Image Painting the BMW's
Applying HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques on photos of BMW's I used to ride, and still ride. A short trip down memory lane.
This was my first BMW. It took me on journeys never taken before. These are often the most memorable of rides...
Found a sweet, low mile K1200RS, and wouldn't let a little snow on the driveway prevent me from getting it out for a winter's day ride...
Ahhhh.... there's something about a brisk, late afternoon, low sun ride...
But you know, some bikes really thrive in uncertain conditions and on uncertain surfaces...
But what can I say, I found the R1200GSADV to be a more versatile "Adventure" bike than the HP2e. What is it with all these wintertime pics? I remember it was so cold here, I left the bike running so the heated grips would stay heated...
Ahhh... warm temps. My wife and I rode way out on the plains to visit the Summit Springs Battlefield site where Tall Bull and his band of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers met their end. Location is on a remote ranch, down a remote ranch road...
Well, form and function in a Munich exercise to demonstrate what is possible. They nailed it IMO...
Finally, how did BMW package a bike that wins "tourer of the year" awards, yet weighs less than most sport tourers? A long distance, full featured, and still twisty road fun bike...
What program do you use with the HDR?
I really like the effect!
J... Good to hear from you!
460... Check out the Luminance program.
Well, it worked.....I'm not sure how or why, but I think with some more playing....
Thanks for the tip Sfarson!
460... Nice work!
The HDR process simply provides another option for rendering your images. I especially like the choices that can turn images into ones looking like paintings. Have fun!
Dave... Thanks much for the background! It gives me something to explore versus just the "paint" effect on single exposure old images. Your examples are outstanding.
Amazing shots Dave and Steve!
To me those look like more the result of Tone Mapping rather than just straight HDR, which are actually two different processes. Unfortunately most HDR programs have Tone Mapping built in as part of the process (since the HDR images themselves canÔÇÖt be rendered/displayed directly in digital format) so the image is put thru tone mapping and then compressed back down to a LDR (Low Dynamic Range) for output to jpeg, tiff, gif, etc.
If you want to play with just the HDR part (which is what I prefer over doing a lot, if any tone mapping) to get a more even/higher tonal range you can use photoshop to layer the images without having to do any tone mapping, which is very easy to get carried away with!. There are also tools such as something from the Hugin project [url]http://hugin.sourceforge.net/[/url] available in Linux and Windows versions or something like Enfuse [url]http://enblend.sourceforge.net/[/url] also available as GNU licensed Freeware. The tricky part is getting the layers matched up exactly, but there are also tools to help with that function, such the Align_image function available from the above. A quick search of HDR and LInux will bring up a lot of info on this and many of those linux tools have now been ported over to windows.
IÔÇÖve been using the linux tool sets along with Gimp on my Ubuntu home system for a while now and have gotten most of it scripted out (based on the work of others I found online) so the tedious work of sorting, layering, aligning, blending and such, is handled automatically and all I have to do is the final touch up and fine tune the images as needed.
You can even do HDR from a single image if shooting in RAW format and then there are no issues with movement, though the range is not a great as individual bracketed images would be.
You know, reading through this thread really brought something home to me.
There is one H%#LL of a lot of knowledge available/shared on this forum!
Thanks to all on this and many other subjects!
[QUOTE=dhgeyer;638430]Also, from what I have seen on the photo boards, HDR software is being used far more extensively as a stylistic tool than for the purpose for which it was developed.[/QUOTE]
After about the 5 millionth time I've seen HDR, it all looks like clown barf to me..
[QUOTE=crazydrummerdude;638509]After about the 5 millionth time I've seen HDR, it all looks like clown barf to me..[/QUOTE]
again, its not HDR that gives those images the look you are probably referring to, its the Tone Mapping that's been done.
Here is an example of HDR [b](without the added processing that cause many to dislike HDR because it looks "artifical" or over processed)[/b]
Note the fairly even shading, detail in the shadows without having a totally washed out sky, over saturated whites and still maintaining some depth (this was taken under bright mid morning sun). One of the big problems with HDR is that overdoing the enfusion of the images can lead to a flat image lacking any depth, the human eye and mind rely on these sorts of clues to gain perception of distance in a 2-dimentional image of something it "knows" to be 3-dimentional. it is therefore important not to lose to much of that. (See the last images for some examples of over-done HDR (or what I consider overdone) note how flat the images seems even with all the clues of the roadway and car.)
An HDR image without Any Tone Mapping. Just three bracketed images taken at plus and minus one full appature stop apart.
now the same image [B]Tone Mapped[/B]
now the same scene Tone Mapped [B]Without HDR[/B], in other words this was tone mapped using the single middle exposure of the three shots that was used to create the first two images.
See the differance? In fact, you don't have to even use an HDR image to do tone mapping, as in the third example, but as I said before so many of the programs available have tone mapping as part of the process the two have become synonymous. Very unfortunate IMHO
finally examples that did NOT work out
An over done, over flattened HDR imageÔÇª
And an overdone attempt to correct with Tone Mapping (which I felt fell flat on its face!) and I can say that cause they are all my own images!
I think the problems you are having with tone mapping stem from 2 causes:
1. The images you are using as examples only required 1 or three exposures, and the one with three exposures had exposures that were only 1 stop apart. This type of example barely needs HDR processing, if at all. The examples I posted above required 5 to 7 exposures, each 2 stops apart. There was a much higher luminance range, and HDR processing was definitely required if the full luminance range was to be captured. With this degree of HDR processing, as you point out, without tone mapping, the result, as displayed on a normal computer monitor or printed, would be horribly flat and uninteresting. So the images I posted needed tone mapping. Your examples did not. Some simple adjustments in Photoshop would have sufficed.
2. I don't know what program you used to do the tone mapping. I used Photomatix. Photomatix has a number of parameters that can be set - in other words a lot of control. I grant you that tone mapping done badly, or "overcooked", as in your examples, does not look natural. Tone mapping, when required and done properly and with some restraint, does not need to look unnatural.[/QUOTE]
I am using linux based tools rather than Windows such as enfuse, emblend, align-image etc ( see my previous post). And I am aware of the differences in my examples and what you did, along with the fact that mine don't have the range of 6 or 7 bracketed images. My point was about the differences in HDR and Tone Mapping.
Even with just three images though I can get better results than "simple adjustments in photoshop" since that requires that the areas being recovered have some detail to recover which is not always the case within any one shot. the closer you get for any one pixel being either 100% 0 or 100% 1 (totally black or totally white) the more detail you lose.
In my view even three bracketed shots will give you better results than any single shot and while my examples didn’t [b]need[/b] any HDR. In my view I prefer the results of using three bracketed images over using image tools to try and recover detail.
And yes, while I personally prefer more subdued HDR or Tone Mapping (in so far as the images [I][U]I [/U][/I]produce) understand I have nothing against Tone Mapping or going for more surrealistic or stylized images. I've played with some rather outlandish stuff myself (some of which worked and some that did not! :lol)I am quite aware that art is very much subjective in nature, I was merely trying to give folks a better understanding of the processes involved.
I hope you understand this was not meant as a critic of your images just an attempt to inform and provide some insight into this area of photography, nor do I consider myself as having any "problems" with HDR or Tone Mapping nor understand why you think I am. (??)
here's a link to where I got interested in working with the Linux HDR/Tone Mapping software.
Some really nice work
I don't read all the posts on here, (who could if you work for a living )
But zeroed in on this due to your other excellent work, especially IBEWM video you produced 5 + years ago ?.
Nice Pics and thanks for that video, maybe time to repost ?