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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

My HDR failures... is it the camera?


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Eire

 
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I've been trying to take some HDR photos to make some really cool desktop backgrounds and have been an utter failure. I take a series of photos at different f-stops and aperature settings then use photoshoppe to layer them together as per a tutorial I read but none of them turn out spectacular looking as many of them I see do, in fact they look rather ordinary. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong or is my camera just not up to the task? It's not a SLR even though it does have a ton of manual settings:

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You don't want to use a bunch of f-stops, you want to get a bunch of different exposures. You also need a tripod or some method of keeping the camera still while you're taking the pictures. You want to (auto-) bracket the proper exposure +/- a certain amount so you get the proper range.

Does your camera shoot in RAW? If so you should be able to manually adjust the exposure and make a decent HDR image.

...and if you can't do any of these, then yes it is your camera :-)
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You need to manually expose. Do it by shutter, not aperture. Set it for a series of 7 images, about a half stop apart each. That will give enough latitude.

I find HDR overrated and unnatural, and what you get is no longer a true photograph either.

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Eire

 
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It doesn't shoot in RAW without a firmware upgrade which I cannot get to work. It also does not have an exposure bulb, I used the exposure timer which goes between 5 and 30 seconds.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
You need to manually expose. Do it by shutter, not aperture. Set it for a series of 7 images, about a half stop apart each. That will give enough latitude.

I find HDR overrated and unnatural, and what you get is no longer a true photograph either.
I agree. I tried it and it looked terrible.

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You only need 3 shots realistically, start at -2 then 0 then +2 using the shutter speed as your only variable. This will give you the dynamic range an HDR imagining program needs to make the image.

There is also no such thing as a "true photograph" either. Photography is art no matter how you look at it. And not everyone's interpretation will be the same, just as in any other form of art. The really bad HDR images usually come from amateurs or kids with a half decent camera and bootleg copies of imaging software that have no idea how to properly use either the camera or the software.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
You need to manually expose. Do it by shutter, not aperture. Set it for a series of 7 images, about a half stop apart each. That will give enough latitude.

I find HDR overrated and unnatural, and what you get is no longer a true photograph either.
it has it's places. if you look at the work of many photographers (Jerry Uelsmann comes to mine immediately) you no longer have a 'true photograph' either.

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Eire

 
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Originally Posted by Phototini View Post
You only need 3 shots realistically, start at -2 then 0 then +2 using the shutter speed as your only variable. This will give you the dynamic range an HDR imagining program needs to make the image.

There is also no such thing as a "true photograph" either. Photography is art no matter how you look at it. And not everyone's interpretation will be the same, just as in any other form of art. The really bad HDR images usually come from amateurs or kids with a half decent camera and bootleg copies of imaging software that have no idea how to properly use either the camera or the software.
Thanks, I'll give that a shot as soon as it quits pouring the rain :/
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i have seen quite a few fantastic HDR shots.. i just cant seem to make them come out quite as nice as these other photographers, but in due time, everything comes with practice.

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My problem with many HDR's is they're too stylized. Now, I've seen shots where this highly stylized output is perfectly appropriate, but it's pretty selective at that point. What I really like it for is bringing out otherwise technically impossible detail in things like low light shots, without the associated blowouts of a longer exposure.

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Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
My problem with many HDR's is they're too stylized. Now, I've seen shots where this highly stylized output is perfectly appropriate, but it's pretty selective at that point. What I really like it for is bringing out otherwise technically impossible detail in things like low light shots, without the associated blowouts of a longer exposure.
agreed, i wont argue with you there.. i like that as well

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Thanks, I'll give that a shot as soon as it quits pouring the rain :/
No problem! But just remember that just because you are making an HDR image doesn't mean the rest of the rules don't apply. Use the light to your advantage, and get a good composition. Without both of those even a good HDR will be bad.
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rain in HDR might be nice though?

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rain in HDR might be nice though?
I think so, but I do believe that would be a tough shot even for an HDR pro. Since you more than likely would have to bump the ISO up quite a bit to keep a fast enough shutter speed to capture the rain drops as close together as possible so the images match up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phototini View Post
I think so, but I do believe that would be a tough shot even for an HDR pro. Since you more than likely would have to bump the ISO up quite a bit to keep a fast enough shutter speed to capture the rain drops as close together as possible so the images match up.
ISO only goes up to 400. I wish I had gotten the Fuji Finepix competitor to this camera that went up to 1600 or 3200 with custom firmware.
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