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Watched +Jay Patel and +Varina Patel webinar recording about how to manually blend…

Watched +Jay Patel and +Varina Patel webinar recording about how to manually blend…

Watched +Jay Patel and +Varina Patel webinar recording about how to manually blend HDR images (see link http://www.photographybyvarina.com/photography/blog/ihdr-workflow-overview for details).
Well, what can I say. I know kung-fu now=)

Already checked this technique on couple of my old images — results are just great! Everything looks pretty close to what Photomatix tone-map produces, but with saving all small shadows, all little details and highlights — everything just looks much more natural, even though it's a HDR image.

The only remained question is how to blend images with high contrasts between sky and ground, but it seems I just need a little more practice to handle that.

You should definitively check this webinar if you are interested in landscape photography (or just an amature, like me) and wonder how to produce natural colors in HDR photographs.

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iHDR Workflow Overview | Landscape Photography by Varina Patel – eBooks, Tips, Workshops, Blog
iHDR Workflow Overview. By Varina Patel,on September 19th,2011. We get lots of questions about how we blend our images. For photos with an extremely wide dynamic range –like the one you see here –we b…

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14 Коммент.

  1. Thanks for your very kind words! I'm so glad you found the webinar series helpful! The techniques we teach work very well with high contrast images, but it does take practice!

  2. +Varina Patel I have troubles merging highlights, and at the moment dont see how this can be solved.
    Comparing to photomatix, manual blending is really good, but highlights… they are just flat.
    I think about making an additional image in photomatix and blend highlights from it.
    I've already written to Jay, but he didn't reply yet. Is it ok to ask for some live assistance in hangout on that highlights in contrasty images topic? Because samples worked absolutelly fine, but troubles started when I tried to work with my own images.

  3. Hi +Anton Averin — highlights can be especially difficult… and it takes practice to get it just right. Do keep in mind that when you are shooting directly into the sun, you don't want to see details in the highlights. Can you see detail with your eyes if you look directly at the sun? Of course not. So, trying to add details in those extremely bright areas produces an image that looks strange to the viewer. We've all been taught that blown highlights are bad… but that's not true in every case. Keep them to a minimum within the frame… make sure they are used only when they make sense… and be careful in processing… but if you are shooting into the sun, expect to end up with some blown highlights in your image.

  4. It's alright to have blown highlights when sun is in the frame, but I usually shoot 30 minutes after sun goes beyond horizon, so I have mostly bright detailed clouds in reddish colors, same for reflections in water.
    Photomatix brings these bright details, but when I blend manually — everything is just gray and flat.
    Also, I tryed to manually blend this shot: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109085511401108649724/albums/5652177239614783713/5655657628740364274?hl=en
    with photomatix you can see boiling details in waterfall, but I could not get even close to that with manual blending — waterfall remains flat.
    Maybe there is something I should do other way?
    For example, the lowest (background) +2ev (exposed for shadows) layer should be replaces with -2ev (exposed for highligts)? That way mask will add brights to the detailed shadows instead of adding shadows to the brights?

    I'm going to rewatch webinar again today, maybe I''ve just missed something.

  5. As long as you have an exposure that shows clear detail in the falls, you should be able to bring it out without letting it go grey with the iHDR techniques we teach. In fact, we include an example that shows how it's done. Here's a photo that shows clear detail in the falls:


    It's a lot of information to absorb all at once! :)

  6. Yea, it sure is=) I just look at yours and Patrick Di Fruscia (who wrote in his blog that he also took this iHDR lesson and uses this technique now) amazing photos and then look at mine grayish image after manual processing and wonder what do I do wrong.

    Btw, I can't open the link you added, google+ just says '500 error', maybe the album isn't public?

  7. Oh, nevermind, it opened.

  8. +Varina Patel
    I've rewatched webinar once again, so a little feedback that you've asked at the very beginning of record.
    I think it would be good to have two problems addressed in future versions of iHDR workflow.
    1. More difficult samples. Like, blending high-contrast parts. For example when you have contrasty clouds in red light reflected in water. Making luminocity mask from red channel basically makes everything dark and strange looking, so after spending a few more hours I was finally able to get rid of that by several curves/levels layers and detailed mask refining.
    2. Advanced deghosting. That's the feature I miss from Photomatix when blending manually. How to properly deghost in difficult situations? It's great to have Canon MarkD II or even pricier camera, but when you use something simple, like 1000D, you almost always get ghosts, expetially with people moving.

    But, anyway, thanks again for sharing all this knowledge, hope now my images will look more natural, and I almost reproduce Photomatix effect manuall, except most difficult parts.

  9. The goal with manual blending is to avoid producing results similar to Photomatix! :)

  10. Why? I pretty much like what photomatix does. the only problem is that it kills shadows and adds to much HDR effect. Manual blending solves that, everything looks much more realistic, but some details are no longer there=) So at the moment I get almost the same results as photomatix but with more natural light and shadows=)
    Hope that will improve with time, to get realistic shots like you do=)

  11. The problem with software based HDR is that the results are often very flat and unrealistic. This happens because the blending is applied indiscriminately across the entire image… rather than only where it is needed. The software is completely blind — and it can't see the results it produces. When you blend an image manually, you take back that control. You can see the results — so they aren't based upon mathematical algorithms.

    There's no problem with Photomatix if that's the look you want to produce — in that case, you really don't need our iHDR technique. You could just stick with the product you already own and know how to use. There are many people who love the effects produced by HDR software… and there's nothing wrong with that. It's simply something other than what we want to produce. Does that make sense?

  12. Yes, +Varina Patel, thanks for explaining.
    I like the natural look of manual blends and, at the same time, like how photomatix deals with highlights, and different difficult parts of image. I don't use all of Photomatix settings, just a few simple tunings, so maybe with more extensive use it doesn't look that good=)
    Same as with usual HDR, seems I'll have to spend a few weeks playing around with iHDR to get better results.
    In the end technique to choose depends on what results you want to achieve in the image, so it's best to know both photomatix soft hdr and manual mask-based blending.

  13. Well said, Anton. :) The more you know, the more you can do. More knowledge is a good thing! No doubt about it.

    Keep working with iHDR — once you've mastered those highlights, you should be able to do amazing things! This is the technique +Jay Patel and I use to produce our most difficult blends… especially those with extremely bright highlights. It's the only way I know that allows you complete control over every part of your image.

  14. hey..make a different look of urs with http://www.albumstreet.net/

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