Archive for the ‘recipe’ Tag

HDR Processing Techniques – A New Video Tutorial   25 comments


Pismo Beach pier sunset, image by Mark Patton, post-processed by Rob Hanson

Pier Pressure - Image by Mark "KonaFlyer" Patton

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It’s finally here!

I’ve long wanted to create a video tutorial as a way of passing along ideas that others have contributed along the path of learning HDR processing. It took the urging of one Mark “Konaflyer” Patton to have me get down to business on the project. (Hence, the title of the image, “Pier Pressure.”) Mark had emailed, wanting to know how I achieved a certain “glossy” look to some of my HDR images. As it turns out, creating the video — and working on Mark’s brackets — was a lot more fun than I expected! Best of all, Mark has graciously agreed to let me post his image and the video for all to see in the interests of passing along knowledge to others. Thanks, Mark! Please be sure to visit Mark’s great Flickr photostream.

Perhaps… it was a bit too much fun. The resulting video turned out to be an hour long as I took Mark’s brackets from the original RAW files to the final product you see here. Although Mark has viewed this in its entirety, I had to break it into five different parts in order to satisfy the 15-minute restriction on YouTube.  That’s okay, I figure; In between segments you can get a cup of joe, slap yourself awake, or otherwise lift your spirits as we get down to some of the fine points of post-processing. I promise that next time I create a video, I’ll make it 15 minutes, or less.

I’ve included the embedded YouTube videos here. Later, when this blog post gets buried in the archives, you can access the videos via my Tutorials page. Or, if you’d like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can receive updates whenever new videos are posted.

You can view the videos directly from this blog page, or view them on YouTube. Either way, please remember to view them in 720p mode if your system is capable of that.

This is my first go at creating a video and posting it. So, if you see anything amiss, please let me know right away.  If you find anything useful or helpful in all of this, I’d love to hear about that as well. Comments and feedback are always welcomed here.

Cheers, and happy viewing.

Rob

Part 1: Includes Introduction, Image Analysis, Creating multiple tonemaps in Photomatix Pro

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Part 2: Includes Layering & Blending Tonemap Files in Photoshop CS5, Image Cleanup Techniques

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Part 3: Includes Defringing, Denoise, LAHR Sharpening

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Part 4: Includes Nik Color Efex Pro, Color Fixing

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Part 5: Includes Cropping, Finishing, Output Sharpening, Saving, and Conclusion

Dominance   Leave a comment


Image of old barn overgrown with weeds and vines, North Carolina

Dominance

Click here for a larger version from my Landscape gallery. Opens in new window.

One of the best things about living in North Carolina is that you can drive down rural roads and pretty much guarantee that you’ll find interesting old barns, houses, or tractors to shoot.  When I once complained that this sort of agricultural scene seemed to be the only interesting stuff around here, a photographer friend told me, “Shoot what you have available and make the best of it.”  Wise words.

Sometimes in post-processing, you have to return to the basics.  Although I often (read: usually) process with HDR, it’s not always called for, requiring a fallback to another strategy. The fact that it’s time-tested is just a bonus.

In this situation, there are two elements that did not allow this image to be processed with the usual HDR programs.  First, the wind was blowing very hard, so any HDR program had a problem with ghosting on the foreground tree branches as well as on some of the background foliage. (I’ve heard that the next release of Photomatix Pro will address this.  Yay!)  Second, this was taken with a Nikkor 70-300mm lens, so the amount of fine detail (leaves, pine needles, grasses) caused a microcontrast nightmare due to compression of the scene.

This image started out with Adobe Camera Raw in order to make it look as good as possible going into Photoshop.  Once in Photoshop, I applied a basic curves adjustment layer and a few Hue/Saturation layers to tone down or bring up some color. Layering on two different textures in Multiply mode added an interesting element, particularly to the sky, but also brought a bit of sepia tone to the subject area. Finally, I used NIK Color Efex Pro to adjust color contrast, and to add a darken/lighten center adjustment, bringing the eye to the building.

I don’t think this could have been done better with HDR, but then again, it isn’t a very high-contrast scene.

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