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Old Sep 27, 2009, 4:20 PM   #1
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Default Hdr / photomatix

With HDR becoming more popular myself and a few others have decided to start a thread regarding High Dynamic Range.

All the information you are about to read is easily available around the net and of course from magazines, but seeing as us photographers are at home here why not bring it to the place we love Steve’s DIGICAMS

For my part i will bring you a brief introduction to photomatix pro and a few links so you get a better understanding to HDR.

Most of the question on HDR are : WHAT IS HDR ? HOW DO YOU DO HDR ? HOW DID YOU GET THAT EFFECT?

Well have a look here for a basic understanding .

WHAT WILL YOU NEED.
Well my personal kit consists of when out in the field ( although others may vary.)

CAMERA: well a bit of a no brainer seeing as we are here to take photos.

TRIPOD: if you’re serious about HDR then never go without it.

HOT SHOE LEVEL: not a necessity but i like to have my images as straight as i can, this will also save time on editing later.

REMOTE: again a personal choice but i feel the less movement the better.

Okay let’s have a look at photomatix and get a basic introduction.
Here are 3 images taken in BRKT MODE with different EV spacing for you to try out , unless of course you have taken your own.








Step one

open up photomatix and hit the GENERATE HDR TAB when the new window appears simply locate your three or more images you have chosen to use or simply drag and drop onto the userface as this will work as a short cut.



Step 2

When the next window is displayed make sure you select align images and if when shooting there may have been slight movement select reduce ghosting artifacts , this in no means will work 100% all the time and you may need to use the clone or spot healing tool in photoshop later however it is quite good compared to other HDR softwares out there.



After a bit of chugging by your system a preview will be displayed depending on the power of your computer the time on this will vary once it is displayed simply hit the tone mapping tab a new window will now open displaying the image slightly different than before but with all the tools and feature you will need down the right hand side. (i know the image differs from the ones above LOL)





STEP 3

Now every image will differ from each and everyone’s personal tastes so from here i will simply explain what each slider is for with info gathered.

Strength : controls how vivid you want the HDR image by determine the strength of contrast enhancements.

Saturation : well i think we all have this one covered , controls the intensity of the colours within the frame
Luminosity : move this to the left will give the image a more natural look move to the right it will make the image brighter by boosting shadow details .

Black / white point : these will control the min and max value of white and black in the frame also acts as another control of the whole contrast.

Gamma : controls the brightness or darkness of the midtones

Temperature : controls the relative colour temperature throughout the frame move it left for a cold blue and to the right for a warmer glow.

Saturation highlights and shadows: very important tab and can make a huge difference .... does exactly as they state bring the darker or colour out of the shadows or vice versa.

Microcontrast: controls the level of contrast in local areas of the image.

Microsmoothing : smooth’s out detail enhancements and can have a major impact on the final result however don’t be scared of reducing it to gain the effect YOU want, although it can add a lot of noise you can remove this with a noise reducing program for instance:

noiseware community edition see here

Highlight / shadow smoothing : reduces contrast enhancements in the shadow and highlights areas also helps combat halos.

Shadows clipping: just as it says also helps reduce noise in the shadow areas.

One of the most important things with HDR photography is be prepared to take critique when you post your images as it is impossible to please everyone some will like it some will hate but the most important thing is .... as long as you are happy with the result

now that we have started this thread any questions you have we will try are best to answer

Last edited by simple; Sep 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM.
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 2:43 AM   #2
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Default Good job!

Great introduction to HDR, Simon!

I'm sure a lot of members here will be greatful for this well executed and very neatly lay-outet (?) first lesson. Also good thinking to put in that hdrsoft.com-link which will give everyone an understanding of the basics.

Interesting subject!

Thank you for the time and effort you have made here, Simon!
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 7:27 AM   #3
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Thanks simple! Man, you're pushing me to spend more and more money... ha, ha!
. Do you think hdr can be aplied to p&s (using bracketing option) shots or it's not worth and to get the best of it you really need a dslr?
. Another question: is there some free hdr software to try?
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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ordo most software is available on a trial basis aswell as photomatix -

PHOTOMATIX - http://www.hdrsoft.com/

DYNAMIC HDR - http://www.mediachance.com/hdri/index.html

EASY HDR - http://www.easyhdr.com/

THE ABOVE 3 ARE ALL IN MY COLLECTION MAYBE THERE IS OTHERS? YOU CAN ALSO DO A PSEUDO HDR WITH ONE IMAGE AND GET SOME GREAT INTERESTING RESULTS USING DYNAMIC HDR WITH ONE JPEG OR RAW FILE

PHOTOMATIX CAN DO THIS TOO BUT IT MUST BE A SINGLE RAW.

EASY HDR DOES IT ALSO WITH EITHER FILE BUT CALLS IT LDR ENHANCMENT . (low dynamic range)

Often you will see me tweak some members photos posted here , the above is all i do

Last edited by simple; Sep 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ordo View Post
...is there some free hdr software to try?
Qtpfsgui is free (open source). It's also cross platform (available for Windows, Linux and OS X).
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Looks interesting jim i will give it a quick whizz now THANKS!
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Old Sep 28, 2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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I use Linux most of the time (my PCs are setup in a dual boot config with both Windows and Linux). So, cross platform products are nice from my perspective (so I can use the same product in multiple operating systems). If they're free, that's even better. ;-)
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 9:11 AM   #8
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Not very good, but a sample of a 5 shot hand held HDR.
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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bynx you must have steady hands or did you rest on something?
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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I had my back against a hydro pole. I used the yellow line in the middle as a guide to line up each shot. No cropping here, its all full frame. I just wanted to point out that Photomatix is such a great program lining things up. But I would still recommend a tripod for doing shots such as this.
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