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Old Apr 17, 2007, 7:48 PM   #11
David C's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 98

I don't think HDR is of any benefit for this scene - you always lose some clarity when combining the images, so it is only worthwhile when you really need the extra tonal range to capture the scene (normally either indoor scenes with blown highlights from windows, or outdoors scenes with deep shadows that cannot be exposed for at the same time as a bright sky).

So here I much prefer the first (un-HDR) version.

BTW it is possible to do HDR in Elements - I only have Elements (PE2 and PE4) and do them now and then. It's just much more work then using the custom HDR programmes - basically you take the shadows areas from the overexposed frame and the highlights from the underexposed frame (using contrast masking techniques), and combine them with the middle frame (using layer masks). Further Contrast Mask (and often saturation boost) the combination and it can be made to look a fair bit like a Photomatix-type image.

For example, here is a recent HDR I did in Elements of a scene with much more tonal range than could ever be captured by one exposure (I actually took5 for this one, rather than the usual 3)...

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