Showing posts with label Photomatix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photomatix. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2010

HRD #3 - High Dynamic Range Underwater

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a hot new technique as we have written about before (Click Here for the first article). However, I have never seen one done Underwater. Here is what I think is one of the first ever true HDR photographs taken underwater. It is the Fire Engine in Dutch Springs Pennsylvania.

It is the product of three photographs, one underexposed by two stops, a "correct" average exposure, and one overexposed by two stops. The exagerated illustrative effect is enhanced by using PHOTOMATIX Software. Photomatix is a Photoshop plugin that is designed to do "tonemapping" with an HRD image. There is a the second post on HDR here you can use to review the exact Photomatix settings.

You can theoretically do HDR handheld, but you should use a tripod for best results. The software will be attempting to line up the three images you are generating. Any position variation will produce blurs. I use an SLR GorillaPod screwed into the bottom of my housing STROBE ARM TRAY. The GorillaPod is mostly non-corrosive except for the mounting screw. If your housing does not have a tripod screw, you may need to do some Jury Rigging here as I needed to drill a hole in the housing STROBE ARM TRAY and machine the threads using a Tap & Die. SERIOUS NOTE: I DID NOT DRILL A HOLE IN THE HOUSING!

Click here to see a larger version of the Fire Truck and more HDR.

Want an SLR GorillaPod? Click Here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

HDR #2 - High Dynamic Range - Using Photomatix Pro

There are different versions of Photomatix, but this post is designed to give you an idea of the controls you can use to effect an illustrative effect that the plug-in is capable of producing.

Rule #1 for Photomatix is don't be afraid to "play."

I like to use the dashboard more or less in order, starting at the top and working down. Be bold with changing settings to experiment.

Strength On the dashboard of controls, you will get the biggest "bang for the buck" by starting with Strength at 100%. It will give the most photo illustrative effect. The lower you go, the more photo-real it will appear.

Saturation at 100 is more Illustrative. At low settings, you can produce B&W.

Set Luminosity at 10 to begin and adjust from there.

Light Smoothing has five radio button settings. I usually like the second button. Experiment.

Microcontrast settings are a matter of taste and small adjustments count for large swings.

The remaining controls will have a less dramatic impact on the image but experiment to see what you like. Below is the product of combining the seven exposures and using Photomatix Pro.

Click here to see a larger version of this photo and more HDR.