High Dynamic Range

A few years ago on this forum, there was quite a bit of talk about HDR and whether we liked it or not. I would say that most did not overall. I was on the fence but willing to learn. Several guys claimed their HDR work out-sold everything else by a fairly wide margin. Personally, I was skeptical but willing to take a look.

Most of their work seemed to be over the top applying HDR technique and presets. Many admitted to using only one image and then choosing a single preset button. The preset button of choice seemed to be the one applying maximum “Grunge” effect; grunge being the opposite of natural looking. Grunge has that extreme painterly look to it.

I’m not saying grunge is bad, but there’s a time and place. There’s something to be said for using the techniques of HDR to expand the dynamic range of a scene yet still maintaining a more natural look. There’s also beautiful choices half way in between. I’ve spent to last couple of years trying to learn HDR and embracing that in the middle region, though sometimes I choose more grunge and sometimes more natural. I’ve got a long way to go. I will admit that much of my HDR grunge and semi-grunge seems to out-sell the rest, when I sell any at all. Just a thought.

Also, when I attempt HDR, normally, I really attempt to do it right with three to seven exposures, not just one. I’m not sure I would consider myself being creative just using one exposure and clicking a grunge preset regardless on how well it was received.

Here’s a few attempts I’ve made since that discussion here at the Photographer’s Corner.









Your thoughts?

Take care and have a great weekend, Craig
Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio

Replies

  • Shandy GShandy G Posts: 233 Officer
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Your first few shows are not all that obviously HDR and that can be a good thing. I guess for me I like different things on different days. Sometimes the obviously over the top HDR stuff appeals to me and other times I think they look way cartoonish.

    I have played with it a bit but not a great deal. I typically try to just add a little interest to an image. The last time I did it turned out OK but the image still needs some work. I will shoot it again on a cloudy day so incoming light isn't so harsh.

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    DSC_3529_31_30_8_Detailcropped by Flcrutch, on Flickr

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    DSC_3529_31_30_8_DetailcroppedBW by Flcrutch, on Flickr
  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    Still hate it with a vengeance.

    I personally believe that photography should be honest. I am willing to forgive a contrast/brightness/sharpening change, the aim of which is to recreate what the author saw in his eye when he composed the picture.

    HDR on the other hand is not what the eye saw, and therefore, in my opinion, a cartoon created from an afterthought.
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    If done carefully HDR can actually make the image more closely replicate what the eye saw. It can compensate for the camera's inability to match the dynamic range of the human eye.

    Not often used in that way but it could be.
  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    Chuckc wrote: »
    If done carefully HDR can actually make the image more closely replicate what the eye saw. It can compensate for the camera's inability to match the dynamic range of the human eye.

    Not often used in that way but it could be.

    Can you show me one example posted on this forum that closely replicates what the eye saw versus the original?

    I know you said it was not very often used that way, but I would suggest it is never used that way.
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    You are entitled to your opinion. I care not to find you an example.
  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    Menzies wrote: »
    Can you show me one example posted on this forum that closely replicates what the eye saw versus the original?

    I know you said it was not very often used that way, but I would suggest it is never used that way.

    Can you show me an example of any photograph which resembles what the eye saw or what the photographer experienced? I think that photographers who attempt to Xerox a slice of life are fooling themselves. It can't be done and if you could do it, what is creative about that? I personally won't even pretend to claim I care to replicated some kind of reality, whatever that might be.

    Reality is three dimensional. It includes odors and sounds and it moves though time. My eyes and brain and your eyes and brain probably experience a scene entirely differently. It would take a lot of ego or maybe a Zen master to claim their experience is the right and proper "experience," that their view is the correct view.

    What we can do or try to do is to tell a story. Maybe we want to move someone emotionally. We might wish to attempt to recreate what we visualized prior to pressing the shutter button, and that can never be reality. Thank God for that. We'd end up with a bunch of holiday snapshots.

    HDR is just another creativity tool in our photographic tool kit. The concept was designed for a reason and it's present day use or reasons for use is irrelevant to whether you or I like the artwork of those who attempt to be creative using that tool. There are a lot of people who enjoy what others create using HDR techniques and I think that is more to the mark on the value of those techniques, not whether or not someone on this forum likes or understands it.

    Here's some with not a whole lot of grunge.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
  • GardawgGardawg Posts: 8,573 Admiral
    Menzies wrote: »
    I personally believe that photography should be honest. .



    Norman Rockwell is fine but Picasso ain't too shabby either.

    Actually I agree with you as far as photojournalism is concerned ... otherwise have fun with photography as an artistic medium ... with an infinite palette before you with which to work

    Now if I could just sell my work for the same price as a Picasso :crossed
    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.

    Heres Tom with the Weather.”
  • DustinDustin Posts: 99 Greenhorn
    Menzies wrote: »
    Can you show me one example posted on this forum that closely replicates what the eye saw versus the original?
    9
    I know you said it was not very often used that way, but I would suggest it is never used that way.

    You should spend some time reading an optics book. A 12 bit sensor is no match for the dynamic range of your eyes. When used properly, HDR is an effective way to compensate for this difference. Any sunset image is a perfect example of the difference in dynamic range compared to what your eyes resolve.
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Single or multiple frames on the bison shot Craig?
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Craig T., Craig, and I had several discussions on hdr as well as quite a few others a couple of years ago...
    at first, i just hated it, then Craig T. posted a few with just a light touch that made the image "pop"...
    so I gave it go.

    i got photomatix and played with anything from tone mapping one image to using as many as 5 different exposures...
    i got some pretty good results but never went to the "grunge" as i think it's too over over the top....
    i'll post some later...

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • chubascochubasco Posts: 18,390 Officer
    Never even tried HDR so I set it on the camera and went outside and took a quick shot


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    1/800 sec at f/6.3 400 mm (Sigma 150 - 500) ISO 100 Nikon 610
    Chubasco.jpg
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    these are landscapes from one of our barrier islands...horn island...

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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    HDR is really just tone mapping, which is basically evening out the highlights and the shadows in specific areas of an image.

    Personally, I never plan for HDR by taking a bunch of bracketed shots--requiring a tripod. I do my HDRs from single images. I've tried multiples and I really don't see any difference anyway.

    I use photomatix with the one-touch presets. Why not? It's just too easy. I hardly ever use grunge, though it can be fun. Painterly and Smooth are my main go to settings.

    I agree that it's a bit odd to manipulate photos to not be natural, but it can take a very boring photo and make it super cool.

    All that said though, I hardly ever use it for my main core of work--events, weddings, sports, boating, fishing.

    I did shoot a sunset wedding last week where the lighting and shadows resulted in horrible shots, but with a little HDR, I got a shot that everybody on the facebook post was raving about, and saying how great the lighting was...

    hdr
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    original
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  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    Boring shot turned cool...
    1799873_10152207774864487_1715601704_o.jpg
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    I downloaded the Fotor app for my phone, which has an "enhance" setting which basically pulls out the shadows. I use it quite often now for posting cell shots on Facebook.

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  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    Photomatix makes great b&W "hdrs" as well.
    1507320_10152153290094487_281013085_o.jpg
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  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    > Right click on image, > open in new window, to see much larger :wink
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  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    One tip, I always need to go back and sharpen an image after it goes through photomatix.
    Live music 7 nights a week: http://www.terrafermata.com/_events
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Eric,

    for someone that doesn't like hdr you've been pretty busy with it;)

    as for myself, i plan my hdr shots and already have in my eye what i want to do...
    so for the preplanned stuff, i carry my tripod and remote shutter release...
    i may shoot as many as 4 "bracket sets" for some images....
    it gives me more to work with as i usually mix 5 exposures...
    it just depends on what i'm going for...
    on the first two images in my set above, i could not have got what i was looking for with out a lot of variables...
    but that's just me...

    i use Topaz B&W and photomatix hdr....
    i have been shooting b&w and running them through hdr for awhile...
    i found out it can really make a b&W pop...

    IMG_9735CR2pp_zps83e9e92b.jpg

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Y'all aren't worried about Menzies not liking HDR? :wink
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,175 AG
    chubasco wrote: »
    Never even tried HDR so I set it on the camera and went outside and took a quick shot


    _DSC0940_zps3e4bd1aa.jpg

    1/800 sec at f/6.3 400 mm (Sigma 150 - 500) ISO 100 Nikon 610

    that doesn't look bad.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • barlow46barlow46 Posts: 312 Deckhand
    Thanks all for the info. Just tried a single using "painterly".
    East Coast Florida
  • Cane PoleCane Pole Stuart, FLAPosts: 9,803 Admiral
    A grunge quickie from today...definitely need to open it in a new window...

    1960929_10152226194264487_526094790_o.jpg
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