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HDR, Panoramas and Tone Mapping Merging several different exposures into a single image

HDR vs. Layer masks

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:21 PM
_ck _ck is offline
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Re: HDR vs. Layer masks

Excellent comments everyone, thanks for the education.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:13 AM
Volvo Volvo is offline
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Re: HDR vs. Layer masks

I think HDR is just another extension of creativety to Photography..Some results look good whilst others look awfull. Each has their own taste ey??..
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:00 AM
Mike Savad Mike Savad is offline
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Re: HDR vs. Layer masks

Originally Posted by _ck View Post
I think I'm unclear as to the science of HDR, but how is HDR different to simply overlaying three layers - each containing a different exposure of one scene - and applying layer masks in such a way that different areas of the photo reveal varying combinations of each of these layers ? e.g. reveal more of the overexposed layer for shadowy areas and more of the underexposed area for the highly lit areas...
each looks different in the end. done in photomatix, tiny details, shadows, texture, color, are all enhanced. layer masks you have to do it by hand, and the effects are a bit more plain looking. sometimes though you have to do it that way, since photomatix tends to noisafy the image when you don't have enough shadow information.

i personally find i overdo the image when using masks.

---Mike Savad
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:40 PM
Alan_P Alan_P is offline
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Re: HDR vs. Layer masks

HDR is very different than masking. The eye is very sensitive to edges and is not very sensitive to gradients. The HDR compression alogorithms will try to keep the edge relationship strong by adding gradients between the edges. This type of tone mapping can take two areas of equal brightness and render them as very unequal brightness. This is the key to HDR.

The algorithms are propriatary so the details are not known. There are often unwanted effects (i.e. HDR messes up skin color) that will need to be fixed in Photoshop.

There are sliders in the HDR software which are used to alter the compressed image. One of these is local contrast (structure). This brings out details and is often the one used to produce the "HDR effect". Some people use the HDR software on jpeg images. They are using local contrast to produce an artistic effect. A jpeg image is already tone mapped and the HDR software is not needed.

Multiple exposed images processed with then intent of producing realistic images do produce realistic results. Multiple and single images processed with HDR software with the intent of producing exagerated local contrast images for artistic purposes do that.

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