08 April 2008

High Dynamic Range Images

Perhaps it was just coincidence that CowBoyCaleb blogged about HDR images right at the time I was trying to learn how to use Photomatix to create HDR images.

Anyway, I am happy to report that I have more of less figured it out after two weeks of trial and error as well as reading up on tutorials on the web.

In a way, I am very happy considering that fact that I don't need to invest on a shitload of fancy smancy equipment like TK who snapped a lot of pictures during the Martell Deathmatch that may never ever see the light of day.

To top it off, you don't even need cheem cheem Adobe Photoshop software to do it.

Below are a couple of my *ahem* works.

This the original shot taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55, untouched.

This snap was taken from 3 shots at exposure EV -2.00, EV 0.00 and EV +2.00 with the help of a tripod.

One good thing about the Lumix is that it has an extra Auto-Bracketing feature that I have yet to see in any other makes of digital cameras in the ultra-compact category. Basically, what it does is that at the snap, the camera automatically take 3 shots at various exposure settings thus saving you the hassle of having to take 3 separate shots. This was taken with Auto-Bracketing set at EV -1.00, EV 0.00 and EV +1.00. The down side is that I would have preferred to space the exposure out to EV -2.00, EV 0.00 and EV +2.00 but alas the limitation of the Lumix is that the auto-bracketing exposure range was restricted to +/- 1.00.

There is another way to get the 3 exposures even if you don't have a tripod to snap a steady shot and especially more so if you have to take the pictures when the subject(s) are in motion. You just need to take one shot and use software (in my case, I used the much simpler Corel ACDsee Pro ) to adjust the m to the various desired exposures, then save them as a separate files. When you get the minimum 3 required files (some people recommend 6), generate the HDR image and tone-map it.

Personally, I feel that the HDR image via this method yielded the poorest result but sometimes given the limiting circumstances, this is the best possible solution albeit not perfect.

Here's another shot taken yesterday when I was in Hong Kong. It's the Lippo Tower taken from across the street at Pacific Place.

This is single shot where I used Corel ACDSee Pro to generate 2 more pictures at EV -2.00, EV 0.00, EV +2.00. Some may say that this picture, as a result of the touch up, looked unreal and hence go against the essence of taking of photography, but I feel that if you look at this from a painting point of view, it is fine by me. I like it.

Click here for Flickr set containing the rest of the HDR Images that I have produced so far. I will add more to it as I go along. In it, I also tried taking the pictures with my 6-year old Sony DSC-F707 camera and despite it being a prosumer model at that time, I am afraid than my current Lumix, with newer technology, has surpassed it.

- Voxeros

1. cowboycaleb left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 4:13 pm
Nice. Now we wait for HDR Nudie shotssssssss

2. Posh left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 4:25 pm
hahaha..... JW, so this is why you were so fruss mastering HDR!

3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 5:25 pm :: 
cowboycaleb: I book hotel room for you liao. Just waiting for you to show up in Spitland tomorrow.

Posh: I can't say I have fully figured it out but it was certainly a relief to have finally moved up the first step.

4. Chocolate gal left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 8:55 pm
Is panasonic cam better or canon one better? Thinking to save up to buy a camera... still debating on the brand and model.. sighz..

5. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:06 pm :: 
Jaschocolate: I felt that the Panasonic wins hands down but then again, it's just my own personal opinion.

6. CJ Tay left...
Tuesday, 8 April 2008 11:03 pm
Nice pictures. maybe you should start taking stuff with higher color contrasts.

7. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 9 April 2008 7:19 am :: 
CJ Tay: Honestly, I am still very green to this and I am still trying to figure out how to do this in indoor settings. I may try to do night city shots next week.

8. barffie left...
Wednesday, 9 April 2008 7:26 pm
I am quite interested in HDR also, but no time and no motivation to do anything difficult, recently.

9. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 10 April 2008 7:08 am :: 
Barffie: Generating HDR and tone mapping are the easy parts. The difficult part is to figure out how to pick out a good shot for HDR since you can only find out the outcome after you are back in front of you computer.

10. aloe left...
Friday, 11 April 2008 10:09 am ::
What is HDR????!!!!! How to get HDR images?????? never mind....
That lines and design of that Lippo Tower is rather interesting! =D

11. JayWalk left...
Friday, 11 April 2008 4:15 pm :: 
Aloe: Here's the wiki for High Dynamic Range Imaging wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

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