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Old Mar 16, 2010, 12:29 PM   #111
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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...
You got that right. Ive seen some pretty good HDR of absolutely bad pictures. Then again Ive seen some bad HDR of pretty good pictures. But as you say one can be fixed, the other not.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 1:29 PM   #112
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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.
If I subtracted the italics in your paragraph, I would agree with everything you said. If you recall, my "angry" response to HDR is because of two claims, and one implication.

The claims that HDR will improve any picture, and the claim that HDR always increases detail. The annoying implication is that newbies will think that it's impossible to acquire the full dynamic range of a scene without HDR.

And I will add to your statement, that for some scenes, HDR software is without doubt the easiest and most efficient way to bring out the range of a scene.

Now before you respond to the above, either to us or even to yourself, read the first part of the paragraph - I agree with all of it.

Dave

Last edited by Chato; Mar 16, 2010 at 4:35 PM. Reason: Sheesh, the whole thing is italics...
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 3:12 PM   #113
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Wheewww, it was a long road travelled. Im tired now and going to lie down.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 5:40 PM   #114
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I think while the HDR programs are great, they are a little too automated ...

Does anyone agree?
Yes. Even with a product like Sagelight, it makes a great deal of adjustment very quick and easy to get whatever effect you want but I like to know what's going on beneath the surface to be able to apply effects as well as possible.

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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.
Me too ! Have a try at using the files in the "Best approach" thread ... and of course add some of your own if you wish !

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... The claims that HDR will improve any picture, and the claim that HDR always increases detail. The annoying implication is that newbies will think that it's impossible to acquire the full dynamic range of a scene without HDR.
The "Best approach" thread is a validation of what you are saying ... unless anyone can show otherwise of course.

Many photos shown in this thread (and elsewhere) such as the graffiti shot, definitely don't need HDR because the scene has a low dynamic range.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:24 AM   #115
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I believe that some recent exchanges on other threads in this topic, show why This thread is relevant. Walter posted some superb images, and yes, made use of HDR. Was HDR needed for those images? I believe that without HDR they would have been difficult, if even possible to take. But of course it's not HDR that we see when we look at a photograph. Only in journalism (and not even then most of the time) does an unprocessed image stand on it's own. Post processing has been around as long as photography has been around. When we look at an Adams photograph, we don't dismiss it or applaud it by simply saying, "It was tone mapped."

Yet a member actually stated:

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It's been such a joy to observe them Walter! But your series prove more than just pleasure; a good training for the eye to help the ones to have their eyes REALLY 'see' in their next outing. You may as well have entitled your post 'A triumph of HDR'
A triumph of HDR? Really? It's Walter's triumph, just as when I look at a Van Gogh, it's not a triumph of oil paint.

Doesn't anyone else even comprehend the falsity of this kind of logic, or are people so enamored of the process that they forget what the goal is? And perhaps this should be a wake up call to those who are confusing a particular technique with photography.

Dave
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:31 AM   #116
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A triumph of HDR? Really? It's Walter's triumph, just as when I look at a Van Gogh, it's not a triumph of oil paint.
(Barbarian applauds and cheers)

Technique is just technique. By itself, it is nothing. The technology is just a way to express what you have. If you have nothing, the best technique won't help you.

This kind of talk is unique to photography. You know the difference between photographers and painters? Painters can have long conversations without ever mentioning brushes.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:56 AM   #117
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(Barbarian applauds and cheers)

Technique is just technique. By itself, it is nothing. The technology is just a way to express what you have. If you have nothing, the best technique won't help you.

This kind of talk is unique to photography. You know the difference between photographers and painters? Painters can have long conversations without ever mentioning brushes.
HDR seems to have confused people. The statement I quoted could never have been made about any other photographer in history. Whether a person likes or dislikes Adams, I've never heard anyone say, "His photographs are great/awful because their tone mapped."

Nor have I ever heard a nature photographer applauded or critiqued by someone saying, "That's a great photograph of unsharp mask," because an image of a bird shows all the detail the eye can grasp.

Is it the triumph of unsharp mask?

I find it strange that this break with logic is simply not percieved.

Dave
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 3:10 PM   #118
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I think a new forum could be started for fuzzy, out of focus, noisy, low IQ, you need the 3D glasses, or isn't the layers out of position kind of HDR
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 9:18 PM   #119
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You know the difference between photographers and painters? Painters can have long conversations without ever mentioning brushes.
Excellent !

Is the corollary those who are preoccupied with a specific tool, are not artists ?
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 8:50 AM   #120
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I think a new forum could be started for fuzzy, out of focus, noisy, low IQ, you need the 3D glasses, or isn't the layers out of position kind of HDR
There is a lot of semantic confusion on this subject. Photographers have always wanted to caputure as much range was they could. This term, "HDR," seems to have become an intellectual defense when the dynamic range exceeds what the eye see's, and such images need to be justified.

They need no such justification. But they are part and parcel of that aspect of photography which we call "Art."

Dedicated HDR programs, using layers in Photoshop, and other ways of giving an image more range, are like Post Processing itself, now much easier thanks to the computer then it used to be using a darkroom.

For most critics, of what has to some become a fetish, making the claim that a photograph is in some manner "better," because it's become art is the semantic problem which HDR proponents have fallen into.

Examine this above - How can anyone be a proponent of capturing a scene in the manner the eye does not, and yet call the resulting image "Realistic?"

When I look at many of the images posted in this forum, I am impressed by the way dynamic range is presented to give the viewer the feeling "that they are there." This can of course be done without using any special method - But often enough, using the various HDR techniques, is the Only way to do this.

Adams and others have known this for a hundred years.

Nor is it "wrong" to present an image in a way that persons on the scene would not see - It's not wrong, but it's Art, and not reality.

Dave
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