Monthly Archives: January 2013

5 Quick Steps to better HDRs – Step 5

5 Quick Steps to Better HDRs – Step 5 

  1. Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
  2. Decrease Noise
  3. Set a Black & White point
  4. Balance your Tone
  5. Sharpen Your Image

Sharpening your image 

Making an HDR can bring out a lot of detail in an image, but that is “Tonal” detail. It doesn’t necessarily mean our image is Sharp. In fact the HDR process itself can soften an image. It may be from just the process, but we can also get softness from: the alignment of images, or the deghosting of images. We can even get some softness with any chromatic aberration fixes we do. And then there is the simple fact that straight out of the camera, raw images are not that sharp and require some post processing sharpening. I like to do it at the end of processing however instead of before I merge images. I also sharpen an image depending on the size of the image and how it will be used, Printed or web display as I talk about in this article devoted strictly to sharpening. 

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5 Quick Steps to better HDRs – Step 4

5 Quick Steps to Better HDRs – Step 4

 

  1. Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
  2. Decrease Noise
  3. Set a Black & White point
  4. Balance your Tone
  5. Sharpen Your Image

 Balance your Tone

Our HDR programs do a pretty good job in tone mapping our images and placing tone as we desire…or really as THEY desire. We can get a pretty good balance but quite honestly the program really doesn’t know everything that we want or it may not be able to accurately access the image for what tones should be where. We end up with images that look “dirty” with blackening or darker tones across something that is the same tone throughout.

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5 Quick Steps to better HDRs – Step 3

5 Quick Steps to Better HDRs – Step 3 

  1. Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
  2. Decrease Noise
  3. Set a Black & White point
  4. Balance your Tone
  5. Sharpen Your Image

 Setting a Black and White Point 

Here is something I found in an overwhelming number of images. In a quick look at about 50 images posted over half of them could have benefited from this simple adjustment; Setting a Black and White Point. 

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5 Quick Steps to better HDRs – Step 2

5 Quick Steps to Better HDRs – Step 2

 

  1. Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
  2. Decrease Noise
  3. Set a Black & White point
  4. Balance your Tone
  5. Sharpen Your Image

Decrease Noise 

As photographers we battle noise in our images on a regular basis. Whether that noise comes from under-exposure or from using a high ISO, we find noise in many of our images. HDR compounds that problem in a couple ways, one by multiplying the noise in each single image as it combines to one and also in the tone-mapping process. As we map tones to a different value we may bring up noise along with making something dark a lighter value. 

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5 Quick Steps to better HDRs – Step 1

 

  1. Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
  2. Decrease Noise
  3. Set a Black & White point
  4. Balance your Tone
  5. Sharpen Your Image

 Over the next few days I’ll be posting 5 quick steps you can take for better HDRs. These are all simple finishing techniques that can take an image from ehh…to wow. 

I was inspired to write this after perusing the Google+ HDR Processing Community and seeing so many images that were almost there but missing these small yet magical elements. None of these  posts are tell alls, but merely overviews, you can do more research either here at the site or by searching the internet if you want more specific information how to do a particular thing you saw in this lesson. 

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Oloneo Releases update to PhotoEngine and HDR Engine

TODAYS NEWS:
 Updates of PhotoEngine & HDRengine support 28 new cameras

1 – PHOTOENGINE & HDRENGINE SUPPORT 28 NEW RAW FORMATS
Oloneo products are among the most up-to-date raw processing and HDR
photography software products with 28 new camera raw file formats
supported, including: Canon 6D and 650D, Nikon D600, Fujifilm X-E1 and
XF1, Panasonic GH3, Sony RX1 and RX100.

New supported cameras:
– Canon: EOS 6D, EOS 650D, EOS M, PowerShot G15, PowerShot S110,
PowerShot SX50 HS
– Fujifilm: X-E1, XF1, F800EXR
– Nikon: D600, 1 J2, 1 V2, Coolpix P7700
– Olympus: E-PL5, E-PM2, XZ-2
– Panasonic: DMC-FZ200, DMC-G5, DMC-GH3, DMC-LX7
– Pentax: K-5 II
– Samsung: EX2F, NX1000
– Sony: Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, NEX-5R, NEX-6, SLT-A99

Updated cameras:
– Nikon: D3200
– Canon: EOS-1D X

Updated versions of PhotoEngine and HDRengine are freely available to
all existing customers.

Download:
http://www.oloneo.com/en/page/download.html

 

ABOUT OLONEO PHOTOENGINE
Oloneo PhotoEngine is the only HDR imaging, RAW processing and dynamic
relighting application offering professional photographers full control
over light and exposure in real-time.

More info on Oloneo PhotoEngine:
http://www.oloneo.com/en/page/products/photoengine.html

ABOUT OLONEO HDRENGINE
Designed for the HDR photography enthusiasts and novices, Oloneo
HDRengine is an accessible, high performance HDR application to easily
create realistic or artistic, professional looking HDR photos.

More info on Oloneo HDRengine:
http://www.oloneo.com/en/page/products/hdrengine.html

 

HDR – How Many Exposures are Enough?

cHow many exposures are enough? 

When it comes to shooting HDRs, one of the biggest questions asked is, how many exposures should I take and how far apart should they be spaced. Everyone has their opinions and I’ve seen people go everywhere from 19 exposures down to…well 1. With spacing all over the place from the uber-anal 1/3 stop to people just spacing them randomly. 

I’ve explored this before in blog posts of the past but I thought I would take a look at it again in a slightly different way and I thought I would take some images from this past weekends shoot at the surreal Salton Sea and put them to  as scientific a test as I could. 

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Follow up on “HDR Styles” Nik Presets download

A number of people were confused by my term “Styles” and thought I meant presets in an HDR Program and wondered where they were especially in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2

I was speaking of “Styles” In a  generic terms  such as what characteristic may constitute that style ( Halos, graying Sharpness, saturated, desaturated etc..

I also had a number of  people ask about my presets for those styles for Nik. In general I don’t use a lot of presets and instead just work image by image but I do have some presets made representing the starting points I used in these examples for Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Remember that presets are just a starting point to take you where your artistic vision wants to go but they may allow you a quicker route. Also remember that most software makers presets tend to be overdone on purpose so that you see the full effect. It’s up to you to dial it back or up to get you where you want your image to be.

Thanks for all the comments on the HDR Styles post. I appreciate hearing from everybody and a lot of people had some good things to add.

You can down load the NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 Presets HERE

I didn’t add a preset for Natural, since I really just kick up the Nik Default by very little…sometimes for a Natural Style, less is more