didn't want it to end...



BTW: The sky is not 'blown', it was just one of these days when the sky was covered in a mass of white-grey matter, as if someone had put a lid on!


...
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 12:09 AM   #127
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I love your tree! Another good example of natural HDR, it's very well done.

Give the K-7 about 6 months - I wouldn't be surprised if they sell for under $1,000 by then. As it is now, while it's pretty expensive, it does offer a lot. The HDR capability, both in-camera and the extra exposure bracketing, was very high on my list of wants with this camera. The other feature I really wanted (faster AF/higher frame rate) hasn't been used/appreciated half as much.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 7:12 AM   #128
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Thanks, mtngal!

I think its rather fun to keep up this thread here and a little committing as well as it might just proof useful for newcomers seeking info about HDR as well, so I'll post another one straight away.


One of the gates in the old fortification surrounding the Old Town of Fredrikstad. Beneath the crest it says: 1727


And, as usual, the inevitable middle-exposure:

Take care!
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 8:24 AM   #129
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Once again two really beautiful HDR's from you, Walter! That natural look is exactly the style I like the most - you wouldn't think it's a HDR if you dont't see the mid-exposure!

At weekend I tried to do some HDR's the first time with DPHDR and Photomatix Pro - with DPHDR the pictures looked OK, but with Photomatix they came out really boring, the colours looked really pale (?)....

..so I'm really interested in your settings - maybe you can tell me (and the other user) something about how to get this great natural look, that would be great!
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:52 AM   #130
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Thank you, maggo!

About your request of the "best" settings in Photomatix: Its really not easy to give advise on "standard"-settings, because it varies from picture to picture, depending of how your exposures are, and each picture needs different settings. First of all, you need good exposures for a good HDR. If you have not got enough values, your HDR will not become any better.

Good old (he is actually much younger than me...) http://forums.steves-digicams.com/members/simple.html has made a very useful introduction about settings and a description of what each function does on page #1 in this thread - have you read it yet? Picture Nr. 3 in step 2 of 'simple's very informative cookery recepie on page #1 shows some of the most used function-keys.

On the 'Details Enhancer'-Tab, I ususally start out with...

- 'Strenght' at about 50 and increasing up to 80-85, depending of how much contrast I want, or the picture needs.

- 'Color Saturation' I never go below 50 but ususally end up around 70-75 (I like saturated pictures).

- 'Luminosity' you must play around a bit, depending of how low-key or high-key your picture is.

After Luminosity comes the most important choice to be made:

- 'Light Smoothing' or just 'Smoothing' - Where you are given 5 choices. The 5th choice = 'MAX' or 'Very High' (depending on which version Photomatix you have) is the one most close to the 'Natural'-look. I ususally use the highest or second-highes (most natural) choices here.

- 'Microcontrast' - Play around, but change one setting at a time only and see what it does to your picture. I am always on the +side of the values, usually all the way up to 10. Be aware that this setting has quite an interacting with function 'Micro Smoothing' under section 'Smoothing Settings' further down. You can play those two functions together.

The next section: "Tone Settings" is just like your LEVELS-function really. You will find it under 'Enhance' -> 'Adjust Lighting' -> 'Levels' in Photoshop Elements, with the 'White-point' and 'Black-point'-sliders.

Be careful not to use the 'Gamma'-function too much, you can do that later in PE or CS anyway. Because your rendering from Photomatix ususally needs some change anyway.

------------------------------
The section 'Color Settings' is easy. Just play around and see what happens to your picture.
------------------------------

With the 'Smoothing Settings' below it's different. This is where you fine tune the smoothing of the output, and its hard to give definite advise. I have done a 'print screen' for you of one of my own HDR's for your information. But be aware that each picture needs individual attention!

The function 'Highlights Smoothing' is one of the most important one. Watch the sky when you alter the settings there!

Good luck - and I hope that this will help you on your way! BTW - you could just post your examples her so we can look at it as well.
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Last edited by Walter_S; Nov 30, 2009 at 10:14 AM.
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