This HDR nonsense

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by inkinoo, May 5, 2007.

  1. inkinoo

    inkinoo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London, England
    Ratings:
    +260
    Maybe I am missing something here but I keep on seeing people prattle on about HDR this, HDR that ... it's just a technique in Photoshop. It seems to me that people who label their photos as HDR are somehow trying to get away from the fact it is a photoshopped image.

    It could be because I work for a company where you can't even put a polarising filter on because we do editorial work but it's really easy to take a photo and then Photoshop it; it is so much harder to just take a great photo.
     
  2. Gizmo 76

    Gizmo 76
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    The Apps are Calling :-S
    Ratings:
    +495
    It is a real love/hate thing for sure...

    I'm in the love camp, but I wouldn't say that by labeling something HDR, I'm saying it's not photoshop'd. I'm happy to admit I tweak some of my shots to quite a degree, I actually really enjoy this part of the whole process and want to learn more and improve.

    You can use HDR and rescue a shot to some degree, like you can we many other photoshop techniques, but the best HDR shots are usually the ones that have been planned e.g. decent cloud formations, shadows etc.....

    At the end of the day it always comes back to personal perference, if you take a picture or create a picture that you're happy with, then great, just enjoy.
     
  3. Liquid101

    Liquid101
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    8,142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Aberystwyth
    Ratings:
    +3,228
    I agree with Gizmo.

    If you can create a great image, then who cares how it was made. HDR doesn't make an image, it just enhances the tones, possibly making it more interesting to view. Sure it's a bit of a buzz now, but it's an old technique that has it's roots in the darkroom. (split grade printing anyone?)

    I don't think there is room for purism in professional or amatuer photography anymore. The only purists you'll finds now are still fiddling around with seagull oriental paper and lith developer; and they're welcome to it.

    If you can make an image that please you, and others - enhanced or not, then who cares.
     
  4. bodoman

    bodoman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,139
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Welwyn Garden City
    Ratings:
    +1,873
    i have not been a fan of post processing, i much prefer to see a a great photo that was the same as what the eye saw through the viewfinder.

    But since i have been on this forum my opinion on the subject has mellowed quite a lot, mainly from seeing what can be achieved by post processing, in fact i think its quite a vital tool in the av photo comp, what with the diverse themes each month the entries would all be very similar and nowhere as interesting without it.



    Still prefer an unprocessed photo though:D
     
  5. bibamus

    bibamus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,057
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Ratings:
    +43
    People have been tweaking images before the final print since 1839, not just with digital, and it is normal practice amongst most professionals, or how else would Photoshop exist and be able to charge hundreds of pounds for its pro editions?
    Most point and shoot and low end dslr cameras provide a certain amount of in camera enhancements to make you think you took a good shot. Most high end prosumer ( I hate that phrase) and dslr cameras will enable you to shoot in RAW format. The results you see are what the ccd sees! Then you can change all the settings and play around till you get the right image for your purpose.

    I agree with Liquid101, if you or others like the end result, who cares how it got there?

    Allan
     
  6. inkinoo

    inkinoo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London, England
    Ratings:
    +260
    Oh I with you there; but for me when you start doing serious Photoshopping that is the difference between a photograph and an image.
     
  7. allymac123

    allymac123
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    York
    Ratings:
    +435
    For me personally I did use to think post processing images was cheating to a certain extent. Then I get my DSLR and realised that I can either have my camera process my shots into jpeg by choosing what it thinks are the correct settings or I can process them myself choosing the setting that I think are correct/give the best result.

    This is usually the extent of my processing though, (that is, the RAW to jpeg conversion of the photo using the settings I want.)

    Sometimes I do use HDR but I try to keep them as natural as possible. You would be hard pushed to point out my images that have had HDR on them (there are 6 HDR's and 6 blended exposures in my flickr). The only reason I do use it is beacuse the camera connot record the contrast range that out eyes can and so we need to help it. I personally believe that when taking a photo if you bracket the exposures and then combine them but keep them looking natural then that is part of taking a photo. Beacuse you have thought: "I will need HDR to record the vast tonal range here" that means you need to set up the tripod and make 2 or more different exposures.

    If however you use HDR as a way to "make" an image then IMO that is something totally different. Say for instance you just took the one photo of that scene and when you got back to the computer you thought "hhm doesnt really work. AH! if I apply HDR then it will." Then you use the RAW image and make 3 exposures and combine them in HDR to create an image, that is different because you didn't, at the point of taking the photo, plan on using HDR.

    I also sometimes use post processing to merge to photo's together. But, I only use this to replicate the effect a Graduated ND filter would have had on the scene and I plan on doing it when I take the photo.


    Of course if you are happy with the image then that is all that matters. These are all my own opinions and I don't have a problem with anyone using HDR on an image if they are more happy with it. Just for me, I prefer my photo's to look natural which is what is running through my mind all the time when I am processing my photo's.
     
  8. Gizmo 76

    Gizmo 76
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    The Apps are Calling :-S
    Ratings:
    +495
    Sometimes I turn them into 5 exposures does this make it ok :D

    But if I do split one exposure, it mainly because I haven't got my own tripod and I did actually think when I took that shot that I think this could look pretty funky as a HDR type shot . . . . honest :cool:
     
  9. Liquid101

    Liquid101
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    8,142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Aberystwyth
    Ratings:
    +3,228
    You mean like this? :devil:

    TBH I'm still struggling to work out what the OP was talking about. What kind of 'editorial work' does your company do? and why would they place a ban on something like a polarising filter?
     
  10. Fozzybear

    Fozzybear
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,871
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +295
    Yeah, that one does have a bit of the telltale hdr 'look' to it. This is as far into HDR as I've gone:

    [​IMG]

    The original didn't quite have the range to show the shaded side of the building and the sky so I used two slightly differently exposed shots and combined them to create an image with a just enough contrast range to show detail in the walls without making them look too obviously fake. I kept the ground and building dark intentionally as lightening them more than this just didn't look realistic.

    ...and I made it clear when posting to flickr that it was a HDR shot. I haven't used the technique since, I haven't really felt the need for it. As Gizmo knows, I don't particularly like the look of hardcore HDR images but I do try not to be 'really' judgemental about it - some on flickr are very vocal on the subject and it's very 'whoa! take a pill will you.' :rolleyes:
     
  11. vulkan75

    vulkan75
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I know people like National geographic are picky and there maybe one or two others out there who are also,But at the end of the day its 2007 and we have to move with the times.
    Its pretty much an assured certainty, that most images we see in every sort of media ,which are passed as photographs are actually processed.Cue airbrushed celebs and FHM girls,advertisments, Nearly every poster in Whsmith and athena blah blah blah.

    Yove probably looked at images a thousand times and though "what a talented photographer",In reality though, it should probably be "What a clever Photoshop user".

    For the record I love HDR;)
     
  12. inkinoo

    inkinoo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London, England
    Ratings:
    +260
    After the Lebanon photograph incident where extra clouds of smoke were adding to a photography that was sent out on the wires, all the major photographic agencies introduced very strict rules on editorial photographs.

    Polarsing filters are generally banned because they dramatically change the presentation of a photograph. Same with major photoshopping. With cameras becoming more advanced and offering better colour correction and sharpening tools, the line bewteen what is a photograph and what is an image will become increasingly blurred.
     
  13. allymac123

    allymac123
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    York
    Ratings:
    +435
    haha well 1 out of 12 isn't bad!!!

    In my defence that not really the type of HDR i was talking about as its simply 2 merged layers. It could also be recreated in the darkroom by covering part of the paper and exposing each negative individually also I could have created the exact same effect by using a 4stop graduated ND filter. It's just a tad cheaper to do it in photoshop than to have a 4stop GND made!!!
     
  14. Radiohead

    Radiohead
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,418
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Amazingstoke
    Ratings:
    +442
    I'm not a fan myself.

    In terms of PP I generally shoot RAW and limit it to a crop, exposure adjustment, saturation, and maybe a mono conversion. That's about it. I can't remember ever adding or removing something from a photo.
     
  15. bibamus

    bibamus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,057
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Ratings:
    +43
    I always thought photography was an art form, the resultant photograph or image being the interpretation of what the camera holder sees.

    I think it is only factual pictures, eg, news shots, estate agents pictures, autotrader ads, x rays etc where you shouldnt use photoshop.

    All the rest is up to the individual

    Allan
     
  16. Liquid101

    Liquid101
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    8,142
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Aberystwyth
    Ratings:
    +3,228
    Yes, but that was a whole different ball game - that was actually adding smoke (really badly as I recall)

    It's no different to the photographs that came from the Soviet Union and Germany during the second world war where people were added and removed as they fell in and out of favour - Anyway, thats a whole other issue, and nothing to do with 'HDR'

    As others have said, increasing the dynamic range of a photograph to more accurately reproduce a landscape is hardly the same as adding smoke for political effect. Sure, some people can go to far with it, but thats up to them - if you don't like it ignore it.

    Lets face it, everybody who's made a B/W print in the darkroom as burnt the sky in just a little too much on occasion for dramatic effect - but I'm sure nobody would say it wasn't a photograph anymore.

    Next you'll want to ban flash because it isn't natural light :rolleyes:
     
  17. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    Interesting debate.. and one with no clear consensus

    I like viewing interesting images.. whether PPed or not

    To be sure the medical scientist in me recognises the "warts and all" need for some images to retain the fidelity of the subject especially for forensic use and for scientific/ research journals

    But

    Given that sometimes the "what the eye sees " and the what the camera records are at variance , shouldn't this be when "enhancement" is needed..?
    When does enhancement become Synthesis?. In-camera processing can be just as powerful as work in Photoshop in altering an image

    What about the use of filters mentioned earlier, reflectors, flash and diffusers to "make" rather than just "take" a picture

    As far as Im concerned, as long as images which have altered in PP including HDR are not deliberately misrepresented as "as taken" it then boils down to a matter of personal taste
    One of the great things about photography is the diversity of styles an opinion on what makes a great photograph .It has always been there

    Digital has just made it easier to acess tools which widen this diversity
     

Share This Page

Loading...