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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:23 am 
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Hey, got my hands on a full version of Photomatix recently and I can't seem to ever take just one exposure of a scene anymore! Wickedly addictive playing around with tone mapping, and seeing what you can do. Be it pushing reality with something creatively un-real, or trying to nail down something perfectly balanced.

These are the first true attempts I've given at HDR landscapes over the last couple of days. I used my D80 with 1 stop bracketing, capturing a normal, under and over exposed shot to later combine. All shots taken in RAW, brought into Photomatix, then saved as 16 bit TIFF and brought back into Aperture for a few tweaks and some sharpening.

Thanks for the C&C, let me know whatcha think.


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 7:27 am 
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there all very nice shots with very subtle HDR with great colour & dof, the sky in pic 1 lets it down a little IMO a little blown out, usually HDR can help this problem in a big way.

However the waterfall it awesome, really should be proud of that shot.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 7:39 am 
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I too like the subtle way you've done the HDR in these photos and the outcome is great, especially for a first try! I do, however, agree about the sky in the first one. Can I suggest bracketing the exposure by 2 stops each way (you'll probably have to use the exposure compensation as the auto-braket may only go to +/- 1EV)? I personally shoot five exposures for each HDR and then decide later whether to use them all or just some of them. I usually shoot: -4EV, -2EV, 0EV, +2EV and +4EV but you should keep experimenting until you find what's right for you!

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:36 am 
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That waterfall is awesome, got to agree with the others you should be really proud of that one, the others yes, very subtle HDR keep up the good work.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:02 am 
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Defiance wrote:
That waterfall is awesome, got to agree with the others you should be really proud of that one, the others yes, very subtle HDR keep up the good work.


I liking the waterfall the most as well! Nice going, mind sharing what software you used?

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:08 am 
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Yea that waterfall is great but so are the others too. They all have a surreal look to them and the people in your shots look like their sitting in a painting! Nice job.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 5:06 pm 
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Thanks for all the compliments!

For that first picture, I tried to save the sky but noticed some unpleasant artifacts starting to show up and decided to just go with being over-exposed. I have a similar shot of the scene which I did take 5 exposures of and I will try to work with that and see if I can get a better outcome.

alex168 wrote:
I liking the waterfall the most as well! Nice going, mind sharing what software you used?


I imported RAW files shot at -1, 0 and +1 into Aperture and then click-dragged them into Photomatix. Since I used a tripod, I opted to not align the source images or reduce ghosting artifacts, and used the tone profile as supplied.

In photomatix, I basically played around with the setting until I found something that clicked for me. I used Details Enhancer for every picture, and worked the strength, saturation and light smoothing to find a good base to work with. After that, just tweaks for the black and white point to avoid clipping, and a bit of micro-smoothing and maybe some S/H smoothing.

After I'm done in there, I export it to a 16 bit TIFF and bring it back into Aperture. There I fine tune the exposure, vibrancy, contrast and set my levels. If needed I'll tweak a specific color hue or saturation and tweak the highlights or shadows.

When it's all done, sharpen it up and give it a name!

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 5:09 pm 
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So its photomatix :) nice going...

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 11:27 am 
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The first one does not work for me...i personally woud crop of the sky completely.
The three other photo's are very good....the hdr is applied very good and under control. :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Houtmeyers Peter wrote:
The first one does not work for me...i personally woud crop of the sky completely.
The three other photo's are very good....the hdr is applied very good and under control. :)


Alrighty, I gave the crop a go to kill most of the sky but I still wanted to maintain the view of the mountains in the back. Using some burning, I tried to bring down some of the exposure in the sky and on the tips of the mountains. Any better? Worse?


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:21 pm 
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Just one tip: With the D80 you can do +-2EV bracketing in three shots (not possible with a D300 or D3!). That gives you much more leeway with shadows and highlights!

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Thomas wrote:
Just one tip: With the D80 you can do +-2EV bracketing in three shots (not possible with a D300 or D3!). That gives you much more leeway with shadows and highlights!


I did not know that wasn't possible with the D300 and D3, that's pretty rad. Confirmed my suspicions that deep down, the D80 really is a better camera than a D3, and I won't hear any arguments otherwise! :D



... ok, maybe I'm delusional. Anyway, I'll try going with the higher range for some shots I take this weekend and see if I like the end results.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:04 pm 
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[quote

Alrighty, I gave the crop a go to kill most of the sky but I still wanted to maintain the view of the mountains in the back. Using some burning, I tried to bring down some of the exposure in the sky and on the tips of the mountains. Any better? Worse?
[/quote]


To me the cropped photo looks much better now. My eyes seem to be drawn more to the foreground and at the houses further in the scene. In your original photo the bright sky was to distrackting.(sorry for my bad English). The tip Thomas gave is a very good one. You could get a good exposure on the sky and another from the foreground using the bracketing mode. Its really easy afterwards to load both photo's into PS (or other software) as layers and erase the parts that you do not need. If you put the brightest photo on top of the slightly darker photo....you could use the eraser tool (soft edged) to erase the bright sky....the slightly darker sky from the photo underneath will become visible. This methode is used very often .....but most photographers will never tell you that they use it...... :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:34 pm 
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That waterfall is stunning! I'd lose the humans though. The rest are also good, just not as good as the waterfall.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:43 pm 
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I especially like your second shot... love the 'brooding sky' look. nice work!


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