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Thread: 1st attempt at HDR

  1. #1

    Default 1st attempt at HDR

    Hi, i am a newbie in photography (just picked up my 1st DSLR last 2 weeks!) and i would like to seek feedback based on composition and the post processing for my own learning.

    The following is a pic that i tried for my 1st HDR attempt and i was trying to take a picture of the landscape at dusk.The place is at Punggol beach and actually i was hoping to see the sunset there as i heard that its a good place to capture one but i was sad that the weather was pretty bad that day. Seeking for other places to capture sunset.



    I know the horizon is slightly tilted as my tripod sank in the soft sand when i took this. The pic was pp in CS3 and photomatix and slight adjustments to the curves, shadows and highlights were made.
    Last edited by rastafiqo; 3rd July 2008 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Hi there! Do take note. There are spots on yur photo (Upper right), most likely caused by dust on the sensor.
    Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still

  3. #3
    Member/Tangshooter dOlBy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    The sky at the top left area is blownout, take note of the luminosity level in Photomatix it tends to create alot of noise and dark specks.

    Keep trying, I'm learning too.

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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Overblown highlights in the sky, and I doubt you could make the sky look any faker. Horizon is tilted, which you have already mentioned, so why couldn't you straighten it out? Picture also looks extremely soft.

    Try working with the composition first before moving onto advanced techniques like HDR.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Gee thx.. I think its dust on my lens. This morning i took a pic with another lens and it turned out fine..

    Time to clean up.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    About the overblown sky, i forgot to bring any filters with me. I only got a UV on my lens at that time..
    I'll work on a better composition next time.

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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by rastafiqo View Post
    About the overblown sky, i forgot to bring any filters with me. I only got a UV on my lens at that time..
    I'll work on a better composition next time.
    no need filters to expose properly. it just requires an understanding of how to meter correctly.

    i recommend the books by Bahman Farzad to explain how the camera exposure works and the zone system.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by rastafiqo View Post
    Gee thx.. I think its dust on my lens. This morning i took a pic with another lens and it turned out fine..

    Time to clean up.
    If there is dust on your lens, you won't see it, unless it is on or very near the rear element. The dust you see is most likely found on your sensor, and you will only see it shooting plain surfaces at small-sized apertures.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by numzkull View Post
    no need filters to expose properly. it just requires an understanding of how to meter correctly.

    i recommend the books by Bahman Farzad to explain how the camera exposure works and the zone system.
    thanks for the tips..I'll need to read up on this one..alr got 3 books not finished reading yet..

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    do you think that the rocks should be as bright as the sky? is that what your eye sees?

    try to replicate what you see. some people will tell you that they like it, that it is art, but i have never yet seen a landscape painting where the light is not how it should be naturally.

    i think the strength here in photomatix is too high. lower it to 40-60, do not ever push it to 100, you will get a haloing of some sorts (unnatural glow around edges of objects) along with unnatural lighting which is overdone. sometimes you will get too much details as well, which will work against you when it comes to composition. cheers

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Divide the pic into 4 equal parts horizontally, remove the top portion.

    Try using a paper to see the effect.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    HDR images can be very cool and detailed
    You need practice to achieve what you saw
    and picture that in your final image.I'm into HDR too
    and different shots have different style of tonemapped
    (if you use photomatix)

    For your 1st shot,the sky is overblown and tilted horizon.I'm not sure
    if you bracket your shots properly.Try a different set of shots
    Practice more and don't be shy to ask
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    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    unnatural exposure aside.. i got a big question..

    if you had spent so much time on working the pp.. why did you not straighten the horizon?

    i'd also have to agree that before jumping into hdr + pp.. maybe you might want to try to figure out metering and compositional techniques first.. for instance.. is it good to divide the picture into 2 halves with the horizon? is the placement of the rocks suitable (as in it brings out the mood that you want to portray)? could it be better if you had shifted a bit and not get the trees into the background?

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Y u guys sound soo serious..I'm just picking up photography as a hobby and not something professionally..anyway this is my 1st attempt mah, infact my first few shots on my new cam..how to be perfect..and i was just trying HDR for fun..

    Im thinking of how can the pic look better in terms of pp.Any techniques to share?
    (yup i know about the tilted horizon, and i just happen to realize it after i finished pp so i was lazy to do anything about it)

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Hello, do not get scared by the seriousness =) They are not trying to bite you or lecture you to death lar. But to really learn, you have to accept some serious, complicated but harsh critique. That's the purpose of this criqitue corner, it's critique, not praises. So the natural assumption is that whoever post here wants to listen and learn and improve.

    Unless it's some totally dark photograph, or totally white, technicalities-wise there is nothing much to comment on.

    It is good that newbies have already browsed through lotsa nice and good photographs by others, and read up on basics of composition. In fact we often assume so (good or bad, don't know). And that the picture posted has some elements of composition or focus. Otherwise it is very very very difficult to comment. Thus if a tilted horizon appears, surely the first item on the list to be pointed out.

    As for post-processing/photoshopping, I think some of the folks above will tell you not to rely on it. Get the composition right first. A badly composed photograph can never be nice even with pp (erm well it can, with severe pp, but that's really no longer a photograph, more like a digital art-work). If you keep thinking pp, pp, pp, when you are shooting, you'll tend to ignore proper composition, and a vicious cycle lalala.

    The scene that you took, or at least that area, you can get very nice and dramatic sunset/sunrise without needing HDR at all. Take a trip down and try again =)

  16. #16

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by rastafiqo View Post
    Y u guys sound soo serious..I'm just picking up photography as a hobby and not something professionally..anyway this is my 1st attempt mah, infact my first few shots on my new cam..how to be perfect..and i was just trying HDR for fun..

    Im thinking of how can the pic look better in terms of pp.Any techniques to share?
    (yup i know about the tilted horizon, and i just happen to realize it after i finished pp so i was lazy to do anything about it)
    no, there is nothing wrong with trying out stuff, but i think most commentors here mean well. your hdr is going to impress some friends not in the know of photography, but after a while they will realise that there is better stuff out there.

    anyways, it is after all your choice. in any field there are always people who will be frivolous.. and people who want to excel; be it studies, be it sports, be it work. a certain amount of effort will help you, and sometimes there are limiting factors such as aptitude. the choice is really yours. i know what i'd choose though.

    the picture will not look good in PP unless you get the basics of composition and understanding what hdr really is like. i am not even sure why i am commenting here, because i do not see any point trying to persuade people who are not interested or serious in getting good results. what i am just going to say is that if you think that PP is everything, then oh boy, you are in for a tough time.

    everyone starts by getting negative comments. no one starts by producing high standards of works. but how you take these comments - whether you are going to say "oh i am new, and i am entitled to mundanity".. or use such comments as a source of motivation to do better - well, like i already said, there are always choices.
    Last edited by night86mare; 4th July 2008 at 09:55 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Hi, dont get me wrong. I didnt say im all into pp and no composition.
    And i can take critiques well.

    I was just "shocked" that after 1 person comments about my composition, then the rest gives the same comments on my composition.
    Its repetetion one after the other. I was expecting some critiques in other areas as well and not just some people who sees others commenting, "eh ur horizon not straight." then he/she says "ya hor. your horizon not straight. y never fix it?" Isnt both the same? Is that the only thing wrong with my composition? I thought i already mentioned about it in the first post.

    I thought the people here could give more constructive comments for me to improve. i mean how would you guys compose the picture if you were there? would you go nearer or maybe not include the distracting trees in the background. You know, stuff like that.

    Sorry if i offended anyone but i just need to do this to learn. I'll definitely go there again and try to take new and better pics, hopefully.

    Thx!

  18. #18

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by rastafiqo View Post
    I thought the people here could give more constructive comments for me to improve. i mean how would you guys compose the picture if you were there? would you go nearer or maybe not include the distracting trees in the background. You know, stuff like that.
    i once met a guy who handed me his camera and asked me "can you help me compose? i'll press the shutter". this was shocking to me.

    here you seem to be doing the same thing. the thing is, what needs to be understood is that there isn't one sole angle where it will work and fall into place and all the angles are going to suck. that's not how photography works, and why you should move around, and try things with understanding.

    what is important is you know what happens when you move yourself, visualise what will happen when you move left, what happens when you move right, and how the elements in your picture will rearrange to form something which works, something that you want. in punggol end beach, this close to the water, it is good to either go very low, or go higher than usual. as to how to do it, that's why you have to go back to reshoot it.

    i have looked through the comments here, and i don't see any reason for your complaints of repetition. almost everyone here has offered a different comment, be it dust, or what. so it looks to me here that you are being overdefensive. yet another thing to get past.

    what is constructive? things that tell you what is wrong, but not spoonfeed you into how to doing it right. you have to think of how to do it right, try it, and then perhaps present the result to see if you are indeed on the right path. this is called active learning, and this will stick with you much longer than spoonfeeding will.

    once again, you have a choice to take this as an attempt to putting you down, or genuine advice. not sure if you understand chinese, but i guess the famous saying 忠言逆耳 comes to mind here. i could sugar coat my comments by trying to find something good to say about the picture, but there are too many mistakes here, i prefer not to.

    btw, regarding the dust, do note that you need to shoot at apertures beyond f/11 (for increased DOF) to see the dust. i suggest you take your camera out, shoot a white wall with manual focus and the wall OOF, at f/22 and use EV +1.0 or +1.5. you should see the dust again. like calebk has said, it is rare that dust on the lens rear element will be seen.
    Last edited by night86mare; 4th July 2008 at 11:51 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    what is important is you know what happens when you move yourself, visualise what will happen when you move left, what happens when you move right, and how the elements in your picture will rearrange to form something which works, something that you want. in punggol end beach, this close to the water, it is good to either go very low, or go higher than usual. as to how to do it, that's why you have to go back to reshoot it
    Appreciate this very well. thank you.
    But imo, i am not asking to be spoonfed, in fact i am doing alot of reading on my own right now so dont think tat i am like the guy u mentioned. Personally, i think its hilarious he asks you to compose and he press the shutter. Sad to see you comparing me and the guy.

    There were like 3 people here who mentioned about tilted horizon even when i alr talked about it so i am not being overdefensive. I do appreciate all the other comments.

    i know my picture is not good and has many weak points, thats why i post it here to get your critiques for my own learning.If it was good or perfect, i dont think it needs any critiques from anyone, right?

    and night86mare, u sound very personal when u mentioned "i am not even sure why i am commenting here, because i do not see any point trying to persuade people who are not interested or serious in getting good results".

    who is this "people" u trying to potray here? I mean who doesnt want good results. I sure do. U trying to say that if i pick it up only as a hobby then i am not serious with it?

    That aside, thanks to everyone who shared. Guess my learning journey not going to be easy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 1st attempt at HDR

    Hi TS,

    Share my personal experience,

    I started to take photos as a hobby recently as well. Came to CS,browse forum, go library borrow books to read as well. My personal experience is that the whole process is like a journey...initially, we find the subject....and click,... soon after, we want to know why the subject and why then..why the subject and why in that environment....then how to put it in the picture and then why I put it in such a way..should I leave out certain elements..and so on...it does get complicated at least in the head when I take photos as compared to the carefree manner when I first started a few months back. There will also be times when I have different interpretations when I take the picture and by the time I view it on my laptop..

    There are people who see me doing that... tell me to dun think so much...just take..but I prefer to just flow along my personal learning journey for now...cause I dun know where it will take me to from here...

    So just learn at your pace...take it as it comes..and all the fun will start to flow in bit by bit ..enjoy the journey!...

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