A question for Steve about HDR

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A question for Steve about HDR

Postby RudyDusslier » Mon 20 Dec 2010 23:31

Hello Mr. Bingham,

As a user of Photoshop CS5 I want to make pictures with HDR processing. I´m used to work with Photomatix pro and I´m wondering if I can get the same result or even better with CS5 to make a pseudo HDR. I tried several times bur it doesn´t give a good result. What is the difference between these two programs?

Greetings,
Rudy
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Re: A question for Steve about HDR

Postby Steve Bingham » Thu 23 Dec 2010 00:35

Hi Rudy,

Photomatix is king - and superior to PS CS5 in this regard. However, you mentioned pseudo HDR. In this field the winner is Lucis Art. It is very pricey! Close behind is a much less expensive program called ReDynaMix. I like to use this with layers. That is, I select an area to use it in. Example: Select the sky, expand 1 pixel, expand 1 pixel again, feather 1 pixel. Now choose inverse and apply ReDynaMix to everything BUT the sky. This prevents halos between the land and sky. Now inverse and give the sky some other treatment - perhaps some level and curves work.

A second method is to do a double raw conversion, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. Drag the darker tiff onto the top of the lighter tiff. In PS CS5 select Control--Alt-2 which selects and feathers highlights. Select quick mask. Now in the masking layer, select the mask icon, then use the eraser tool (or white paint brush) to erase that part of the mask you don't want. This is live so it is very easy to control. Here is a tutorial using PS CS3. It is slightly different as you use Control-Alt-Tilde. http://dustylens.com/luminosity_mask.htm

Steve
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Re: A question for Steve

Postby GuidoDeVolder-BE » Thu 23 Dec 2010 12:53

Amazing knowledge, congratulations. :o
The above is not my cup of tea :oops: but I would be more than happy if I could photoshop a picture where you see the same person appear in different positions. I saw this a couple of times and I find it funny but I don't know how to do that...
I have photoshop elements 5, probably it's not possible with that program. PS CS is out of my budget.
Humanity Is Insane.
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Re: A question for Steve

Postby Steve Bingham » Thu 23 Dec 2010 16:23

I am not very knowledgable about Elements 5. Sorry.
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Re: A question for Steve about HDR

Postby RudyDusslier » Thu 23 Dec 2010 20:27

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your reaction.
What I find interesting is that you mention Lucisart.
I'm using Lucisart since 2 years now and I wanted to know if professionals like you use Lucisart as well. My experience confirms your statement that Photomatic is far better than PS5 and that Lucisart tops.

Do you use Lucisart as "finishing touch" of do you PP further after LA?
My workfloor is always ACR for WB and some sharpening, then Lucisart, correction with levels or curves and some local ajustments...
Before RAW 6.2 I learned that sharpening should be the last process, but since ACR 6.2 I sharpen first in ACR, convert to jpeg, than I go to PS5 and do some more corrections... Is this the right way?
I added one recent picture which I processed the way I explained.
Thanks in advance for your further reaction.
Greetings,
Rudy.
Image
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Re: A question for Steve about HDR

Postby Steve Bingham » Wed 15 Jun 2011 16:25

Hi Rudy. Although there is no "right" way here is my work flow. When converting from ACR I use Auto as opposed to Default and look at the histogram and adjust if necessary (rarely). Then I use the default sharpening of 50 at .5. Lastly, I use the Lens icon and select the lens I used. Usually ACR detects this automatically. Make sure "Enable Lens Profile" is checked. This automatically corrects for distortion, vignetting, and CA. Sometimes I check the corners of the image to make sure the CA is gone (it almost always is and needs no tweaking). Lastly, I check the Camera Profile tab and select a previously made Camera Profile. I keep a dozen I can use. I select the appropriate one (such as "Early morning sun", 10-24, D7000) This assures me of exact color balance. I made my Camera Profiles using ColorChecker PassPort.

ACR converts the raw file in about 1 second to a 16 bit tiff and aRGB color space. I then use USM at a tiny .5 at 100%. This pretty much eliminates the gaussian blur caused by the gentle AA filter of the D7000. My D700 required a little more.

I do all my playing in 16 bit whenever possible. Sometimes a filter requires that I change the Mode to 8 bit. Most of my additional sharpening is then done in selected AREAS. NEVER the sky, for example. (Using the selection tool of your choice it is an easy matter to select all the sky, feather the selection, then choose Inverse. Now everything but the sky can be sharpened.) Additional sharpening can also be used for selected smaller areas. Close large objects can usually benefit from additional sharpening. Then I save it as a tiff.

Before printing I then give it additional USM. Very large prints might get an additional .5 at 100%. Smaller prints maybe 1.5 at 100%.

I am sure others have their own way of doing things. This is simply the workflow I have arrived at over many years.
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Re: A question for Steve about HDR

Postby Steve Bingham » Wed 15 Jun 2011 16:32

One other thing, Rudy. I noticed the halo on your Eiffel Tower. To avoid this halo when doing tone mapping, try using Nik Efex Pro 3.0. (It can be a PS CS5 plug-in filter) Works great, no halos between the dark and light tones.
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Re: A question for Steve

Postby RudyDusslier » Thu 16 Jun 2011 22:39

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the clear explanation.
I have one more question about the halo. I also use Nik Efex Pro sometimes. What filter in this program do you use to avoid these halo`s?

Greetings,
Rudy
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Re: A question for Steve about HDR

Postby Steve Bingham » Sat 25 Jun 2011 18:39

I use the Tonal Contrast filter in version 3.0. It can produce a wonderful pseudo HDR with total control of highlight, midtone, and shadow contrast levels. It also has control points as well as saturation control and shadow/highlight control. It is easy to go from mild to wild!!!! :D
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