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Herb Dec 4, 2014 10:48 PM

A first effort at HDR
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Between now (early December) and March, Victoria, B.C.seldom has much snow or freezing weather but a couple of days ago we woke up to this scene in our back yard.

It happened to coincide with my having installed on my computers, for the first time, an HDR program called Fusion. It's running under ROBO Linux and under SolydX Linux.

The component images were taken at breakfast time with a tripod-mounted Canon Powershot SD750 that I picked up at a garage sale last summer for $5.

sdromel Dec 6, 2014 6:27 PM

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Dont know much about HDR (used to be talked about somewhat on Leo Laporte computer talk show with Tray Radcliff).

Seems to me (intuitively) that HDR works best with lots of light.

Herb Dec 6, 2014 7:33 PM

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From what I read about it, some people like HDRs that look 'natural' and some would much rather they be attention-grabbing.

This one's my second attempt (also at breakfast time during sunrise), & it certainly doesn't look natural, but I like it because it shows up the red berries on the Mountain Ash tree against the neighbors' roof (top right). And my wife likes it because she thinks that (for Victoria) the whole thing is rather attention grabbing! -

sdromel Dec 6, 2014 11:11 PM

Yes, it is nice.

(The HDR gives it a bit of painting like effect - van Gogh-ish?. In this regard, I enjoy HDR.)

When you do these naturalistic settings, you may want to take effort to minimize lines and poles (power/telephone?).

Herb Dec 7, 2014 11:45 AM

Another try with the back yard
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sdromel -

I incline to think that instead of the the free version of Fusion I may need to download the more complicated version of either it or of Photomatix because I could only get part way to this result. In the end I made more adjustments using Photoshop Elements 3.

Herb Dec 7, 2014 12:34 PM

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The foliage in the picture in my previous posting didn't (I thought) seem green enough & I couldn't change it with Photoshop, so I tried to achieve a further adjustment using the HDR function of Fusion on the single file. It seems to have worked -

Bynx Dec 9, 2014 8:57 PM

Your first photo is the most natural looking. A good HDR should make people go WOW so much detail. If it looks unnatural then people will just comment on the goofy part. Like in the second photo the bright green looks completely unnatural. The third photo looks good. The rest are not worth commenting on. But I will. In the first image you have nice detail in the shadow areas as well as the clouds in the sky. You have nice details in the snow covered grass. But in the last three images the grass is blown. The cement in the foreground looks wrong. They all look too contrasty. There are many ways to create an HDR image, you will find yours. I personally recommend Photomatix. It works for me.

Herb Dec 10, 2014 10:41 AM

Bynx -

Thanks for your comments - I have to agree with them & and I'm especially glad that you recommended Photomatix because yesterday I sent an order for a full working version of it .

Incidentally, my wide & I have just had a good laugh about HDR, because I'd e-mailed our son about it and he's just replied - "That looks very interesting! My phone has HDR but I've never used it."

And only a few minutes ago, I read about the new Nikon D750 and the sample pictures from it - that included some in-camera HDR pictures - took my breath away. So much so that I felt that I'd really like it for Christmas.

In fact on one condition* I'm going to buy one.

*The condition - that we get a lottery ticket that wins the top prize.

Herb Dec 12, 2014 6:54 PM

Am I getting the hang of it?
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This seems (to me) to be a bit more pleasing than my previous efforts. I'm still using a trial version of Photomatix, but I'm hoping my key to the full version will arrive some time next week.

Bynx Dec 13, 2014 4:06 AM

I think if you just bring up your shadow areas a bit then its all thats needed. Your highlights are good and midtones look good as well. Be careful of the greens, like grass. Dont let it get too nuclear yellow like Homer Simpson fuel rods. The road texture looks great with total detail. Doing multiple exposures on a windy day will give you multiple exposures of branches, and cars and people will also be multiple. Easy fixes just by selecting them when the program asks you. Photomatix is a great program. I think much better than in camera shots. You should be in control of the final image, not the camera.

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