Danudin's 2010 VPW Blog

Themed Photographs 2010

Approaching Storm – Plain and HDR (Effect)

Posted by danudin on April 15, 2010

Boomer Mike’s tutorial on HDR is so important for giving others the desire for trying this interesting aspect of Photography, but I realized that was the first time I had seen any of his shots prior to the HDR being processed. I understand this as he uses multiple exposure to obtain his masterpieces. So the other day as a squall approached Redcliffe I rushed down to the Jetty to grab these (Single Exposure) shots, I then came back to the computer, created a duplicate of each shot, then commenced processing. I carried out my standard processing on the two originals, until I had the look I wanted, then subjected, the two copies to the Jeff Perry HDR Effect process I have talked about and enjoyed so often in the past. I had hoped that seeing the Plain or garden variety, side by side with the JP HDR Effect shots would ellicit some response and that those that do comment come back often to see just how vibrant a discussion we can get going, no holds barred!

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23 Responses to “Approaching Storm – Plain and HDR (Effect)”

  1. Tammy McChesney said

    Fun experiment…both are great pics….but my heart goes to the processed originals w/out the JP HDR…I like the colors in the original better, just seems more natural…the HDR’s look more painterly like, maybe better suited to a poster. I’m looking forward to hearing the other opinions!

  2. I like the lines and texture in these two shots and the sky is just plain awesome. But, the colors in the doubly processed versions are not appealing to me. In the interest of lively debate, I’d say these would make a really good duotone, sepia, or black and white sketch. By the way, I’d be interested in knowing what steps you took in your ‘standard’ processing and whether you started with Raw images.

    • danudin said

      This is what I hoped for, Hope you come back Julie. Yes I started with Nikon RAW. The levels needed no adjustment (Luck) but I did Enhance,Adjusting the lighting a tad tweaking both the Shadows and Highlights plus small tweaks on the Contrast and Brightness. It was a very gusty day and I felt there was small motion blur there so I used Brokney’s High Pass sharpening technique up to about 5.2%. Then framed them all by selecting a 5mm border inside the photo, once selected, I right click and select the inverse, then I go to edit, select stroke outline selection, to make a double border of which ever of the two colours I have selected as a base, then go to filters, distort glass and click. At this point I like to apply a Scalloped High Effect, but sometimes vary this choice. I then switch the forground and background colours then repeat the Edit, Stroke Outline Selection, Filter Distort Glass rigmarole to gain a unique frame for most shots. I then resize the image to 1200 x 800 pixels or 800 x 1200 save twice as jpegs once at Low 3 for posting and then once as Maximum 10 for personal use. Then strangely I close the image in the editor without saving the changes made, thus preserving the NEF files as they were. I don’t stack as i find it confusing, I save in separate NEF (Raw) and Jpeg folder one for web the other High Res.
      Bet your sorry you asked Julie.

      • Ron, not sorry I asked – am always curious about other peoples’ workflows. I may have a question about your edits later, but for now can you explain why you save at “Low 3” for posting on your blog? Is it a space issue? Because I think we’re losing signifcant quality when viewing jpegs that are saved at that low a setting. I detect a fair amount of pixellation, the photographer’s bane. Remember, all in the interest of a vibrant discussion! đŸ˜‰

      • danudin said

        When I started last years challenge it was you that stated my images were too large, so i adapted the size then that I have used up until today, and will continue to use. I don’t have your supervision but see virtually no difference when published on the web. Size is what it is all about as you pointed out about 18 months ago. Recently I have been upsetting Shiela McDowell (and Ed) because their 8-9 Mb shots were taking around 10 minutes to download on my computer under my slow ISP. I won’t be a hypocrit. And as well it was my belief that the images we post were supposed to disuade others from stealing them, not that I am worried cause if someone (VPW members of course) wants a copy of any of my raw shots all they have to do is ask, and I will send it. Some have been asked for and dispatched post haste. Never can have too much vibrant discussion. I could be wrong – I was once! (back in 1893, LOL)

      • I remember having a conversation with you about the size of your images last year so I’m betting your reply is meant for me and not Bobbie. Yes indeed, I had issues with the sizes you originally posted on your blog last year because when viewed on the smallish laptop I had then, they had to be scrolled over to see the entire frame. I’m sure I never encouraged you to reduce the quality of the image through resizing, I just wanted images more in the 800-900 pixels on the longest side so that I could see them in their entirety without scrolling. The loss of quality I’m noticing with your resizing for web method, by the way, is going to be much more apparent with images that you do a lot of pixel processing to, like the pseudo-HDRs, because you’ve already degraded the quality in that whole process.

        To me, there is no point to degrading my images in an attempt to prevent theft. I’d rather not post on the web anymore. I figure my images start out at around 10 mb and if I resize at highest quality and 1000 pixels on the longest side, they post at about 400 kb. I suppose that’s probably enough for unscrupulous people to snag for using again on the web, but probably not much more than that.

  3. I like both photos on the left better than those on the right. The JD effect turned them into mint candy colors and lack the impact of the originals. I was surprised, because I did a JD one and it was more vivid.

  4. morrdraken said

    I like the ones on the left side better than those on the right. I think some of the colors are bleeding on the right ones. I like the colors and the drama in the left ones.

  5. boomer3297 said

    Hey Ron,
    I really enjoy the originals and it’s not that I dislike the HDR versions but I think some further tweaking can help make them more realistic.. Remember, any process to produce a HDR photo involves retaining the details in the shadows and highlights. And in doing so, the initial result of a tonemapped photo will actually look flat. It equalizes the shadows, midtones and highlights. This can be seen in the lack of dark tones in the windows of the boats and the lack of shadows in the bow of the ship on the left(of the top photo). This can also be seen in the lack of any shadow of the rock line in the bottom picture. These are some things that need to be brought back to a more realistic scene during post-processing.
    Ron, is the intent of the Jeff Perry process to change the colors of the shot or just your preference? I’m not familiar with this technique. If so, then you’ve accomplished the desired look.

    • danudin said

      Mike those in the know seem to call most of my efforts Painterly or watercolour like or oil painting like, I don’t think he was trying to give any attempt of real HDR. It does bring out a lot of hidden details that otherwise would be hidden. The fine art you produce,is just that, JP’s effect is a quick and nasty, which I use to attain some semblance of art work from things I have seen. I like the originals too but Sally will only look at the originals. I Love the effects that the garish levels that I can achieve, but noone else does, except maybe Esther, but she is so straightlaced, she may not admit it, but at least she said that she didn’t like the washed out look of these. You know my style of writing well why can’t my photos have the same Motto, “NEVER Let FACT stand in the way of a GOOD STORY”. Thanks for the discussion please come back if you think of anything to add.

  6. Judi Clark said

    I think I do like the ones on the right. Ron, I think some of your photos are bit “garish” but it might be that the everyday colors you see in your bright sun warrants this view point. Some are still kind of fun… I am wondering how much larger the higher resolution 1200 x 800 file is over the lower resolution. I also save mine at 1200 on the long side.. But I always save in the highest resolution. Sheila made the mistake of not resizing the image before she saved it… That’s why it couldn’t be opened. I think you should try saving a higher quality photo for us to look at. pretty please?

    • danudin said

      FUN – Judi – Go to the head of the class (but don’t take yout books, you won’t be there long, LOL) In 18 months you are the first to hit it on the head FFUUNN As for the resolution, I always go to my blog straight after posting and click each image, to enlarge it, (it fills up my 17 inch laptop monitor and the clarity is fine) I don’t understand the problem, perhaps I am just thick.

      • Ron, I think Judi is saying the same thing I said in my second reply above. When you save your images at Low 3, you are discarding image information and the result is pixellation and other artifacts of the downsizing process. If you don’t believe Judi and I, I suggest you do a test – save one of your images at Low 3 and at High 10 as per your usual workflow then post both and ask your readers to assess the quality differences.

      • danudin said

        I have clicked on both of the HDR Effect photos, which enlarges it to full screen size on my 17 Laptop monitor. I have then hit Cntrl + eight time (Maximum) and only get a hint of pixelation. So don’t understand the hassles, could someon else try this and tell me if I am wrong?

  7. Doris P. said

    I like the originals of these two shots best. For me, they are more pleasing to the eye with the gentler colors. I especially love the second shot of the two boats! The composition is so nice and the clouds are amazing. I do agree that these shots might look super as sketches.
    I love seeing your two versions of each, though.

    • danudin said

      Thanks Doris. My point of taking part is to show my neck of the woods to people who will never come here, why would they when there is Sydney, Uluru, The barrier Reef etc. what most people don’t understand is that the beauty of life is the small not the large. My photo of a couple near the beach last year is more breathtaking to me than Sydney harbour (See Private – http://danudins2009challenge.blogspot.com/2009/05/241-365-private.html -) the intimacy is poignant!

      • Doris P. said

        I agree and think that is one of the best things about sharing in these blogs. We all get to see and share someone else’s neck of the woods.

  8. Bobbie said

    I prefer the originals–the colors are more intenst and, to me, there’s better contrast.

  9. ~Val said

    To add to the opinions, I like the right-hand photos better when they are viewed at web-site size, and the left-hand ones better when viewed larger. I have no illusions that the processed images are supposed to look “real”, so I quite enjoy the bright, strong colors. The water, in the bottom right version, in particular. Fun to see the difference.

  10. I’ll be a total thorn in your side by saying I want something inbetween. The images on the left appear just a tad dark and grey to me, lacking vibrance, but the images on the right push the processing way to the other side of the spectrum, rendering colors that seem too extreme. Instead of appearing as the rich deep saturated colors, the blues and reds on the boats have an almost florescent quality about them and almost appear to be painted onto the surface of the photo not unlike the old technique where black and white photos were hand-tinted with a too-heavy hand. The brighter sky, and whiter whites are a definate plus in the images on the right, I’d just like to see that water and the stronger reds, blues and yellows toned down a bit.

    As for the image quality, I tried enlarging like you suggested, and while I don’t see the pixilation, I do see some very strong artifacting around many of the elements. The lamp post for example, shows a lot of pale grey short linear elements, short dashed lines that seem to blur the image. I would like to see them saved in a few different manners to see if you get a more tack-sharp image to post. Could be a good exercise to teach us all, showing the web effects that result from different methods of saving an image for posting.

    • danudin said

      I had it in mind to do something similar, to your suggestion but need a tad more approval first.
      Just out of interest, I am normally satisfied with just the initial enlargment that double clicking an image produces, when I see something that piques my curiosity and I enlarge further, to peer at a tiny object I expect and am not surprised by artefacts or pixelation. Others must view photographs differently to me.

      Scratch the Idea, approval was not forthcoming, something else maybe!

  11. Lorri said

    Interesting discussion here. One of the things I do like abouat WordPress is sthe threaded discussion. And now back to Ron’s shots.

    I like the depth in your skies, Ron. Especially the upper left photo. My eyes just follow that sky deep into the picture and beyond the skyline in the background. Technical issues and preferences aside, you have an eye for an interesting shot.

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