The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Posts tagged “HDR

Sunset Silhouettes

Sunset Silhouettes


Rail Way 2

So this is what it has come to… It’s a choice at the moment (because of work and the winter weather) of re-working some old shots, or taking photo’s of the kiddies toys… and tonight the kiddies happened to be busy with their cardboard boxes and paper bags (they are so spoiled), so re-working old shots was the only option…

Fortunately I still do have a couple of old favourites that I can use a smidge of the extra familiarity I now have of photoshop since processing the original… I was going for a slightly more natural feel here than with my original processing…

In addition to spending an awful lot more time on the processing, which involved countless colour filters / blends / layer masks / overlays / blending of the original RAW / secret sluggy sauce / chewed finger nails / eye of toad / lesser spotted mermaids tail…. etc… I also adjusted the crop too, which hopefully balances it a bit better too… So the original image probably took me about 15-20 mins to process just over a year ago, and the rework probably took me a good hour or so more… starting completely from scratch again… I guess to appreciate the difference though you’d need to see the original images… Hopefully the extra work was worth the effort….

The SOOC untouched shot

The original processed shot


The Camera Never Lies

So I thought I’d use this opportunity to show some of what is professionally known in the trade as “cheating”… lol.. Well ok, maybe not cheating so much.. or at least as far as I’m concerned it’s not cheating, although I’m sure the purists would wholly disagree…  To me it is however making the most of what technology offers us to better represent the scene as we “actually” see it…

You may notice that quite a large percentage of my landscape work has had some “tweaking” done to it, and most of this is using a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range)… And before the purists amongst you climb up on to your lofty steeds and start screaming for the celluloid police to come drag me to some dark corner kicking and screaming… HDR has actually been around looooong before digital photography…

HDR is actually in modern day terms a digital blending images captured at differing exposures, but dates back to as early as the 1850’s… “The idea of using several exposures to fix a too-extreme range of luminance was pioneered as early as the 1850s by Gustave Le Gray to render seascapes showing both the sky and the sea. Such rendering was impossible at the time using standard techniques, the luminosity range being too extreme. Le Gray used one negative for the sky, and another one with a longer exposure for the sea, and combined the two in a single picture in positive.” (wikipedia)

So there you go…. There’s one in the eye for the film purists who seem to have a deep seated loathing of anything HDR…. Now ok, I guess I can understand some disdain for the process as it has been much overused and some of the extremes of processing you see are quite frankly…. ummmm…. well…. It’s no wonder it has gained a bad reputation… But when used properly it’s intended effect is to more accurately represent what the human eye can perceive, which is a much higher dynamic contrast ratio than any static range achievable by any modern display technology… due to the constant adjustment of the iris and the chemical changes within the eye itself…

So below you will see the original SOOC (straight out of the camera) image…

And now the standard tonemapped (HDR) image… without any additional processing…

And I think you’ll agree that the tonemapped image isn’t particularly impressive and still requires some work… And this is where more technology comes in very handy in the form of Photoshop, and what I normally do is then blend the original raw image with the tonemapped image to obtain a much more presentable and hopefully much more realistic “as seen” scene…

Hopefully… if even one purist HDR hater reads this and thinks “Hmmmmm…. maybe he has a point there”…. then my work is done…. lol… ;)

Oh by the way…. Yeah I know the picture itself is crap, but I didn’t want to detract from the processing explanation with an image that would take the focus of the post, so I chose something deliberately mediocre so’s to show the processing itself… :)