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Thread: HDR and Photomatix

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    HDR and Photomatix

    It seems that the last discussion on Photomatix ended three years ago and all the photos have gone....

    and I think it was then a waste of time and effort.

    has anything changed?

    Is it possible to produce a good photo without the "HDR look"?
    Last edited by dick; 10th April 2011 at 14:30.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    It seems that the last discussion on Photomatrix ended three years ago and all the photos have gone....

    and I think it was then a waste of time and effort.

    has anything changed?

    Is it possible to produce a good photo without the "HDR look"?
    Yes and you don't even have to have multiple files or leave raw. Assuming:
    - you're using a camera with good dynamic range and low noise
    - you're using Capture One :-)

    Capture One HDR

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Yes and you don't even have to have multiple files or leave raw. Assuming:
    - you're using a camera with good dynamic range and low noise
    - you're using Capture One :-)

    Capture One HDR

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    I haven't used Photomatix since 2009~ish, but last I checked, it was still about the same. The files it produced still had an ethereal "semi-translucent white film laid atop the scene" feeling which I don't really like. By the same, the local contrast felt all messed up, too. So, for my purposes, I didn't really see it as a viable option for dynamic range enhancement.

    The way I see it, if you're going to bracket the scene, just do exposure-blending in Photoshop via layers. You'll turn out with a natural-looking image with highlights/shadows preserved.

    Capture One, as Doug mentioned, does very well with extracting DR from the RAW files, however.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    I use Photomatix since 2006, and i still using it and got really nice results, i can have those overdone fake or cartoonish look, but i am able to have good naturally look results that HDR should be used for.
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I use Photomatix since 2006, and i still using it and got really nice results, i can have those overdone fake or cartoonish look, but i am able to have good naturally look results that HDR should be used for.
    Can you post an example of a natural-looking image you used Photomatix to create?

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    Can you post an example of a natural-looking image you used Photomatix to create?
    I've always been partial to this one


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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    Can you post an example of a natural-looking image you used Photomatix to create?
    OK, i give up, i don't have, you win!!!

    http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/7672/img5.jpg

    http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/6293/ds32973.jpg

    http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5289/nz3.jpg

    http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6473/hdr2y.jpg

    http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/8458/55809109.jpg

    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix


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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Thanks, Tareq - these are much better that any other HDR images I have seen.
    Thank you very much, but i feel they are not good enough as you and others would like to see or have, so i will keep trying to get better HDR more and more i hope.
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    What are we talking about? HDR or Photomatix HDR?

    HDR





    HDR with Photomatix





    HDR Grunge for artistic reasons

    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    Can you post an example of a natural-looking image you used Photomatix to create?
    This was created from six exposures two stops apart in Photomatix:



    It could be cleared up a little further, but it's not bad for a starting point.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    >but it's not bad for a starting point.

    Quite nice.

    Talking about the "HDR Look" is kind of a misconception. The look is mainly created by certain processing and can also be produced using a single image.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    [QUOTE=ustein;305714]What are we talking about? HDR or Photomatix HDR?

    Uwe:

    These are nicely done, very real look to it.

    Gerry

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    I found photomatix to look very 'HDR' indeed and not to be that powerful with problem images. I recently bought SNS-HDR and it's incredible at outputting very natural looking images that do not look 'HDR', it's also very very good at what it does though slow. Give it a try!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    I use Photomatix most, but i tried few of another softwares, and i like Dynamic Photo, it gives a more natural looking over Photomatix and do a great HDR as well, but most of the time i do HDR for people who like that unrealistic results, most of the time i don't need to use HDR but my original shots are good enough to tweak/workflow.
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    I haven't used Photomatix since 2009~ish, but last I checked, it was still about the same. The files it produced still had an ethereal "semi-translucent white film laid atop the scene" feeling which I don't really like. By the same, the local contrast felt all messed up, too. So, for my purposes, I didn't really see it as a viable option for dynamic range enhancement.

    The way I see it, if you're going to bracket the scene, just do exposure-blending in Photoshop via layers. You'll turn out with a natural-looking image with highlights/shadows preserved.

    Capture One, as Doug mentioned, does very well with extracting DR from the RAW files, however.
    Can you refer me to instructions as to exposure blending via layers in CS5? I am very intereste in trying it...my initial HDR trials were less than ideal.
    Thanks
    Dave

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    As usual, people seem to be confused about what HDR means. A true High Dynamic Range image just looks very dull and grey. Photomatix (n.b. not 'Photomatrix') is tone-mapping software. The look that some people call the "HDR look" is actually the "tone mapped look".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mapping

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Can you refer me to instructions as to exposure blending via layers in CS5? I am very intereste in trying it...my initial HDR trials were less than ideal.
    Thanks
    Dave
    There are several different methods of creating high dynamic range images in CS5. There's the Automate, "HDR" function, but having tried it only a couple of times, I can't say I've ever managed to get a decent image with this method.

    Next, there's the layer mask method of which I spoke before. Once you understand this process, it's pretty easy to create very natural-looking "HDR" images. I'm not much a fan of creating lengthy Photoshop tutorials, but I did find a link that, if you're not familiar with layers and masks, should point you in the right direction. If you have questions after this, feel free to post them or PM me.

    http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tut...er-masks/66901

    And, well, with respect to the images posted, I stand by my original statements. Perhaps 1-2 of them actually embody a "natural" feeling, while most all of the others have either crazy local contrast "halos" or diminished contrast with an "ethereal" feeling. The way I see it, Photomatix HDR is the modern day equivalent of the kitschy '70s velvet paintings.

    To each his/her own, though.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    As usual, people seem to be confused about what HDR means. A true High Dynamic Range image just looks very dull and grey. Photomatix (n.b. not 'Photomatrix') is tone-mapping software. The look that some people call the "HDR look" is actually the "tone mapped look".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mapping
    Non HDR normal shot:


    HDR with tonemapping by Photomatix shot:


    Any thoughts???
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    >A true High Dynamic Range image just looks very dull and grey.

    Not sure what you mean by this? A real 32 bit HDR images can neither be printed or viewed without tone-mapping. It looks especially gray and dull using some simplistic linear tone-mapping. Please do not confuse it with the original HDR image.

    Note: Photomatix also sometimes can create grayish whites (clouds). They have an extra control to compensate for it. Don't see this effect with Unified Color HDR Expose/Express though.

    Here is my original article on Dynamic Range at DPReview:

    http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guid..._part_1_01.htm
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    >Any thoughts???

    Both nice images. But this is also not a scene where you have a real need for HDR anymore (cameras improved a lot).
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >Any thoughts???

    Both nice images. But this is also not a scene where you have a real need for HDR anymore (cameras improved a lot).
    OK, next time i will send a scene where we need that kind of DR.
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Not sure what you mean by this? A real 32 bit HDR images can neither be printed or viewed without tone-mapping.
    Yes it can, but when viewed on a device with a much lower DR, such as a monitor, it will appear dull and grey - that's my point. Tone mapping improves the appearance on lower DR media, as would a simple high-contrast curve.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatix

    > it will appear dull and grey - that's my point.

    Without any tone-mapping it will show clipped.
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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    Non HDR normal shot:


    HDR with tonemapping by Photomatix shot:


    Any thoughts???
    Very nice, Tareq...

    ...but was the "Normal" shot as captured, or as optimally enhanced using curves, recovery and fill in Phocus?

    Does HDR/Photomatix only work on images that Phocus could have sorted?

    I have used blending by making a grey-scale mask using select colour range on the sky... but it involved lengthy manual editing of the mask where the sky was reflected on the vehicle roof... see attached.

    Is there not a program that will automate this process... and let you manually merge the layers and/or edit the masks if you want or need to?

    Jack's down-res action has lost most of the purple fringing in the tree... but this was taken on a windy day, and you can see that many small branches appear twice, in light and dark versions! Even branches four inches diameter had moved five pixels!

    P.S. I have looked at the original images again, thinking of trying HDR, and Phocus now produces a great picture from the darkest image (with the detail in the sky).
    Last edited by dick; 11th April 2011 at 22:46.

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    Very nice, Tareq...

    ...but was the "Normal" shot as captured, or as optimally enhanced using curves, recovery and fill in Phocus?

    Does HDR/Photomatix only work on images that Phocus could have sorted?

    I have used blending by making a grey-scale mask using select colour range on the sky... but it involved lengthy manual editing of the mask where the sky was reflected on the vehicle roof... see attached.

    Is there not a program that will automate this process... and let you manually merge the layers and/or edit the masks if you want or need to?

    Jack's down-res action has lost most of the purple fringing in the tree... but this was taken on a windy day, and you can see that many small branches appear twice, in light and dark versions! Even branches four inches diameter had moved five pixels!
    Yes, it is, but by Photoshop not Phocus, they are Canon shots and even i can open by Phocus but i still use DPP and PS for Canon RAWs.
    Tareq

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    There are several different methods of creating high dynamic range images in CS5. There's the Automate, "HDR" function, but having tried it only a couple of times, I can't say I've ever managed to get a decent image with this method.

    Next, there's the layer mask method of which I spoke before. Once you understand this process, it's pretty easy to create very natural-looking "HDR" images. I'm not much a fan of creating lengthy Photoshop tutorials, but I did find a link that, if you're not familiar with layers and masks, should point you in the right direction. If you have questions after this, feel free to post them or PM me.

    http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tut...er-masks/66901

    And, well, with respect to the images posted, I stand by my original statements. Perhaps 1-2 of them actually embody a "natural" feeling, while most all of the others have either crazy local contrast "halos" or diminished contrast with an "ethereal" feeling. The way I see it, Photomatix HDR is the modern day equivalent of the kitschy '70s velvet paintings.

    To each his/her own, though.
    Thank for the link..I will check it out.
    Dave

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Yes and you don't even have to have multiple files or leave raw. Assuming:
    - you're using a camera with good dynamic range and low noise
    - you're using Capture One :-)

    Capture One HDR

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Doug,

    Above is the most simple and perfect way.

    C1 rocks

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: HDR and Photomatrix

    Quote Originally Posted by coulombic View Post
    And, well, with respect to the images posted, I stand by my original statements. Perhaps 1-2 of them actually embody a "natural" feeling, while most all of the others have either crazy local contrast "halos" or diminished contrast with an "ethereal" feeling. The way I see it, Photomatix HDR is the modern day equivalent of the kitschy '70s velvet paintings.
    Lets rephrase this: Photomatix Pro is a good tool to blend exposures into HDR. Its tone mapping is so-so; it's useful if you apply it with care, but in general plain old dodge-and-burn will produce better results, perhaps combined with some very light tone mapping. In the end though, an HDR image encompassing 10-20 stops will look like color neg; like Uwe points out, this is unavoidable and this needs to be taken into account when visualizing the result (before snapping away). It will look either flat or clipped, take your pick. It needs much higher contrast lighting to look good without dodging and burning. Tone mapping can never get around this.

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