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Having trouble with merge to HDR function

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Scott Rucci
Having trouble with merge to HDR function
on Sep 30, 2008 at 1:53:25 pm

I've been trying to make HDR work with no luck. It's a great concept but I'm having lousy results. I've read multiple tutorials, I think I understand the procedure very well, but it's not working at all.

The objective is simple. Combine a good sky exposure with a good ground exposure. I can manually composite these together in PS (CS3) and, although labor intensive, it looks great. But HDR sounds better.

I'm testing using a series of 5 landscapes with a 3 1/2 stop spread in exposure shot in RAW (Nikon D200). I've tried using lightroom to create good exposures for the shadows in bright shots and good exposures for the highlights in the dark shots. I've also tried just leaving the shots alone.

I can't make it work at all. I get banding for one thing, but I'm not really concentrating on that. I can't get the sky dark and the land bright without it looking horrible. If I brighten the darks the sky brightens too much. If I darken the highlights the shadows darken too much. I've played with curves till I'm blue in the face and it aint working. I see many great examples of just this sort of application.

I'm stumped. I'm not sure pointing me to tutorials is the answer, I've been through several. Anyone have an experience like this? Anything I might be doing wrong?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom proffered.

Scott Rucci
Rucci Productions
ruccipro.com


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Richard Harrington
Re: Having trouble with merge to HDR function
on Oct 1, 2008 at 1:03:04 am

You need to then add exposure adjustment layers, and paint on the layer masks to constrain results.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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Scott Rucci
Re: Having trouble with merge to HDR function
on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:02:47 am

Thanks for that, I'm give it a try.

Do you think this will be a big improvement over simply combining the exposures, as both require defining layer masks? It seems like HDR is supposed get you these results without that.

Scott Rucci
Rucci Productions
ruccipro.com


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Richard Harrington
Re: Having trouble with merge to HDR function
on Oct 4, 2008 at 12:06:39 pm

The image is better.... but you will still need to do some adjustments (its not magic)

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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