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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old June 5th, 2009, 07:17 PM
Gregg Vieregge Gregg Vieregge is offline
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Default Photomatix ?

Downloaded Pro version3 and registered. Easy program to use. Question is can you take a single image, duplicate it twice, lighten one, darken one, use the original and the three images together and get the same results as shooting the original and bracketing +/-2 on two and the correct image. Can you get the same results comparing to each technique.
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  #2  
Old June 6th, 2009, 03:28 AM
StuartRae StuartRae is offline
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Hi Greg,

Quote:
...can you take a single image, duplicate it twice, lighten one, darken one, use the original...
Why ask, why not try?

The answer is yes and no.

If the single image is one that has already been converted then the answer is no.

If the single image is a raw file then you can make three different conversions, one for highlights, one neutral and one for shadows, and that works very well.

Regards,

Stuart
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  #3  
Old July 9th, 2009, 07:12 PM
J.T. Shaver J.T. Shaver is offline
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You can, you won't get an identical image as true HDR because lightening a jpg will not bring out shadow detail, as the file format will not store anywhere near as much. But...

What a lot of people will do is take a photo in RAW format, then change the exposure in ACR, Lightroom, etc. and export 3 files, one of the proper exposure, one underexposed by 2 stops, and one overexposd by 2 stops, then use those. It's somewhere in between true bracketing and using 3 jpgs brightened or darkened in photoshop but can work out very well if done right.
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  #4  
Old July 9th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.T. Shaver View Post
You can, you won't get an identical image as true HDR because lightening a jpg will not bring out shadow detail, as the file format will not store anywhere near as much. But...

What a lot of people will do is take a photo in RAW format, then change the exposure in ACR, Lightroom, etc. and export 3 files, one of the proper exposure, one underexposed by 2 stops, and one overexposd by 2 stops, then use those. It's somewhere in between true bracketing and using 3 jpgs brightened or darkened in photoshop but can work out very well if done right.
True
but my findings are that brackest raw files exported gives better results than one original raw exported 3 times with different settings…
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Old July 10th, 2009, 04:53 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Vieregge View Post
Downloaded Pro version3 and registered. Easy program to use. Question is can you take a single image, duplicate it twice, lighten one, darken one, use the original and the three images together and get the same results as shooting the original and bracketing +/-2 on two and the correct image. Can you get the same results comparing to each technique.
Hi Gregg,

It will work fine if you use the "Exposure blending" functionality of Photomatix on the different versions from a single file. In fact many people don't understand the power of exposure blending in Photomatix. Depending on the subject matter, make an optimized shadow version, a mid-tone one, and one tuned for the highlights. You can even change the color balance of each, e.g. for reducing the blueness of outdoor shadows, while retaining the warmer bright sunlit areas.

However, for real HDR files you'll need multiple exposure levels, not just different brightnesses from the same exposure. Then that's just the beginning, because you'll need to tonemap the huge dynamic range of the HDR to fit the smaller output dynamic range. Realistic tonemapping is not easy, that's why lots of over-the-top renderings are produced that give HDR a poor reputation. It's the tonemapping that makes the difference, not necessarily the HDR.

Bart
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  #6  
Old July 10th, 2009, 06:35 AM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Once more, I fully agree with Bart, I use "Exposure blending" only, much faster and accurate in quick PP…
However, I use 3 different exposes raws (bracketed) but am carefull to always set the rwa converter exposure to "0"
Works each file diffrently, one for highlights only, one for shadows only and the last one for mid-tones. Hence I get consistent results.

Bart's hint for WB is great! I've learned something today ! Thanks Bart!
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:02 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
Bart's hint for WB is great! I've learned something today ! Thanks Bart!
Hi Nicolas, you're welcome.

Here's another hint. Photomatix also respects the alpha mask of a TIFF file.

In a difficult scenario, where the colorbalance doesn't only change with absolute brightness, one can also mask out areas in one file and leave it in others. For that, one double clicks the single (Background) layer in Photoshop (thus allowing transparency), selects the area to be omitted, and hits the delete button. Save this as one of the files to be exposure blended, and only the opaque areas will be blended according to the chosen recipe.

A scenario where this can be used is e.g. where the color balance fades between equally bright areas.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #8  
Old July 10th, 2009, 10:41 AM
J.T. Shaver J.T. Shaver is offline
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I may not have been too clear, this is exactly what I was saying. Below is best to worst as far as exposure blending.

1. Bracketing
2. Multiple exposures of 1 raw file
3. Brightening and darkening a jpg and then combining

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
True
but my findings are that brackest raw files exported gives better results than one original raw exported 3 times with different settings…
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  #9  
Old July 10th, 2009, 10:42 AM
J.T. Shaver J.T. Shaver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Gregg,

It will work fine if you use the "Exposure blending" functionality of Photomatix on the different versions from a single file. In fact many people don't understand the power of exposure blending in Photomatix. Depending on the subject matter, make an optimized shadow version, a mid-tone one, and one tuned for the highlights. You can even change the color balance of each, e.g. for reducing the blueness of outdoor shadows, while retaining the warmer bright sunlit areas.

However, for real HDR files you'll need multiple exposure levels, not just different brightnesses from the same exposure. Then that's just the beginning, because you'll need to tonemap the huge dynamic range of the HDR to fit the smaller output dynamic range. Realistic tonemapping is not easy, that's why lots of over-the-top renderings are produced that give HDR a poor reputation. It's the tonemapping that makes the difference, not necessarily the HDR.

Bart
And this is so true. You see WAY too many overprocessed images. Just take a look at www.hdrcreme.com. WOW!
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  #10  
Old July 10th, 2009, 03:50 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default It's The tone Mapping That Makes The difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
However, for real HDR files you'll need multiple exposure levels, not just different brightnesses from the same exposure. Then that's just the beginning, because you'll need to tonemap the huge dynamic range of the HDR to fit the smaller output dynamic range. Realistic tonemapping is not easy, that's why lots of over-the-top renderings are produced that give HDR a poor reputation. It's the tonemapping that makes the difference, not necessarily the HDR.
Hi Bart,

You have hit the nail on the head, so to speak! Using 3 levels of brightness from one RAW file is not such a huge challenge especially if one can mask areas.

However, having a wide set of RAW exposures, one has one's arms full of rich 16 BIT data for every nuance possible. We could use any one of a dozen RAW processors! What's your way of tone mapping for HDR or at least some pointers!

Asher
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  #11  
Old July 11th, 2009, 03:32 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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The problem is that many people use tone mapping to create an over processed image with lots of halos and very high color saturation because they like that effect. That you can do from one exposure almost as well as from a series of exposures, because it has nothing to do with HDR. It's (wrongly) called 'HDR effect' by these people for the simple reason that Photomatix was used to create the effect.
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