Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tonemapping or HDR

With so many plugins and filters these days HDR has lost a bit of it's flare. Anyone can do it, even on an iPhone!! which is probably why I have spent very little time doing any HDR stuff over the past few years.
In fact having reviewed my image library I surprised myself.
The last evidence of any HDR photography was way back in 2008, when I got my first digital DSLR the Canon 450D

So why should I revisit the world of tone mapping?, Well for one thing I now have a new PC with plenty of grunt to handle 16/32bit Images with ease, and my 24mp Canon CR2 files.

My subject for re-visiting HDR was a nice old red Jaguar on display last weekend. I wasn't looking to create anything surreal but just to enhance a few features and provide a good depth across the colours. Not keen on these heavily processed images, but rather the more subtle ones which still keep the subject real.

So here is my result
3 Shots at , -1, 0 +1, F16, 1/160 ISO200

I have dropped the red saturation slightly which has given the car a more Pinky finish, which my daughter gave me the thumbs up for :), and I masked the Chrome areas out so I could adjust these individually.
The +1 shot was a tad over exposed so I ended up having to pull the highlights back to compensate.
I then used a small amount of Luminace through the Noise reduction settings to smooth the body tones out, and finally added an edge vignette.

I think HDR is something you either like or you don't, I'm not fussed either way and occasionally a subject comes along that you think "Hey, why not?"

Here is another shot showing you the three exposures next to each other.
The RAW files went through the Camera RAW plugin with minor individual tweaks, Then loaded up the Photoshop HDR merge function and kept most adjustments to the tone panel.

+2, 0, -2 F11, 1/160 ISO 200
 
Final image (cropped and straightened)