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Old 08-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
SkaGoat
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Hdr?

I'm not trying to start an argument....

Do people really like the way completely overdone (clown barf) HDR images look? I will be the first person to tell you I was guilty of making one of two over done HDR images.... but now, I try and go for a more natural look, I want people looking at my images to not even know it's even an HDR image.

Am I weird and thinking a natural looking photo is better than a surreal looking photo?
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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I'd agree that HDR is generally something that should be used in moderation. It is useful in trying to capture full dynamic range with a small sensor camera.

I think HDR can look very appealing for mechanucal subjects such as a steam locomotive, but green grass and trees often look too bright artificial in landscapes.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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I think art is subjective and personal. Unless it is a commissioned or for-hire job, make images to please yourself first. I'll tell you this -- the only photographer I try to please is myself. And it is photographers, by far, who seem to care most about this subject.

I see plenty of tone-mapped images that are more extreme than what I would do myself, but that's why I make my own. I sometimes prefer a somewhat more surreal look for some things -- Disney parks included, especially more fanciful compositions. I see some go way beyond anything I have ever done. And these days I tend to create 32-bit files and edit them in Adobe Camera RAW much more often than I do tone-mapping. Sometimes I combine both methods into one final image. I like having more tools in my belt.

As for grass and trees looking too "bright" or maybe too colorful (as personally defined), the solution to that is either reprocessing, perhaps using a different subset of exposures, and/or dealing with it in Photoshop/Lightroom/ACR/whatever software you choose. I never consider any HDR image "finished" -- tone mapped or not -- when it comes out of Photomatix or whatever HDR software one might choose. That's just a start, at least for me.

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Old 09-02-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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I agree with Scott, photography is an art and is therefore subjective and personal. each photographer will develop their own style, good for them.

I personally rarely do anything B&W, I live in a world of color, that's what I like my photos to show. if others want to do B&W why should I care, it's their work not mine. that is what makes our world so great everyone can do their own thing..
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #5
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To be honest, when I first saw HDR I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. But then...I started to realize that a number of HDR shots are grossly over processed to the point they look fake and unnatural. Yesterday I was looking at the HDR thread in this forum...and so many of the shots suffer from over saturated blue tones. Windows in the background were blue, houses in the background were blue, the ground was blue items should not be blue were blue.

I still enjoy HDR when completed in moderation, we have some great photographers on this board who frequently utilize HDR. But their shots are not over processed, and the HDR adds a level of depth and clarity that makes that draws you into the shot.

At the end of the day, people need to do what makes them happy. I am not an advocate for extreme HDR photography , but I respect the people who choose to utilize HDR.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traylorc View Post
I still enjoy HDR when completed in moderation, we have some great photographers on this board who frequently utilize HDR. But their shots are not over processed, and the HDR adds a level of depth and clarity that makes that draws you into the shot.
When I started doing HDR processing I was also "fascinated" by the over the top settings that you had at your disposal. Case in point is the "Grunge" preset in Photomatix. However, the last year or so "Moderation" has been the byword for me. I usually start with the "Smooth" preset and go from there. I find that I rarely use the same settings on my brackets - I make adjustments depending on the source shots. Lately, I've also been using Exposure Fusion more frequently rather than Tone Mapping.

Here's a shot I recently posted to flickr. It's from a 3-shot bracket and I used Tone Mapping in Photomatix with the settings dialed down to get a more natural look. There was a lot of shadow detail that I was able to bring out especially on the right side of the image.


Amboise by Allen Castillo, on Flickr

Here's the same bracket processed with the Grunge preset:



Some people may like the second one but I prefer the more natural look of the first image.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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I hate the second one....

the first one is an example of how an HDR image should be done. imo
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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Photography is an art. Some like it, and some don't. There is no debate. Overblown, or in moderation, the photo is the artists representation of what they want it to look like. I've done both, and have sold both. A lot of ads are now done in the HDR Composite look. I'll bet many people have seen an amazing shot and couldn't guess if it was done in HDR, or just a preset.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkaGoat View Post
I hate the second one....

the first one is an example of how an HDR image should be done. imo
I'll preface this by saying that I do prefer natural look HDR. But I can't say I hate the second shot. In fact, I really like it. But that's because I see the first one as a photo and the second as a picture. It's all in how you interpret it
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronfin View Post
I'll bet many people have seen an amazing shot and couldn't guess if it was done in HDR, or just a preset.
I totally agree! I'm sure a great number of them are HDR shots.

Like most people here I enjoy the look of "moderate" HDR. I personally haven't dabbled much in shooting HDR but I do like looking at it. I totally understand how subjective art and perception can be and I think that is part of what makes photography so interesting. However, I am not a fan of the overly processed HDR shots. There's nothing wrong with it, it simply isn't for me.

Here's how I see HDR: It's an idealization of a visual moment. When we look at something with our own eyes in the real world our incredible brain adjust the "exposure" (or should I say aperture?) of our eyes to see things clearly. And as we look from light to dark areas our eyes compensate accordingly. But when we take a picture, the image is frozen in one exposure, one aperture. To me, HDR makes everything "open up" and makes it a little more like how we would see it in person, even if a little idealized.
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