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Thread: Graduated ND vs. HDR

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    Graduated ND vs. HDR

    Hi All,

    I would be very interested in knowing how many of you have stop using graduated NDs and gone to HDR processing in PS or third party applications like Photomatix? Can you provide your rationale, either way. I have been disappointed with HDR images. They often are overdone and depart from reality. It seems that I can often pick out an image that I suspect has gone through an HDR process. Thank you.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    I've stopped using them -- I don't like a straight line cutting across my image when it's bone simple to make one that perfectly matches your horizon outline in post.
    Jack
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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I've stopped using them -- I don't like a straight line cutting across my image when it's bone simple to make one that perfectly matches your horizon outline in post.
    +1

    Sign that the DR is generally good enough to achieve this.

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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    Jack - Are you using Lightroom for those adjustments or layers in PS or neither?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    I am using C1 or Photoshop depending on the image. If there's enough headroom in the raw file, I do it all on one neg in C1. If it's a more challenging image, I process out two (or three) versions of the same raw file and then blend them on layers in PS.
    Jack
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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    The biggest thing in my opinion is using layers and drawing a natural image vs a tone mapped HDR image.

    Some plugins like Enfuse for lightroom can still get you a very natural looking HDR image.
    I use grads still, but given the rapidly decreasing cost of storage and increase in processing power I might give them up eventually.

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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    Find PP so good no need for the filters..
    Try Camera raw (7.1 and up) / HDR Pro in Photoshop, where you can work with a 32 bit TIFF file in raw. Even mask out critical areas for local adjustment. Clean clear HDR in the output, not that tone mapped look.

    Just at test of my old zeiss 28/2.8 - done in RAW 32 bit TIFF file 5 pic - crop 50% - and the day before cleaning day..



    Google :Photoshop Hidden Gem 32-bit HDR and Camera Raw

    Lightroom 4.1 dos same 32 bit

    If you do't mind more pc time try the Digital Blending using Luminance masks.
    Last edited by BSEH; 13th October 2013 at 03:42.

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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    carefully done, a HDR is better. Its now all I use.

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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    If you use horizons conventionally (or hyper-conventionally, like Sugimoto) a graduated filter might be useful. If you don't, it won't. I almost never make landscapes with a horizon cutting straight across the frame, so I haven't found use for a graduated filter.

    I often blend exposures. In general I've found straight exposure blending (using LR Enfuse) to give more natural results than true HDR software. I don't ever want my work to look like HDR cheese.

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    Re: Graduated ND vs. HDR

    GND yes, HDR yes, tone mapping not so much. Grungle look not so much. Selective channel tone mapping, not so much. All other fakery to make light look better than it was, not so much.

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