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Old Mar 3, 2010, 8:19 PM   #11
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MuchŪsimo much better!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 8:23 PM   #12
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Very nicely done again.

The HDR with the girl looks kinda strange, especially her arm and hand.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 9:30 PM   #13
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This is not easy. I like the first set but not the leaves. There is something odd going on with them in most of the pics. Like they arent sharp and have been reduced to indistinct dot patterns instead of leaf shaped. The girl's hand has a bad distortion going on. Perhaps it can be fixed by cloning the hand from your closest shot. Your second set has sharper better looking leaves but they are 'ordinary' looking and didnt capture that HDR look that I actually like. Did you use a tripod for any of the shots?
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 7:39 AM   #14
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I agree (emphatically ), Walter, I am not experienced in Photomatix. But the comments Iím getting here help a lot.

Yes, Jeff, thatís exactly it. Maybe I need both pictures and one thousand words to convey...

Thanks, Ordo. In all honesty, even after all the critique, I still love the way Photomatix rendered the images out-of-the-box, so to speak. Itís probably like a co-worker of mine who insists he loved the images on his brand new HDTV out-of-the-box (and heís been a long-time videophile) even after other co-workers tried to convince him to calibrate it first. Hey, I like subtlety. But I also love and watch all kinds of zombie movies...

(Walter S, I just saw ďDead SnowĒ. I think itís Norwegian. I liked it. ).

Thanks, shoturtle. Yes, my camera had the incorrect settings so the womanís sleeve among others was overexposed. I actually need help on how to fix it (if it can be fixed) but was too shy to ask. (I sometimes find flaws in my own shots but donít mention it so I donít lead steves-digicamers to it.)

#10. Woman with incorrect exposure on sleeve.


Thanks, Bynx. Yes, I was using a gorillapod. Itís very sturdy so I donít think camera shake would be the cause. However, itís possible that the camera might have misaligned some in-between the 5 shots when I nudged the dial to the next shutter speed.

Itís also possible that my global sharpening and increasing contrast produced the dot-like effect on the leaves. What works on straight edges like buildings and windows might not work on leaves. In any case, I posted 2 un-processed Photomatix pics where I think the leaves are better defined.

#11.


#12.
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 5:07 AM   #15
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To be honest, your first set made with Photomatix is too overdone for me... of course you want to convey the feeling you had when you took that shots, but I like the DPHDR versions much more!
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 8:46 AM   #16
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Thanks, Maggo85, for your comments!

To all, I realized I didn't show the building's facade so I uploaded them.

#13. Ford Foundation Building on East 42nd Street.


#14. Ford Foundation's facade.


#15. Does anyone think this is overdone?
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 1:09 PM   #17
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That's a strange building - you stand in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and seconds later you're in a calm, peaceful paradise.... I think in this context #15 is not overdone as it conveys this feeling to me.

But if I just see this shot alone, without knowing what and where it is, I think it would be too much... just my 2 cents worth
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 1:27 PM   #18
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Thanks a lot, maggo85, for taking the time to comment.

For this, I didn't sharpen as much and didn't darken as much as I did the others. But I still used Photomatix's default settings for "grunge" tonemap, which I think is analogous to how TVs out-of-the-box or on display, say, at Sears are calibrated (if at all) -- that is, to bring out the most eye-popping color to attract buyers.

Yes, I think you get exactly the feeling I get entering the building. It takes a few moments to recompose my confused senses when just by walking through a door I'm in a calm place and away from the hustle and bustle and instantly transported from New York City in the middle of winter into sunny Florida.
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 1:42 PM   #19
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Vvcarpio have you tried to not use a HDR program and just adjust the pictures in e.g. PS, Lightroom or Bridge? The reason is that imo all the pictures have somewhat noisy leaves. I think that you might have seen yourself blind using HDR and created a strange atmosphere, unnatural and artificial looking imo.

As for Dead snow, you are right about it beeing a Norwegian film. I liked it to begin with, but I thought that it had a little to much blood towards the end.
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 2:24 PM   #20
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No, I have not tried not using HDR. You are probably right about me being blind regarding HDR -- I went through the trouble of bringing along my gorilla-pod and setting up each individual shot for each series. I'll try editing with just PSE. Iíve done that before for night shots of people using flash. In my experience, it was a lot of work.

In fairness to my "blindness", though, every time I drop a set of 3 even very minimally bracketed range of +/-0.3ev exposures into DPHDR, I get dramatic results right away that none of the 3 originals would come close to, all without any manual effort (on PSE or others). So I sometimes wonder why bother with working with the originals when I can let DPHDR do most of the work and save me time?

So you can say that Iím spoiled by HDR but I would argue that itís not without reason.

Almost all the time, I use Walter's DPHDR values for realism but sometimes not and still my work gets complimented (at steves-digicams.com and by friends). So, the same technique I use would work for some but not for others. That I think is key -- to know when a certain technique would work and when it would not. Some here have that gift -- Walter S and Walter C among others, IMO. Iíve a long way to go in that regard.


I agree with Dead Snow -- the beginning half is much better than the ending half. But I guess that's how zombie movies go. Fill the start with great dialogue to set the tone for the more-or-less predictable gorefest at the end. I love it.
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