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      09-23-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
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New into HDR - Any quick pro tips?

Hey there,

I am new to this principle since I wasnt even aware of it being possible. But some pictures were striking my eye way more then others and I just discovered why; they are in HDR.

I will try to get some nice HDR pics this weekend since we're starting to get some nice autumn colors out there.

I just got myself a tripod since I know you really need it to achieve good results. I also understand how to set my bracketing and everything but I got a couple questions :

1- Should I make my HDR pictures with photoshop or some online apps like yohdr.com do pretty much the same thing?

2- Is there any lighting tips that gives better results? I assume that you never use flash even in indoor HDR pictures?

3- Anything I should know before I start?

Thanks in advance for the answers. Cant wait to get some results.
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      09-23-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximusJ View Post
Hey there,

I am new to this principle since I wasnt even aware of it being possible. But some pictures were striking my eye way more then others and I just discovered why; they are in HDR.

I will try to get some nice HDR pics this weekend since we're starting to get some nice autumn colors out there.

I just got myself a tripod since I know you really need it to achieve good results. I also understand how to set my bracketing and everything but I got a couple questions :

1- Should I make my HDR pictures with photoshop or some online apps like yohdr.com do pretty much the same thing?

2- Is there any lighting tips that gives better results? I assume that you never use flash even in indoor HDR pictures?

3- Anything I should know before I start?

Thanks in advance for the answers. Cant wait to get some results.
1. Photoshop does a good job. If you have lightroom, you can actually select all the bracketed photos in the set and have photoshop pop up to do HDR directly. IIRC correctly PS will give you a couple of presets, just play with it to get a feel. I personally much prefer using Qtpfsgui which is not that clean, but gives you several more algorithms in doing the tone mapping (fattal and mantiuk algorithms are pretty nice, and gotten interesting results by making two HDRs with each and them blending them later on)

2. As long as you keep the same lighting setup for all of your exposures... it shouldn't be a problem. You can actually use flash with HDR, just make sure the flash level and direction is the same between each image (aka don't change flash level to bracket).

3. If your HDR photos look cartoonish and obviously like HDR... you've over done it One trick that I usually use to remedy this is to import the 0ev photo along with the final HDR tonemapped image as two layers, then blending them to taste to take the over processed look a notch down.
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      09-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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I've only been doing HDR for about a year now...so, no expert by any means. I can get some to look right, some to look down right cartoony.

Needless, I can state this...I think PhotoShop does a horrid job with HDR. Definitely look at other products, many have a trial period with them...I'm currently using PhotoMatix which I like, and like the above mentioned, they give several platforms settings which can get you close...and you can tune your adjustments from there.

I would also suggest Topaz Adjust for enhancing in PhotoShop...and Topaz DeNoise to clear out all that noise that is created with HDR photos. They have trail periods on these items as well.
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      09-24-2011, 02:47 AM   #4
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I use hdrsoft for my HDR photos. This is the same as the PhotoMatix that ShopVac mentioned.

http://www.hdrsoft.com/

Use a tripod or some kind of support if possible.

I usually prefer HDR results that aren't that wild, but only serve to brighten the shadows and add color to the highlights. I also use the vivid color setting on my camera when taking the original pictures.
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      09-24-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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Photomatix - never used a tripod yet for HDR - noise reduction done in software if needed.

Now comes the creative bit - play with the settings a lot - watch out for halos and cartoony graphics. Then into PS for final edits.

I only use 3 shots blended now but great results can be had from one shot :-

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

Forgot the most important - ONLY use RAW
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      09-26-2011, 07:24 AM   #6
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I'm not a big fan of overdone hdr either, but in certain contexts, it can be appropriate. I'm only looking into hdr to add some depth and tone to the pictures to make the contrast a little more even.

I started making a couple quick pictures and tried to put them in hdr but they were blury. But I was using jpg files and the crappy online yohdr.com app. I knew it wouldnt be that great so I didnt had any hopes.

I'm installing PS tonight so i'll try messing around a bit with my pictures.

Thanks guys! A lot of useful tips right here!
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      10-01-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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Some quick tips:
1. like others have said, don't overdo it! I really am not a fan of wildly overdone HDR's.
2. The apps: photoshop does a great job, but so does Photomatix. But, if you want something free, check out Luminance HDR (http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/). It's not as polished as photomatix or photoshop, but it does work quite nicely!
3. The technique: I won't go in to technique here, simply because others have summed it up better than I ever could: http://www.digital-photography-schoo...e-photographer (great points about using HDR for B&W photography) and http://www.digital-photography-schoo...dr-photography
4. A tripod will certainly help. Also, make sure you switch your lens to manual focus [or enable the AF-lock] once you have achieved the focus you want. You don't want to go through all the effort of taking the pictures for an HDR, only to realize that all your frames aren't in focus.

Last edited by rollinstone157; 10-01-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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      10-01-2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinstone157 View Post
4. A tripod will certainly help. Also, make sure you switch your lens to manual focus [or enable the AF-lock] once you have achieved the focus you want. You don't want to go through all the effort of taking the pictures for an HDR, only to realize that all your frames are exposed differently.
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      10-01-2011, 02:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneintheory View Post
Oops, meant to convey the idea that you don't want to be in autofocus without any sort of lock because it could causes the shots to be out of focus in some, but in focus for others.
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      10-05-2011, 05:37 AM   #10
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Haven't read it in depth, but I found this on 'dpreview': http://www.dpreview.com/articles/047...ography-part-1
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