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Thread: Image Painting the BMW's

  1. #16
    On a Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colt03 View Post
    Steve,

    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 ?
    Craig... That brings back memories! Your recollection is accurate... five years ago this month. Haven't viewed it in awhile... thanks for the excuse to check out the memories of 2005 again.

    I've Been Here and There - Streaming Video

  2. #17
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
    After about the 5 millionth time I've seen HDR, it all looks like clown barf to me..
    Most of the time Nathan, I agree with you.
    This time, you are full of beans.
    I like the effects.

  3. #18
    advrider.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    Most of the time Nathan, I agree with you.
    This time, you are full of beans.
    Go to any urban exploration website. You'll feel the same.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    Here is another example of an HDR image produced by method 2 described above. The subject is highly polished and nickle plated. In other words, it's one, fairly intricately shaped mirror. Subjects like this always present a challenge if you want to keep all, or most of the surface within the displayable 8 bits of dynamic range. It's almost impossible to create a non HDR image that shows detail in all the areas where you want detail. Some of the shadow areas can go black, and in fact this probably creates a stronger image. The background is dark blue fabric, darker than navy blue but not black by any means. Back in the '70s when I was doing product photography as part of my living, I handled subjects like this by building a light tent around the subject, and controlling the luminance of every point that would be reflected in the subject. That was a lot of work.

    This image required 4 exposures, each 2 stops apart. It would not have been possible to produce without tone mapping.

    Model 1873 Colt
    Dave... Your images continue to impress. I think I can see your tripod!

    Steve

  5. #20
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    rocketman,

    I don't mean to criticize either. I think we both intend to convey information about this process, and not create confusion or misconceptions.

    I guess what I have taken some issue with is your assertion in both of your posts that tone mapping is not part of the HDR process. You even called it unfortunate that it was included in HDR software. Granted, HDR is still new enough, at least in its present form, that some disagreement about terminology is legitimate and inevitable. However, I continue to assert strongly that tone mapping is a necessary and integral part of one HDR workflow, and that many of the very best HDR images cannot be produced without it.

    Let's separate the two HDR work sequences (methods), at least the two that I am aware of.

    1. Blending. As we both have mentioned in previous posts, one way to achieve HDR is to stack multiple exposures as layers, and then remove the overexposed and underexposed areas of all the layers, leaving an image that captures detail in all areas from the darkest to the lightest. This can be done manually with a good photo editor. There are also programs that do it automatically. It is the simpler of the two HDR processes. An image produced in this way should not need tone mapping, since all the inputs are 8 bit per channel images, and you are only selecting the areas from each one that is most appropriate for the final image. Any of the original images will display on a normal computer monitor, and nothing in this process adds any bit depth. That's one way to do HDR.

    2. The second method of producing an HDR image involves using the original input exposures to create an image that encompasses the entire luminance range from all the input images. In order to do that the program (this really can't be done manually) creates a file in a proprietary format with whatever bit depth is needed to hold the full total luminance range of the subject. If there is sufficient tonal range in the input images, the program will allocate 128 bits per channel per pixel. There are two things that are true of this approach. The file produced tends to be quite large. And the image cannot be displayed on equipment that can only display 8 bits per channel per pixel. Photomatix will create a highly squished representation of the full tonal range image for display, so that you can inspect what it has done, but that display looks so flat and lifeless (lacking any reasonable contrast at all) that it's really rather unpleasant to look at. In order to go from that image file to one that looks natural, there must be a process that intelligently selects areas in the image and expands the contrast to levels that look right. This process must recognize which areas are, in fact, the brightest and darkest and, while keeping detail in those areas, still leave them brighter and darker than other areas. At the same time the software must expand the contrast in all areas of the image, while keeping the identified areas in the proper sequence of light to dark generally. This is called tone mapping. If done right it is a very sophisticated process. Photomatix is capable of doing it right, but one must use the controls the program has to achieve good results.

    If the number of input images is small and only one stop apart (the luminance range of the subject doesn't exceed the dynamic range of the camera by more than a few stops) blending (method 1) can work very well, and may be preferable. If there is a huge luminance range in the subject, and several input images are required, each 2 stops apart, then the second method will almost always yield a better result. Photomatix supports both methods, and when I was experimenting with this I tried both methods on the same inputs, so I had a chance to get a feel for the merits of either method.

    So, my point is that, for HDR images that require several input images 2 stops apart, due to a very high luminance range in the subject, tone mapping is in fact an integral, necessary, and highly desirable part of the best workflow for getting the best result, which is method 2 described above.

    I grant, and I think this is the point you really want to convey, that tone mapping, if used when it is not needed (such as on single exposures or HDR images created with the blending method) will probably produce an unnatural looking result, and is best not used at all.
    Ok I think we are basically in agreement on this, my point was simply that the results of a highly edited HDR image taken with larger numbers of or higher bracketing valve as one often sees have had (what I see as unfortunate) the affect of misleading the general viewer into believing the HDR process (in and of itself) almost invariably leads to such stylized images whereas I see the two as individual processes, even where the one is dependant on the other.

    As the image you displayed below in your follow up post shows, HDR and the resultant tone mapping does not have to lead to an “artificial” looking or “stylized” image but can in fact lead to an even more realistic one. (very nice image by the by, ((we won't touch on the subject matter hopefully images of same aren't taboo! )) ).

    Since the way we perceive a dynamic image with our eyes constantly adjusting to changes in shadow and light can not be captured in a static image of the same scene HDR is nothing more an attempt to bridge that gap.

    I guess its a reaction to such comments as that made by that crazydrummercrimial dude and just feel HDR or the process of trying bring together a set of images that come closer to what the human eye sees has gotten a "bad rap".
    See, its all that crazy drummers fault!

    RM

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    See, its all that crazy drummers fault!

  7. #22
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    HDR is like Auto-tune... used properly it makes things better without being overly noticeable.

    Misused and well it grates on your senses... of course some people really like both. Have you heard what passes for music these days!

  8. #23
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    RM,

    Good! Peace, clarification, it's all good. And thank you!

    As to the subject matter of that last shot, I did consider that before posting it. My reason for using that image as opposed to something else is simple: as I mentioned before, I experimented with this stuff almost 3 years ago and then lost interest. I didn't actually create all that many images with it. The above was the last one I've got that would illustrate the point I was trying to make. Notice that I never actually specified what the subject was anywhere in the description. Hopefully anyone that frequents the photo sub forums will see it as a beautifully shaped object, and a relevant subject for the discussion at hand.

    If anyone is offended by the image, I suppose I'll have to move it to a web page on my private photographic website, and just put a link to it in the posting here. Or it'll just get deleted by the powers that be and the responses to it will make no sense.

    Before closing out this topic (HDR) I'd like to make a couple of general observations.

    This thread was started by Steve, who posted a series of just exactly the type of tone mapped images that have now come under criticism as a misuse of that technique. .

    Yeah, like when digital first came out and many holdouts cried that it was "cheating" and unworthy of being called photography!
    (saddly I was among them, at least in part, and held on to film till around 2000, "ain't nothin' out there better than my trusty ol' Nikon F !" or so I thought at the time! Ha Ha!)

    Its all good.....

    RM

  9. #24
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
    you being a young one and all, I just figured I'd do my part to toughen you up for the coming real world experiance. You can thank me later...




    or not.....

    RM

  10. #25
    Bimmer6447
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    Cold ride to Natchez Trace

    Not a HDR shot, but it looks about as cold as it felt with the black Tron-like effects.
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