HDR Processing


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Zhiliang

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Dec 20, 2006
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Serangoon
#1
Hi,

Would like to ask, for High Dynamic Range images, what is the best program for processing it? I do not know why, when i tried for the first time by bracketing 3 shots with +2 and -2 stops and then later use CS2's command Merge to HDR and couldnt get something nice. In fact the colour turned into something different, and the highlights remain as over blown as ever. Am i doing something wrong over here? Thanks.
 

Jun 10, 2005
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Dengue Town
#2
Hi,

Would like to ask, for High Dynamic Range images, what is the best program for processing it? I do not know why, when i tried for the first time by bracketing 3 shots with +2 and -2 stops and then later use CS2's command Merge to HDR and couldnt get something nice. In fact the colour turned into something different, and the highlights remain as over blown as ever. Am i doing something wrong over here? Thanks.
Never tried but from the mags I ahve read, you need to tweak the images curves and all to get the picture right. Not just a matter of mergin them.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#3
Hi,

Would like to ask, for High Dynamic Range images, what is the best program for processing it? I do not know why, when i tried for the first time by bracketing 3 shots with +2 and -2 stops and then later use CS2's command Merge to HDR and couldnt get something nice. In fact the colour turned into something different, and the highlights remain as over blown as ever. Am i doing something wrong over here? Thanks.
Don't use PS CS2.

Use Photomatix, it is the best you can use right now, I used to do PS CS2, still had to whack a lot of highlights/shadows to get the HDR look I wanted.
 

Oct 21, 2004
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Singapore
www.alvinteo.com
#4
Hi,

Would like to ask, for High Dynamic Range images, what is the best program for processing it? I do not know why, when i tried for the first time by bracketing 3 shots with +2 and -2 stops and then later use CS2's command Merge to HDR and couldnt get something nice. In fact the colour turned into something different, and the highlights remain as over blown as ever. Am i doing something wrong over here? Thanks.
The following was done with Photomatix + Photoshop:

 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#6
Here, let me poison you;

This is CS2 -after- a lot of work, and even then it sucks:



This is Photomatix (IR photograph, btw), only needed to do the channel swap:



Was there any doubt? <3 <3 <3
 

Zhiliang

New Member
Dec 20, 2006
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Serangoon
#11
Here, let me poison you;

This is CS2 -after- a lot of work, and even then it sucks:



This is Photomatix (IR photograph, btw), only needed to do the channel swap:



Was there any doubt? <3 <3 <3
Hey, very nice leh, you mean Photomatix can also do IR photos? Can be my HDR and IR shifu or not? I seriously need help ah......
 

ibs

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Oct 22, 2004
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www.fotobyimran.com
#13
Hi,

Would like to ask, for High Dynamic Range images, what is the best program for processing it? I do not know why, when i tried for the first time by bracketing 3 shots with +2 and -2 stops and then later use CS2's command Merge to HDR and couldnt get something nice. In fact the colour turned into something different, and the highlights remain as over blown as ever. Am i doing something wrong over here? Thanks.
Like what the other posters mentioned, Photomatix is the way to go. But do take note, if you use its tone mapping tool the result will come out either ridiculously fantastic or fantasticly ridiculous :) It'll take some work in PS to massage the dynamics and colors to taste.

You might want to use the exposure blending tool instead, since it'll give you a more natural result.. unless you are going for the 'photomatix look'. :)

My fav method is to expose for the highlights in a single shot and dodge it to taste in PS. If done right, you'll probably get the same effect as well.
 

sigurros

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Mar 11, 2007
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#14
Just a newbie question on merging photos of different exposure, can this be done only in raw or can also be in Jpeg for both in PS or photomatix?

Thanks
 

night86mare

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#15
Just a newbie question on merging photos of different exposure, can this be done only in raw or can also be in Jpeg for both in PS or photomatix?

Thanks
Photomatix accepts RAW, if I'm not wrong. At least it's in the file type listings when you try to generate HDR.

It doesn't matter, you can always put in some extra effort and whack RAW first, and save as JPG.

But I almost always shoot in JPG for RAW. My version of Photomatix has no anti-ghosting feature, so er, if I shoot RAW my camera will have a significant time lag between picture 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.. etc, which means cloud trails for those landscapes. =(
 

ykgen

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Sep 9, 2004
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#16
i want to learn.. can someone kind enough to guide me through step by step..?

also, if i wanna take a HRD portraits.. i must bracket the camera?
 

night86mare

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#17
i want to learn.. can someone kind enough to guide me through step by step..?

also, if i wanna take a HRD portraits.. i must bracket the camera?
Bracketing doesn't give enough photos to do HDR.

You need to adjust the exposure time manually. WB must be kept the same, so no Auto please, best if manual focus, because AF might change focal point for all you know, Aperture MUST be kept the same.

So basically, ONLY the exposure time changes, the most basic range which works for me starts from -2, then take 5 exposures in total with one full stop between each, i.e. -2, -1, 0, +1, +2.

This is with the assumption that your metering is accurate. In special cases you'd have to adjust accordingly if you're lazy like me and have all the time in the world.

Then you combine in PS CS 2 or Photomatix, and I suggest that you use Photomatix. It is much better than PS CS 2 for HDR.

Best not to do HDR for portrait, I have seen many, and frankly it does not look good. It looks horrible and the people look weird and alien. Unless you're into that? :bsmilie: Feel free to ask if you need any more help. =)
 

ykgen

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Sep 9, 2004
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#18
thanks.. i will try first.. if got question.. i'll ask again..
 

espion

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Aug 25, 2005
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#19
A few clarifications;

1. Auto Focus. You can do AF. There is such as AFL - Autofocus lock. You need to read the manual for your camera. You can decouple/separate the focus from the exposure metering, which is by default on the shutter trigger button. When separated your focus will never run with each shutter release.

2. Bracketing. Some cameras can do some sort of auto exposure bracketing, eg for my E500, I can set to 3 or 5 steps auto bracket with some preset EV difference. But again you have to read the manual for your camera.

3. RAW Files. Photomatix can do HDR from multiple or even a single RAW file. My experience thus far is that the HDR looks better when generated from RAW files. To do HDR for a single RAW file, just open it - and not Generate under the HDR menu - then do tone mapping after that. But HDR from single RAW files is noisy in the shadows.

4. HDR Portraiture. There is always no harm experimenting - you wont really know until you have experience. If you are doing multiple exposures your subject must not move. Anyway you just need 2 exposures for a good HDR. And then why just stop at HDR? For example you can combine with the Orton effect.

5. Number of Exposures. Depends on the scene. You can estimate by first metereing - use spot metering - the shadows and the highlights in the scene, and see how many EV apart are they. For example, if the shadows, at f8 is 1/8 and the highlights for the same aperture is 1/150, then the exposure range is about 6EV. You can do 3 exposures, at -3EV, 0, and +3EV, starting from 1/8 and progress upwards. There is no need for very fine EV differential. You can see this from the histogram. If you getting the same histogram shape for two different exposures then one of them is likely to be redundant. Again you can experiment by combining dfferent exposures in Photomatix and see for yourselves the results.

6. The "Photomatix look". The two key controls for a natural or unnatural look in Photomatix are the light smoothing and micro smoothing sliders. The more smoothing the more natural the look. Also not enough light smoothing create lots of haloes around high contrast edges. I always avoid such haloes. HDR can be used without any suspicions it was used.

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
 

ykgen

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Sep 9, 2004
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#20
i dun have photomatix.. but only PS CS2.. i'm a total layer idiot.. can someone tell how to merge the pix using layers?
 

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