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Old Mar 14, 2010, 7:50 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Ancientritual View Post
It's all good. This forum is all about sharing ideas and opinions. All of us are individuals with various backgrounds. I did a lot of oil paintings when I was a teenager and that has carried over to photography. Without good composition a photograph will fail no matter what you do to it. Sooner or later HDR will fade away. Just a matter of time before technology catches up to it...
Wise words.
Don't know why, but this thread makes me remember an old cartoon:

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Old Mar 14, 2010, 7:59 PM   #102
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Chato,
Yes these 2 are very nice shots but neither has a large dynamic range that would necessitate HDR.

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.. To me, his middle shots look flat and bland compared to his processed HDR finals. The finals look clearer, sharper and brighter than the middle shot. And this is the point of HDR. If you are going to compare the output to that done by working on the Raw file, I say dont bother.
Yes, if you have a look at the centre shot in the "Best approach" thread, it is much worse than just "bland" . What I am suggesting is that well edited RAW's are as good as or better than HDR's in most cases I've seen. A good editor like Sagelight makes it very easy to get whatever look you want ... clearer, sharper, brighter, more saturated or whatever. Here's an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4TLog_3dkM

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Originally Posted by Walter S
IMO I would never have been able to show that beautiful texture of the tree-truncks without the use of HDR. Maybe somebody else would (although I doubt it), but my knowledge of Ps is very limited.
I'd be interested to have a try if you'd like to post the RAW for the shot. Mind you, I'm no expert either ... just a bumbling sod who is trying to learn by experience.

I'd be very interested to see what you can do with HDR using the images I've uploaded in the "Best approach" thread. Many thanks.

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Originally Posted by Bynx
If working Raw files proves to be better than using HDR software what does that prove? Using the software is fun.
I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone other than myself. I'm very keen to find out the best ways to get the best shots. I'm open to anything. I know all the theory ... I just want to see what works best for me in practice.
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Old Mar 14, 2010, 8:14 PM   #103
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amcam if you believe you can do better with a Raw file than others can with HDR specific software then good for you. Go do it.

So you like Sagelight. Fantastic. Go use it.

"a bumbling sod" -- you go that right. But trying to learn by others experience. Why not do the experiments yourself and post YOUR results. Afterall its you that has to be convinced. Not the rest of us.

Finally if you want to see what works best for you in practice then do the homework yourself. Use your camera and do whatever it is you are trying to prove to yourself. If you dont like the nice shots produced in the HDR thread, dont let the door slam you in the ass on your way out.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 11:47 AM   #104
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But this is an HDR thread and not one devoted to Photoshop.
Better re-read the title of this thread...

This thread is here to discuss HDR, not individual HDR shots. HDR is not an alien creature divorced from photography.


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Its to show the results of using HDR software in specific. If someone was to do an HDR looking shot using Photoshop or some other program then by all means show it and explain what you did. But to go on and say its better and that everyone should embrace that way isnt right. I dont think it has to be pointed out to anyone how good Photoshop is. Many who dont use it are envious of those who do. Its quite unecessary because Photoshop is available to everyone, from the rich to the poor.
There are quite a few image processing programs, which if they do not match Photoshop in the totality of their options - Certainly have enough options to please anyone. Heck, I've owned or used ten or twenty different programs; even used to write a column on Image Processing.


Another quote Chato:
Quote:
I will pause and give you some advice.

You have spent a while in mastering Photomatrix. A good idea! You really enjoy these landscape shots, and HDR is often a key tool in the process.

But the primary tools of a photographer in todays world is the digital darkroom. Whether Photoshop, or any other image processing program. It would seem to me that a photographer, deeply immersed in his dark room, is handicapping themselves by investing all that time and trouble in learning only one tool in his tool box, when there are so many others there, laying around and demanding to be used.

I ask, has it occured to you to process your different exposure BEFORE you use Photomatrix?

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Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
Why would he do that even if it did occur to him? He has a procedure which works very well. Why change it, unless it doesnt work any more? And if he can do it without using Photoshop more power to him. While you say you arent knocking HDR I still dont understand what it is you are trying to do? Whatever it is it isnt working. One thing I do agree with is your last statement about photographers immersing themselves in the dark room handicapping themselves with one program. HDR is one look to a photo. There are others such as the Orton Effect, the Dave Hill look all kinds of styles which are shown by the likes of Spy, Dwayne Oakes, Torgny and others. Explore it all, but for now this thread is for those who are exploring HDR in all its colorful and b&w glory.
I use a Raw converter. Lots of bells and whistles. Why bother going any further?

Walters "process" that works so well is his skill with a camera. His minds eye and brain "see" things better than most of us. That's great. In addition he took the time to learn the hardware, the "tool" with which the above is done.

Could it be that the next step is important as well? I.e. the darkroom?

Could it be that individually processed images will merge with even better results than he gets without them?

NB. My advice was ABOUT HDR and how to get the most out of the software he is using. It was NOT about substituting Photoshop for HDR (Although if he was a Photomatrix user he could use it directly in Photoshop).

I gave advice. He doesn't have to take it...

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Old Mar 15, 2010, 1:57 PM   #105
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Here's a quick and lousy example (100 percent crops).

If the only modification to the images is simple noise removal BEFORE applying photomatrix, what is the result?

Using identical settings for both images.

Can you tell which one had the noise removed? Hmm? Not exactly complex changes.






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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:28 PM   #106
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Another example. Shortely after the above post I went around looking for, err, HDR scenes. Really couldn't find any, probably because my eye refuses to see them. But I did shoot a bracketed shot of an alley...

Here are two versions - One in which the three images had noise removal and a little unsharp mask applied BEFORE putting them through Photomatrix, and the other in which the images were brought directly into Photomatrix. 100 percent crops...

Bet you can't tell the difference...






Now I wonder what would happen if I messed around with contrast, shadow, brightness, saturation, etc, etc (leaving exposure alone)?

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Old Mar 15, 2010, 6:36 PM   #107
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Its this crusade to shoot down HDR software that baffles me.
Nobody is trying to shoot down anything ... I'm sure this includes Chato. As Hards80 pointed out at the start of this thread, it is a philosophic discussion. No one is attacking you. If you feel threatened, that is your stuff.

Personally, I was initially very keen on HDR but now I'm having trouble seeing how it can be of any benefit to me ... but that's just me. I'm not trying to convince anyone. As I've said on several occasions, please post a RAW, together with the +/- 3EV shots, as well as your HDR, so we can discuss the relative merits of HDR vs other approaches in practice.

Here's a non HDR shot that has what I think is a lovely "HDR look" if you want to call it that ... with minimal halos.



Unedited version:

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Old Mar 15, 2010, 8:49 PM   #108
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"Personally, I was initially very keen on HDR but now I'm having trouble seeing how it can be of any benefit to me ... but that's just me. I'm not trying to convince anyone. As I've said on several occasions, please post a RAW, together with the +/- 3EV shots, as well as your HDR, so we can discuss the relative merits of HDR vs other approaches in practice.

Here's a non HDR shot that has what I think is a lovely "HDR look" if you want to call it that ... with minimal halos."


I agree with this challenge. I have been making my own HDR images in Photoshop for years using the layering methods, not an automated plugin or program. (and i didnt even know it)

By doing the HDR in photoshop by my own methods, i learned a lot about techniques and layering effects and it has made me very quick at the whole pp process. This is because i see how every little effect is applied singly and how the photo reacts to it.

I think while the HDR programs are great, they are a little too automated to where you might see what the processing is doing to the photo and yes it is as easy as clicking a button; but do you really know what process is actually being applied to the picture to acheive it? With actual HDR programs, I find very few times when I cant acheive the same effect with normal image filtering using one decently exposed image. On top of that, if you had to recreate the photo without the program, would you know where to begin? those automated buttons can be great, but major handicaps that keeps us from actually learning and more or less observers of modern technology.


Does anyone agree?


I too am not arguing its usefullness because i too enjoy the look and technique but we all have to keep in mind the artistic effect and processing methods we use individualize our photos. It is just awesome how we can all take the same photo and create so many different outcomes.


I would, for fun, love to see a challenge of HDR vs. normal processing to see if there is really anything terribly different other than the road we take to reach our destination.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 2:35 AM   #109
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I have to admit before I heard of Photomatix and HDR it never occurred to me to take a number of shots under and over exposed and normal to get that dynamic range. Whatever tool or software program you use to achieve your results Im pretty sure in saying you can do it in Photoshop. There are so many ways to skin a cat its pretty surprising as to how many. There are lots of ways in Photoshop to create an image or a look. Layers, plugins, actions, in combination or separately. When I found Photomatix it was a mystery program that produced neat looking pics. As I got to understand the sliders and what they do and how they affect the outcome the results became more predictable and pleasant to look at. I have to admit I like your shot of the P38 amcam. Id almost think it was an HDR. And if its not so what. Its what it looks like that counts. I dont understand comparing HDR software to doing it the old fashioned way with Photoshop etc. For me its enough to show the pic even say how it was done and leave the rest to the viewer. Here I keep seeing someone post a pic then someone else says Oh, I could have done that in Photoshop. Good. So what? It doesnt matter the road you travel its the destination that counts. If you arent bashing the HDR software then what is this thread for? There are a couple of different agendas for a couple of you. Ones trying to prove something to himself, another trying to change the minds of the masses. Why not just keep it simple and keep the criticisms to what you see without comparing? Like I said earlier, this seems like a rabbit hole that goes nowhere.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 12:22 PM   #110
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HDR does have value, that is why every camera maker in the world is trying to duplicate it to some extent or another. What it all comes down to personal choice. If you feel the program will help you in your workflow, by all means use it. If you feel that your photos are better off without it, then more power to you. People just need to climb off there high horse take a deep breath and enjoy photography. A HDR photo can be corrected, a photo with bad composition cannot...
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