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How to bring this Tone? Is it HDR?


mohanram

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Hi All,

I am budding Photoshop User!

I usually come across the word HDR in the web and I use to ignore that all the time because they say that we need to capture multiple images and process on it.
But I was not aware of the power of that HDR until i saw this 'Cow' image (below link) in the web. I have also heard that we can bring HDR effect on a single image file using Photoshop. Now i am curious to know how to bring such kind of effect in Photoshop. In PS, I tried Image -> Adjustments -> HDR Toning but nothing worked even after changing the sliders to bring the below cow effect.

I have two questions:-

Qstn 1) How to bring the below kind of HDR effect using Photoshop on a single file. If you have any tutorials, please provide.

2323293757_e286821348_b.jpg

Qstn 2) In the below couples pre-wedding video, you could see images in between. I am not sure what tone they have used to bring such effect (not the video effect but on the images you see in between) . Is it Dodge & Burn effect. If not, what effect is that and how to bring that effect in Ps. You could see the image (1:38) in between the video. How to bring such effects using Ps. Any tutorial for that effect please provide.


Please show some lights for my above 2 questions.

Thanks,
Mohanram
 
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Tom Mann

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The strict definition of an HDR image is an image which has been constructed out of several different exposures of a scene that has a very large ("high") dynamic range for the purpose of capturing that scene on a device (eg, a camera) that has a much more limited dynamic range.

(Note: "dynamic range" is the ratio of the brightness of the brightest areas of the scene to the brightness of the darkest areas of the scene. This number can be expressed either in photographer's units, ie, "stops", or as a conventional ratio, ie, "6,000,000 to 1".)

A single image can be manipulated to look like a true, multi-exposure HDR image. In recent years, people who have absolutely no idea of what HDR really means have taken to incorrectly labeling such images as HDR, whereas, in actuality they should only be called, "HDR-like" images.

It's very unlikely that the two images you refer to in your post are true HDR images (ie, composed of multiple exposures). The reason is simple: The main subjects in both these images are living and are likely to move in the several seconds it usually takes to record multiple exposures. This would blur the most important part of resulting image. Rather, they were almost certainly single-exposure captures that were manipulated to look HDR-like. This means that someone intentionally introduced some of the inaccuracies present in many true HDR images. These include hyper-saturated colors, bright halos around dark objects, excessive local contrast (ie, you can now see every hair on the cow), and tonal inversions.

Tonal inversions are especially characteristic of the "tone mapping" step in producing an HDR image. A tonal inversion happens when something in the scene is brighter than some other object, but, after processing, becomes darker than the 2nd area. A common example of this is how bright skies can wind up looking dramatically dark -- darker than the subjects (which often become brighter).

Achieving an HDR-like look can be done using nothing more than Photoshop's native tools, or they can be achieved by using specialized HDR software that has been set up so that it can work on a single image.

For example, here in an image of a group of cows on a sunny day:

tjm-00_orig.jpg

In Photoshop, I darkened the sky, grass and trees, increased the local contrast on the subjects (while decreasing their global contrast), and increased the saturation using only PS's simple built-in tools, eg, selections, curves, levels, the shadow/highlights tool, etc.

tjm-01_tjm_FX.jpg

It's obviously not exactly the same as your 1st example, but it shows that a similar look can be obtained without the use of any other software. If I had cared to spend more time on this little demo, I could have made it look even closer to your example.

Finally, here are two excellent references on HDR photography:

1) https://luminous-landscape.com/hdr-plea/
- - - An excellent introduction to the subject. This article also discusses some of the more controversial aspects of HDR photography, namely the lack of realism.

2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mapping
- - - A somewhat technical treatment of one of the steps, "Tone Mapping", used in dedicated HDR software. If you want to skip the most technical sections and get right to the practical matters, just scroll down to the section titled, "Tone Mapping In Digital Photography", about half-way down the page.

HTH,

Tom M
 

Argos

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It's very unlikely that the two images you refer to in your post are true HDR images (ie, composed of multiple exposures). The reason is simple: The main subjects in both these images are living and are likely to move in the several seconds it usually takes to record multiple exposures. This would blur the most important part of resulting image.

I think the image exposed is a hdr, but from camera option, is not the best way to do it, but still and hdr.

 

Argos

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Well i see a lot of hdr and have a 6d camera and the first cow example looks like that to me(but maybe i'm wrong).

Here is and hdr made from camera option

1-1.jpg

and one make by a professional photographer in the traditonal way

2.jpg
 

Tom Mann

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Unfortunately, it's almost certainly a single exposure processed to look like an HDR, Argos.

The original of that photo was posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/caese/2323293757/

It was taken on a Nikon d40 which does not have any provision to make in-camera HDR images.

It was taken with the following lens:
18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6

The remaining camera settings can be found by clicking on the EXIF data link on Flickr.

There is no mention of in-camera HDR in the EXIF data (because that camera isn't capable of that), and he only mentions one single exposure.

So, from what I see, it seems pretty clear that, as I said, it was a single exposure processed as an HDR.

Tom M
 
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Tom Mann

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Here is a comparison between a crop from Juan Louis' image and a crop from the image I got from the web, but this time, I processed it as a single image in Photomatix, one of the best known HDR programs. A bit more time, and they would be even more similar. I think this removes just about all doubt that the final image could be obtained from a single exposure.

T
 

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mohanram

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Tom Thank you for your brief explanation and your latest edited image almost resembles the original image of Juan Louis. Kudos!
I will install Photomatix today and will try for the HDR effect. I have a question to you - I have seen from web that for bringing HDR effect we need to capture multiple images of different exposures and then process it. On what basis we need to conclude the number of images that needs to be captured. For example, in the below link

http://hdr-photographer.com/hdr-tutorial/

The author has mentioned that he has taken 7 exposures at 1.0 spacing for one of the image.
In the above same link, in the Example 1 for an another image he has mentioned that he
took 3 exposures, 2 EV apart.
My question is, for any image how to conclude the number of images that needs to be taken (at different exposures) to bring the HDR effect.
Argos. I too have 6d. please tell me the settings to bring HDR effect from camera options.

Many Thanks,
MohanRam
 

Tom Mann

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...My question is, for any image how to conclude the number of images that needs to be taken (at different exposures) to bring the HDR effect...
The answer is surprisingly simple: With digital cameras, taking more images than you need costs you absolutely nothing. So, unless there is some overriding constraint (eg, you don't work fast and a high wind is moving the clouds), just take 7 or even 9 images spaced one stop apart. You can always throw out any that you don't need, but if you need more and don't have enough images, you have no way to get them.

While I am being entirely serious about taking plenty of extra images, eventually, as you gain experience, you will learn how many and what spacing you need for different lighting conditions. That being said, the wider the range of brightness in the scene, the wider the range of exposures you will need.

In fact, as I illustrated in the example of the cows, the dynamic range of the scene was just about small enough, so one could get away with just one single exposure and still have it come out looking like a traditional HDR image. However, the truth be told, I was fighting blocky JPG compression artifacts because of using only one image, whereas if I had three images, there would have been no problem with such artifacts.

With respect to your question about spacing the exposures by 1 or 2 stops, you will always get smoother transitions with 1 stop spacing, so if your scene has areas of smoothly varying brightness (eg, a wide-angle view of a sunset with the sun in the frame and dark sky near the edges of the frame) use 1 stop spacing. OTOH, if there are abrupt steps in brightness in the scene, (eg, some of the scene is in bright sun and other parts in shadow), sometimes you can get away with 2 stop steps, but why bother? Programs like Photomatix have no problem dealing with a lot of component exposures and then you are sure you aren't going to have any ugly artifacts in the composite image.

HTH,

Tom M
 
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