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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 29 Jun 2014 (Sunday) 13:16
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First atttepmt at HDR in Colorado advce needed

 
digitalduck
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Jun 29, 2014 13:16 |  #1

Went out yesterday and tried to get a handle on some HDR with my 60D. Results were soso but gave it a shot... I did use a tripod and had a 3 exposure at +2-2 used a 2 sec self timer on all.. I am not sure what else I should be doing initially to achieve better results. Id like to eventually get a big stopper but obviously need practice and understanding first :)

Around top of Pikes Peak, just saw a random hail bail

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Ok, so with this lake shot, I was trying to expose for the water enough to make it glass. I was at f18 and 1/4 sec. I had a 4 stop ND filter or something close, but Im guess I was no where close enough in shutter speed for the desired effect... and obviously my highlights are blown, this wasn't an hdr attempt.

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just random, nothing special
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Helenica
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Jun 29, 2014 14:21 |  #2

As far as HDR goes, you are off to a pretty good start. You have kept the results believeable which is essential. Far too many people go overboard with totally unrealistic blends. (I know that it wasn't the aim of your excercise, but you do need to pay more attention to annoying details in the composition. For instance, in the last on, you could have eliminated the wire if you had walked a couple of yards.)


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El ­ Duderino
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Jun 29, 2014 15:14 |  #3

Those shots look good for HDR. They look like what you'd see with the human eye.

The lighting on these is really harsh though. You'll get better results in the early morning or at sunset.


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Jon ­ Clemens
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Jun 29, 2014 15:43 |  #4

HDR isn't magic, and most of the shots you have shown really don't need the benefits of HDR. HDR benefits most when you have really deep shadows, and/or really bright clouds/reflections, that are so extreme that they exceed the range your camera can record using raw. In those cases HDR can fill in the 'missing' information and provide the detail that would otherwise be lost.

Most of your pictures could be improved greatly using 'normal' controls available in PS, especially if you add NIK to the process. As Helen mentioned above, paying attention to composition, lighting, and other 'basics' are critical because processing can't usually compensate for errors made in the capturing phase of the image. Processing, such as HDR, is just the icing on the cake.


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rgs
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Jun 29, 2014 20:30 |  #5

Jon Clemens wrote in post #17001678 (external link)
HDR isn't magic, and most of the shots you have shown really don't need the benefits of HDR. HDR benefits most when you have really deep shadows, and/or really bright clouds/reflections, that are so extreme that they exceed the range your camera can record using raw. In those cases HDR can fill in the 'missing' information and provide the detail that would otherwise be lost.

Most of your pictures could be improved greatly using 'normal' controls available in PS, especially if you add NIK to the process. As Helen mentioned above, paying attention to composition, lighting, and other 'basics' are critical because processing can't usually compensate for errors made in the capturing phase of the image. Processing, such as HDR, is just the icing on the cake.

Agree!! Not a fan of HDR although I do like and use hand blending techniques and Exposure Fusion.

Assuming that the OP is trying to learn how to extend dynamic range, I think time is much better spent learning how to get the most out of a single image or how to blend by hand in PS. If the OP just wants to try HDR, these are probably not the best images to work with just because they don't really need it.


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digitalduck
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Jun 29, 2014 20:36 |  #6

Thanks guys! Yeah I am trying to see how bracketing affects the overall dynamic range compared to what ive done in the past so it was fun to see is possible, even if these weren't the best shots persay. I have just started using NIk software and it looks like a great suite to compliment my LR5... have been using PS for years for smaller things, and it seems like i just need ot learn more about, as was said earlier, getting the most out of existing images already...

Thanks guys!




  
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rgs
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Jun 29, 2014 20:57 |  #7

digitalduck wrote in post #17002127 (external link)
Thanks guys! Yeah I am trying to see how bracketing affects the overall dynamic range compared to what ive done in the past so it was fun to see is possible, even if these weren't the best shots persay. I have just started using NIk software and it looks like a great suite to compliment my LR5... have been using PS for years for smaller things, and it seems like i just need ot learn more about, as was said earlier, getting the most out of existing images already...

Thanks guys!

FWIW, I find the best brackets to be about 2 stops apart and 5 total shots. If you have Magic Lantern, you can automate that bracket so it takes only a few seconds. When faced with a scene with a lot of dynamic range, I would shoot a bracket (if possible) just in case, and then first try to get everything possible out of the base exposure before using any of the brackets. HDR should be your last resort.


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Xyclopx
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Jun 29, 2014 23:35 |  #8

digitalduck wrote in post #17001407 (external link)
Went out yesterday and tried to get a handle on some HDR with my 60D. Results were soso but gave it a shot... I did use a tripod and had a 3 exposure at +2-2 used a 2 sec self timer on all.. I am not sure what else I should be doing initially to achieve better results. Id like to eventually get a big stopper but obviously need practice and understanding first :)

hi op. here's my opinion... to me, it's like what another person said above, hdr isn't magic--it could make good pictures look more dramatic or even more awesome, but if the picture isn't great to start with, hdr isn't going to help make it great. I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but it is my own opinion that most of those shots are not great scenes to begin with, whether it's lighting or composition, and hdr isn't going to help you with them. some show some promise though, and with some straightening and cropping you could make some much stronger. for instance, I think the waterfall pics could be good, but i'd totally crop out all the bottom half which to me takes away from the whole picture. the lighting isn't pretty in those pics so it would be better if you could go back during a more favorable time and retake the shots.

as for hdr itself--I think it helps to have a vision of what you want achieved. there are lots of sliders and stuff to use during the process doing all kinds of things from mild to extreme. what kind of look are you going for? if you like those shots many people favor of extreme coloring and crazy saturation, you really need to start with scenes that have deep and varying coloration to begin with. if you want the natural look, and just want to tame the dynamic range, I think you got that down--then it's just working on the basics. :)


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digitalduck
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Jun 30, 2014 09:46 |  #9

Xyclopx and Rgs thanks for the advice :) First, yes i agree I have more to grasp when it comes to composition, but im learing more daily. Ultimately the landscape type of shots i like are the ones where it looks saturated but not fake or fake in a good way lol..and it looks like it is obviously had anm ND filter so the water is "glass like" or clouds are blurry.. i only have a set of generic ND filters for now which are 6 stops total if I combine them all so definetely not the "big stopper" type of quality for now.




  
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gonzogolf
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Jun 30, 2014 09:48 |  #10

Hey, you were about 2 miles from my new house :)




  
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Xyclopx
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Jun 30, 2014 10:29 |  #11

digitalduck wrote in post #17002958 (external link)
Xyclopx and Rgs thanks for the advice :) First, yes i agree I have more to grasp when it comes to composition, but im learing more daily. Ultimately the landscape type of shots i like are the ones where it looks saturated but not fake or fake in a good way lol..and it looks like it is obviously had anm ND filter so the water is "glass like" or clouds are blurry.. i only have a set of generic ND filters for now which are 6 stops total if I combine them all so definetely not the "big stopper" type of quality for now.

cool... if it's the vibrant look that you're going for, it would help to start with a scene with varied and deep coloration. and they should be colors that you like to see saturated. for instance, in your photos you have the blue of the sky and the green of the plants. making it more blue and more green probably wouldn't look awesome. but... say you went back there during fall when the leaves are reddish or orange, and say you got this at sunset and the sky is crimson. then when you do the hdr process you'll end up with very brilliant and deep reds contrasting the blue of the sky and water, if you choose to process it that way.

the other thing is if you're just using photoshop, its hdr process isn't as capable of other standalone ones. there's a bunch out there so you can do your research. I personally use Nik's, which comes as a package of a bunch of useful stuff. but you can do a lot more in the other programs. I used photoshop's hdr a long time ago, so I don't remember specifics, but just that it was very basic and when I got Nik I was like, wow!

gl. :)


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digitalduck
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Jun 30, 2014 11:57 |  #12

Xyclopx.. thanks! I really think I am going to pick up the Nik package. Some of the individual plugins look like they would save me a ton of time on some of my portrait jobs but look awesome for landscape work as well..

Here are some examples of some pics i just saw after googling landscape that I like in terms of style etc.. Its nice to know that time of day does has have an obvious imapct as well.. it was tough with the 2 year old with at the time, but ill try and get back at a better time :)

http://designyoutrust.​com …pe-Photography_1548-5.jpg (external link)
http://www.wexphotogra​phic.com …/adrianoakes1-590x411.jpg (external link)
http://visuallens.file​s.wordpress.com …89_2e8220dbfb_p​.jpg?w=750 (external link)
http://cdn.theanimals.​pics …cape%20Photogra​phy774.jpg (external link)
http://theanimals.pics …te-landscape-photography/ (external link)

Thanks!




  
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Jul 02, 2014 06:20 |  #13

I like that your hdr theory allows for the possibility of "fake in a good way."
Often the hdr will even things out so much that the photo needs an input of contrast, sometimes painted in selectively, post-hdr processing.


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First atttepmt at HDR in Colorado advce needed
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