Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?

Started Jul 7, 2013 | Discussions
JulesJ
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to edispics, Jul 8, 2013

edispics wrote:

I think HDR has a different visual impact if you are working with daytime photos vs night shots. Using Oloneo:

3 exposure Oloneo

My sense is that overcooking HDR is more jarring on daytime photos than night shots. Or maybe it's just me!

It still looks like a 50's Xmas card!

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roby17269
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

REShultz wrote:

Sites like 500px (front page, take a look!) are full of HDR photography. It nearly always looks cooked and in some cases ruins perfectly good pictures.

I've not seen it yet but I do read occasionally on forums that it can be "done right" or tastefully. It'd difficult to believe that a skillfully exposed image with a good camera can be improved upon with this technique, but I'd like to see some attempts.

I'll humbly offer 2 samples of my HDR work.

These were done by bracketing on site (tripod, MLU and cable release) and then merging at home with Photoshop CS4 or 5, using its HDR Pro filter multiple times with different parameters and then merging the multiple versions manually.

I tried to get a natural look. It took me a while but I have grown to dislike haloes deeply unless deliberately added for effect.

To answer your question, you can get near to the dynamic range of an HDR image with a properly exposed single frame taken with a modern camera... but sometimes the scene's dynamic range is simply too much.

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edispics
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to JulesJ, Jul 8, 2013

Because there are a variety of different techniques which will produce a "HDR" effect and because that effect can be varied from imperceptible to way over the top, it's just plain silly to talk about HDR as though it were a single process. It refers to a set of tools that a photographer can dip into to add any one of an endless number of visual variations. As such, it is hardly a "fad". By that logic varying contrast or saturation or sharpness, etc., could just as easily be considered a "fad".

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yooperguy
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

I'm not a fan of the over processed HDRs, but I have used it on occasion to compensate for certain lighting situations that my small sensor cameras (G9, G11) cannot handle.  Here is a good essay on HDR done by someone that knows what they are doing.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml

I generally prefer to shoot Jpeg + Raw to allow me an opportunity to improve on in camera processing of shots, but extreme situations cannot really compensate.  Here's one HDR, actually image blending would be more appropriate description.  I was shooting into the morning sun, and all would have been rather washed out had I not used AEB and then combined the shots.

Here's an article on digital blending.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml

Dennis

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Mike CH
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to jon404, Jul 8, 2013

jon404 wrote:

Yes! That's what I'm trying to do also. So both sky and land are exposed correctly. Look -- if you have a sharp horizon line -- or sharp edges like the tops of buildings -- try compositing -- take one pic exposed for the land, then another for the sky -- and blend them together... cut out the 'good' sky and paste it on top of the 'good' land pic.

This will take you a little farther than multi-exposure HDR.

Will it really?

It does require a good place to cut...

Just playing devils advocate, here. Both are good tools and can be used to good effect in different circumstances.

Regards, Mike

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edispics
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to Mike CH, Jul 8, 2013

With modern tools the cutting has become much easier. I am thinking of PS Refine Edge, for example. There are many other software products that take the work out of masking. Selective multi layering/masking offers a lot of interesting possibilities.

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edispics
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to yooperguy, Jul 8, 2013

Very nicely done!

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latestart
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to Daisy AU, Jul 8, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

Have a look at this thread, in which there are some good and bad examples of HDR. It can be done very naturally, or it can be used for a more artistic touch.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51733860

You've made me uneasy about all the threads I've missed here, and all the threads I have to run through quickly.

But thank you for the link anyway

Greg

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yooperguy
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to edispics, Jul 8, 2013

edispics wrote:

Very nicely done!

Thanks.  Fortunately, my G9 has an optical tunnel viewfinder, so I was actually able to see most of what I was shooting.  I could not see my LCD at all.  The viewfinder also let me hold the camera against my face to help keep it steady during the three AEB shots, since they were hand held. I had to clone out some lens flare in the center of the image, but considering all the "issues" at the time (also windy on the hill top), it turned out much better than I expected.

Dennis

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sdribetahi
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

I find it funny that so many people HATE HDR, for making photos look unnatural. Yet the same people love grain in their photo's. Last time I opened my eyes in low light, I didn't see any grain. Old people, can't live with them, can't....

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JulesJ
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to yooperguy, Jul 8, 2013

yooperguy wrote:

I'm not a fan of the over processed HDRs, but I have used it on occasion to compensate for certain lighting situations that my small sensor cameras (G9, G11) cannot handle. Here is a good essay on HDR done by someone that knows what they are doing.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml

I generally prefer to shoot Jpeg + Raw to allow me an opportunity to improve on in camera processing of shots, but extreme situations cannot really compensate. Here's one HDR, actually image blending would be more appropriate description. I was shooting into the morning sun, and all would have been rather washed out had I not used AEB and then combined the shots.

Here's an article on digital blending.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml

Dennis

Still looks a bit washed out to me.

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JulesJ
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to sdribetahi, Jul 8, 2013

sdribetahi wrote:

I find it funny that so many people HATE HDR, for making photos look unnatural. Yet the same people love grain in their photo's.

Is that a fact?

Last time I opened my eyes in low light, I didn't see any grain.

Last time i opened my eyes in a high contrast situation I didn't see detail in the high lights and the shadows.

Old people, can't live with them, can't....

With what?

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Paul B Jones
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to jon404, Jul 8, 2013

jon404 wrote:

At the risk of being egotistical, see my train photos at http://jondonahue.smugmug.com/ ... am using Oloneo PhotoEngine for very mild HDR effects, and Xara Photo & Graphic Designer for occasional compositing. For most pictures, trying to make the scenes look like what I saw with my eyes, which means bringing light and dark areas into a better balance than 'as shot'.

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Jonathon Donahue, San Diego, California

Those are good images, very subtle.

For me the sign of over reliance on HDR effects is when it looks like something supernatural or extraterrestrial is going to emerge from an unnaturally dramatic sky.

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sshoihet
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

REShultz wrote:

Sites like 500px (front page, take a look!) are full of HDR photography. It nearly always looks cooked and in some cases ruins perfectly good pictures.

I've not seen it yet but I do read occasionally on forums that it can be "done right" or tastefully. It'd difficult to believe that a skillfully exposed image with a good camera can be improved upon with this technique, but I'd like to see some attempts.

Here are 4 images done with different HDR techniques; the first 3 are "normal" images and the 4th one is a more creative image. Might not be the best IQ, they came from FB.

"Right" is very subjective, many people enjoy the artistic, saturated look and you can't tell them they're wrong for enjoying that. I have several friends that love it and they come from a painting background.

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Skatterball
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

Whether or not HDR photos are better, worse or not in the same genre is really a subjective opinion.  Jacked-up HDR images can be dramatic or boring.  It's mostly the opinion of the photographer.  HDR can sometimes add a splash of spring time or a dash of dread to an image.  I personally love to play around with various HDR techniques.  What others have to say about HDR are entirely their own opinions and don't influence me.

So, I'd concentrate on what kind of images please you and not everyone else.

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Skatterball

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zabatman
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to Skatterball, Jul 8, 2013

It's become a lot quicker and easier to produce natural looking HDR photos by using just Lightroom 4 or 5 and a low cost Photomatix plugin: http://essenceinphotography.com/beginning-your-journey-to-perfect-hdr-photography/processing-a-prefect-hdr-photograph/

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jon404
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to edispics, Jul 8, 2013

I think we are all on the same page here. Whatever works best. As for in-camera HDR, my Sony RX100 is a treat... several levels of intensity, none too obnoxious.

Our eyes -- focus and expose on such a small part of the scene at any time -- constantly moving, re-focusing, and re-exposing -- with our minds somehow integrating all this into a running movie of the world around us. It's just amazing, and we can only try with our cameras to approximate that mind's eye.

All bets are off, of course, if you're drunk or on LSD.

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Jonathon Donahue, San Diego, California

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jon404
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to roby17269, Jul 8, 2013

Very, very good! Love these pictures. They make me feel like I'm there.

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Jonathon Donahue, San Diego, California

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roby17269
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to jon404, Jul 8, 2013

jon404 wrote:

Very, very good! Love these pictures. They make me feel like I'm there.

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Jonathon Donahue, San Diego, California

Thanks Jon

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GaryR60
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Re: Can Someone Point Me to Good HDR Photography?
In reply to REShultz, Jul 8, 2013

REShultz wrote:

Sites like 500px (front page, take a look!) are full of HDR photography. It nearly always looks cooked and in some cases ruins perfectly good pictures.

I've not seen it yet but I do read occasionally on forums that it can be "done right" or tastefully. It'd difficult to believe that a skillfully exposed image with a good camera can be improved upon with this technique, but I'd like to see some attempts.

That would depend on your definition of "good HDR photography." Are you talking about photos that still manage to look like photos, are you talking about photos that have been so altered they look more like digital paintings created in Corel Painter?

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