Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) HDR software & hardware (Public) topic #7461
View in linear mode

Subject: "Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in p..." Previous topic | Next topic
lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012Wed 07-Nov-12 07:39 AM
302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
Thu 08-Nov-12 03:32 AM by lukaswerth

Lahore, PK
          

I have recently tried my first HDRs, and so far, there is only one keeper
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukaswerth/8163211738/in/photostream).
For the other pictures, I got better results using only one of the exposure series.
The one I uploaded to Flickr was made from only two exposures (out of a series of five). I tried more, but the picture gets blocked up.
I use photoshop 5; do you think other software is better at this?

UPDATE: I tried the instructions by Don Menges (sticky at the top of this forum), that is, changing the layer light and lifting the curve, and they worked wonderful. Thank you, Don, should have read them before.
Other parts of my question remains: 1) do you think there is software better than photoshop, 2) can it really be an advantage to blend more than two pictures?

Lukas

Trying to be a keeper of the light

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
mfphoto1
08th Nov 2012
1
Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
barrywesthead Silver Member
08th Nov 2012
2
     Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
lukaswerth
09th Nov 2012
3
          Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
mfphoto1
09th Nov 2012
4
          Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
barrywesthead Silver Member
09th Nov 2012
5
               Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
lukaswerth
10th Nov 2012
6
                    Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
barrywesthead Silver Member
10th Nov 2012
7
                    Reply message RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature ...
ndtking Gold Member
29th Jan 2013
8

mfphoto1 Registered since 29th Oct 2005Thu 08-Nov-12 01:04 PM
733 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#1. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 08-Nov-12 01:08 PM by mfphoto1

Cincinnati, US
          

Each software works a little differently and sometimes one will work better for an image than another. PS CS5 was ok with HDR but CS6 is a lot better. Some use Photomatix or Niks HDR Efix(I really like some of the images I have seen done with the HDR EFIX). I use CS6 and have combined as many as 7 images but usually stick to around 5.

I look at some of your images and by only using two images you are not getting the full dynamic range available, The interior of your scenes are still to dark and the exterior is still to bright.

To answer your questions first I am going to assume you mean photoshop CS5 and not photoshop 5(I am making that assumption because HDR wasn't included in photoshop 5).

1) do you think there is software better than photoshop
Better than photoshop CS5 my answer is yes. CS6, photomatix and HDR Efix are all better now. Does that mean CS5 is unusable for HDR? my answer is no, CS5 works just fine for HDR it just takes some practice and patience.

2) can it really be an advantage to blend more than two pictures?
Absolutely, you want to capture as much of the range of light as possible for details in the highlights and the shadows. The primary reason for HDR is to get an image that looks like what you mind and eyes see.

Here is an example:

The first image is just a one shot exposure and the second image is a 5 shot HDR created in PS CS6 with perspective control adjusted.




"Step into my world and see as I see"

My Nikonians Gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Thu 08-Nov-12 08:41 PM
1254 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 1
Thu 08-Nov-12 08:43 PM by barrywesthead

Kleinburg, CA
          

.
>
>2) can it really be an advantage to blend more than two
>pictures?
> Absolutely, you want to capture as much of the range of
>light as possible for details in the highlights and the
>shadows. The primary reason for HDR is to get an image that
>looks like what you mind and eyes see.
>
>Here is an example:

The above example goes straight to the point of HDR, of which I am a strong proponent. You might get a bit more appreciation for the point of HDR from the lower part of the front page of my website, "About the Images".

Barry
http://art2printimages.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012Fri 09-Nov-12 12:59 PM
302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 2


Lahore, PK
          

Thank you for both comments, they are very helpful. Barry, your website is also illuminating.

And yes, of course, it is Photoshop CS5. Sorry for being imprecise, but I am still struggling with all those abbreviations.

Mphoto1, only one of my images on flickr is an HDR, it is the last one I uploaded so far: for this, I combined to exposures.
()
Two or three others on my flickr account are one exposure out of a bracketing of five, no HDR.

Now, please don't mind me saying this, but I am not at all sure whether I don't like the tonal range of your first picture better – it would certainly profit from a perspective correction, which is by the way somewhat over-corrected on the left side of the second picture, and the stained-glass window looks less colorful in the first picture. However, the second one, the HDR, for me has a distinct artificial look to it, not only an over-saturation of colors, but an overall brightness and super-enhanced local contrast in which the highlights are not distinct any more – they are immersed in the general shining. What I often try to get at when I take interiors, particular those of churches or other sacral buildings, is a symphony of light and shadow.
I suppose if I would try to process the pictures you posted, I would stick more or less with the tonality of the first one, possibly somewhat enhance that, adding perhaps some tonality to the window by merging it with one darker exposure, but not quite to the intense colors of the second picture where I don't get the feeling any more of the light floating through the window.

Anyway, this is possibly why I am still not convinced of the use of merging multiple exposures – keeping in mind, of course, my lack of experience in this field and the possible limitations of my software.

And Barry, just one comment about your remarks on your website with regard to the brightness range the human eye is able to perceive: I am not certain whether this is, or should be, the clue to all. I personally like platinum prints and other alternative processes a lot where typically the blacks are not that black and the whites are not that white as even of conventional silverbromide paper or high-quality digital prints. But what they have is a very rich tonality in-between, a very subtle differentiation of tonal values, and that is what makes them shine, or what makes heads turn in an exhibition.

Just a thought,

Lukas

Trying to be a keeper of the light

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
mfphoto1 Registered since 29th Oct 2005Fri 09-Nov-12 04:31 PM
733 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#4. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 3


Cincinnati, US
          

>Now, please don't mind me saying this, but I am not at all
>sure whether I don't like the tonal range of your first
>picture better – it would certainly profit from a perspective
>correction, which is by the way somewhat over-corrected on the
>left side of the second picture, and the stained-glass window
>looks less colorful in the first picture. However, the second
>one, the HDR, for me has a distinct artificial look to it, not
>only an over-saturation of colors, but an overall brightness
>and super-enhanced local contrast in which the highlights are
>not distinct any more – they are immersed in the general
>shining. What I often try to get at when I take interiors,
>particular those of churches or other sacral buildings, is a
>symphony of light and shadow.

I don't mind people expressing their opinion regarding my images, it's how I learn what people like, want or need. The first image after a few minor adjustments would be a perfectly acceptable print, because it is what people are used to seeing, and in the past I would have happily sold it to my clients. The biggest two problems with the first image is that 1) it's not what I saw and 2) The stained glass is the center point of the image and the reason for the lighting. So losing all of the detail in the glass is not acceptable to me.



>I suppose if I would try to process the pictures you posted, I
>would stick more or less with the tonality of the first one,
>possibly somewhat enhance that, adding perhaps some tonality
>to the window by merging it with one darker exposure, but not
>quite to the intense colors of the second picture where I
>don't get the feeling any more of the light floating through
>the window.
>

If the Cathedral was my client I can't imaging that losing the detail in the stained glass would work for them either. Now if they came to me and said they felt the colors were to strong and artificial looking then I would adjust the image accordingly by maybe reducing the vibrancy of the image. Maybe doing something like this
to


>Anyway, this is possibly why I am still not convinced of the
>use of merging multiple exposures – keeping in mind, of
>course, my lack of experience in this field and the possible
>limitations of my software.
>

Don't give up on the idea of HDR even getting to this point with this image was a process. Combine all the images in merge photo, once combined switch from 32 bit to 16 bit make adjustments to detail, sharpness, radius, gamma, etc. then send to photoshop and make final adjustments there. This last one ended up being 8 layers.


>And Barry, just one comment about your remarks on your
>website with regard to the brightness range the human eye is
>able to perceive: I am not certain whether this is, or should
>be, the clue to all. I personally like platinum prints and
>other alternative processes a lot where typically the blacks
>are not that black and the whites are not that white as even
>of conventional silverbromide paper or high-quality digital
>prints. But what they have is a very rich tonality in-between,
>a very subtle differentiation of tonal values, and that is
>what makes them shine, or what makes heads turn in an
>exhibition.
>
After reading more of your thoughts, I am thinking that a true HDR image might not be what you're looking for. I think you can use the HDR techniques to achieve what you're trying to do but there are other ways to get there using the tools you already have. It sounds to me like you are trying to bring out all of the tonal values but make the brightest values pop out without losing details. If that's the case I would take the two images process them separately to bring out the values I wanted then combine them using layer mask or layer blending options.





"Step into my world and see as I see"

My Nikonians Gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Fri 09-Nov-12 06:18 PM
1254 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 3


Kleinburg, CA
          

>
>And Barry, just one comment about your remarks on your
>website with regard to the brightness range the human eye is
>able to perceive: I am not certain whether this is, or should
>be, the clue to all. I personally like platinum prints and
>other alternative processes a lot where typically the blacks
>are not that black and the whites are not that white as even
>of conventional silverbromide paper or high-quality digital
>prints. But what they have is a very rich tonality in-between,
>a very subtle differentiation of tonal values, and that is
>what makes them shine, or what makes heads turn in an
>exhibition.
>

I agree with your observations. Many profess that digital photography is not true photography because of post processing manipulation but selecting various filters, films, print media and exposure techniques is just as manipulative and provides a rich a form of expression beyond a basic attempt to capture reality.

It is all art to be appreciated. Expressing my art in the form of honoring nature often leads me to down the HDR path as I fear am more of a scribe than an author.

Barry
http://art2printimages.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012Sat 10-Nov-12 03:24 PM
302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 5


Lahore, PK
          

Once again, thank you for your comments. To tell the truth, Mfphoto1, I did feel somewhat awkward starting, in effect, to criticize a picture posted for my elucidation, and I gave it some thought before I finally pressed the “send” button. That said, the second version with the reduced vibrance and/or saturation is much more in my line. The highlights stand out better, and there is a rich tonality. One might think, if one considers it worthwhile to take the time, to build a layer mask for the window and separately tweak color and brightness.

And no, I will certainly not give up on HRD, even though I have another issue with some exposure series I prepared: people in the images change their position during the shooting burst, and end up as -for me – ugly ghosts in the merged picture. Perhaps I should really treat the single images first before merging them, but my photoshop says joining RAW files yields better tonality. I don't know yet how far this is relevant. The reason why I regard the HRD picture I pasted on flickr as a success is because I could get the tonal values of the door the way I like them.

This was my primary reason to turn to HRD: to enhance the dynamic range. My camera does quite a good job here, but not like an analog bw-film.

I must admit I don't know yet how to blend layers from different exposures in PS. I searched several times for ways to do this, but without success.

By the way, has you or anyone else gathered experience with the “enfuse”-Program? I read about it being an alternative to HDR (making also focus-stacks possible), but my own efforts (with Hugin which includes this program) have so far failed to give me worthwhile results.

Barry, I certainly agree with your assessment about film and digital. Actually, I want to begin in the near future to make digital negatives from the files I am shooting in order to print them as... well, we shall see. I have some ideas. But for this I must master issues like HDR and related techniques.

Lukas

Trying to be a keeper of the light

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Sat 10-Nov-12 05:54 PM
1254 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 6
Sat 10-Nov-12 06:17 PM by barrywesthead

Kleinburg, CA
          

>
>This was my primary reason to turn to HRD: to enhance the
>dynamic range. My camera does quite a good job here, but not
>like an analog bw-film.
>

It is useful to bear in mind that one of the main functions of HDR software is to compress and map a wide range of colors and tones into the relatively small range of our print media in such a way that the eye is fooled into perceiving a wider range that is available to us in the print media. Film and digital cameras have a much higher dynamic range than can be achieved by display monitors and inkjet or rc prints, so the camera is neither the only nor the most significant limitation in the process.

There currently may be no other way to achieve this result with the possible exception of a backlit translucent print.

Barry
http://art2printimages.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
ndtking Gold Member Nikonian since 16th Jun 2008Tue 29-Jan-13 03:55 PM
213 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: Beginner's question: how useful is the HDR feature in photoshop 5?"
In response to Reply # 6


Kitchener, CA
          

Lukas -

Let me add my thoughts to the thread. I do a lot of HDR, since probably 70-80% of my photography is architectural interiors ( a lot of churches, chapels, etc.). (Check out the flickr link)

I use Photoshop almost exclusively, since it works seamlessly with Lightroom, which is always my starting point. I may use from 3 to 9 frames, at 1EV increments. I'd use 2EV if I could, but my D300 goes only to 1EV. Many of my shots are hand held, since most institutions don't like tripods. I've gotten very good at using whatever is available as steadying mechanisms(chairs, columns, whatever is around). With most interior shots, I'll start with 5 exposures, then ramp up to 7 or 9 if I'm losing highlights or shadows. I don't always use all of the exposures when I'm doing the combining and tonemapping.

As far as ghosts are concerned, I've found them manageable in PS, but HDR Efx and Photomatix have more control over this.

I agree with Barry, don't give up on HDR. My first attempts were not as good as those I'm doing now, and I'm still experimenting. I may combine and tonemap a set of exposures several times for different effects and not be able to choose which I like most, or I may not like any. It is quite time consuming, but I find it also exhilarating when you get that one perfect effect. I'm also different from some people in that I really like post processing - I can go for hours with out noticing the time.


Gerry King
Ontarian Nikonian
Flickr Gallery:www.flickr.com/photos/ndtking

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) HDR software & hardware (Public) topic #7461 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.