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Subject: "HDR troubles" Previous topic | Next topic
dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 01:39 AM
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"HDR troubles"



          

Today i shot a series of pictures of my house. It was at night with all window and external lights on. I was trying to get a picture which had the lights correctly exposed, and the house light enough. I decided to use HDR. I took 10 images. The highest shutter speed was at 150 and the lowest was at 30 seconds. i combined useing HDR, and came out with unimpressive results. The lights were still blown out, the sidewalk had a greenish tinge, and all the lights had a random blue "blob" on them. What am i doing wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
04th Sep 2006
1
Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
04th Sep 2006
2
     Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
04th Sep 2006
3
          Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
04th Sep 2006
4
               Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
04th Sep 2006
5
                    Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
04th Sep 2006
6
                         Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
04th Sep 2006
7
Reply message RE: HDR troubles
KevC1973
04th Sep 2006
8
Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
04th Sep 2006
9
     Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
04th Sep 2006
10
          Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
04th Sep 2006
11
               Reply message RE: HDR troubles
KevC1973
04th Sep 2006
12
                    Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
05th Sep 2006
13
                         Reply message RE: HDR troubles
KevC1973
05th Sep 2006
14
                              Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
05th Sep 2006
15
                                   Reply message RE: HDR troubles
KevC1973
05th Sep 2006
16
                                        Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
05th Sep 2006
17
                                             Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
06th Sep 2006
18
                                                  Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
06th Sep 2006
19
                                                  Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
06th Sep 2006
20
                                                  Reply message RE: HDR troubles
dhaider
06th Sep 2006
21
                                                  Reply message RE: HDR troubles
bobj Silver Member
06th Sep 2006
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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberMon 04-Sep-06 02:01 AM
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#1. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 0


Sammamish, US
          

Hard to say. First off, you probably took too many shots. Each one should be about two stops apart so 10 shots seems a bit much. Second, if the lights were still blown out, they likely were in the shortest exposure you did shoot. You need to be sure to shoot images that cover the full range without overexposing. The random blue blobs is likely an artifact of not having a good exposure for them that did not overexpose.

The greenish tinge on the sidewalk may really be there depending on what street lights or other lighting there may have been. Sodium vapor lights could easily have been slightly green. Even though our eyes compensate for this, the camera does not.

There is also the issue of how you converted the image to 8-bit or 16-bit. HDR images themselves in their native 32-bit form will always look bad since no monitor can display their wide dymamic range. To see them, you have to convert to 8-bit or 16-bit using some sort of tone mapping function. The choices you make here can have a dramatic effect on how the final image looks.

This topic probably belongs over in the post-processing and workflow forum by the way.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 02:12 AM
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#2. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 1



          

Sorry about posting in the wrong forum. I will keep it in mind next time.

About the exposure, How do you know if the picture is overexposed. I mean you cannot rely on the camera meter right? If the lights are burned out does that mean the picture is overexposed? If that is true then it would be impossible to get a correctly exposed picture, because the house would be in darkeness, if the lights are properly exposed.
I am confused, any help would be appreciated.

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberMon 04-Sep-06 02:17 AM
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#3. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 2


Sammamish, US
          

Check the histogram after shooting each shot. You need shots all the way down until the histogram does not peg against the right hand end of the display. Yes, this will mean at least that last shot will be totally black other than the lights in the windows which will be correctly exposed.

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/photoshop-cs2-hdr-32bit.html

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 02:21 AM
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#4. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 3



          

Ok, thanks.
I am going to the park tommorow and hoping to catch a sunset plus surronding landscape. I will use HDR to get the image exposed correctly. By the way, how does having alot of shots mess up the HDR utility?

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberMon 04-Sep-06 02:26 AM
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#5. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 4


Sammamish, US
          

The more shots you have, the harder it is for them to be combined of course, but more importantly, the more likely it is that something won't line up somewhere. You will get sharper results if you have fewer shots.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 02:34 AM
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#6. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 5



          

Hey bobj,

Thanks for helping me out. This is my first time really useing HDR. One last question i have, actually two last questions. How many shots would you recommend, is 6 or 7 ok? Also do i have to change the shutter speed two or 3 stops every time or would it be ok changing it 5 or 6 stops every time?

thanks in advance

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberMon 04-Sep-06 02:37 AM
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#7. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 6


Sammamish, US
          

Basically, you need as many shots as you need. It depends on how much range the subject has. If you are shooting straight into the sunset for instance you may indeed need 6 or 7 shots. You should generally go for 2 stops between each shot, certainly never 5 or 6. Now if you count clicks of the command dial though, it might take 6 *clicks* (not stops) if your camera is set to 1/3 stop adjustments.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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KevC1973 Registered since 17th Apr 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 05:55 AM
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#8. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 0



          

Here's how I shoot my HDR shots. I'm not perfect, but I do get decent head-turning results from time to time... so something here must be right.


Shoot

1) Tripod.... never without a tripod.
2) Setup on Aperature Priority, choose whatever you want, as long as aperature remains constant throughout the sequence you will be fine. Nothing worse than having several shots with differing DOF's
3) AutoISO MUST be off, or else your exposures may trigger an ISO change mid-sequence.
4) Use either bracketing or EV balance to get your sequence. You want a sequence of three for most cases, but it's completely up to you. I usually shoot a full sequence from -3 to +3 EV in steps of 1.


Process

1) Nikon Capture. Choose the best exposure, perform a white balance on it. Remove ALL other filters, turn them all off. Once you have that shot done, select all shots in the sequence and click Match Settings. This ensures ALL your photos are white balanced and unmodified by any effects.
2) Save as 16bit Tiff using Nikon Capture.
3) Download a copy of Photomatix. Open your sequence. If your smart, you got a wider sequence than you really need, so you can mix and match depending on just how you want your end-result tonally. Open the images in Photomatix.
4) Perform a "Generate HDR", keep all defaults, except "Align images".... you DO want to align the images, so change that.
5) Once that's done. Perform "Tone Mapping". Your presented with a hoard of sliders. Play with them until you get an effect you are happy with. Click OK, and save the result as a 16bit tiff.
6) Use photoshop and perform regular post processing or whatever you feel you need.


It takes a few tries to get the hang of it. Moving those sliders around takes some getting used to, and the effect is almost always too dramatic for most peoples liking. This is why I prefer to tone-down the HDR effect with some photoshop work.

Check out my Flowerpot Truck, my Tow Truck, my Nighttime Mansion, and of course... my Artifact!

I tend to go for the little surrealness, however a little desaturation, or even overlaying the original exposure over the HDR can produce some VERY interesting effects. I say play with it, I've posted how I get what I get, now make it better

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 03:39 PM
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#9. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 8



          

Thanks for the info.

I do not have Photomatix, i use the HDR in photoshop CS2.
What is the closest thing to tone mapping in photoshop?
Also, are the 3 pictures usually enough to get the full dynamic range of the subject?

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberMon 04-Sep-06 03:44 PM
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#10. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 9


Sammamish, US
          

Edit >> Convert to 8-bit or 16-bit initiates the Photoshop equivalent of Tone Mapping. Photoshop provides four methods: "Exposure and Gamma," "Highlight Compression," "Equalize Histogram," and "Local Adaptation." Photomatix has its own way that is different from any of these four but is closest to Local Adaptation.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 03:50 PM
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#11. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 10



          

Ok, thanks,

I am playing with the local adaptation right now. I'll see what i come up with.

  

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KevC1973 Registered since 17th Apr 2006Mon 04-Sep-06 11:48 PM
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#12. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 11



          

My advice is to play with them all and get an idea of how each method impacts the finished product. You can get some really interesting outcomes sometimes

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Tue 05-Sep-06 12:29 AM
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#13. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 12



          

I know this question is pretty simple, but i am not sure how to copy the original image on to the HDR image. I would like to try it to see what results i get, but i am not sure how. I am useing photoshop CS2.

  

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KevC1973 Registered since 17th Apr 2006Tue 05-Sep-06 02:04 AM
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#14. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 13



          

You should have the 'average' shot from the sequence saved as a tiff still? Open that in photoshop, copy the whole image and paste it as a layer over the HDR copy. Decrease the opacity to 30% and work on alignment if it needs any, then put it back to 100%.

Change the layer mode to Screen or Overlay, even play with the burns or any of the others, play with opacity as well in each of those modes to change the subtleness of change. Tons of options really.

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Tue 05-Sep-06 03:54 PM
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#15. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 14



          

Once again, thanks for all your help guys. i have learned alot about how to use HDR from this thread. I just want to make sure i understand this correctly, during your various exposures, you never want blown out highlights, correct? In other words even the brightest exposure should not contain any blown out highlights?

Thanks

  

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KevC1973 Registered since 17th Apr 2006Tue 05-Sep-06 10:57 PM
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#16. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 15



          

Not at all really, you can have many blown out highlights, and in most cases you will have many.

Basically what you want to do with your sequence of files is to create a set of exposures that gives detail on everything in the photo. This may mean that to get decent looking textured shadows, your shadow exposure will be mostly blown out.

Don't know if I've worded that right, been a looooong day

Lets say your scene is a car against foilage, with an overcast but bright sky. First expose for the sky, so that the exposure has absolutely no highlights in the sky. Sometimes you may need to take two exposures to get a full dynamic range in a sky. (isolated storms, etc.) Take a shot to expose for the brights properly, then retake another shot to get good detail in the darker clouds.

Next you will want to expose for the foilage or landscape itself. Again, you want to complete dynamic range of it. Check the photos of the sky and see where your at in terms of exposure on the landscape and adjust as needed. Take one brighter one to get good shadow detail, and one darker one to get good detail in the brights. There should be no blown out highlights on the darker one, the brighter one may have a few.

Lastly, the foreground or subject. Again, review what you have. See if you've already got enough detail in both the brights and darks. If you have, your done, if not... simply shoot a couple off, one bright, one dark.


That's the jist of it really, however most of the time I simply setup and shoot a three shot bracket with the first image set to what I consider a correct, or average, exposure for the whole scene. Only in some instances have I actually taken the time to get enough precise exposures.


Hope this helps... again I'm not an expert, but the results are halfway decent enough to sell.


  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Tue 05-Sep-06 11:51 PM
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#17. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 16



          

Thanks, to everyone for there help. I took 6 photographs ofa sunset, and got very good results after combining them. It looked alittle unnatural, but the ginal image looked great.

One problem i got however (unrelated to HDR) is that in all the pictures i took, if i zoomed up to about 100% i could see a maze pattern in the picture. It is kind of hard to explain, but right underneath the sun there was a brick building, and the building had a maze pattern on it. What is goin on? The pattern could also be seen in the rays sun. is is something with the camera?

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberWed 06-Sep-06 12:04 AM
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#18. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 17


Sammamish, US
          

What format were your images shot in? You could be seeing artifacts from jpeg compression if they were jpeg.

Also, what did you combine them in? Photomatix can in some cases result in this sort of pattern.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Wed 06-Sep-06 01:13 AM
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#19. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 18



          

I was shooting in RAW, and the artifacts are there even before i combine the images together.
I am really getting worried now

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberWed 06-Sep-06 02:27 AM
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#20. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 19


Sammamish, US
          

So what do you use as a raw converter?

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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dhaider Registered since 23rd Jun 2006Wed 06-Sep-06 03:14 AM
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#21. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 20



          

Adobe Camera Raw. I have a link to a picture of the artifacts in the thread "weird artrifacts"

  

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bobj Silver Member Awarded for his multiple written contributions the the community Resources Charter MemberWed 06-Sep-06 03:58 AM
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#22. "RE: HDR troubles"
In response to Reply # 21


Sammamish, US
          

Replied on the other thread.

Bob Johnson - Earthbound Light - Nikonians Gallery
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
Lots more new images!! - Weekly Phototips and Articles - RSS Feed

  

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