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Old Mar 18, 2010, 3:10 PM   #1
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Talking HDR is not alway the "blessing" we think...

I'll play "Devils Advocat" today and show you some shots where I relly expected HDR Tone-Mappings to "shine" and show everybody that this is the way to go, but when I put the exposures trough the process, I was a little disappointed in how it affected the overall-look and -feel!

At the end of January I managed to persuade my son-in-law, Alasdair (who is a member her as well) to lend me his then rather new Nikon D90 together with his 'special baby' and newest aquirement, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2,8. I could have them both for 24hours......! I went shooting early in the morning, as to take advantage of all the hours agreed.

In the old part of town (Gamle Fredrikstad) I came across a small 'tunnell'-like alley that was 'just made for HDR' and the super wide-angle of the Tokina. - I thought...


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HDR # 1
IMO, the HDR has taken away some of the dark and sinister feel to the tunnel. Also, clearing up the dark 'haze' and giving the eye so much detail of all those bricks to look at, it really makes an 'eye-mess' that is difficult to digest.

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Middle-exposure of # 1- untouched.


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HDR # 2
Here, the amazing detail in the HDR above, the timber-roof and the heavy girders, together with that beautiful texture of the dark wood (which is totally lost in the single-shot below) on the ceiling is kind of overcome by the immense impression of details of all those bricks and somehow lost.
This is my humble opinion, anyway.


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Middle-exposure of # 2 - untouched

Now, I am not saying that the single-shots are neccesarily 'better' than the HDR, but the process of HDR has taken away something I cannot put my finger to.

Can you? Do you feel the same, or am I the odd-one out? Maybe I should make an appointment with my docor and get the inside of my head checked out...?


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...

Last edited by Walter_S; Mar 19, 2010 at 2:19 AM.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 3:34 PM   #2
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As I've said on a number of threads, I like to capture what I see. This is a matter of "taste."

But for the moment, sticking to My taste, I will say that some scenes benefit from the HDR process, and some scenes do not.

Since you wanted to capture the feeling of this scene, HDR didn't work out as planned. Other images you've posted of HDR scenes Do work out.

So HDR becomes one of an array of powerful tools offered to us - to use when appropriate.

(The question of making "Art," is a different matter entirely)

But your single shot middle exposure of number two, can be considerably more detailed. Here's my remake done by altering the exposure level, increasing the saturation, and applying a small amount of unsharp mask. Can't match HDR, but certainly provides an interesting alternative to either the HDR or the unprocessed image.



Dave

Last edited by Chato; Mar 18, 2010 at 3:35 PM. Reason: Typo (one of many)
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 4:30 PM   #3
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Sometimes matching your taste or how you remember the scene looking is more important than what the scene artificially looks like after being run through the HDR process. Actually, I would say that should always be the priority unless you're just into creating a fantasy shot. That last rendition you posted looks great.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 2:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
...matching your taste or how you remember the scene looking is more important than what the scene artificially looks like after being run through the HDR process...
Wise words and catching the essence of what my aim with this thread was. Thank you Greg!
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter_S View Post
I'll play "Devils Advocat" today and show you some shots where I relly expected HDR Tone-Mappings to "shine" and show everybody that this is the way to go, but when I put the exposures trough the process, I was a little disappointed in how it affected the overall-look and -feel!...
In the first place congrats on your new Tokina 11-16! Ah, before I couldn't wait any longer and purchased the sigma 10-20, I hoped they had made it for pentax mount as well...
Anyway! As for playing the Devil's Advocate', I belive it would only cause inflation considering there are just enough of them (excluding Greg of course). Oh, I but I get what you mean mate : )
''...but the process of HDR has taken away something I cannot put my finger to.''
You mean sth. like 'chiaroscuro'? This is what I pointed out in my earlier posts that an hdr shooter is not someone who walks around his camera set to exposure bracketing always and the application of any hdr software is only the middle step of the three step process of attaining reality we can perceive through our eyes. I believe you can still get a more credible result from your hdr output after the refinement session in the Photoshop, since the middle shot alone is insensitive to light coming from your back and the resultant gradual shadings, however the emphasis is on the front.

Cheers,
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:38 AM   #6
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personally i wouldnt expect the bricks being of so much colour to the eye being in a tunnel / underpass
ive only worked with the one file walter is this closerto what you saw?






so have you ordered a d90 ?
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Last edited by simple; Mar 19, 2010 at 3:45 AM.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:58 AM   #7
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Thank's Walter for these examples - they really make one think about when to use HDR and when it's result would be not what you expect it to be or to look like

BTW, in this thread you call Al your "son-in-law", in your other new thread your "brother-in-law" - what's the truth, Walter?

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Old Mar 19, 2010, 3:59 AM   #8
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so have you ordered a d90 ?

The writing is on the wall. I can see to now. Used G1 and Z28 on ebay...
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bahadir View Post
...You mean sth. like 'chiaroscuro'? ...
Thank you bahadir for your insight in my dilemma!

Yes, of course - it's famouse Caravaggio's and to some degree also Rembrandt's gift to the artist world, Chiaroscuro - the obscured light, that is missing from my photos. The so elegant and obviouse feeling of darkness, below that underpass has been erradicated and neutralized by the HDR-process, which after all, is only doing what it is supposed to do.

I might have guessed it myself, but this is what happenes sometimes when working too long on one picture - you get blind to the obviouse!

Thank's again for stopping by with ever so much insight!
:-))


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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:30 AM   #10
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- is this closer to what you saw?
Yes, definitely so, Simon! You are perfectly right in your analizing the scene - the bricks were much too colorfull for such a dark scene. I like your edits very much! Thanks.



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- so have you ordered a d90 ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancientritual View Post
so have you ordered a d90 ?


About the D90:
- No, I have not, and I will take my time to analize the market for alternatives before I make up my mind.

The D90 is a great camera, no doubt! I have spendt another day (yesterday) with it, walking through the town of Fredrikstad - shooting all kinds of shots (freehand) just to get aquainted with the handling (a bit heavy to carry around all day with the 16-85mm zoom...) of it, and I am impressed by the clarity of the optical viewfinder. It's amazing how good a view one gets and how well-lit it is (coming from a digital VF), and it metered and focused perferctly. It has a solid feel in my hands.

My only hesitation is the rather limited AE-Bracket of only 3 shots in a row, as I usually do minimum 5 shots for my HDR's, and if contrasts are very high, I switch to 7 shots with my G1.

Everybody keeps telling me that I indeed can change the exposure compensation after the first round of 3 and do another 3 shots, but it is not the same! Because foliage, waves, moving clouds etc. do change quite a lot in the time it takes to adjust compensations, and there is always the added danger of camera-movement, when fiddeling with settings.


But in the end, every camera is a compromise...
:-))

Last edited by Walter_S; Mar 19, 2010 at 7:34 AM.
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