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      04-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
Septro
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Why does my HDR Suck Donkey Balls?

So I did a mini-photoshoot the other day and was working on my first attempt at HDR. I'm using Photomatix software and have tried the HDR merge function in CS4.

I was using the bracketing function on my Nikon D80 with a spread of +- 1.0EV. I can use some help since my HDR didn't come out as 'contrasty' (is that word) as I would have like and too dam fuzzy.

First Pic shows the middle exposure photo (gussied up with levels in CS4, not the orig):
Name:  car9.jpg
Views: 290
Size:  562.8 KB

The second pic is the combination of the three in Photomatix with Tone Mapping:
Name:  car2.jpg
Views: 282
Size:  33.8 KB

Questions:
1. I didn't use a tripod and I think I regret it since that may have led to the fuzziness when aligning the 3 shots.

2. I don't think I used enough of a exposure spread. When you guys shoot your HDR do you go 2 or 2.5EV + or -?

3. Do you run the post-process through curves in Photoshop to add more contrast?

Any help would be appreciated..
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      04-18-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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I don't do HDRs but from the picture you posted above looks like it had a ton of dynamic range already. My guess is that the picture selection isn't a good one with regards to dynamic range.

I'm sure someone else will jump in with more specific information. Good luck!
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      04-18-2009, 10:47 PM   #3
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That first pic is pretty cool as is.
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      04-18-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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You get those kinds of results when you have a low Microcontrast setting I think. Try upping it a little bit.
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      04-18-2009, 11:11 PM   #5
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HDR is pretty ugly imho in most automotive applications. Spend more time getting proper lighting and messing with camera setting to get good photos then touch them up in PS and you will usually get better results. So many people are doing crappy HDR these days it's just not really cool anymore.

It's kinda like the rig shot popularity a few years ago. The cover of every magazine was a car with a rig, that wore out fast when everyone started doing it.
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      04-18-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amsfoto View Post
Spend more time getting proper lighting and messing with camera setting to get good photos then touch them up in PS and you will usually get better results. So many people are doing crappy HDR these days it's just not really cool anymore.
Try living in Washington where an overcast sky is considered sunny!
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      04-18-2009, 11:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
Try living in Washington where an overcast sky is considered sunny!
Lol, yea what he said ^
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      04-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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If you really want this photo HDR'd send one of the files to me and I'll see what I can do. Let me know if you do, and I'll PM you my email.
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      04-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got psi View Post
bracket your exposure to -2, 0, 2. merge the raw files in photomatix and tone map
Thanks. I'm still curious if a tripod is really required or can you shoot all three exposures by hand?
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      04-19-2009, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got psi View Post
That is amazing!
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      04-19-2009, 03:15 AM   #11
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That is a really good shot - thanks for the advice
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      04-19-2009, 05:40 AM   #12
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Most people use HDR for places that have strong shadows, or light and dark areas. Your pictures don't really need them, but I'm sure you want to do it just because.

Here's a tutorial site:

http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/200...dr-images.html

Good luck.
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      04-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #13
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yea.... hdr.... a lot of the bad ones look like a kids coloring book.
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      04-25-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got psi View Post
contrary to what everyone might say, a tripod is not necessary to take the shots required for an HDR photo.

Im sure a tripod is a must but you can do without.

I just bought an SLR camera last week and im still very new at this but i think im getting the hang of it. This is my first HDR photo and i think it came out really nice. I set my AEB to -2,0,2 and set my camera to take multiple shots as long as i hold down the shutter button. I shoot in Av mode BTW.

I set the camera down on my knee as still as possible and held down the shutter button and did not release it until all 3 photographs were taken. The camera takes them in a fast sequence back to back so there should be very little to no movement from the camera.

For HDR, i shoot in RAW+Jpg. Then i import my raw files into photomatix, Generate my HDR and tone map.

Hope this helps.

Nice pic...nice leg.
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      04-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRoboto View Post
Nice pic...nice leg.
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      04-27-2009, 08:47 AM   #16
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A tripod is a plus, but the software does a great job of overcoming alignment issues. Use the tripod when you can, but that's not the issue with the OP's example.

I'll pile on with the +2/-2 advice.

Also, remember that some of the best HDR photos just look like excellent photos and you only realize they're HDR when you compare them to the single exposure at the optimal exposure setting. There's a tendency to doctor them up a lot, but some are just great shots that just show the highlights and shadow detail equally well.

Dave
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