Posts Tagged ‘exposure’

Window under Bridge

This interesting answer and a big discussion about it took place in Scott Kelby‘s and Matt Kloskowski‘s new show about photography The Grid. D-Town TV is now ruled by Larry Becker and RC Concepcion.

But about the question. Is it really cheating? Someone will say yes, some will say no and the rest cannot decide. Why HRD is and what it stands for? It means High Dynamic Range. Your camera can see very limited number of light levels, about 5 EV. But human eye can see a lot more. How much? Well some say about 11 EV, but I think the range is even bigger. With camera we want to capture what we see in the scene and if dynamic range is too big, then we have to choose some part of image we will expose for. And the rest? Will be pure black or pure white, areas without details.

With HDR we can bring details back to life and see everything in the scene. For me it isn’t cheating, it is just dealing with technical issues. It isn’t my fault camera’s sensor cannot capture the whole scene. Then I have to bring it back using Photomatix or Photoshop.

You might say I’m crazy … well maybe I am. But this is just my opinion and great thing in photography is it’s subjectivity. Nothing isn’t carved in stone.

This photo was taken during morning walk in Prague with my friend. We were walking, chatting and shooting instead of writting papers 🙂

Hello everybody, it seems my small post about shooting at night was a bit blast, at least for my blog, so I decided to add another post about night photography and what you can do with cameras at slow shutter speeds. The video is done by Mark Wallace for Adorama TV. Mark is a great people photographer and he has some awesome shots so be sure to check out his website. Here you can find the video. If you like more info and videos about photography, subscribe to AdoramaTV’s Channel @Youtube.

Venceslav's Square at night

So after some time I’m here with a small photography tip. Now something about shooting at night.

What Do I Need?

Of course for any photography you need a camera. As you move on in your photography you will have also gear moving on with you. This kind of shots will make you even small compact camera. Sony has some nice ones and their exposure will go up to 8″, that is quite cool.

But I pretend you have a camera so the really first thing you need is a tripod. And not just any tripod you’ll find in Wallmart or any of those kind of stores for $30. Those suck! And I mean it, believe me, it will be pain to use. You are buying camera gear, putting it on a tripod and want it to fall down? Or to take soft images? Get a good tripod! (more…)

I think this name is quite good for things I’d like to tell you about. HRD stands for High Dynamic Range and there is a huge boom with HDR photographers. The basic idea of this type of photography is to mix multiple exposures and increase a dynamic range. You can do it using several methods, the most complicated is using Photoshop and masks to blend your exposures together. Thanks God, there are few good pieces of software that will do it for you.

The most know is probably Photomatix by HDRSoft. Another cool tool is Photoshop, but version CS5. This exact version has HDR Pro feature that will merge your exposures and do it the cool way 😉 But this article isn’t about using different programs to do this type of photography. It is about something different.

A lot of folks out there think HDR is cool, some are neutral and the rest hate it. That is OK, but many photographers that like HDR images get pissed off when they take their HDR images and then they will start to hate it. How may it happen? Simple, all this softwares like Photomatix or even HDR Pro are made “just” for merging down your exposures, it won’t make the final image on its own. But a lot of people don’t know that and that might be one of the problems they thinkHDR sucks.

So how do you get those cool looking images like Trey Ratcliff makes? When you merge your exposures, save the file as a 16bit TIFF file. Then go into Photoshop or any other program you are using for editing and finish it there. With HDR photography a huge problem is halo (those shiny aura looking area around some part of image) and bad color. On the image bellow you can see how it looks and get familiar with it.


HDR Image w/o color and halo correction

When you click on the image next to this text you can see all the issues. Yellows are too much yellow and around the tree is a big halo. Halos happen in parts of image where there are big contrast differences like in this part. Tree branches are dark color, about dark brown and the sky is nice light blue tint.

And that color issues? Well lets think about it first. Lets say you are taking some images of landscapes and your exposure setting is absolutely correct. What will happen? You will have good exposure on the landscape but colors might not be so good and to be honest I’m almost sure you’ll try to fix it. When you’ll underexpose the scene, colors there will get more vibrant and saturated. That is good point and one of the reasons why Moose Peterson, famous landscape and wildlife photographer, shoots almost all the time at -0.5 EV from correct exposure. For the colors.

Now when you have some scene with a lot of dark spots, your colors will be more saturated there and even more when you will use some HDR program to process it. That is what happend with the bottom part of the tree and houses in the background.

Now how to get rid of this stuff? Simple, hop into Photoshop, because that is the best way, at least for me, how to do it. For getting rid of that bad color I try to get my white point, black point and grey point set correctly. Another way how you can do it is using Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and affecting only colors you want to affect. After it use layer mask to blend it with your picture. It may require more than one Hue/Saturation layer and don’t be afraid to experiment. The last but not least option is to use one of the original images and layer masks to blend it with the HDR processed image. To be honest, I don’t use this last method.

About halos …. well that is more simple than you think. You can use clone tool with blend mode set to normal. Then clone the pieces further away from the tree over the ones that are closer and lighter. Another way is to set your clone tool blend mode to darken. This will affect only pixels that are brighter than the clone source and clone just those. The problem here is that it is still cloning. You take one part of image and insert it severaltimes into different locations. The default texture might go away. I personally like to use burn and dodge tools for this. It is simple and fast. Problem here is a bit with control because the changes are made on the actual layer and with using clone tool you can make changes on blank layer above. That way bad cloning won’t affect the original layer you are cloning from.

There are of course other ways how you can do this but this is the way I do it 😉 Here is the final image.

HDR w/ corrections