My kind of HDR

jrista

EOL
Dec 3, 2011
5,341
23
jonrista.com
mackguyver said:
I had to do it - looks like there is no definition of HDR so all of you are right and all of you are wrong:
That would be because HDR is not a word, it's an acronym. An initialism, to be more precise.

HDR = High Dynamic Range

From a technical standpoint, 16-bit and 8-bit images don't contain enough data space to truly qualify for the HDR moniker. They are what we call LDR or Low Dynamic Range files. A true HDR image is one stored in a file format that has an extremely large data space. Something like a 32-bit float TIFF, which contains a MASSIVE data space that can represent brightness values from something say as tiny/dark as 0.000001 to something as large/bright as say 100000000.

When we merge to HDR, we usually merge multiple source exposures that represent more total tonal range than is possible to record in a single 16-bit file, then save the merged result to a 32-bit Float TIFF. From there, we either downconvert with an algorithm (i.e. local adaptation) or manually tonemap the wide dynamic range of the HDR into the narrower dynamic range of a 16-bit or 8-bit image for publication online.
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
jrista said:
mackguyver said:
I had to do it - looks like there is no definition of HDR so all of you are right and all of you are wrong:
That would be because HDR is not a word, it's an acronym. An initialism, to be more precise.

HDR = High Dynamic Range

From a technical standpoint, 16-bit and 8-bit images don't contain enough data space to truly qualify for the HDR moniker. They are what we call LDR or Low Dynamic Range files. A true HDR image is one stored in a file format that has an extremely large data space. Something like a 32-bit float TIFF, which contains a MASSIVE data space that can represent brightness values from something say as tiny/dark as 0.000001 to something as large/bright as say 100000000.

When we merge to HDR, we usually merge multiple source exposures that represent more total tonal range than is possible to record in a single 16-bit file, then save the merged result to a 32-bit Float TIFF. From there, we either downconvert with an algorithm (i.e. local adaptation) or manually tonemap the wide dynamic range of the HDR into the narrower dynamic range of a 16-bit or 8-bit image for publication online.
I know, I'm just messing with you guys but beyond the technical description of what high dynamic range files actually are, there is a lot of interpretation about what "HDR" means in terms of the look of the final photo. I've seen plenty of HDR-looking files that have very little dynamic range and are just Photoshopped to hell. Like a lot of things, HDR and the meaning of it has taken on a life of its own.
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
638
26
Montreal
jrista said:
mackguyver said:
I had to do it - looks like there is no definition of HDR so all of you are right and all of you are wrong:
That would be because HDR is not a word, it's an acronym. An initialism, to be more precise.

HDR = High Dynamic Range

From a technical standpoint, 16-bit and 8-bit images don't contain enough data space to truly qualify for the HDR moniker. They are what we call LDR or Low Dynamic Range files. A true HDR image is one stored in a file format that has an extremely large data space. Something like a 32-bit float TIFF, which contains a MASSIVE data space that can represent brightness values from something say as tiny/dark as 0.000001 to something as large/bright as say 100000000.

When we merge to HDR, we usually merge multiple source exposures that represent more total tonal range than is possible to record in a single 16-bit file, then save the merged result to a 32-bit Float TIFF. From there, we either downconvert with an algorithm (i.e. local adaptation) or manually tonemap the wide dynamic range of the HDR into the narrower dynamic range of a 16-bit or 8-bit image for publication online.
That, I understand.
Thanks for the clarification.
 

westr70

EOS RP
Mar 2, 2012
227
0
infared said:
I HDR most of my images, but I use the tech to bring out the visual beauty in the scenes not turn it into a bad velvet painting ::).....but it has already been said "to each their own".
Would you care to share your technique. I like the effect and would like to achieve that.
Best.
 

Famateur

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 9, 2012
774
88
For me, HDR processing is like adding vignettes: If it's immediately noticeable, it's usually too much.

Typical HDR image processing tends to look flat (two-dimensional), have strange smears and halos, crunchy texture and over-the-top colors. When I see an image, I want to see depth. I want to feel it pull me into its perspective. With the typical HDR image, it's almost like my eyes don't know where to start -- even with an otherwise excellent composition. Instead of a wide-angle view of the interior of a rusted-out car, with mountains and sky in the distance out the windows, I see a everything at once, as if it was on the same plane -- like a chalk painting. Just a visual overload for me.

Of course for many, HDR processing is artistic in nature. That's cool. It adds variety. Not my cup o' tea, though. I'll stick to using HDR to overcome the limits of my camera's sensor and blend exposures to produce what still looks like a realistic photograph. For me, typical HDR processing works against my pursuit of depth and perspective through light and shadow.

To each their own. The whole point of photography is to produce an image that's pleasing to someone, even if only for the one behind the camera. If you like artsy HDR, by all means, keep doing it. Life is short -- do what you love and makes you truly happy.
 

Famateur

EOS 7D MK II
Oct 9, 2012
774
88
@infrared and Akrobatiks: Great images! They're examples of what I consider tastefully done HDR. Thanks for sharing!
 

TexPhoto

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 15, 2011
1,230
3
San Juan, PR
One thing I do to tone down my HDR is to process the image 100% all out HDR. Then take the the middle exposure image and process it normally (conservatively). Then layer the 2 images in Photoshop, and se the top layer opacity to 50%. Now use the opacity of the top image as a slider for how much HDR you want. You could also use the erase tool to effect parts of the image, or add an adjustment layer.

Note your HDR image may be different in total pixel dimensions, as different RAW processors treat the edges differently. If that is the car, select both layers, auto align and trim the edges.
 

Vern

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 11, 2013
413
80
TexPhoto said:
One thing I do to tone down my HDR is to process the image 100% all out HDR. Then take the the middle exposure image and process it normally (conservatively). Then layer the 2 images in Photoshop, and se the top layer opacity to 50%. Now use the opacity of the top image as a slider for how much HDR you want. You could also use the erase tool to effect parts of the image, or add an adjustment layer.

Note your HDR image may be different in total pixel dimensions, as different RAW processors treat the edges differently. If that is the car, select both layers, auto align and trim the edges.
Nice tip Tex. I use Photomatix for HDR, but it takes a lot of fiddling around to get the effect I want (my incompetence is a possible explanation). In the attached photo, I first took an HDR image of the scene (3 exp), then we posed in the scene and I combined the files and selected us for 'deghosting'. I happen to like the rendering - others are free to disagree. BTW - I enjoyed all the posted photos in this thread. Some appear 'natural' and others not, but they all were nicely composed and pleasing to my eyes. The fact is that a single exposure image does not actually replicate the human visual system in many settings, therefore HDR (however it is defined) can be more 'natural'. And, not all photos have to document our visual reality.
 

Attachments

Arthur_Nunes

EOS M50
Aug 22, 2014
31
0
www.flickr.com
Marsu42 said:
First off: I'm guilty of producing these legacy "one click" hdr shots, too - and if I look at them now my eyes hurt. That's why I always keep the source files around in case my taste changes once again in the future.

Arthur_Nunes said:
I like to make HDR halfway between natural and surreal
In my recent hdr experience, often you don't have a choice: At least my eye *knows* that you cannot see the sun and deep shadows all in one scene at the same time, so it always looks somewhat artificial. You surely can avoid oversaturated colors though.

Imho most scenes would look better w/o real hdr toning at all, but with simple exposure fusion (i.e. replacing a whole bright window content with a darker exposure) because it prevents you running into these horrible histogram inversions seen above. This is no option with hdr gradients, in these cases I'd vote for KISS w/o too many local corrections, but non-linear curve pulling extreme shadows and highlights into the middle but little else.

Marsu42, I definitely don't like tone mapping either. my process is based on merging the shots onto a 32bits file than I make mainly rectilinear adjustments on ACR and use curve just to give it a little kick if rectilinear sliders aren't enough or look bad for my taste.

You are right about how technically human eye perceives luminosity, but being an artist, its more about feeling and psychologically people know how the sky is looking like and so the ground objects, (even that there's a slightly delay in the eye's exposure and being physically impossible to get all there details simultaneously) and a HDR picture with a well balanced post won't look inusual

I know mine has a bit of oversaturation, but its way more natural than LSD trip HDR look we see on web hehe

I think that that LSD look is caused by tone mapping. Such thing is definitely unnatural to human eyes because human eye can't filter specific areas and see ground brighter than noon sky as we can see in some pictures people edit
 
Wow!

Everyone has some real good points. HDR will continue being slung around like mud for years to come. Good the Bad and the Ugly. To this day that old rusted out car with the tin cans in it is one of my favs... That junk yard doesn't exist anymore since it's been cleaned up, wish I could go back and re-shoot it. I have yet to find a more interesting car containing such interesting subject matter...


8) Jason
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
638
26
Montreal
Famateur said:
For me, HDR processing is like adding vignettes: If it's immediately noticeable, it's usually too much.

Typical HDR image processing tends to look flat (two-dimensional), have strange smears and halos, crunchy texture and over-the-top colors. When I see an image, I want to see depth. I want to feel it pull me into its perspective. With the typical HDR image, it's almost like my eyes don't know where to start -- even with an otherwise excellent composition. Instead of a wide-angle view of the interior of a rusted-out car, with mountains and sky in the distance out the windows, I see a everything at once, as if it was on the same plane -- like a chalk painting. Just a visual overload for me.
Feeling well explained!
And that's the beauty of it. One can feel that "ordinary" photography tends to focus, sometimes even manipulate, the viewer's point of view to whatever the photographer thinks is important. Why?
Why don't you present me with all the facts and i will choose what is important and what is not?
Isn't real life an overload of information and our senses filter them on our own?
Again, photography is an art (to some extent). I appreciate to see things your point of view, especially when you do it in a pleasant way. Belive it or not but I am a big manipulator of the viewer's point of view, especially in post and I am amazed with how some people achive their goal.

But sometimes I need a change, sometimes I need more, sometimes I need variety. HDR shows me alot, and when it is done in a pleasant way, I apreciate the effort.
The key is "pleasant way" and the exchange of idea like this thread helps in that direction.
I did may be two or three HDR attempts in the past and I stoped, but I like watching them on Flickr from time to time.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,316
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
jrista said:
then save the merged result to a 32-bit Float TIFF
I guess jrista knows this, but a little advice in case some people don't: Use the "half floating point" OpenEXR instead of fp tiff, it saves tons of disk space, most likely time and many programs suport it nowadays. Not Lightroom/ACR at the moment, but hope dies last :-o

Arthur_Nunes said:
I know mine has a bit of oversaturation, but its way more natural than LSD trip HDR look we see on web hehe
A good solution I use is to lower global saturation and raise color contrast ("vibrance" is the LR/ACR term) - this way it's still colorful without the postcard look.

Arthur_Nunes said:
and a HDR picture with a well balanced post won't look inusual
Some people have raised an interesting point here I'd like to know more about: Is the hdr aversion really something photogs have while Joe Sixpack loves it - just like only photogs rave about smoooooth bokeh and everybody else cannot care less?

I know I likeds the standard tonemapped when starting with digital photography 3 years back, but my taste has turned 180 degrees in this case.
 

jrista

EOL
Dec 3, 2011
5,341
23
jonrista.com
Marsu42 said:
jrista said:
then save the merged result to a 32-bit Float TIFF
I guess jrista knows this, but a little advice in case some people don't: Use the "half floating point" OpenEXR instead of fp tiff, it saves tons of disk space, most likely time and many programs suport it nowadays. Not Lightroom/ACR at the moment, but hope dies last :-o
Yeah, you can indeed save space. For me, ACR compatibility is key, though, since I now tonemap with ACR. Its SO much better than the old tonemapper that PS had.

Marsu42 said:
Arthur_Nunes said:
I know mine has a bit of oversaturation, but its way more natural than LSD trip HDR look we see on web hehe
A good solution I use is to lower global saturation and raise color contrast ("vibrance" is the LR/ACR term) - this way it's still colorful without the postcard look.
I'm a big fan of vibrance myself. I usually opt for that over saturation, however these days, I tend to use per-channel color tweaking for best results. Even with vibrance, blues tend to saturate more than other colors, which throws off the color balance in an odd way. A slight pull back on blue and/or cyan in the color channel editor in LR/ACR tends to fix that, without messing with the color contrast.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,316
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
jrista said:
A slight pull back on blue and/or cyan in the color channel editor in LR/ACR tends to fix that, without messing with the color contrast.
This is exactly what I do, too, and I usually lower the blue brightness to make clouds more visible w/o the need for a polarizer. This is one point I always mention when it comes to ff vs. crop: With my 6d, I can adjust the channels much further before the gradients get pixelated.
 

jrista

EOL
Dec 3, 2011
5,341
23
jonrista.com
Marsu42 said:
jrista said:
A slight pull back on blue and/or cyan in the color channel editor in LR/ACR tends to fix that, without messing with the color contrast.
This is exactly what I do, too, and I usually lower the blue brightness to make clouds more visible w/o the need for a polarizer. This is one point I always mention when it comes to ff vs. crop: With my 6d, I can adjust the channels much further before the gradients get pixelated.
Yeah, more pixels and more total light gathering capacity definitely helps with this kind of stuff. That's really dynamic range...bigger sensor and more pixels means more total light gathered for any given area of the scene...which means less noise per pixel TOTAL (not just read noise, not just in the shadows, but photon shot noise as well, which means at every tonal level, there is less noise.) Less noise means more editing latitude.
 

DominoDude

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 7, 2013
960
0
::1
infared said:
Of course, a little darkness in your HDR is always good! 8)
The first two are crazy good, and they have interesting details in them that make the mind think a bit extra.
 

infared

Kodak Brownie!
Jul 19, 2011
1,411
11
Here is one that is not so dark.... 8)
I shot it with the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art....lovin that lens!
 

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Mr_Canuck

EOS RP
Dec 17, 2013
216
0
I've figured it out! Overcooked HDR looks shrink-wrapped. That's what was on the tip of my brain and now it's out. It's not 32-bit to 16-bit squared equals 8-bit times the speed of sound. It's shrink wrap. I feel so much better now.

And I still appreciate those who know their HDR looks bizarre or shrink wrappy and still like it. In fact, there's a plastic wrap filter in Photoshop. Give er schnoosky