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

Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

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  #11  
Old 10-16-2010, 12:31 AM
ElisaMustika ElisaMustika is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Good job. I really like your HDR. So you'd like to have a website for your retouching works but don't have time to learn Dreamweaver/Flash. Why don't you just use SmugMug or Website Tonight (GoDaddy)?
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2010, 01:28 AM
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mantra mantra is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSutherland View Post
thanks for the comments guys, I haven't been able to get my name out there as a retoucher because I have not yet worked for a company that does fashion and products. Hopefully real estate can get me started. If anyone is interested in a tutorial I'm thinking about writing one up....there's no right or wrong way of going about it but I'll try to do my best.
wow
thanks
did you write a tutorial?
would love to read it
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2010, 11:27 PM
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DSutherland DSutherland is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElisaMustika View Post
Good job. I really like your HDR. So you'd like to have a website for your retouching works but don't have time to learn Dreamweaver/Flash. Why don't you just use SmugMug or Website Tonight (GoDaddy)?
Thanks Elisa, I didn't know about those site
builders, I'll check them out now. Can you post flash videos in them? I made a flash template where you can just slide your mouse over the image and the before is revealed, would like to include that in my website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantra View Post
wow
thanks
did you write a tutorial?
would love to read it
Sorry Mantra, I haven't written it yet. I've been really busy these days but I'll do my best to have something to show this year...I would like to do a video to show it being done...probably the best way to go about it. Does anyone know of a program that captures your screen and you can lay audio over it?
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2010, 11:16 AM
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mantra mantra is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSutherland View Post



Sorry Mantra, I haven't written it yet. I've been really busy these days but I'll do my best to have something to show this year...I would like to do a video to show it being done...probably the best way to go about it. Does anyone know of a program that captures your screen and you can lay audio over it?
you can use http://camstudio.org/ if u are under windows


amazing your gallery , above all your last photos , really great jog|

by the way where did you learn how take and make many exposure blending?
did you use only photoshop for your last shots or other programs?


cheers
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  #15  
Old 10-19-2010, 07:02 PM
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DSutherland DSutherland is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantra View Post
you can use http://camstudio.org/ if u are under windows


amazing your gallery , above all your last photos , really great jog|

by the way where did you learn how take and make many exposure blending?
did you use only photoshop for your last shots or other programs?


cheers
Thanks again I removed most of them from my gallery and moved them into a private link, I'm glad to hear the nice comments on them so I'm more confident in using them to accompany my resume now.
As for how I learned the process...3 years of working for the same company doing the same style of images every day while having strict quality control picking at every small imperfection...there wasn't really any courses involved, just allot of trial and error. We (myself and the other Image Technicians) were responsible for "making it work no matter how we do it within the budgeted amount of time". Almost every month my style would change as I improved my process, it's still changing to this day. Every one of us would process differently but in the end we would all have to come up with a relatively similar look...this doesn't really help for those who are interested in learning. As I said before though, when I get the time I'll do my best to give some processing tips.
Lastly, Photoshop is the only way to go about it. One of mine and few others other tasks was to research almost ever other program out there and see if it could make a nicer product and it was clear that Photoshop is really the #1 tool for this kind of work (no surprise there)....but for stitching, use PTGuiPRO, it rocks.
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  #16  
Old 10-23-2010, 12:16 PM
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mantra mantra is offline
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Question Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSutherland View Post
Thanks again I removed most of them from my gallery and moved them into a private link, I'm glad to hear the nice comments on them so I'm more confident in using them to accompany my resume now.
As for how I learned the process...3 years of working for the same company doing the same style of images every day while having strict quality control picking at every small imperfection...there wasn't really any courses involved, just allot of trial and error. We (myself and the other Image Technicians) were responsible for "making it work no matter how we do it within the budgeted amount of time". Almost every month my style would change as I improved my process, it's still changing to this day. Every one of us would process differently but in the end we would all have to come up with a relatively similar look...this doesn't really help for those who are interested in learning. As I said before though, when I get the time I'll do my best to give some processing tips.
Lastly, Photoshop is the only way to go about it. One of mine and few others other tasks was to research almost ever other program out there and see if it could make a nicer product and it was clear that Photoshop is really the #1 tool for this kind of work (no surprise there)....but for stitching, use PTGuiPRO, it rocks.
did you use this tutorial ?
i did not understand it to be honest -> http://www.goodlight.us/writing/pain...tinghdr-1.html

thanks
cheers
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  #17  
Old 10-23-2010, 08:41 PM
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DSutherland DSutherland is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantra View Post
did you use this tutorial ?
i did not understand it to be honest -> http://www.goodlight.us/writing/pain...tinghdr-1.html

thanks
cheers
Hi Mantra, great question and the technique he uses is pretty great for ideal conditions like the ones in his examples. I would also use a luminosity mask (but more frequently just the selection) for lamps or simple bright spots that just needed toning down and nothing really special done to it. A window with allot of light coming through and perhaps a plant sitting in front of it would be very hard to accomplish with this technique, but you could use it as a starter to get you to a certain point. I could understand why you had difficulties understanding that tutorial, he could of put almost everything he did into a couple paragraphs without that 4 or 5 page explanation.

I'll try to explain my own version of this technique and I'll try to put it more simply:

If you have something like an outdoor shot or an area where there isn't much mixed lighting and you don't have to worry about dealing with silhouettes, then we can use this.


OK so let's start with your base image,
1. duplicate it so it's your working layer (always keep your base image, you need it for reference so you don't go too overboard, it's easy to lose track of what you've been doing)
2. turn on your next darker spare so it's visible (which should be above your working layer)
3. press CTRL+ALT 2 to select your luminosity from the darker spare
4. press CTRL+D to deselect that selection
5. mask out the darker layer by pressing ALT and clicking on the mask button below your layers
6. press CTRL+SHIFT+D to reselect that selection
7. start painting over the problem area on your mask using white with a big+soft brush to tone down the lighting (your brush should generally be the size of the area you are working with, I normally start from the outside and work my way in if the light is circular, gradually making my brush smaller). My settings are 25 flow and 100 opacity (sometimes 50 opacity depending on how much I need to do) spacing 10...the trick is to NOT drag your brush. make CLICKS, it gives you precise control...when I started I was using something like 100 opacity and 1 flow and dragging, crazy now that I look back on it and one of the people training me was like, "you wouldn't wash a gym floor with a toothbrush would you?"
9. repeat these steps for each darker layer you have.

...I'll add that this doesn't work for every situation but from time to time it would be a perfect solution for those easier lighting conditions.

EXTRA TRICK: try doing the same with your lighter spares but inverting the selection. I use this technique to lighten area's a lot more than I use it to darken areas.

...I may have went overboard on the formatting but I just wanted the key points to stand out

hope this helps,
Darren
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2010, 11:53 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Darren, I had always been a bit sceptical about Photomatix but recently I began to question the results I was getting with CS5's new Merge to HDR Pro. So I packed some gear and and shot a ton of building architecture in cluding old detailed building like Parliament Hill up in Ottawa Canada. Buildings like that really put HDR to the test.
It was a bright sunny day with high contrast shooting conditions both when the building faces were facing the sun and in the shadows. Almost all of the tests got 7 shots separated by 1 ev, fixed ISO(200), fixed F16, and tripod bound with output 14 bit Nikon RAW.
I decided to compare CS5 against the latest version of Photomatix 4.02. Like you I don't consider the exaggerated saturation, over-sharpened, over detailed, look to be what HDR is all about. So I set both programs up to open the RAWs and do default tone mapping with no adjustments or special effects.
To my surprise, Photomatix beat out PS on every single set of shots. In 100% of the sets PS produced select blown highlights, darker shadows with much less detail brought out, overall darker images, and less detail in the mid tones. The blue in the skies was much more real in Photomatix as PS seemed to overdose on a shift toward Cyan-Green. Most of the time the PS controls could be used to partly compensate but it took a ton of fiddling with all the sliders where as the Photomatix results were almost perfect right out of the gate. There were a couple of images where PS produces a bad posterization effect in the sky and the only way to get rid of it was to deselect a couple of the images in the set of 7. As a spot check, I downloaded the free test image "Carnival" from Photomatix web site. PS produced an image with severe posterization in the center of the sky. Naturally the Photomatix result had none but then I am sure HDRSoft chose an image it new would give PS some trouble.
So far I am reasonably convinced that Photomatix knox the sox off PS for what I would consider the essential task of producing an image of highest dynamic, realistic detail and color, from a set of bracketed photos.
BTW, I also took other scenic set with trees in fall colors and got the same results.
I will try shooting some other types of scenes to compare but I am guessing the results will be pretty much the same.
Regards, Murray
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2010, 03:00 PM
girlsfather girlsfather is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSutherland View Post

OK so let's start with your base image,
1. duplicate it so it's your working layer (always keep your base image, you need it for reference so you don't go too overboard, it's easy to lose track of what you've been doing)
2. turn on your next darker spare so it's visible (which should be above your working layer)
3. press CTRL+ALT 2 to select your luminosity from the darker spare
4. press CTRL+D to deselect that selection
5. mask out the darker layer by pressing ALT and clicking on the mask button below your layers
6. press CTRL+SHIFT+D to reselect that selection
7. start painting over the problem area on your mask using white with a big+soft brush to tone down the lighting (your brush should generally be the size of the area you are working with, I normally start from the outside and work my way in if the light is circular, gradually making my brush smaller). My settings are 25 flow and 100 opacity (sometimes 50 opacity depending on how much I need to do) spacing 10...the trick is to NOT drag your brush. make CLICKS, it gives you precise control...when I started I was using something like 100 opacity and 1 flow and dragging, crazy now that I look back on it and one of the people training me was like, "you wouldn't wash a gym floor with a toothbrush would you?"
9. repeat these steps for each darker layer you have.

...I'll add that this doesn't work for every situation but from time to time it would be a perfect solution for those easier lighting conditions.

EXTRA TRICK: try doing the same with your lighter spares but inverting the selection. I use this technique to lighten area's a lot more than I use it to darken areas.

...I may have went overboard on the formatting but I just wanted the key points to stand out

hope this helps,
Darren
Hi Darren,

I really like your picture.
But it looks like a fusion of the pictures and not like a tonemapped HDR.
Am I wrong?

Best regards,
Michael
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2010, 11:13 AM
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DSutherland DSutherland is offline
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Re: Realistic "HDR" blending in Photoshop

Hi Murray,

Could you post examples of what you came up with? I'm curious to see them. I'll also add that I don't use CS5's new merge to HDR feature, I just blend using masks and other techniques...I normally default to the "blend by hand" phrase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by girlsfather View Post
Hi Darren,

I really like your picture.
But it looks like a fusion of the pictures and not like a tonemapped HDR.
Am I wrong?

Best regards,
Michael
Hi Michael, fusion is certainly a more appropriate word than HDR because realistically my images aren't true HDR (hence the quotation marks around HDR on the title of this thread)...neither is 99.9% of the images on the net tagged as HDR. There's a lot of grey area's with the word "HDR" and these days people seem to recognize HDR as either fused images or tone mapped images (which everyone knows can result in a super OTT look)...personally I try not to get caught up in the terminology and I use HDR simply because more people are familiar with that word than fusion.
It's kind of funny but I recently saw that the company I used to do this kind of work for changed their terminology on their website from "High Dynamic Range Photography" to "High Definition Photography".

Last edited by DSutherland; 12-19-2010 at 11:16 AM. Reason: addition
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