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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation 
Thread started 01 Oct 2008 (Wednesday) 03:51
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How much HDR is too much?

 
Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Oct 01, 2008 03:51 |  #1

Good day all.

This question is based more on ones personal preference rather then 'hard science' but I was wondering what you all think.

When you are viewing or creating an image in HDR, do you tend to like more realism in the image or more of the heavily processed artistic look that can be created?

I, myself, tend to stay closer to the realistic side of the processing end of the spectrum. My idea of what an HDR image is: is the ability to represent, in one image, the wide contrast and color range there is viewable with the naked eye while maintaining a look that is neither fake or unrealistic.

The example I will use of the unrealistic aspect or HDR is when shooting a set with trees in it. After processing, the images branches against the sky look pillowed due to the bright and dark edges. This is what you see when you use very little to no light smoothing during the HDR process. That, to my eye is unrealistic - there are no 'pillows' or very obvious halos when I look at a tree against the sky. Our eyes/brain compensate for it so we can see both the clouds in the sky as well as the bark on the tree.

As I said, I'm just looking for what people think of as the 'correct exposure' in their minds.

PS: Feel free to post examples of what you think of as not enough, just right and too much.


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Oct 01, 2008 04:17 |  #2

IMO, there is no correct exposure possible with HDR. You can adjust the sliders in the software to get close to reality, but all these programs work by manipulating the liminosity of each pixel, no matter what color it is. That's how it lightens shadows and darkens highlights, and that certainly is not how our eyes see reality. Photmatix has an option to do exposure blending, and that's about as close to reality as you can get when using digital or film images, but that is not HDR.

But, I prefer the slightly processed artistic look for some, and the more extreme look for others. I do not have any problem accepting HDR as an art form or a scientific tool. Some have a real problem with it though and complain that HDR has just gone from "real" photography, whatever that is, to art. :lol:


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Oneslowz28
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Oct 01, 2008 10:19 |  #3

Please see Zackers post in this section to see what I believe is the perfect HDR renderings.


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Oct 01, 2008 11:22 |  #4

canonloader wrote in post #6414887 (external link)
IMO, there is no correct exposure possible with HDR. You can adjust the sliders in the software to get close to reality, but all these programs work by manipulating the liminosity of each pixel, no matter what color it is. That's how it lightens shadows and darkens highlights, and that certainly is not how our eyes see reality. Photmatix has an option to do exposure blending, and that's about as close to reality as you can get when using digital or film images, but that is not HDR.

But, I prefer the slightly processed artistic look for some, and the more extreme look for others. I do not have any problem accepting HDR as an art form or a scientific tool. Some have a real problem with it though and complain that HDR has just gone from "real" photography, whatever that is, to art. :lol:

I agree with you on this. You have to look at what you have in your image. And then base the further processing from there.

Oneslowz28 wrote in post #6416259 (external link)
Please see Zackers post in this section to see what I believe is the perfect HDR renderings.

Zacker has some amazing HDRs. He have found his type of image that he prefers. If he suddenly starts to take wide landscapes and process the same, they might look funny.
But you never know with him, it might be extraordinary


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Oct 01, 2008 12:05 |  #5

i believe that it depends on the scene, the users preference and what the viewer wants. I like (love) the more (paint, cartoony, plastic) look like the ones i make, but then again, I do enjoy looking at some of the really well done, realistic ones too.. I guess im 50/50 on this.


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Oct 01, 2008 16:18 |  #6

I despise the fake/cartoon/unrealist​ic/haloed images. It's a horrible gimmick and I can't understand why anyone likes it...just looks like really poor processing. Then again, people can do what they want with their own images.


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Oct 01, 2008 16:29 |  #7

Duder wrote in post #6418346 (external link)
I despise the fake/cartoon/unrealist​ic/haloed images. It's a horrible gimmick and I can't understand why anyone likes it...just looks like really poor processing. Then again, people can do what they want with their own images.

Hey, Duder ... do you have an example you can show us of what you think is the ideal look of HDR?


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Oct 01, 2008 17:39 |  #8

Beau Hudspeth wrote in post #6418408 (external link)
Hey, Duder ... do you have an example you can show us of what you think is the ideal look of HDR?

I think that some of theReal7's HDRs are as good as they get :)


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Oct 01, 2008 18:07 |  #9

Yeah, Scotts stuff is definately closer to the real look. On the other hand, Craigs stuff is very extreme, but excellent in it's own way. I love looking at both. :)


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Beau ­ Hudspeth
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Oct 01, 2008 19:27 |  #10

ArcticShooter wrote in post #6418773 (external link)
I think that some of theReal7's HDRs are as good as they get :)

I tend to agree. He and I tend to produce ones with a similar look.

canonloader wrote in post #6418927 (external link)
Yeah, Scotts stuff is definitely closer to the real look. On the other hand, Craig s stuff is very extreme, but excellent in it's own way. I love looking at both. :)

Which Craig is that?


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Oct 01, 2008 19:42 |  #11

realism ftw




  
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Oct 01, 2008 19:47 |  #12

You are asking about the level of tonemapping, not exposure.

I think different tonemappings are fine for different scenes, excessive tonemapping is nice for vehicles, planes sometimes people.
Realistic tonemapping is great for glass and landscapes.

When the dynamic range of the scene is not very big an excessive or double tonemapping is a good idea because otherwise the HDR is more or less the same as a regular picture. When the dynamic range is really big a realistic HDR has impact.

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ptbarnum
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Oct 01, 2008 19:51 as a reply to  @ S-S's post |  #13

I've been experimenting with different ways to approach the process of creating a HDR images. I've been using one image then created multiple exposures with some presets I made in LR and the results are interesting and look very natural.

example:
I think it replicate what the eye initially sees when composing a shot.

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Oct 01, 2008 23:21 |  #14

Beau Hudspeth wrote in post #6418408 (external link)
Hey, Duder ... do you have an example you can show us of what you think is the ideal look of HDR?

I don't think there is an ideal 'look' for an image with a high dynamic range, since the main purpose of using the HDR technique is simply to provide higher quality detail in the highlights/shadows. By producing an HDR, and restoring/improving detail in the image, the final processed look can be whatever the creator decides (depending on skill/expertise in PP).

This is my best example of a truly high dynamic range image, as it simply wouldn't have been remotely possible to capture all the detail in a single exposure. I needed 7 exposures in all 2 stops apart to cover the dynamic range of the scene, and obviously I was going for realism in processing the final version.

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/petejackson/image/67298946/original.jpg

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Oct 02, 2008 03:14 |  #15

Duder wrote in post #6420755 (external link)
I don't think there is an ideal 'look' for an image with a high dynamic range, since the main purpose of using the HDR technique is simply to provide higher quality detail in the highlights/shadows. By producing an HDR, and restoring/improving detail in the image, the final processed look can be whatever the creator decides (depending on skill/expertise in PP).

This is my best example of a truly high dynamic range image, as it simply wouldn't have been remotely possible to capture all the detail in a single exposure. I needed 7 exposures in all 2 stops apart to cover the dynamic range of the scene, and obviously I was going for realism in processing the final version.

QUOTED IMAGE

Excellent as always Pete!:) I also favor the natural look if you're doing HDRs but, it really comes down to preference in the end for the photog.




  
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How much HDR is too much?
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