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Old Apr 23, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default I am playing a bit with Photomatix and

this is my attempt at HDR for the most minimal of garishness!

I have never and do not enjoy seeing HDR as it is sometimes presented, seeing such gives me the 'willies'.

Last month when I shot the arts festival in Arlington I visited with two photographers who were showing. Both the artists use HDR (Photomatix) to various degrees depending on the photograph, but both told me that they regularly use HDR to simply enhance detail in an image.

I've downloaded trial versions of Photomatix Essentials & the Pro program and have done some simple exercises with both. From what I have tried it seems to me that the Essentials program will do what I want and the Pro version does a couple things extra. I've not done bracket-exposure files yet, these are single file processed.

I have always liked Zigs' examples with HDR because he too uses it in a detail enhancement mode.

These are my attempts at practicing: Please critique, be truthful but be kind, thanks

.....RAW converted with ASPro with no editing and no Photomatix


....RAW file converted with Photomatix, HDR scheme applied & finished in ASPro


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some of the cars with HDR applied










............this I don't like
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 1:07 PM   #2
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I really like the HDR "look" in these auto shots. That black matte/satin paint job on the one car with the green wheels is stunning.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 4:00 PM   #3
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To me the shots in the grass looks a bit oversharpened but the cars are fabulous photos with HDR. Of course that could me my not so high def screen.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 6:15 PM   #4
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I like them all but I have also be known to go over board and make some very surreal images.

IMHO HDR applied to single frames like to these is very similar to using shadow/highlight/fill light sliders in some software.

If you go to the HDR forum here they will tell you what you have done is not HDR, true HDR is only when two or more shots are taken with the same aperture but different shutter speed to achieve under/over exposure. I find that definition too strict.

To me the application of HDR software to enhance details from a single exposure is another tool in the toolkit that should at least be tried.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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Those first two shots, the first looks a lot like "Before turning down the Highlights slider" in Adobe Camera raw....this is an E-M5 raw file, exposed for the highlights, to the point they just about, but do not quite touch the right-hand end of the histogram, then converted in ACR with no adjustments, sharpening or noise reduction applied..



And then the "after" shot with the various adjustments I make in ACR. The E-M5 files are so freakin' flexible, as long as you expose the file to where you maximize the information available you can do something similar using just the basic tools in the raw converter, as long as the converter has similar controls to ACR which has separate highlights, whites, shadow and blacks sliders. You can raise shadow values as far as the shadows and blacks sliders will go to the right and very much the same with the highlights, so long as you do not overexpose to the point you clip all three color channels.


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Old Apr 24, 2013, 4:46 PM   #6
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Nice pictures Bob, love the color rendition result of the pseudo HDR.

You can download a trial version of Dynamic Photo HDR at http://www.mediachance.com/hdri/index.html.

The trial version works forever (no time limit) and is the same paid version except for the watermark added at the bottom of the finished image.


Regards.

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Old Apr 24, 2013, 6:26 PM   #7
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Bob, those look good to me. I'm like you, I dislike the "plastic, overcooked" look of so many of the HDR photos that I see posted. You did a good job of avoiding the overcooked look in your shots.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 8:33 AM   #8
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........well, I can do with ASPro pretty much what I would want from an HDR program. It is just that clicking on a HDR display facet more quickly gets there. Too, there are images I make that I believe would benefit from the greater intensity of 'slight' HDR.

Before trying Photomatix I did not know if bracketed images were a requirement because I won't do that, instead it was fun to see that a single image will work for the treatment.

To say that treating a single image rather than multiple files is not an HDR affect is like saying turducken can't be for Thanksgiving dinner because it's........... or whatever.

Anyway I think I might buy a license for Photomatix Essentials just to have it laying around in the iMAC dasd for a time when it would be fun to use and that may be never.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Bob, I am using Photomatix Essential since a couple of years now and I like it very much. You will be happy with it !
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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I know what you mean about the mutiple images-thing, Bob. Last thing I'd want to do is walk around those car exhibitions armed with a tripod and taking the time to set everything up, just so I could fire off 4-6 bracketed frames for the purposes of creating a "true" HDR image.

If I was that patient, I'd be shooting with a large format camera and sheet film.
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