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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 25 Feb 2011 (Friday) 12:34
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Winter Wonderland in HDR

 
ROSTIDESIGN
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Location: West Coast
     
Feb 25, 2011 12:34 |  #1

Hello, this actually being my first post on here, I am looking for some C&C on how these photos look and what can be done to make the HDR more closer to real life. I took these after a small snow storm came through although most of it melted quickly. I saw that without any filters and such I wouldn't get any good exposures, so I turned on bracketing, +3/-3 and combined/matched in Photomatix as all were handheld shots.

I'll say that the exposure on all of them just doesn't seem to fit me, is there a wa manipulate the image to have both the darks and the highlights not blown out and still have a brighter image? Or is it pretty close?

Please let me know what you think of them as I'm not satisfied at the results so far. I've seen the "over creative" HDR, but I want to match the real world lighting as much as possible and feel I haven't reached that yet :) lol

I also am planning on shooting more exposure like at least 6 or 9 to make the composition cleaner, but will require tripod I guess..?

- Ross

This area has so much potential with sunsets:

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5015/5476426407_b5c6c09cd3_b.jpg

Fairy tale like trees:
IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5254/5476425255_a5a9032fcd_b.jpg

Vehicle in comparison to nature:
IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5098/5476422669_718df4264f_b.jpg

Sunset through trees:
IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5017/5476422269_ab609c7e2f_b.jpg

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ROSTIDESIGN
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Feb 25, 2011 12:35 |  #2

Oh by the way all the shots were on one setting that I had used for previous shots that are not included here.


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Feb 25, 2011 17:24 |  #3

No feedback?


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argyle
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Feb 25, 2011 17:54 as a reply to  @ ROSTIDESIGN's post |  #4

Well, about the only one that has any appeal would be the first...the others just don't seem to fit the topic and don't really do that much.

Compositionally, the first has a few things working against it, IMO. The partial tree on the left and the telephone pole on the right edge really don't add anything. Not sure if it was possible, but I would have tried to incorporate more of the fence line as a lead-in...as it is, its cropped off and just seems to be hanging there. As far as the processing goes, its better than most HDR images that get posted here (doesn't have the cartoonish look or bad halos)...but the foreground just seems to be a little flat, which usually happens with HDR processing. I'd give thought to two possible crops to remove some of the sky...one, just above the first level of clouds and, second, just above the second level of clouds on the left.


"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son". - Dean Wormer

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Feb 25, 2011 19:48 |  #5

They were shot really quick, my focus is not really composition at the moment but more on the process itself and the amount of different information.

I am doing what I can to avoid the cartoon HDR and making it as lifelike as possible.

I am getting stuck at how to make the image brighter. To me they seem kind of dark and contrast less (flat). Is there anyone who can help me in bringing out the contrast without blowing out the highlights or the darks.. and making the overall image look well..not so dark?

There must be some controls in Photomatix that could change that effect.

As for composition, if you would like to crop yourself and post on here that would be great. I want to see what you meant.

Also, shooting on private property is the reason I didn't bother with actually framing the shot (1st) ... but I think I will ask for permission because that area has really gorgeous sunsets...

The others I was just getting dark areas and brights in one shot to play with the settings and get them close.

Thanks!


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argyle
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Feb 25, 2011 20:00 as a reply to  @ ROSTIDESIGN's post |  #6

OTOH, you could save yourself a lot of grief and simply use a grad filter...IMO, if a scene can be properly exposed with the use of a filter, HDR isn't necessary and just becomes a time-comsuming chore.


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Feb 26, 2011 01:57 |  #7

I understand that, unfortunately I don't have the extra cash for nice filters for large glass:(

Soo.. I just try other techniques. Some places I believe that Grad filters might not pull the job..?


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reest
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Feb 26, 2011 12:35 |  #8

As the comments so far have focused on the first photograph I'll stick to that. I'd agree with argyle, in that a quick crop would help out compositionally - for a quick test just use your hands. It immediately brings more life to the foreground as it's currently gets lost in the sky.

If you have photoshop you could use the exposure adjustment and then boost contrast a little. Looks to be a beautiful landscape for shooting so if you can go back, you could try it again at a different time of day. It looks as if the sun was about setting to the west?

Stick at it - I've been experimenting with HDR a lot lately and end up deleting most of the edits. I look forward to seeing future work.


Cheers,
Rich
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Feb 27, 2011 13:07 |  #9

Ya sun was setting, I'll keep trying, I want to figure out photomatix, so that I could produce closer to life results. Sure I can use filters and such to get good results. But it'll be twice as nice to know another way to get good work :) Just because it's hard doesn't mean I should switch to something easy.

Does anybody use photomatix? I find it easier to use after using photoshop HDR, but there are so many modes you can edit in and controls that could be used to get accurate looks, but I want to know how to make the best combination of tweaks :)

You said you delete most edits? That's what it seems like for me :)


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reest
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Feb 27, 2011 13:45 |  #10

I don't think there is a set way of doing it, rather just a set of tools to use at your disposal on various software. You'll learn what works best and what is most effective for each required tweak over time.

I also quite often save different versions of an edit as they progress so that I can go back to them to try something different. It's useful to keep notes if you want to be that methodical. On that note, time to revisit an old favourite and probably delete some more!


Cheers,
Rich
Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm, Canon 35mm f/2, 430EX II

  
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Feb 27, 2011 16:07 |  #11

Lol, essentially I need to take many shots and get extreme experience :) I've only done like a week's worth of progress into HDR right now aside from the HDR I did a couple years ago - that was cartoon HDR and I've decided time to actually make it look nice as I am limited with dynamic range in shots like sunsets without Grad filters :)

I keep a lot of my photos - I don't know if good thing or not, I go through sometime and edit some that I hadn't done etc... have 78k photos, What if I do HDR like that? LOL


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Winter Wonderland in HDR
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