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Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:31 AM   #1
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Lightbulb DP-HDR and Ultra Contrast tone-mapping

Interestingly enough, both vvcarpio and I have started a thread here today, concerning some of the other tone-mapping possibilities of DPHDR - which both of us swear by (I do, anyway). He in his thread http://forums.steves-digicams.com/hd...nk-valley.html and this one her by myself.

I am also concerned not to rule out all other tone-map functions that are available in DPHDR, even though they do not appeal to me that much. Those of you who have followed our ventures into HDR, know that I am more concerned in creating 'natural-looking' renderings, instead of going over the top with overcooked samplings of great contrast and halos in the sky around objects - usually trees and buildings.

I found a 5-exposure HDR-shot of a street scene, shot in the middle of December, befor the snow came and covered up these nice kobblestone-paved streets of the 'Old town of Fredrikstad' - which I think is a good example to show 3 different types of tone-mapping.

My usual tone-mapping type if the subject does not contain too many colors is called: 'Eye Catching'. If there are many strong colors in the set, EyeCatching will exaggerate them to look over-processed and un-natural, in which case I go with the 'Smooth Compression' tone-mapping instead, resulting in a less colorful and more natural looking image.



# 1 - 'Eye Catching' tone-mapping:




# 2 - 'Ultra Contrast' - ticked off the SKY-function tone-mapping:




# 3 - 'Ultra Contrast- with scale 6 (out of 6) tone-mapping. 6 gives the most contrast, while 1 gives very dull contrast.


To be fair for comparison, I have not tampered with any of the sliders but used the default-settings for each function.


I hope that you get something out of this little experiment, who knows, maybe we can intice you to try HDR as well?

For myself, I would never use the last two UC-examples, I usually 'play it safe' and use EyeCatching, but I must admit that the UC-versions gave very good increased contrast that could just liven up an otherwise dull picture.....

Last, but not least, the inevitable middle-exposure (0 EV) for comparison.
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Last edited by Walter_S; Jan 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Spelling errores... :o/
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 1:58 PM   #2
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I was at two bookstores (Barnes & Nobles and Borders) the past week or so looking at Photography books with hopefully some HDR content. The ones I found use Photomatix for introducing HDR and explaining HDR-editing techniques. The photography magazines I found also use Photomatix. None cover Dynamic Photo HDR or any other HDR software. So part of my intent for posting about the Halo-Matix tone map is to perhaps contribute some first-hand experience and generate material online. I understand that Photomatix is the most popular but I think maybe DPHDR is being overlooked. I think it is capable of producing good quality output.

Thanks for posting the comparison about DPHDR tone maps, Walter. They and your DPHDR-edited photos help me a lot.

Yes, I, too, swear by DPHDR. However, I haven't used Photomatix (other than the demo version) so I cannot make meaningful comparisons. So far DPHDR exceeds my needs -- after having only played with just a few of its controls -- so I think it is very powerful and it merits being seriously looked at. I wish photography authors, enthusiasts, and professionals would write tutorials, tips, and techniques on DPHDR.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 2:00 PM   #3
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nice comparison walter.

should be useful for many exploring this software. think there could be applicable uses for each of them.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 3:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
I...I understand that Photomatix is the most popular but I think maybe DPHDR is being overlooked. I think it is capable of producing good quality output...
Photomatix was one of the first to emerge and is the best known of the HDR-softwares because it is the easiest to use. Almost anybody can get halve-decent HDR's with Photomatix. Not so with DPHDR.

IMO DPHDR is by far the better software although it is more demanding on the user, naturally. It has many more controls, output-types and tweeking-possibilities, like the curves, the color equalizer and the Hue Shift-functions, all the add-on filters, the Light-Tuner and the White-balance and Match-color-functions. Almost too much to comprehend, but if you take one step at a time, you should be o.k.

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Old Jan 12, 2010, 5:04 PM   #5
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Your first shot is perfect Walter. The rest fall short of that. Too contrasty and unnatural looking. But that first one. Really nice.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 1:39 AM   #6
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Thank you Bynx!

It was really a "Bob's your uncle" type of shot, because it was all there, laid out for me to be taken. The rough texture of the cobbelstoned street, the brick-wall and the rough wooden-panel on the yellow house, together with the low sun at the other end (just behind the lower tree-trunk) played the light just perferct. Waiting for the street to be emty of people was the hardes part.

All I had to do was aim, focus and push the shutter!

And of course the magnificent DPHDR-software doing it's magic...
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 4:18 AM   #7
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Thank you Walter for your interesting comparison - it's a good help for me playing around with that great software!

In this case, I like the "Eye-catching" variant best because of it's natural look. The other to are, as Bynx mentioned before, a bit too unnatural because of the high contrast - but I like them too

I really think it depends on the picture that you want to "convert" to HDR which option of tone-mapping you use - or is there a "one-for-all" solution?
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter_S View Post
Photomatix was one of the first to emerge and is the best known of the HDR-softwares because it is the easiest to use. Almost anybody can get halve-decent HDR's with Photomatix. Not so with DPHDR.

IMO DPHDR is by far the better software although it is more demanding on the user, naturally. It has many more controls, output-types and tweeking-possibilities, like the curves, the color equalizer and the Hue Shift-functions, all the add-on filters, the Light-Tuner and the White-balance and Match-color-functions. Almost too much to comprehend, but if you take one step at a time, you should be o.k.

I disagree with you on this. I find that getting a good natural HDR picture is easier with DPHDR than Photomatix. Photomatix imo has far too many controls to play with, in other words not very user friendly, and it also has a tendancy to make the pictures noisy. DPHDR has more predefined settings, where one of them will often give a reasonable result, and with a few tweaks here and there can give fantastic results.

I find that Photomatix is a less user friendly program and often creates a lot of noise and I have therefor dropped it. DPHDR is my new toy which I became confident with very quickly. I never felt very confident with Photomatix.

What I agree with both you and vvcarpio is that DPHDR will give the best results in most occations.
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Old Jan 19, 2010, 6:17 PM   #9
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Thank you, Walter for all that work. I really like the first one best. I just bought Photomatix and my camera just sent out a firmware update making it have 3 HDR settings built in. There is a standard, an Art(over the top) and a BW. I have been experimenting with all of it.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 1:24 PM   #10
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Well, thanks for your comments, Caryl - and good luck with Photomatix!

HDR is really fun!
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