Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My first attempt at HDR editing

I am not really a big fan of doing a lot of photo editing.  However, I am always open to learn new skills and techniques.  Charles, who I went with on a waterfall wandering/photography adventure this past weekend is really into HDR photography.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography involves taking a series of shots of the same composition with different exposure levels and merging them together into one image.  This could be very useful when you come across a situation where there is too much contrast (too many bright and dark areas) to capture all the detail in one photograph

I took this first shot this past weekend specifically for the purpose of HDR experimentation.  As you can see the detail on the Left side of the photograph is too dark, while the waterfall is over-exposed.

Medium overall exposure

To go along with this shot, I took (2) other exposures of the same scene:

Underexposed.
Nice exposure of the waterfall, but way too dark throughout the rest of the photo


Overexposed
Waterfall is way overexposed, but much more detail on the rocks and rhododendrons




Charles recommended a program called "HDR Espose".  Since they have a free 30-day trial, I downloaded the software to try out for a month.  Here is the result of my first attempt at HDR:

HDR

I liked the way I was able to bring out the detail of the dark rocks and rhododendron without having the waterfall being overexposed.  However, there is just something about this that doesn't look natural to me.  Could be that I am just not familiar with the software and the best settings for different situations.  I will keep experimenting for the next few weeks and then decide if it is something I want to continue to pursue.

Edit since original post:  I went back and tried again.  This time, I think it looks a little more natural.

HDR - take 2

5 comments:

Mr. J said...

I haven't given HDR much of a chance. There's too many examples of bad HDR, and I don't want to add to the pile. I know what you mean about something that doesn't look right. The water color looks off, almost orange. I'd just as soon use a slow flash to fill in the dark spots on the original exposure.

wayne15575 said...

Wow, Jack !!! I am really impressed with the HDR. I had no idea, I think I want to try it too. Wish me luck.

Kim said...

I like what you are coming up with... I do agree the second one is better.. because the water is not as bright and looks like it is setting back in the distance.... Can't wait to see more...
Kim

Kim said...

Looking at it more.. I would like to see the tree and rocks in the front like pic one.. with the waterfalls in the back like photo 2.. Just my 2 cents .. smile.. Kim

HemlockMan said...

It definitely looks fake. Not my idea of good photography. Also, the water comes out looking like chocolate...definitely not a place I'd want to visit.