rise of the radioactive hdrs


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night86mare

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#1
they've always been around; from the beginning:

hdrs with massive haloing, hdr with much too much fine detail (and somehow, oversharpened) for even the human eye to see, hdr with over-saturated colors, hdr with radioactive elements, hdr with uneven lighting;

in short, hdr overdone in my own opinion. you can see a lot of examples of these here in flickr.

from a personal point of view, i implore all alike to stay away from these; i do not know how it can be twisted and warped into "art". i mean, certainly nobody was harmed in the process, but in short, i cannot find the effect pleasing; i find it immensely disturbing that anybody could either.

in fact, it doesn't really help when some magazines publish works and articles where hdr is overdone in there as well.

i think there's been a brewing storm about this idea about art : it seems that people seem to advocate a "never say die" attitude of "my work is art, and i am going to do it" - and when you push it further they will no doubt come up with old arguments involving how blah artist was blah criticised and how blah he is oh-so-famous today. and then at one point of time or another, somehow the same old names will fly out - dave hill la, etc. YES, there are cases of these, that is in the past - today we have a lot more diverse art forms than we had in the past, and it can only grow; as people emulate the old and produce new ways. and dave hill has done his "surreal processing" in a manner which remains somewhat grounded in reality. in short, it works. not everything is like that. if radioactive hdrs (as i call them) can be called art though, i'd eat my hat.

on another note, i was quoted other photography forums when providing opinions. most of the other photography forums i visit have 2 main ways of responding - one would be to blatantly ignore whatever is posted, the other is to remark that it is perhaps, overdone.

someone once said that if there were people who felt that your picture was overdone, it probably was. if it wasn't, then well, they won't have spotted it in the first place, would they?

so what do you think? is realism more than just keeping the elements that were there together? does art have to be at least, somewhat grounded in reality, other than jsut presenting the scene?

i think as usual there will be people who accuse me of riding on a high horse; well, you can think that way, i'd say first. frankly, i do not care. i think there is possibly an application for this form of processing, but what i have seen it being used on so far, is very depressing for me.
 

LittleWolf

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#2
they've always been around; from the beginning:

hdrs with massive haloing, hdr with much too much fine detail (and somehow, oversharpened) for even the human eye to see, hdr with over-saturated colors, hdr with radioactive elements, hdr with uneven lighting;

in short, hdr overdone in my own opinion.
One cause of this is the recent hype about "HDR", as if it was some special kind of technique when it really just is just a fancy term for something as mundane as dealing with high contrast. A lot of people seem to think of "HDR" as a special effect. The promotion of specialized programs without an understanding of what they actually do, or posting images under the label "HDR" only helps to affirm that belief.
 

Lolrence

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Oct 15, 2006
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It's very subjective. There had always been 2 ways to art; realism and abstracts. (and everything else in-btw) Just because someone feel that realism is appeals more to him/her than abstracts (or vice versa) doesn't mean that the other 'choice' is wrong. Important thing is that that final photo appeals to whoever the photographer had targeted it at (be it themselves, clients or the general audience).

Put this in another perspective. If it was a drawing we were talking about, would you prefer something abstract or something realistic? Would you prefer cross-hatching or would you prefer fine shading? Would you prefer a stylized character drawn on paper, or would you prefer a character drawn to real world measurements?
 

azul123

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Dec 4, 2004
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#4
I think we should just learn to accept... live and let live, what's wrong with having many different flavours/style/pov/processing in photography. Some like it and some don't.

Just like music, there is rock, rap, classical etc... and there will always be a following. Who knows maybe from HDR there might be a spin-off to another processing effects that will take the photography world by storm and everyone would have said thanks to HDR we know have this new photography effect.

Don't like.. don't see, simple.

../azul123
 

night86mare

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#5
One cause of this is the recent hype about "HDR", as if it was some special kind of technique when it really just is just a fancy term for something as mundane as dealing with high contrast. A lot of people seem to think of "HDR" as a special effect. The promotion of specialized programs without an understanding of what they actually do, or posting images under the label "HDR" only helps to affirm that belief.
yes, there are some who actually call it the "hdr effect"

hdr is not an effect!
 

night86mare

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#6
It's very subjective. There had always been 2 ways to art; realism and abstracts. (and everything else in-btw) Just because someone feel that realism is appeals more to him/her than abstracts (or vice versa) doesn't mean that the other 'choice' is wrong. Important thing is that that final photo appeals to whoever the photographer had targeted it at (be it themselves, clients or the general audience).

Put this in another perspective. If it was a drawing we were talking about, would you prefer something abstract or something realistic? Would you prefer cross-hatching or would you prefer fine shading? Would you prefer a stylized character drawn on paper, or would you prefer a character drawn to real world measurements?
i acknowledge that, for sure.

but while we consider photography an art, it is quite different per se from other forms, which are created from scratch.. from conceptualisation in the artist's mind to drawing block, from the sculptor's vision to the chisel and stone, from the dancer's imagination to flow and movement. photography employs the capture of what is life, and places it onto a 2d medium. it is different from digital art. it is also slightly different from film-making.

i hope you get what i mean, i do not intend to just shove my opinion down people's throats, but based on this point, i think perhaps it is only fair that most people have expectations when viewing a "photograph" that there is a least a minimum sense of reality grounded in it. i think perhaps the only genre of photography which may be exempt from such expectations could be conceptual works where there is posing, there is specific arrangement of elements, building of sets just to execute your concept.

i do not really mind that such works exist, just like i am more than fine with things i do not like in life happening - that is life. but i'm not really certain as to how one could term it photography.

also, to elaborate, you DO NOT need hdr to create the "radioactive hdr" effect. just keep multiplying highlights/shadows in photoshop, set it to 100 highlights, 100 shadow, and repeat it few times, duplicate layers, multiply it, and then saturate it heavily.
 

night86mare

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#7
Don't like.. don't see, simple.
it isn't quite as simple as that - take for example your unhappiness with the scene in singapore. i don't think i've ever used such a weak argument as "don't like, don't see, simple." i mean, it's theoretically possible that you just lock yourself up in a room and refuse to go out.
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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#8
[/IMG]

It depends. I like this one cos he is my son and it is not hdr-ed.
 

night86mare

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#9
It depends. I like this one cos he is my son and it is not hdr-ed.
flash fired, along with intensive highlight/shadow manipulation in photoshop?

i also think it's also possible that there was a cut and pasting and layering done. it seems to be hoovering slightly off the ground even though there is a leaning on the bike, which seems a bit weird to me. :) the grass pattern also looks very weird..have never seen grass like that.

oh, btw, i do not refer to emotional attachment pictures.. these have a special place. i'm sure everyone has a photograph that isn't technically sound, or doesn't have a strong composition, but it just means something to you, because of whatever reason - be it the person you were with, the place you were at, the people in the photographs. everybody is certainly more than entitled to that.. though there should also be acknowledgement (when asking for critique, at least) that the photograph is less than solid.
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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#10
no worries. i understand your 1st post. i have been reading about hdr and how it was developed. Applying this technology for photo processing is not what it was meant for but well it does work . I agree with you that some have over done it and some do not even have a good set of photos to work with. Well, at least they try and that is how they interpret their photos. maybe should write a step-by step guide as a sticky is this forum.
 

eikin

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Apr 27, 2004
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#11
they've always been around; from the beginning:

hdrs with massive haloing, hdr with much too much fine detail (and somehow, oversharpened) for even the human eye to see, hdr with over-saturated colors, hdr with radioactive elements, hdr with uneven lighting;

in short, hdr overdone in my own opinion. you can see a lot of examples of these here in flickr.

from a personal point of view, i implore all alike to stay away from these; i do not know how it can be twisted and warped into "art". i mean, certainly nobody was harmed in the process, but in short, i cannot find the effect pleasing; i find it immensely disturbing that anybody could either.

in fact, it doesn't really help when some magazines publish works and articles where hdr is overdone in there as well.

i think there's been a brewing storm about this idea about art : it seems that people seem to advocate a "never say die" attitude of "my work is art, and i am going to do it" - and when you push it further they will no doubt come up with old arguments involving how blah artist was blah criticised and how blah he is oh-so-famous today. and then at one point of time or another, somehow the same old names will fly out - dave hill la, etc. YES, there are cases of these, that is in the past - today we have a lot more diverse art forms than we had in the past, and it can only grow; as people emulate the old and produce new ways. and dave hill has done his "surreal processing" in a manner which remains somewhat grounded in reality. in short, it works. not everything is like that. if radioactive hdrs (as i call them) can be called art though, i'd eat my hat.

on another note, i was quoted other photography forums when providing opinions. most of the other photography forums i visit have 2 main ways of responding - one would be to blatantly ignore whatever is posted, the other is to remark that it is perhaps, overdone.

someone once said that if there were people who felt that your picture was overdone, it probably was. if it wasn't, then well, they won't have spotted it in the first place, would they?

so what do you think? is realism more than just keeping the elements that were there together? does art have to be at least, somewhat grounded in reality, other than jsut presenting the scene?

i think as usual there will be people who accuse me of riding on a high horse; well, you can think that way, i'd say first. frankly, i do not care. i think there is possibly an application for this form of processing, but what i have seen it being used on so far, is very depressing for me.
HDR images are scary stuff these days :sweat:

anyway, HDR is an effect. and when people are just in for the effect, they will just get what they want, an effect. that's the case for most hobbyists anyway. how many are ready (or able) to look beyond the effect and recognize that it's just another tool to fulfill some vision? styles and effects seldom last anyway, after a while people will start getting tired of it and start looking for some other styles/effects.
 

Leong23

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Oct 18, 2007
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#12
Maybe just ignore them, you can't actually stop them.

Just like me, when i tell people to move in closer than cropping too much when taking marco, most of them just don't bother.

Even in hobbyiest, some are aiming for excellent, but some just wanted to shoot for fun.

one fine example: GWC vs Photographer. :)
 

LittleWolf

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Jan 23, 2005
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#13
anyway, HDR is an effect.
No. Dynamic range is a characteristic of data, and/or the systems used to acquire and process this data. "High" dynamic range is not a precise term, but simply refers to "more than usual".

What causes the ghoulish so-called "HDR effect" are attempts to compress the image into the limitations of a system with much smaller dynamic range (e.g. 8-bit sRGB quantization, paper prints, and common monitors), without sacrificing saturation, local contrast, etc. The compression is just a crutch to crudely visualize the data on a screen (or store it in a file) which doesn't provide sufficient dynamic range. The resultant image is NOT HDR. This is something that most people don't seem to get.
 

eikin

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Apr 27, 2004
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#14
No. Dynamic range is a characteristic of data, and/or the systems used to acquire and process this data. "High" dynamic range is not a precise term, but simply refers to "more than usual".

What causes the ghoulish so-called "HDR effect" are attempts to compress the image into the limitations of a system with much smaller dynamic range (e.g. 8-bit sRGB quantization, paper prints, and common monitors), without sacrificing saturation, local contrast, etc. The compression is just a crutch to crudely visualize the data on a screen (or store it in a file) which doesn't provide sufficient dynamic range. The resultant image is NOT HDR. This is something that most people don't seem to get.
of course dynamic range is a characteristic of photographs or images for that matter since that includes motion films as well. HDR is achieved from a string of processes to pack in, for lack of a better term, ''desired'' exposures for specific parts of the image not achievable under ''normal'' circumstances. ghoulish or beautiful, it is beyond ''normal'' and is an effect, like any other post processing. (like how one can push the saturation bar in Photoshop to increase the colour saturation of the image when the original does not carry the data that corresponds to the high saturation, but a high colour saturation image is still resulted, and that's the effect of applying the processing) you cannot discount those ghoulish photographs as being ''not-HDR,'' they are just badly done because their authors do not (or do not know how to) exercise good methods of processing. the range may still be resulted, but in a bad way. and before those ''HDR softwares'' hit the market, there were still many trying to achieve HDR through combining multiple bracketed exposures and such, even then bad haloing, radioactive colours etc. still appear. even now you still find such pictures, done conscientiously through ''traditional'' means but ending up in appalling results.
 

pisduck

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#15
aiya,

people have different tastes what. I don't like the urban acid treatment also but you like right?

anyway I do agree that most hdr images are overdone. My personal point of view is if it SHOUTS "HDR!!!" it is probably overdone.
 

night86mare

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#16
What causes the ghoulish so-called "HDR effect" are attempts to compress the image into the limitations of a system with much smaller dynamic range (e.g. 8-bit sRGB quantization, paper prints, and common monitors), without sacrificing saturation, local contrast, etc. The compression is just a crutch to crudely visualize the data on a screen (or store it in a file) which doesn't provide sufficient dynamic range. The resultant image is NOT HDR. This is something that most people don't seem to get.
understsand what you are saying, but the processing technique has been referred to as such.

what is actually happening, if anyone is familiar - is that the software blends the different exposures into a new file, which cannot be displayed on even a monitor..

and then you tone map it, which causes the "compression" so that everything is nicely displayed.

alternatively, with a lot of work, layers in photoshop and masking and all that jazz, one could do the most natural looking hdr (without photomatix).. but the work is painful,.
 

night86mare

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#17
of course dynamic range is a characteristic of photographs or images for that matter since that includes motion films as well. HDR is achieved from a string of processes to pack in, for lack of a better term, ''desired'' exposures for specific parts of the image not achievable under ''normal'' circumstances. ghoulish or beautiful, it is beyond ''normal'' and is an effect, like any other post processing. (like how one can push the saturation bar in Photoshop to increase the colour saturation of the image when the original does not carry the data that corresponds to the high saturation, but a high colour saturation image is still resulted, and that's the effect of applying the processing) you cannot discount those ghoulish photographs as being ''not-HDR,'' they are just badly done because their authors do not (or do not know how to) exercise good methods of processing. the range may still be resulted, but in a bad way. and before those ''HDR softwares'' hit the market, there were still many trying to achieve HDR through combining multiple bracketed exposures and such, even then bad haloing, radioactive colours etc. still appear. even now you still find such pictures, done conscientiously through ''traditional'' means but ending up in appalling results.
actually i especially feel irritated because it seems like the SAME tone mapping parameters are used everytime. you get carbon copies of the same type of funny lighting, too much cloud detail combined with gritty looking surfaces, i'm sure you know what i mean.

there is no customisation for any image and that really defeats the principle of image manipulation - the main aim behind it is to achieve YOUR VISION.

what i see here is not an achievement of vision. it is an achievement of the computer's vision and they seem to leave it at the computer's vision, before proceeding to tweak the colors into alien landscapes - greenish sunsets are really, never heard of.
 

night86mare

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#18
aiya,

people have different tastes what. I don't like the urban acid treatment also but you like right?

anyway I do agree that most hdr images are overdone. My personal point of view is if it SHOUTS "HDR!!!" it is probably overdone.
different tastes, i can accept.

for example, if a photograph with a blackandwhite sunset is presented to me, along with the sunset in full color glory; personal preferences dictate that i would choose the color one, unless the color really is quite horrible.

so you would choose something without urban acid over something with urban acid.

this is not a question of different tastes actually, i actually see it as a clashing of principles and perhaps, if it were possible, photographic philosophy. the worst part is when you are accused of being overly technical and a realism nazi. i LOVE surrealism. but when surrealism mutates into an uncontrollable creature, then i have to run from it.
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#19
to me, photography is just like food and music.

even if there is subjectivity, there is still good and bads. some work may be regarded as ok, good or excellent, but not bad, by more than 99% of viewers, while some work may be simply regarded as bad by more than 99% of its viewers.

i have to admit that i see no visual pleasure, aesthetic merits nor any deeper meanings of works that flattens every color from highlights to shadows into midtones, and very often without regards to composition.

but i safely assumed that the reason why composition is lacking is that the artificiality of colors and the flattening of the tonal contrast distribution masked and confused one's ability to judge composition, becos composition is not just about placement of forms, but also placement of colors and tones.

and something not of assumption but rather more of a judgement, is that the current trend strayed away from the intended effect of HDR, which is to override the sensor's insensitivity and more accurately approximate the eye's compensation to exposure. such HDR techniques comes with certain digital defects. and i'm not sure if such users truely like the incidental digital defects and pushed it to the extremes or that they lack the eye to pick up the defects and persisted with it in order to preserve certain attributes. my personal experience is that, now i look at my work done 2 years ago, i can see what my eyes fail to pick up at that time which i now can, but i'm not sure if that can be applied on the others.
 

chisiang

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Oct 3, 2004
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#20
Well, I'm presumed that I am one of those "rogues" that falls into your "pain list" :bsmilie:

To be frank, I'm new in this HDR hype thingy but certainly not new in photography.

I have put up various so called "radio-active" HDR photos as well as some less dramatic and what you would refer to as main-stream HRD photos in several other non-photographic forums.

Those forums which I posted, almost 100% of the viewer expressed "Awe", "wow" or some welcoming expression. While on the other hand, those with "less dramatic" photos received lukewarm responds.

Now, I don't need to go an ego trip just in order to know what kind of work is well received by the general audience. To me, this is just a gimmick to try it out. If the public likes this kind of "art", then more people will do it. I have other things to try out besides.

Preaching and whining about how the HDR trend should progress in a few photographic forums are not going to change how people choose to "paint" or develop their photographs, and certainly not with severe criticism of others' works.

As long as there's a HRD thread, you will be there preaching about your own standards of HDR. I think you should cease refrain from such acts immediately. :nono:
 

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