Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Believeable HDR?

Is there such a thing as believable HDR? A couple of years ago I would have said no. See these examples HDR which are typical of all the HDR that was around a couple of years ago when it first got "hot".

I shoot a fair amount of homes by custom builders to fill in the gaps between big commercial jobs. The budgets are low so I need to work quickly. I have to squeeze a decent set of shots out of a limited time even if the light is not primo. Here is an example of an HDR that to me works (a little surreal I admit). The day was bright overcast. The sun was high and above left. The area under the porch was too dark. If I exposed for the porch the sky blew out. A pain to try and light the porch. Three exposures-2 stop range. Exposure Blend in Photomatix. HDR always needs some additional adjustments in PS after the blend, because the midtones tend to get a little flat and lifeless. I like Tony Kuyper's Luminoscity Masks for this. HDR is just another tool if used appropriately.

Show some of your examples.



Client comments-the contractor loved the HDR because you could see all the rich detail under the roof. He thought it "really came alive". To satisfy him any other way would mean I would have had to light it. It also ran full page in an article in a homebuilder magazine. The editor, my primary client, thought it was a bit "surreal" and didn't like it that much but ran it, but I didn't hear that until after it ran. It could be toned down slightly and still be effective. Personally I like the HDR (I grant you a bit tooooomuch maybe). The straight image just sits there, muddy and lifeless.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No more Olympus 35PC...

My new Canon 24 T/S II is a significant improvement over the old one....real comparison test to come....it is worth every penny.....but also ..... on a related note. Rainer V. mentioned in a Luminous Landscape thread that the new 24T/S worked well with the Canon EX 1.4xII extender (which I already owned). Indeed it does by my tests. It creates, a what, 32mm lens? I have always carried an Olympus 35 PC with a Canon lens mount to cover that mid range between the 24 and 45. The Olympus is a pretty good little lens, but the Canon 24 T/S II with the extender surpasses it in terms of resolution, CA and shift range. So I will no longer carry my little Olympus 35PC, but use the extender, which I already carried to extend my long zoom lens, on the new 24 instead. Sweet.

The extender is smaller, lighter and only about $300 from B&H vs.$500+ for a mint copy of the Olympus 35PC.

Check out how these new lenses compare favorably with even a MF system.

Also see:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Commercial photography stressful?

You've heard and imagined all the romanticism about making your living as a photographer.....CNN
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