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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation 
Thread started 03 Jun 2013 (Monday) 21:34
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Backlighting Interior Exterior Study

 
kirkt
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Jun 03, 2013 21:34 |  #1

IMAGE: http://kirkt.smugmug.com/Photography/Link-Share/i-57cRtsz/0/X3/_MG_0087-0005b-X3.jpg

Hi folks.

Here is another experiment in HDR to combat tough lighting conditions. In this case, I thought it would be interesting to see how much detail and color I could preserve in a natural light shot severely backlit. The subjects of the shot also pose their own difficulties - these coffee presses are glass, shiny and a highly saturated color all with fine detail in the press and the screened lettering on the glass. Additionally, the room itself has deep yellow and gold paint, and the placemats are orange, with a weave pattern that has a highly defined, repetitive weave pattern.

I shot at ISO 400 with a 5DII and a Zeiss 15mm at f/8. The shutter speed range was from 1/1000s for the exterior to 1/8s for the shadow detail.

I chose 5 of the exposures and merged them in HDR Expose2 - I used the "Optimized" HDR Expose preset tonemapping to compress the tonal range and get a flat rendering with good basic color and white balance. I white balanced in HDR Expose, using the white balance dropper tool. The ease of white balancing in 32bit land cannot be overstated.

I brought the 16bit TIFF output into Photoshop and finished the image with some curves, local contrast, sharpening, etc. If I were diligent, I would have cleaned up the errors in the anti-ghosting that are evident in the margins of the trees in the background. I decided to go with a highly saturated look to see how far I could push the colors in the merged and tonemapped file, trying to get them to break. They color held up very well actually, but I tried to find a happy, albeit highly saturated, medium ground.

If you are interested in refining your HDR workflow with an extreme example of dynamic range management, try this exercise at home. The dynamic range was not super crazy (about 14EV) but the elements of detail and color presented a challenge.

That's me in the red shirt. :)

kirk

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DanFrank
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Jun 04, 2013 16:08 |  #2

pretty decent. Looking out the window looks off to me. (fake somehow)


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kirkt
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Jun 04, 2013 18:49 |  #3

There's too much tonal compression - it should appear more blown out.


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kirkt
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Jun 04, 2013 22:05 |  #4

SHould be something more akin to this:

IMAGE: http://kirkt.smugmug.com/Photography/Link-Share/i-crP9XCX/0/X3/_MG_0087-0005b-desatbright-X3.jpg

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navydoc
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Jun 05, 2013 06:42 as a reply to  @ kirkt's post |  #5

I think the biggest issue with the outside view is that it's out of focus. When we view an object on a table, it's in focus and when we then look out the window, our eyes refocus so that everything is still in focus. So, in our minds eye, everything is in focus at once.

Same thing here with your image, when we shift our focus from the pots to out the window, we naturally expect everything to be in focus there too.


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SmokeySiFy
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Jun 05, 2013 09:19 |  #6

HDR focus stacking?


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navydoc
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Jun 05, 2013 09:39 |  #7

SmokeySiFy wrote in post #16001841 (external link)
HDR focus stacking?

Sure, why not. Since the camera is locked down, one set could be focused for the outside and then masked in...the window frames should be in focus too of course. Either that or have the windows and beyond much more out of focus and blurred to the point that it isn't a distraction.

This is just my observation though so take that with a grain of salt.


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kirkt
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Jun 05, 2013 13:18 |  #8

I'll reshoot at f/4 or so.

kirk


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DanFrank
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Jun 06, 2013 16:21 |  #9

Its better. Maybe use the dodge tool or mask in LR and lighten the front jars up a bit. Your jars in the 3rd image (+2) are very bright, but finished product is dark.


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tmcman
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Jun 08, 2013 23:20 |  #10

Interesting study. Thanks.


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kirkt
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Jun 09, 2013 18:03 |  #11

Understand that the scene itself is dark in the foreground and very bright in the background, hence the usefulness of the "study." I am not trying to bring out the coffee presses in a fully lit way, as that was not how they appeared in the scene. Rather, I am trying to recreate the high dynamic range scene in a way that permits one to appreciated the detail in a severely backlit condition. My camera cannot do it, but I can use several exposures to try to capture and create what we as humans can see.

Making the presses even more exposed is not natural to the scene.

Kirk


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bpiper7
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Jun 12, 2013 09:51 |  #12

navydoc wrote in post #16001462 (external link)
I think the biggest issue with the outside view is that it's out of focus. When we view an object on a table, it's in focus and when we then look out the window, our eyes refocus so that everything is still in focus. So, in our minds eye, everything is in focus at once.

Same thing here with your image, when we shift our focus from the pots to out the window, we naturally expect everything to be in focus there too.

I think you've hit something. Landscape HDR with a depth of field never look very good to me. I think I expect an hdr to show detail. And it throws me off when it tries to reproduce bur.


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navydoc
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Jun 12, 2013 11:17 as a reply to  @ bpiper7's post |  #13

Kirk, I hope you don't mind me posting this here and I'll remove it if you'd like. The image below isn't backlit like your shot but I think it does show how having the outside view be in focus "makes more sense" to our eyes...to me at least.

I think the lighting in your scene is right on and how I would expect it to look in reality.


IMAGE: http://genelewis.smugmug.com/Photography/HDR-High-Dynamic-Range-photos/i-F8PZTSL/0/XL/3G5C3155-XL.jpg

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Backlighting Interior Exterior Study
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