RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photography Both digital and film. Discussions about cameras, gear, exposure, technique, and sharing your photography

Difference between HDR and faux HDR

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-17-2011, 05:18 PM
Boneappetit's Avatar
Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 762
Difference between HDR and faux HDR

This question had been running in my mind for a while, so I would like to know if there's a real difference between shooting different exposures of an object or creating different exposures using Camera Raw?

Long story short: Some (purists) don't accept works done, out of a single photo as an HDR work.

My perception is (i could be wrong, and probably I am), that there is no difference if you spend sometime in any work, no matter if you did it from a single photo creating different exposures, or if you took them directly from the camera... (Nowadays most cameras are digital).

Just in case you want to check one of my works, done out of a single photo.
http://boneappetit.deviantart.com/#/d3bufpj

Thanx in advance for the feedback
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 03-17-2011, 07:02 PM
Tony W's Avatar
Tony W Tony W is offline
Senior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,415
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

I believe there is a difference as there is only so much information you can capture in a single shot in RAW. How important this is depends on your visualisation and intent with the image

Although you may be able to pull back a stop or two from a RAW image and combine either layers or merge to HDR the fact is that you just cannot go any further and get information back in truly clipped highlights or shadows.

With multiple exposures however you are able to tailor the range of exposures to adequately cover all the highlight and shadow detail you require without clipping.

Therefore I would say that a true HDR image would be one that incorporates more dynamic range than the camera sensor can record regardless if this is only 6EV or 14EV. The faux HDR (is this LDR?) can be very useful in helping recover the hidden information in the RAW file though, and may in itself be enough to produce a satisfying image without the hassle of multiple exposure.

BTW loved the Donkey . For me though the sky looked a little too overcooked and shouted out HDR. Just my opinion of course - your mileage may vary
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 03-17-2011, 09:28 PM
Boneappetit's Avatar
Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 762
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

Thanx a lot for the feedback Tony... I'm learning !
I see what you mean about the sky, I'll keep it in mind for future works.

Last edited by Boneappetit; 03-17-2011 at 09:34 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 03-17-2011, 10:16 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

you can trick any photo into being an hdr look-alike, but it wont be a true hdr. hdr stands for high dynamic range, which basically means getting more from a shot than what a single shot would 'see'. hdr is basically a trick. folks say you're seeing more than what the eye can see. this isnt quite the right of it. hdr is generally a combination of shots at a normal exposure, an overexposure and an underexposure. thus, you get a range of information, due to the off exposures, that wasnt really there and is nothing more than a camera trick. by combining at least those 3 shots into one, using special software usually, you can pull information from all three to get more contrast and thus a more dramatic final image.

now, someone really good with a photo editor could conceivably produce the same effect from a single image, even a low resolution image, but it's just more difficult and you have to know your software pretty darn well to do it.

so, carry a tripod and study up on 'bracketing' and get yourself some hdr software (see the hdr forum) and that's your easiest route.

as for whether your single image 'faux' hdr is faux or not is really pretty irrelevant. it's the wrong question, for the most part. the end result is all that matters, not how you got there. the real question is, can you pass off your single image as true hdr by being good enough with your editor(s) or, can you learn hdr and throw all those questions away
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 03-17-2011, 11:24 PM
Boneappetit's Avatar
Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 762
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

Thanx Craig, that's exactly my point, I consider my works as HDR because I create over and under exposures using one original photo (could be RAW, or jpg ) with Camera Raw, not original exposures from the camera. I popped the question because there are some groups in DA, that don't accept works if you didn't take the photo by yourself, and I think this is very stupid, because even when I work a photo taken by me with my own camera I just take one photo with natural exposure, but because I took the photo myself, they accept it as good... LOL

I'll re phrase my question... Do over and under exposures from a camera are different from those I make in Camera RAW (converted to TIF)?
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:15 AM
mistermonday's Avatar
mistermonday mistermonday is offline
Moderator
Patron
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,028
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

The answer is yes and no - it depends. The camera sensor has a certain capture range which is less than the human eye. If you scene is low contrast and everything visible in the frame falls within the sensors capture range, then you have all of the information you will need to edit your image. If your scene is high contrast (example shooting into the sun with foreground in the shade), your sensor will not capture the range of the scene. Increasing / decreasing the exposure using Camera RAW will not be the same as if you had taken bracketed images because the information that was beyond the sensor range just isn't there and you can not re-create it artificially (at least not accurately or easily). Try going into a dark room and taking a photo and adjust the exposure in Camera RAW. Then try the same with ambient light. Check the difference, particularly in the shadows.
Propper processing of HDR involves working in 32 bits, merging the bracketed images into a 32 bit result and then tonemapping that result into something that can be visualized by a monitor or other device. That is high dynamic range capture. It may look the same to you as processing a single RAW image but it is not.
All that being stated, it should also be noted that the "HDR" look similar to what you have done with your donkey (btw, I like it), is not really HDR - it is a distortion of a tonemapped HDR image. It, for example, you used the Detail Enhancer Tonemapping module in Photomatix, the image has undergone an increase in local contrast and an inversion of global contrast, the addition of a light gradient, a brightening of shadopw & midtones, and likely an exaggerated saturation level. Some people call that over-cooked, some people really hate the look particularly when those effects have been over done. The look has become synonymous with the term HDR but technically that is not what HDR is all about.
But, when it is not way over done, the majority of people really like the effect and if you are able to produce a visually pleasing image by processing your single RAW image, then the result for you and them will be just as pleasing, so it doesn't matter.
Regards, Murray
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:39 AM
Tony W's Avatar
Tony W Tony W is offline
Senior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,415
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin View Post
..... for the most part. the end result is all that matters, not how you got there
Absolutely 100% in agreement.

IMO the HDR vs Faux HDR is irrelevant. The point Craig made is most important "the real question is, can you pass off your single image as true hdr by being good enough with your editor". You seem to be achieving this very successfully with your single images i.e. your images have the look of HDR and I wonder if you had not been honest about the single exposure if you would have been taken to task by the DA groups - would they have realised the image from one exposure?

On the other hand...
(Rant mode On)
It seems to me that there are a growing number of people that believe HDR need to look like HDR i.e. generally overprocessed images with colour far removed from reality. In other words the same groups of people that ask the question how do I get the Harry Hill look etc. I do not believe that there is anything fundamentally wrong with wanting to achieve a similar look to others however in the context of HDR my belief is that this is wrong thinking and misses the main reason for using HDR technique.

Controlling and holding dynamic range in an image has been a problem for photographers since film invented. In the good old days of analogue film and chemical processing ways were found to tame high contrast situations such as using compensating developers, water bath development, making masks to sandwich with negatives prior to printing. For low contrast images exposure changes and increased development could improve the situation.

For me the true meaning of HDR is to just tame the extreme contrast situation to make it manageble to produce a print or screen image with a full range of tones as visualised prior to taking the shot. The fact that you can manipulate an image to become quite surreal may or may not be an advantage. The biggest single selling point IMO is the fact that you can record the whole dynamic range of the scene and then simply show this in your final presentation. To the casual observer it may not even be obvious that the image was captured using 'HDR techniques'
(Rant mode off )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boneappetit
...I'll re phrase my question... Do over and under exposures from a camera are different from those I make in Camera RAW (converted to TIF)?
Yes definately. First you could say that you are not actually either over or under exposing. The overall scene may look too light or dark however the element of the scene that you wish to retain detail either shadow or highlight will be correctly exposed showing the detail in all its glory.

If you have not made a series of varying exposures you may not be able to recover enough highlight and shadow detail.

Imagine a very high contrast scene - lets say a landscape full sun in the snow with a black bear inside a very dark cave (extreme and even disturbing maybe ). You want to keep detail and texture in the snow but also show detail in the shadows of the cave revealling the bear. One exposure is unlikely to be able to capture all teh detail you want regardless of image manipulation - you will clip one end of the scale or the other or clip both ends if you average exposure. Bracketing exposures and using HDR will enable you to record detail at both ends of the scale. Of course I was referring to a stuffed bear as a real one would have charged at you before you had a chance at a second exposure

Edit: Just read Murays post "if you are able to produce a visually pleasing image by processing your single RAW image, then the result for you and them will be just as pleasing, so it doesn't matter." Wish I had thought to say that - sorry about the long post and gentle rant!
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:29 PM
Boneappetit's Avatar
Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 762
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

Murray and Tony: First I want to thank you both for your feedback, and all this great info. I really appreciate it. All I can say is I'm impressed of how much knowledge you guys have concerning photography and also on the use of software. I mean, you guys know about everything.

"quote"
"your images have the look of HDR and I wonder if you had not been honest about the single exposure if you would have been taken to task by the DA groups - would they have realised the image from one exposure?" /

They (DA groups) know where the picture comes from, because each blog (or work) contains that info. i.e. (from a stock photo, or the info of my camera when photos are mine). Sorry about my miscommunication, (language limitations), My works are from the original (or copy of the original photo), but I always create the "over and under exposures" (to not get lost in translation), before the tone-mapping, using ACR.... I didn't mean my works are done exclusively from 1 photo. If i copied the photo from a stock, they don't accept the work, if the photo comes from my camera, then it is good to go.

"quote"
"Of course I was referring to a stuffed bear as a real one would have charged at you before you had a chance at a second exposure". LOL Way too funny. "playing dead on the snow is not an easy task", either way I'm a dead man. hehehe...

Murray, I'm glad you liked the work on the donkey.

Both of your posts are excellent, thanx for taking the time to write "a long and juicy answer" to an amateur question...

Tony: Can you post a link where i can download the "rant plug-in" ? LOL

Last edited by Boneappetit; 03-18-2011 at 08:02 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:40 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

i'm assuming that "DA" means digital artist(s), yes, no?
dont get too caught up with art groups and their procedures and rules and codifications and classifications. make art and let others worry about how to classify it and worry over putting it in a pidgeon hole. i love photo art and believe it or not hdr falls into that category for the most part... art. hdr is essentially a manipulation of an image for the end result of producing a better effect than the original piece, usually of a very high qualtity, aesthetic result. that's pretty close to a halfway decent defintion of art. not quite, but parts of it. so, hdr is done to produce a more dramatic, and usually aesthetic result. so, you will have to follow some of the rules if you're going to deal with art groups or they get all pissy and wont let you play. lol. so, just know going in that you're going to have to conform a bit to play in their sandbox. it's ok. just dont stay in there too long; it tends to get a bit smelly.
lol. sorry, just a bad taste in my mouth from some old groups. forgive my cynicism. some groups are quite good. we have a pretty amazing group here, both in the photography forum and in the photo art forum. just dont piss in the sandbox
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 03-22-2011, 01:33 AM
Boneappetit's Avatar
Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 762
Re: Difference between HDR and faux HDR

hehe, That's cool Murray. I already did some arrangements, and also took a couple of groups out of my list... I also realized that I've learned a lot, relatively in a short period of time, one year ago, my knowledge of Ps and photos was almost 0, nada... I'll just keep my competition with myself... Oh, DA stands for Deviant Art...

Your feedback had been always very helpful, I appreciate it...

Best Regards
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photography


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved