“It is better to inspire than direct." —Sheryl Sandberg

Critic's CornerMy very first go at HDR

Any subject is fair game as long as it's tone mapped. Landscapes, architecture, etc. Software discussion is encouraged.
- Images are subject to constructive comment, discussion and critique. If you do not want critique post in the Member's Showcase.
User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Reputation: 9
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

My very first go at HDR

Postby Steven G Webb » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:39 am

Like so many others I recently downloaded the Nik collection. Guess who now has HDR software? Did these purely to experiment with nothing consequential about either of them:

Image

Image
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
WesternGuy
Mentoris Tribunus
Mentoris Tribunus
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:43 am
Reputation: 29
Location: Southern Alberta, Canada
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby WesternGuy » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:07 am

Steven, if this is your first try with Nik's HDR Software, then I think you did a very good job and I use it a lot. I am not sure that you needed 6 images for the final HDR image, so I would suggest that you might want to try it with five (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) or even three ( -1, 0, +1) and see what the results are.

If you are interested, Jason O'Dell, a professional photographer based in Colorado, has published three e-books on the Nik software, Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and HDR Efex Pro. Right now he has all three on sale here - http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/eshop/nik-collection/. I have all three and I find them indispensable as they provide an insight into the software plugins themselves, but also show you some worked examples.

Hope this helps.

WesternGuy
You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either. - Galen Rowell

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/westernguy/
My new blog: http://photowestguy.wordpress.com/

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Reputation: 9
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby Steven G Webb » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:52 am

WesternGuy wrote:Steven, if this is your first try with Nik's HDR Software, then I think you did a very good job and I use it a lot. I am not sure that you needed 6 images for the final HDR image, so I would suggest that you might want to try it with five (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) or even three ( -1, 0, +1) and see what the results are.

If you are interested, Jason O'Dell, a professional photographer based in Colorado, has published three e-books on the Nik software, Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and HDR Efex Pro. Right now he has all three on sale here - http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/eshop/nik-collection/. I have all three and I find them indispensable as they provide an insight into the software plugins themselves, but also show you some worked examples.

Hope this helps.

WesternGuy


Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I found out with the second attempt that 6 images was overkill when I initially merged those the sky went completely featureless so I removed the most extreme overexposed shots and that fixed the problem. I think the processing could become addictive. Hopefully I will get past that urge to overcook pretty quickly. I really wanted to tray out the different modules in the collection. Now that I see how it works I'll be looking for something artistically worthwhile to photograph.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
WesternGuy
Mentoris Tribunus
Mentoris Tribunus
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:43 am
Reputation: 29
Location: Southern Alberta, Canada
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby WesternGuy » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:11 pm

HDR is an experiment when you first start out, at least it was for me. I find it works best for landscapes, or other situations where you have a pretty large/wide dynamic range. You are right though, when you say that you do have to watch that it doesn't get into the "grunge/overcooked" side of things, unless that is where you are going. I like HDR, but the best HDR, IMHO, is when you can't tell that it is HDR. I am looking forward to seeing more of your work.

One thing you can also try is to compose an HDR image and then take it into Silver Efex and turn it into a black and white image, assuming you are into B&W imagery.

WesternGuy
You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either. - Galen Rowell

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/westernguy/
My new blog: http://photowestguy.wordpress.com/

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Reputation: 149
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby Duck » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:55 pm

HDR tends to be one of those subjects that people either love or hate. There seems to be no real middle ground, although I think that is changing as HDR software becomes better and more user friendly.

There are a few tips I give my first time HDR students that I would like to share;
  • Understand your scene's exposure range: HDR is designed to compensate for lighting situations outside of a camera's capabilities. When shooting RAW, it is often far wider than what we see in the camera's preview screen. If a scene does not have extreme shadows and bright areas, then HDR is likely not worth the effort.
  • HDR can not even out a harsh contrast scene: If your scene has hard shadows and very little mid tones, no amount of tone mapping can compensate for that. The results will just be a muddled mess.
  • Don't blind bracket: Bracketing is where you set your camera to take a series of exposures above and below your 0EV. Doing this blind is setting the camera's EV arbitrarily. Look at the scene and determine if the scene is highlight heavy or shadow heavy and compensate for that shift in overall tonality. Blind bracketing often leads to capturing exposures that may not give you enough information on one end of the tonal range or the other. Meaning, your end shots may still be clipped to black or white even though you bracketed.
  • Study Ansel Adam's Zone System: The most valuable tool in your HDR arsenal is having the language to understand what you are looking at when analyzing a scene. Knowing where to place your initial exposure will ensure more consistently useful brackets.
  • Always double check your camera's settings: Make sure you are on manual everything. I can't tell you how many frustrated students I've had that forgot to check this and had exposures ruined because their ISO was set on auto.
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

User avatar
TomCofer
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2748
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:42 am
Reputation: 35
Location: Fredericktown, MO
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby TomCofer » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:08 pm

Nice results!
Redneck Enthusiast Photographer on a shoestring budget.

thcofer@charter.net

Failure means you tried. Success means you need to set higher goals for yourself.

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Reputation: 9
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby Steven G Webb » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:49 pm

Duck wrote:HDR tends to be one of those subjects that people either love or hate. There seems to be no real middle ground, although I think that is changing as HDR software becomes better and more user friendly.

There are a few tips I give my first time HDR students that I would like to share;
  • Understand your scene's exposure range: HDR is designed to compensate for lighting situations outside of a camera's capabilities. When shooting RAW, it is often far wider than what we see in the camera's preview screen. If a scene does not have extreme shadows and bright areas, then HDR is likely not worth the effort.
  • HDR can not even out a harsh contrast scene: If your scene has hard shadows and very little mid tones, no amount of tone mapping can compensate for that. The results will just be a muddled mess.
  • Don't blind bracket: Bracketing is where you set your camera to take a series of exposures above and below your 0EV. Doing this blind is setting the camera's EV arbitrarily. Look at the scene and determine if the scene is highlight heavy or shadow heavy and compensate for that shift in overall tonality. Blind bracketing often leads to capturing exposures that may not give you enough information on one end of the tonal range or the other. Meaning, your end shots may still be clipped to black or white even though you bracketed.
  • Study Ansel Adam's Zone System: The most valuable tool in your HDR arsenal is having the language to understand what you are looking at when analyzing a scene. Knowing where to place your initial exposure will ensure more consistently useful brackets.
  • Always double check your camera's settings: Make sure you are on manual everything. I can't tell you how many frustrated students I've had that forgot to check this and had exposures ruined because their ISO was set on auto.


Thanks for the suggestions. These affirm that my thoughts and processes were correct (or as grandpa said "A blind squirrel will sometimes find an acorn). The second merge had too many hot-heavy images and I lost the sky. When I parred them down I got the clouds back. I appreciate all these tips.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Reputation: 9
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: My very first go at HDR

Postby Steven G Webb » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:19 am

TomCofer wrote:Nice results!


Thank you Tom.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook


Return to “HDR - High Dynamic Range”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest