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Is HDR still alive?


Thoter

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I didn't find any suitable new thread, so decided to start a new one.
Actually, my first question is - is HDR photo still alive? If you check the internet, you'll find lots of materials, tutorials dating back to 2008-2012. There are several revival periods when companies introduce their producst for WIndows or iPhone etc, but I've got an impression that this...genre is on its last leg.
https://aurorahdr.com claims 1,5 mln downloads of its software and launches a campaign with huge sales. Is it an attempt to ressurect HDR?
Do you know any other recent statistics about downloads of HDR photo editing tools to make me sure it is still popular?
 
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IamSam

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Hey.

My personal opinion is that HDR imaging has been on the decline for some time now. Like any other fad, it has run it's course...................and not a moment too soon.
 

MrToM

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...Do you know any other recent statistics about downloads of HDR photo editing tools to make me sure it is still popular?
What does this prove?

The decline of screwdriver sales since 'cordless drills' became available doesn't mean to say we use less screws now than we did, in fact because of the cordless drill we probably do more screwing now than ever. :thumbsup:

I don't see why downloads of 'editing software' reflects the use of an image format.

Nowadays there is far more choice when it comes to editing ANY image format, even the most basic of editors have editing features never even imagined way back when HDR was just a twinkle in the milkman's eye.

As an example just look at what can be done with the free online software available to everybody today....Pixlr is almost identical to Photoshop....and its free!

These days, HDR images no longer need to be 'shot' in camera and processed, its now possible to create HDR images with software...so with regards to shooting HDR images and then processing them then yes, the need for 'software' may have declined but as a format, HDR is most certainly alive and kicking.


...My personal opinion is that HDR imaging has been on the decline for some time now. Like any other fad, it has run it's course...................and not a moment too soon.
Sorry to hear you think that IamSam.

I personally use HDR images a lot....see my example here on PSG.

The 3D world uses HDR images as Image Based Lighting, it uses the actual sources of light in the image to achieve a very realistic render of a scene.

I'm sure you will agree that the use of CGI and 3D graphics in the movie industry is most definitely not on the decline, far from it, so consequently the use of HDR images in CGI houses is also thriving.

HDR images are not just for looking at, when it comes to CGI they are a tool just like a cordless drill.

Thats my take on it.

Regards.
MrToM.
 
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MrToM

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...I was referrig more to this type of.................................well............stuff:...
:rofl:

Ah yes, THAT stuff!

Do you think the creators of that stuff ever understand that its not actually HDR, and that the number of times they have ever set eyes on a HDR image is probably zero?

Can you imagine a monitor radiating light that bright? :biglaff:

Neither can I.

I think ultimately HDR as a 'tool' will, without doubt, survive, but not, if it ever has been, as an image format.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Thoter

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Hey.

My personal opinion is that HDR imaging has been on the decline for some time now. Like any other fad, it has run it's course...................and not a moment too soon.
I have the same impression. Wanted to make sure that others share my opinion.
 
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Thoter

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What does this prove?

The decline of screwdriver sales since 'cordless drills' became available doesn't mean to say we use less screws now than we did, in fact because of the cordless drill we probably do more screwing now than ever. :thumbsup:
Nothing)Simply interested in figures.
 

Tom Mann

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MrToM - re your statement: "...The 3D world uses HDR images as Image Based Lighting, it uses the actual sources of light in the image to achieve a very realistic render of a scene....".

I think there is a difference between the way the OP is conceiving of "High Dynamic Range" imaging, and using the term, "HDR", and they way you are using it in part of your response to her.

I think she is using "HDR" in the sense of conventional photography, eg, exactly what Sam's search turned up. The photographic usage includes both the image capture and tone mapping parts of the work flow. Whereas in IBL, the goal is to acquire a 32 bit image that can have a huge dynamic range (if necessary), but then, there is no follow-on tone mapping phase to explicitly reduce the dynamic range to a much more limited range so that the same image can displayed by conventional means (eg, as an 8 PBC jpg, or a print).

With respect to your statement, "Do you think the creators of that stuff ever understand that its not actually HDR, and that the number of times they have ever set eyes on a HDR image is probably zero?", I can assure you that the creators of HDR photography knew *exactly* what they were doing, ie reducing the dynamic range. However, once the technique became known to the masses, what has now come to be known as "HDR photography" is almost always an image with a highly compressed dynamic range, not the full dynamic range.

As you suggest, if somehow one could magically project the full range of an HDR capture without tone mapping, then it would be like being outside with with blinding sunlight in some part of the sky and incredibly dark shadows in other parts of the scene, exactly the opposite of what most people think of as "HDR photography".


That being said, I think all of the above is a bit of a technical digression and is not addressing the OP's real concern which I suspect is basically she's curious whether or not she should be getting into what has come to be known (for better or worse) as "HDR photography". I doubt she is a software developer who wants to know if there is room in the market for yet another HDR app.

As was accurately pointed out by MrTom, using sales of related software to judge the worthiness of a style can be wildly misleading (ie, his great screwdriver example), but disregarding the OP's faulty line of reasoning, I think that as a photographer, it is always useful to have as many different techniques in your kit as possible, and that includes HDR photography. If you come across a scene whose dynamic range just can't be captured in one shot, no big deal, take two or more and blend them together, but you shouldn't feel obliged to turn all the knobs up to "11" (LOL) and make the result turn into a garish nightmare. A little restraint goes a long way.

In my own case, I never use HDR in the studio, or for outdoor shots where I have control of the lighting (with fill lights, reflectors, scrims, etc.). However, if I'm shooting in uncontrolled lighting situations where nothing is moving and I can't control the contrast, of course I'm going to use HDR photography techniques to rescue the situation. I probably do this for less than a few percent of all my shots, but then again, I haven't been shooting many landscapes lately. If I had, this figure would likely be higher.

Cheers,

Tom M
 
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