Photomatics or LR4?

Started Apr 27, 2012 | Discussions
Peteo
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Photomatics or LR4?
Apr 27, 2012

I was just looking to get into some HDR photography and was looking at purchasing Photomatix Essentials. I downloaded their trial version and it seems limited but perhaps the paid version provides more options. Now to complicate things I've been reading that LR4 (I currently have LR3) can do some pretty amazing things. I'm into the more subtle effects than those highly processed so maybe LR4 will provide better results.

Anyone have any suggestions or advise on this?

Attached is the HDR photo I played around with in the trial version, it's more processed than I like but I wanted to see what it could do. And a photo I played around with on LR3. The LR3 photo has some issues when blow up. Is that due to over saturation? Would LR4 provide better results?

Thanks,

Peteo

LR3 Processed Photo

Photomatix Processed then some additional in LR3

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Focus Photoeditor User
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 27, 2012

My version of it..

I cant give you any advice of any program. I never use multi exposure hdr

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Peteo
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Focus Photoeditor User, Apr 27, 2012

What a difference, what software did you use?

Peteo

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Focus Photoeditor User
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 27, 2012

glad you liked it, I am using Focus Photoeditor v. 6

here's another version of it..this is a nice picture and has a fair amount of details in the shadows, but in my opinion shadows should not be opened to the maximum.

FP has some tools called curve dynamizer and Light Zones that help you modify the dynamic range very easily.

Here's another try I did on this beautiful view:

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Peteo
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Focus Photoeditor User, Apr 27, 2012

Now that's fantastic looking. I really like the way you added the light in the lighthouse with the rays coming out. Looking at what you've been able to do I don't think I really need HDR software. I'm familiar with LR3 so maybe LR4 will provide what I'm looking for.

How easy is the software you're using to learn?

Peteo

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tom60634
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A more neutral (?) natural (?) edit.
In reply to Peteo, Apr 27, 2012

All edits performed with Photoshop CS5 no plugins required.

The beauty of this type of edit is that it is based on layers, so that if tomorrow you decide that you need more warm colors i.e. red,yellow,gold etc.etc.. No problem !! Just adjust a layer or two and you're on your way.

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MikeFromMesa
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McAfee site warning
In reply to Focus Photoeditor User, Apr 27, 2012

For what it is worth - Googling Focus PhotoEditor gives a link to their main site, but that site is marked by McAfee Site Advisor as dangerous.

I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with the site (McAfee has occasionally flagged quite innocent sites as "dangerous"), but I thought I ought to post what my result was.

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VittoDigital
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 27, 2012

The result from Photomatix is very bad, I think the trial version is fully functional (only the watermark is added to the processed file) so you don't have additional option in the full version. Simply you can achieve a much better result learnig it a little more.

The file from LR3, which I never tested, is much better but still there is something wrong in it: ghosting is strangely visible, look at the lighthouse, and the pic miss contrast and color in the shadows.

I worked in PS CS4 using the basic (levels, L&S, color adjust., unsharp mask), here is the result:

Btw if you merged 3 or more photo into an HDR may be you still have the original pics you started from, post them and may be we could provide a better opinion.
Take care
Vitto
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Focus Photoeditor User
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 27, 2012

Many software can achieve a look similar to hdr, in many different ways, I suggest you to stick with one and get the most out of it. Also there are some plugins that can help you achieve that look such as topaz adjust.
I can't help you with LR, I am a Focus Photoeditor user only

Anyway any software requires mastering. I am still learning a lot about retouching..

The dynamizer curves and light zones are not as easy to find around in other software that I know of.

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Peteo
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to VittoDigital, Apr 28, 2012

Here's three original. Teach away, I'm really hoping to learn how to do better post processing.

Thanks,

Peteo

VittoDigital wrote:

The result from Photomatix is very bad, I think the trial version is fully functional (only the watermark is added to the processed file) so you don't have additional option in the full version. Simply you can achieve a much better result learnig it a little more.

The file from LR3, which I never tested, is much better but still there is something wrong in it: ghosting is strangely visible, look at the lighthouse, and the pic miss contrast and color in the shadows.

I worked in PS CS4 using the basic (levels, L&S, color adjust., unsharp mask), here is the result:

Btw if you merged 3 or more photo into an HDR may be you still have the original pics you started from, post them and may be we could provide a better opinion.
Take care
Vitto
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Lol, I need an upgrade, my Nikon D6x is a too limited gear!

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Focus Photoeditor User
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Re: McAfee site warning
In reply to MikeFromMesa, Apr 30, 2012

Now that you flagged it and you realized it is not dangerous, will you put down the flag..? If an antivirus says it "could" be dangerous, it means it is not, otherwise they would not even let you go in. This sort of scare tactics serve very well the big companies to stay the only one on the market. I wouldnt be surprised they cartel with each other.

Btw do you still pay for AV? I use a free one and it scores among the very best. And no mention about "dangerous web site" there.

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Focus Photoeditor User
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 30, 2012

just one comment, you should have taken a +1, 0 , -1 exposures, because most of the frame is obviously very dark. The camera exposed the sky correctly in all 3 shots, but the shadows and midtones suffer from the negative exposure biases.

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VittoDigital
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, Apr 30, 2012

Apologise for the delayed answer, I had a problem with my connection

The pics you posted are not helping as all of them haven't enough details in the shadows and can't be used for an High Dynamic Range pic, infact, if you try to lighten the very dark areas you'll end up producing too much noise and cromatic aberration.

The goal is to shoot a pic for the Highlights (underexposed), a second for the Midtones, and a third for the Shadows (overexposed), possibly using a tripod to avoid misalignements. These shots can be "merged" by a program like Photomatix into a tonemapped pic containing more details in the shadows AND in the highlights.

Another way is to shoot a pic in RAW and modify its exposure in PP saving 3 copy of it (again: 1 copy underexposed, 1 copy overexposed and 1 copy as originally shot). This second option is not as good as the first because it contains less informations, colors and details than the 3 "bracketed" shots.
There is an interesting post in this same forum:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1006&message=41359262

Take a look, check the exif of the shots he posted and the results the other posters are producing using them, it explains better than me what an HDR is (and in a much better English, lol :-))
Cheers
Vitto
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brucet
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to VittoDigital, Apr 30, 2012

Most HDR programs will do a fine job. It's simply a matter of getting to know the program you use.

I use Photomatix and I'm amazed at the folks who say it can't get 'realistic' results. Yes it can. It's really a matter of using it and learning how the options all work.

Photomatix has a huge following. Is it the best? Who knows but the amount of users means that there is a huge amount of information out there on how to use it.

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VittoDigital
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to brucet, Apr 30, 2012

brucet wrote:

Most HDR programs will do a fine job. It's simply a matter of getting to know the program you use.

I'd agree with you, Bruce, but even if you know very well a program you MUST have some detail to work on and in this case the shadows are always too dark.

I tryed, in Photomatix Pro4, working on Peteo's pics and the result was a beautiful sky at sunset with a lot of blue and purple blotches on the foreground.

I use Photomatix and I'm amazed at the folks who say it can't get 'realistic' results. Yes it can. It's really a matter of using it and learning how the options all work.

Here I agree 100% Photomatix is a great program and can produce very nice results if you spend a little time understanding it, I love it!

I'm still discovering its full capabilities but already like the results it gives me.
Last stormy Wednesday at Garda Lake:

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Lol, I need an upgrade, my Nikon D6x is a too limited gear!

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Darlene Goff
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to VittoDigital, Apr 30, 2012

I have just purchased Topaz Adjust. I started with the trial version. I used one of the photography sites discount coupons (just google for it) and it cost me $42 to purchase it. It installed right into my older Photoshop 7 under filters. It also installs into Elements, PSP, and a number of other programs. I am a newbie to retouching and am not going to dazzle anyone with my version of any photo right now so am not offering one. However, it not only has a lot of options, but there are presets, and at youtube and the Topaz site there are "recipes" for those of us who want to do something more complex but don't have a clue--yet. It also has plenty of more advanced settings. What I liked about this is it is a plug-in and not a standalone program. I still use PS 7 for my primary editor and don't want to go back and forth between programs. (I tried LR3 and returned it because I was not looking for an organizer for my photos.)

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photogirl44
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to Peteo, May 1, 2012

My try with SNS-HDR and a little tweeking with CS6.

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VittoDigital
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That's a great try, congrats!! -nt-
In reply to photogirl44, May 1, 2012
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Lol, I need an upgrade, my Nikon D6x is a too limited gear!

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photogirl44
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Re: That's a great try, congrats!! -nt-
In reply to VittoDigital, May 1, 2012

Thank you.

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Peteo
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Re: Photomatics or LR4?
In reply to photogirl44, May 1, 2012

Wow! That's Fantastic Looking!

Peteo

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