As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better than HDR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, Oct 6, 2011
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Me Guest

    Re: As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better thanHDR

    On 7/10/2011 6:26 a.m., RichA wrote:
    > Remember the graduated filters used (mostly) in film work? They came
    > in handy.
    >
    > http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp
    >

    This method ("digital grad ND filter") is hardly new.
    You also don't need special software, photoshop, gimp etc can be used
    (care needed in some cases to avoid visible banding/posterisation etc if
    working in 8 bit environment, but this can be worked around)
    I have cokin grad ND filters, but use only very occasionally these days.
    From my experience doing this, lifting shadows more than about two
    stops starts to look unnatural - in my opinion - so with most dslrs
    these days, set at base ISO, expose for the highlights, and there's
    easily two stops to work with in the shadows without noise becoming an
    issue - even for large prints. It was a bit marginal with Nikon D70 raw
    files, even at base ISO, sometimes two exposures need to be taken and
    blended, as cameras of that generation were prone to blow highlights
    and/or pattern noise could be visible when lifting shadows. The extra
    2-4 stops from more recent imaging sensors is enough for me.
    As far as "seeing the division" goes, it's much better than using grad
    NDs, where the transition is fixed unless you carry a range of filters
    with soft and hard transition, and in any case you may not wish for the
    transition to be in a straight line across the frame. Also, this
    technique tends to suit wide angle photography, the cokin filters were
    very hard to keep clean enough in the field (and scratch-free, as they
    are plastic) to avoid dust and scratches being visible in the image,
    especially as to get the DOF desired, the lens may be stopped down to f8
    or smaller.
     
    Me, Oct 6, 2011
    #2
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  3. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Oct 6, 3:51 pm, Me <> wrote:
    > On 7/10/2011 6:26 a.m., RichA wrote:> Remember the graduated filters used(mostly) in film work?  They came
    > > in handy.

    >
    > >http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp

    >
    > This method ("digital grad ND filter") is hardly new.
    > You also don't need special software, photoshop, gimp etc can be used
    > (care needed in some cases to avoid visible banding/posterisation etc if
    > working in 8 bit environment, but this can be worked around)
    > I have cokin grad ND filters, but use only very occasionally these days.
    >  From my experience doing this, lifting shadows more than about two
    > stops starts to look unnatural - in my opinion - so with most dslrs
    > these days, set at base ISO, expose for the highlights, and there's
    > easily two stops to work with in the shadows without noise becoming an
    > issue - even for large prints.  It was a bit marginal with Nikon D70 raw
    > files, even at base ISO, sometimes two exposures need to be taken and
    > blended, as cameras of that generation were prone to blow highlights
    > and/or pattern noise could be visible when lifting shadows.  The extra
    > 2-4 stops from more recent imaging sensors is enough for me.


    You're probably right about that, but we need more tests of wide DR
    images to see if what you end up with when you equalize the
    illumination levels looks good, or just flat and dull, or noisy in the
    case of areas you bring up in an image.
     
    RichA, Oct 6, 2011
    #3
  4. RichA

    Me Guest

    Re: As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better thanHDR

    On 7/10/2011 9:02 a.m., RichA wrote:
    > On Oct 6, 3:51 pm, Me<> wrote:
    >> On 7/10/2011 6:26 a.m., RichA wrote:> Remember the graduated filters used (mostly) in film work? They came
    >>> in handy.

    >>
    >>> http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp

    >>
    >> This method ("digital grad ND filter") is hardly new.
    >> You also don't need special software, photoshop, gimp etc can be used
    >> (care needed in some cases to avoid visible banding/posterisation etc if
    >> working in 8 bit environment, but this can be worked around)
    >> I have cokin grad ND filters, but use only very occasionally these days.
    >> From my experience doing this, lifting shadows more than about two
    >> stops starts to look unnatural - in my opinion - so with most dslrs
    >> these days, set at base ISO, expose for the highlights, and there's
    >> easily two stops to work with in the shadows without noise becoming an
    >> issue - even for large prints. It was a bit marginal with Nikon D70 raw
    >> files, even at base ISO, sometimes two exposures need to be taken and
    >> blended, as cameras of that generation were prone to blow highlights
    >> and/or pattern noise could be visible when lifting shadows. The extra
    >> 2-4 stops from more recent imaging sensors is enough for me.

    >
    > You're probably right about that, but we need more tests of wide DR
    > images to see if what you end up with when you equalize the
    > illumination levels looks good, or just flat and dull, or noisy in the
    > case of areas you bring up in an image.
    >

    The information is there. DXO give some indication of DR in their
    tests, the only "gotcha" is that while they quantify DR in terms of
    signal:noise ratio, the randomness/grain size of that noise (how it
    looks) doesn't seem to be measured - or measurable.
    But raw files are generally available for d/l from various sites, and
    you can do your own tests on those (with proviso that you'll need the
    right software, as all raw conversion software is not equal).
    If there's a mistake to be made, it's buying a new camera model based on
    reviews which don't cover this aspect very well.
    I think two stops "spare" DR is enough for a natural looking shot, and
    AFAIK any recent dslr will give that. But other people might want more
    than that. I never liked "HDR". I try to capture what I see with my
    eyes, and a single, unadjusted exposure can't do that, but adjustment
    falls well short of what I see as "HDR".
    "Flat and dull" when lifting shadows can usually be corrected for
    anyway, by tweaking contrast/saturation in the lifted shadows - in the
    layer before blending down, or after blending down by selecting the
    area, feathering selection etc. Noise can also be selectively removed -
    NR doesn't need to be applied to the entire image.
     
    Me, Oct 6, 2011
    #4
  5. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Re: As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better thanHDR

    On 10/6/2011 3:51 PM, Me wrote:
    > On 7/10/2011 6:26 a.m., RichA wrote:
    >> Remember the graduated filters used (mostly) in film work? They came
    >> in handy.
    >>
    >> http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp
    >>

    > This method ("digital grad ND filter") is hardly new.
    > You also don't need special software, photoshop, gimp etc can be used
    > (care needed in some cases to avoid visible banding/posterisation etc if
    > working in 8 bit environment, but this can be worked around)
    > I have cokin grad ND filters, but use only very occasionally these days.
    > From my experience doing this, lifting shadows more than about two
    > stops starts to look unnatural - in my opinion - so with most dslrs
    > these days, set at base ISO, expose for the highlights, and there's
    > easily two stops to work with in the shadows without noise becoming an
    > issue - even for large prints. It was a bit marginal with Nikon D70 raw
    > files, even at base ISO, sometimes two exposures need to be taken and
    > blended, as cameras of that generation were prone to blow highlights
    > and/or pattern noise could be visible when lifting shadows. The extra
    > 2-4 stops from more recent imaging sensors is enough for me.
    > As far as "seeing the division" goes, it's much better than using grad
    > NDs, where the transition is fixed unless you carry a range of filters
    > with soft and hard transition, and in any case you may not wish for the
    > transition to be in a straight line across the frame. Also, this
    > technique tends to suit wide angle photography, the cokin filters were
    > very hard to keep clean enough in the field (and scratch-free, as they
    > are plastic) to avoid dust and scratches being visible in the image,
    > especially as to get the DOF desired, the lens may be stopped down to f8
    > or smaller.



    When you say you don't like HDR you really mean the overdone cartoonish
    effects that seem to dominate. I think that bracketing and blending
    multiple images is a subtle form of HDR, without excessive tone mapping.

    --
    Peter
     
    PeterN, Oct 7, 2011
    #5
  6. Re: As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better thanHDR

    On Thu, 6 Oct 2011, RichA wrote:

    > Remember the graduated filters used (mostly) in film work? They came
    > in handy.
    >
    > http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp
    >


    Indeed, though the article is a bit misleading. Whether or not selective
    manual tone mapping (which is what adding a "digital gradiated filter" is)
    is better than using a tonemapping algorithm depends on the skill of the
    operator and whether or not the dynamic range of the scene exceeds that
    which can be captured in one photo (though of course you can easily
    compost bracketed images manually).

    -Ryan McGinnis
    The BIG Storm Picture: http://bigstormpicture.com PGP Key 0x65115E4C
    Follow my storm chasing adventures at http://bigstormpicture.blogspot.com
    Images@Getty: http://bit.ly/oDW1pT Images@Alamy:[url]http://bit.ly/aMH6Qd[/url]
     
    Ryan McGinnis, Oct 7, 2011
    #6
  7. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Re: As long as you can't see the division, it has to be better thanHDR

    On 10/6/2011 10:43 PM, Ryan McGinnis wrote:
    > On Thu, 6 Oct 2011, RichA wrote:
    >
    >> Remember the graduated filters used (mostly) in film work? They came
    >> in handy.
    >>
    >> http://dpreview.com/news/1110/11100610digitalfilters.asp
    >>

    >
    > Indeed, though the article is a bit misleading. Whether or not selective
    > manual tone mapping (which is what adding a "digital gradiated filter"
    > is) is better than using a tonemapping algorithm depends on the skill of
    > the operator and whether or not the dynamic range of the scene exceeds
    > that which can be captured in one photo (though of course you can easily
    > compost bracketed images manually).
    >


    And use the result to grow vegetables and flowers. But if you composite,
    you might get useful images. <>G


    --
    Peter
     
    PeterN, Oct 7, 2011
    #7
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