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Old Jun 9, 2006, 1:23 AM   #1
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Having received my new FZ30 last Monday, I'm starting to get the hang of it, somewhat. I read a posting about HDR that had a link to the Photomatix HDR freeware so I thought I'd give it a try on tonight's moon and post the images for others to review. I also have the USC's version downloaded but haven't loded/tried it as yet. Given more free time, I'll run the same images and see how they compare.

Keep in mind, this was more as a whim and trying out the FZ30 and the HDR freeware to see how they integrate. I leave it to viewers to comment & critique as one feels appropriate...

I set up on a tripod at 12X and +/- 1 EV bracketing at various zooms w & w/o TC and captured the following 3 original images at EZ3MP native optical 19X zoom (In-Camera metered crop - No TC attached)-- 1280Wx960H images w/100% crop down to ~750x700 and saved for web - No PP

1rst image at +/- 0 EV...

Read what little there is to the freeware and attempted a few runs. Had a few hiccups and had to use cntrl-alt-delete to back out a couple of times but, after understanding how its workflow runs, ran it to generate the following two images w/auto-alignment + Highlight/Shadows Intensive (Light) It also generates a 1280 x 960 INCH image at 1-ppi so I resized to 40-inches and cropped to posted sizes:

First image is as originally generated and second had color removed in PSE4 -no other PP

I then cropped out the watermark and PP in PSE4 using Lvls, USM (66%-0.7p-4-lvls) and saved for web at posted sizes - no noise reduction used

[align=left]Next image had color removed in PSE4

I probably overdid the PP on the generated image. I'm not sure what happened on the top edges - possibly due to minute movement of moon during bracketed images...or maybe a bit too aggressive on the Levels right slider... ? It does address any noise in the black sky. I tried Neat Image but it couldn't find a suitable area to calibrate on so no Noise Removal on any of the images...

What'cha think...?

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Old Jun 11, 2006, 7:36 PM   #2
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Telecorder, was this really your first attempt? It looks beautiful. My first attempt was a disaster! Good work.
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Old Jun 11, 2006, 10:25 PM   #3
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Actually, it was. Of course, we won't talk about the next attempt with some lilies' images thatI attempted... lets just say movement by any breeze don't bode well for HDR blended images...:sad:

I tried again this morning with the lilies with a bit better success but still not there...(It appears that the more times you open and use Photomatix, the more watermarks it embeds...)

I also tried using EasyHDR (Thanks, AmanitaM!) and found it to be a lot more intuitive, more user operated available image tweaksand user-friendly. Its user aligning interface showed that I still have the same issue with any breeze on the lilies messing the alignments up between images... so I went back and used the same moon images that I used in Photonix above. I thinkEasyHDR (topimage)turned out better than Photomatix...

I have down loaded the USC's HDR software but haven't tried it, as yet. Given some time, I hope to get some STILL images of my wife's lilies and do a 5-set bracketed HDR with the 3 different HDR and post a comparison/review for those interested. I can say that most anyone who has PSE4 and uses levels. USM etc in their PP can use Easy HDR to do a HDR image...
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