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mathogre
19th of March 2011 (Sat), 20:47
Here's an HDR image of the Washington National Cathedral from photos I took this morning. This is looking toward the east, and the cathedral is backlit.

The first image is the "normal" image, and the second is the HDR. It's an experiment at this point, hence the Photomatix watermark. Actually I'm quite pleased the s/w is fully capable as it lets me actually work with it and try it before spending $100 for it.

Constructive comments are appreciated. My personal sense after seeing the two of these is that I prefer the HDR image over the normal image. I'm not trying to go for the over-processed look. I just want a well-lit image from less than ideal conditions.

Thanks and enjoy!

UPDATE

I've now added a third image. This was done with FDRTools Advanced, exported as a tiff, and cleaned in Aperture for chromatic aberration and the stray bird. In some ways I like the lighting better on this one, and yet I think the edges are harsh.

http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v20/p322235886-4.jpg

http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v22/p515456970-4.jpg

http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v21/p974230704-4.jpg

SkedAddled
21st of March 2011 (Mon), 00:07
I never could get a grasp on the Photomatix tonemapping,
which is why I no longer use it, but I like your result.
My attempts were far too outlandish, no matter what I tried.

My only nitpicks would be to try and lose the red artifacts at the
driveway, and clone the bird or whatever it is at left out of the image.

Well done, Graham.

Glasssmith
21st of March 2011 (Mon), 06:19
Great shot Graham.
I want to try some HDR too.
Just need it to stop raining on weekends.

mathogre
21st of March 2011 (Mon), 09:38
I never could get a grasp on the Photomatix tonemapping,
which is why I no longer use it, but I like your result.
My attempts were far too outlandish, no matter what I tried.

My only nitpicks would be to try and lose the red artifacts at the
driveway, and clone the bird or whatever it is at left out of the image.

Well done, Graham.

Thank you Craig! Yes I need to correct those. I hadn't even run it through Aperture or DPP yet; it was strictly Photomatix. That is a bird, btw, that appeared in the dark shot.

Great shot Graham.
I want to try some HDR too.
Just need it to stop raining on weekends.

Thank you John! Sending dry weekend weather to you Down Under. :D

Jpgeo121
22nd of March 2011 (Tue), 15:58
Beautiful, the second one is my favorite of the two as it seems lighter.

mathogre
23rd of March 2011 (Wed), 08:08
Thank you Jpgeo!

tb1891
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 00:12
I'd definitely say the HDR one turned out well - looks great.

mathogre
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 11:05
Thank you tb!

ajrocks777
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 14:47
The HDR is great, not to over the top.

aparis99
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 14:53
Nice outcome. Whats the tone mapping, exposure fusion, or tone compressor?

mathogre
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 23:35
Thank you aparis! Unfortunately I didn't save the information for this one. I was just trying at that time to see if I could even make a usable image.

mathogre
24th of March 2011 (Thu), 23:43
I have updated the original post to include one new additional image created with a different tool. I think it's better in some ways and worse in others. Again, I'm really trying to go for "natural."

SkedAddled
25th of March 2011 (Fri), 00:27
I like your latest result, Graham, though I'll admit right away that I'm viewing it now
on my laptop. This is not my best viewing option. :oops:

However, I like what you've done with reducing the glaring red signs or markers,
and the bird has been cloned out well.

Curious: What HDR-compilation software was used for this latest success?
I might darken it just a tad, or perhaps increase contrast, but you're still
hitting the tonemapping that always eluded me.

mathogre
25th of March 2011 (Fri), 06:27
Hi Craig!

Thank you! The tool I used was FDRTools, and I did it on my iMac (and it is available for Windows too):

http://www.fdrtools.com/front_e.php

I tried using the free version, but the results were terrible for this set of images. I then tried the shareware version, and initially the results were at the weird end of HDR. What I did and what I usually do with tools like this is to move the sliders to the extreme limits to see what they do. I spent far too long working with this last night (this morning ;)), but I finally achieved what I thought was a fairly nice balacne of color and light.

I saved it as a tiff and imported it to Aperture where I fixed the bird, the reds, and the chromatic aberrations. The chromatic aberrations were an artifact of the process in FDRTools. I was able to minimize them, I think, but I thought their appearance was strange.

Btw, the unlicensed shareware version adds a grid watermark that is apparent in the full size image. That's fine with me. I like that I can experiment with these programs to see if I can make them work for me. If later I decide to buy, I can do that.

SkedAddled
26th of March 2011 (Sat), 00:56
Still well done, Graham. I like the results.

My HDR efforts have been done with PhotoShop CS3 and CS5,
and I generally like the output, but I'd like to better learn about
the Photomatix software and tonemapping in general.

Seems that I should look further into the FDRTools you've mentioned,
as I really like your results.