Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > HDR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default Cityscape

Yesterday I decided to see if I could pull off a big picture. So I spent lunch playing with my camera - I was pleased with the way it came out, though it's probably hard to see at this small size.



Each frame is 5 different exposures using the auto exposure bracketing feature, 2 stops between shots. I used a tripod and shot vertical, not landscape. There's 11 different frames making up the picture. I used Photomatix for the HDR portion and CS4's merge to panorama to stitch the frames together (stitched half then flattened and saved. Corrected a perspective problem caused by my tripod not being straight for the first half. Did the second half, flattened and saved. Stitched the two together). I'd want a true pano tripod head if I were going to do this very much - even though I was shooting with a tripod, I still didn't have perfect alignment.

What I found so extraordinary about this exercise was that it didn't take much work on my part - the computer did all the hard stuff. The hardest thing I did was the actual shooting (lining up the tripod, setting up the exposure and auto bracketing, making sure each frame overlapped). After that, it was all Photomatix doing it's thing (I did make a few slight adjustments to its settings for the first frame, then processed all of the others using the same settings) and Photoshop doing it's thing for the stitching. I did a couple of puzzles while waiting on the computer to finish.

Here's a link to the version that's going to end up on my screen saver at work - it's 1020 pixels high and over 4000 pixels wide, so the file is big, but I think you can see it better at the larger size. http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p234950842.jpg .

HDR was necessary as this was taken in more or less full sunlight at noon - way too much dynamic range when the buildings vary from dark glass to white/grey marble.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bynx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,585
Default

A joy to look at. I only want to see more. Very nicely done. The small version you posted here doesnt look real. It looks like an excellent architect's rendering of a proposed city. Its the look I love.

Last edited by Bynx; Feb 9, 2010 at 4:26 PM.
Bynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ordo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BsAs
Posts: 3,452
Default

I clicked the loupe and wow!
Ordo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 4:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Walter C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA USA
Posts: 7,760
Default

Great work! I looked at the larger file and was most impressed.
Walter C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 5:04 PM   #5
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

so much detail in that larger shot. i really like panoramic cityscapes. and this is great, very natural use of the hdr, brought out details without overdoing it. excellent job with that.

if you will indulge my nitpicking a little bit. both sides are "funneling" to the middle. if you look at both the buildings and the roads, both sides slope towards the middle. i know this is part of the perspective alignment that photoshop uses, or at least one off the options, and is inevitable in large panoramic photos. but i think you could easily fix it with the perspective tools, especially if you have some extra room to play with that you have cropped off for this final version.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 8:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

No problem to straighten the left side - you are right, the original was straight and I probably used "auto" instead of "reposition" when I did the final stitching - easily corrected. I cut off the building on the right side anyway, so cropping a bit more won't be a big deal if I need to. I don't have a lot of room on the left side, I'll see how much I have to adjust - it doesn't look as skewed as the left side. I want to leave both the "camera" and the "Kodak film canister" on the left side in the frame (you can barely see the camera on the version I posted, the Kodak film is completely lost - you can see both in the larger version). When I looked closer this morning I also noticed some ghosting with 2 of the cars - I'll try to do something about them too.

Are there any other suggestions to improve the picture?
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 9:13 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
vvcarpio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 2,524
Default

Congratulations -- it's very nicely done!

Great idea about shooting portrait instead of landscape to stitch cityscape together. I have yet to shoot the NYC skyline. Thanks for sharing and giving out complete instructions!
vvcarpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 9, 2010, 10:34 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I went back and re-did the stitching for the third pano (stitching the two halves together). This time I made sure that I selected reposition and my right side verticals are suddenly straight - the right side skewing had been introduced by Photoshop's merge to panorama auto mode. Also, I copied a couple of cars from the middle exposure, adjusted them to match the HDR so that they would cover up the ones that were ghosted.

vvcarpio - I'm usually long on explaining what mistakes I've made and how not to do something. If there's any possible way to do something wrong, I've probably done it. And to give you another suggestion - it's not a bad idea when you are making complicated changes, it's a good idea to save interim files. I saved the re-done stitching full sized, but forgot to save it with the cloned in cars at full size. After resizing and adding the extra contrast with Detail, I decided I wanted to change the way I had done the last step. Went back to the full sized picture, resized and discovered that it had the ghosted cars. Urrrrrrr!

Here's the file as it stands now.



For the larger version: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p583203749.jpg

Do you have any other suggestions to improve on it?
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2010, 12:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
vvcarpio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 2,524
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
...when you are making complicated changes, it's a good idea to save interim files....
Yes, I work in IT (the evil department ) so you'd think I'd save interim files but I don't. I, too, start from scratch whenever someone here makes suggestions on how to improve an edit of mine. I'm like majority of female doctors who advice female patients to take mammograms when they themselves don't. (I got that fun fact from "Gut Feelings" [2007] by Gerd Gigerenzer).

I guess the trick is not failing to realize that a last edit was "complicated" and then remembering to save under a different filename or folder. I think that feature can be easily built in to most softwares as a one-click operation (word processors, graphics editors, etc.) so I think that's actually a great idea. I hope someone from Adobe, Microsoft, etc. is reading...

EDIT: I just looked at the bigger version -- I see people on the streets, a big camera, Alice in Wonderland, church roof, etc. -- it's a lot of fun to look at. Nice shot from a nice elevated angle and distance.

Last edited by vvcarpio; Feb 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM.
vvcarpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2010, 12:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Ordo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BsAs
Posts: 3,452
Default

Here's the magic camera mtngal is using:



Great work!
Ordo is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:28 PM.