Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Basic HDR Process

HDR or (High Dynamic Range) is not a new thing in photography. But still, not many people know how to do it. If you don't know what it is, HDR is where you want to get the best result of certain photo by taking several same shots with different exposure setting, start by overexpose to underexpose. Tripod is a must for this kind of shot. So this waterfall shot, I took four images with different exposure, as I want the best result I used RAW. Then after that converted them to jpeg. I used photomatix to do my HDR, in photomatix up in the menu go to HDR>Generate>Browse photos. Load all the images then click ok, then it will take about few second for it to process then after that when it open the image, the process is not yet done so go to menu again click HRD>Tone mapping. It will open up an adjustment window for you to choose your desire saturation and exposure. Then save as.
You will find that the result is not what you expected so you make another adjustment of the HDR photo in photoshop or Capture NX. For my waterfall I did the adjustment of the contrast and saturation with Capture NX.

The Different exposure (Click Image For Large)

The Result
Sapaon Waterfall

I love to hear from you guys too, if there any better idea. You can post it on comment.


Dezza said...

to be honest, i hate HDR. as a photographer i find the resulting pictures to look more like drawings or computer generated images more than real photographs. in other words, they look fake.

in my opinion, with this picture you've taken of the water fall, as long as you get your exposures settings straight, there is no need to bracket the shot or use HDR at all.

yes, some HDRs do look nice but I think these kind of images should be under the computer animation cateogry, not photography.

Jollence Lee said...

you may be right, we'll see what other people have to said.

Dezza said...

well it's not a matter of me being right or wrong. it's just my opinion on one form of art, which means it is highly subjective right?:)

Murphy said...

i have a mixed feeling about hdr. hdr can help us to achieve what is very hard in normal photography.

however, it also opens a door to many people with mediocre photography skill, to come out something impressive, which traditionally requires skill that normally takes professional photographers many years to master.

on the other hand, i think photography is an art that everyone should be able to enjoy. i wish photo-shooting can be much more easier, so we don't need to spend too much time worry about various technical setting such as aperture, exposure, in order get a decent shot. after all, camera is just a tool.

it is also depend on where hdr is used. for example, if we use hdr to create impressive wedding album for the couples, they will be really happy. the client won't care what camera we used, whether it is hdr. but if we use hdr images indiscriminately, and use that to claim our talent, i would have negative feeling about it.

but i agree with dezza that hdr images should be classified under computer graphic category. using hdr also gives me a lower satisfaction level. though i don't oppose using hdr, i prefer to get the shot right in the first place, so nobody would question my work and skill.

over time, people would accept hdr, if we say post-processing work with computer is "cheating". how about the pre-processing part, e.g. flash, specialised lens, filters? they also add extra element / effect to the photo, right?

no matter what, photography is more than just point and shoot. hdr cannot replace the knowledge of good composition, planning and professional judgements, etc.

just my personal view..

Jollence Lee said...

I like both of your opinion, glad to have you commenting here.
I posted this hdr process here is because of a readers requested me to post it.

In my work, to be honest I don't have time to do Hdr when every time I have 1800-2000 RAW shots to go through with.

But it good to know about it rather than not knowing it at all. And its up to people's choice whether they accept it or not.

There is no such HDR when I started photography with film. Only when the digital era HDR turn up.

Ahh.. I miss shooting with Velvia.

Jordan Sitorus said...

Hi, nice bit of discussion you people have here.
In my opinion, everyone's entitled to utilise whatever skills,knowledge & know-hows they've got to produce the desired end results.(afterall that's the main objective, right?) HDR imaging-they way i see it is like women wearing make-ups. Some desperately need it and some maybe not. Now, that particular image that Jollence produced,to me is an amazing piece of work. He knew & had visualize his end result prior to taking the shots. It was a well planned & composed shots. The images themselves says it all. I wonder how many layers of filters needed to obtain similar result-one shot off...Jollence,any idea? for a mid day scenery shot in the tropical sun-that's a mighty fine pic there man. Bravo!

Jollence Lee said...

Thanks for you comment Joe.

For this kind of shot if using a filter you need one split ND filter, one neutral density grey and a polarizer filter.

This photo was actually taken exactly after 12pm which has very bright light on the water and stone while the background was in a dark shadow. a very tricky light.

I used aperture priority at f/22 ISO100 with -/+ value for this several shots with only a polarizer filter I have that time. I could have a better exposure if I have all the filters with me but I only had the polarizer so..

I had to do HDR to have the better exposure. I know for sure I will not be back to that same place for a long time. so I have to make a safe shots I would say.

balakavitHa said...

lence, still remember me?

Well, your photographs in Danum are superb......

Jewelle Tan said...

I've heard and seen HDR work but never really find out about what it involves - didn't know it's a lot of work!

I prefer non-HDR photos though.

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