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Perspective on HDR


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#41 emaltorio

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 11:59 AM

IMG_7010originl.jpg Resize_Assistant_1.jpg


HDR ? In some cases 3 exposures would not be practical (moving boat etc.) Does more pictures constitute to less artifacts as seen in the left corer of this tone mapped single exposure ?

#42 loftus

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 01:22 PM

IMG_7010originl.jpg Resize_Assistant_1.jpg


HDR ? In some cases 3 exposures would not be practical (moving boat etc.) Does more pictures constitute to less artifacts as seen in the left corer of this tone mapped single exposure ?

Because the artifacts arise as a result of misalignment of the images, more images would likely result in more artifact.
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#43 MatthewAddison

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 05:51 PM

Yes, I agree; I think it's unfortunate though that it's not just called Tonemapping an image rather than single image HDR. I guess there is that HDR screen made by those guys in Canada. I think Drew mentioned this once before.
http://www.bit-tech....tside_hdr_edr/1
I think the closest thing visually I have seen to HDR is large transparencies on a lightbox.

I'd simply call it tonemapping as well because if you did throw it up on an HDR capable device the image would look like a train wreck. I also heard that Fujitsu had a screen in a lab somewhere that was outputting enough stops of light to display HDR. The product launch should coincide with the introduction of Nikon & Canon's single shot HDR/lightfield dSLR. 2025? Yea baby! Unfortunately I won't be able to pick up a SLR by then without dislocating my shoulder.
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#44 Steve Williams

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 09:28 PM

The product launch should coincide with the introduction of Nikon & Canon's single shot HDR/lightfield dSLR. 2025? Yea baby! Unfortunately I won't be able to pick up a SLR by then without dislocating my shoulder.

By 2025 we will be talking about the new holographic images you can walk through and the cameras still won't be waterproof. :)
You folks have intrigued me with all this HDR talk, what's your recommendation for a good website or sites for a complete newbie to get started in understanding the basics? Now can we get back to the part where somebody picks me up in the Lear to go diving with Jeff, Drew, and Jeremy? :)
PS: Can the waternymphs come too?
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Edited by Steve Williams, 14 October 2008 - 09:34 PM.

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#45 loftus

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:22 AM

I also heard that Fujitsu had a screen in a lab somewhere that was outputting enough stops of light to display HDR. The product launch should coincide with the introduction of Nikon & Canon's single shot HDR/lightfield dSLR. 2025? Yea baby! Unfortunately I won't be able to pick up a SLR by then without dislocating my shoulder.

I think when we start seeing more HDR capable output devices, we will really start to see the value of HDR. And then if one can simply hang flat panel HDR LCD 'prints' on the wall, our kids will look back on the olden days of LDR.
Ultimately though, it's the limit on output devices that probably limits acceptance of HDR more than anything else. To get back to the original quote in this thread - HDR is really the way it is, present LDR is just a part of the picture.
Tonemapping may ultimately become unnecessary or play a different role, at least for realistic (non-creative) HDR. What most folks don't realize is that HDR is already part of the movie industry in companies like Pixar.

By 2025 we will be talking about the new holographic images you can walk through and the cameras still won't be waterproof. :P
You folks have intrigued me with all this HDR talk, what's your recommendation for a good website or sites for a complete newbie to get started in understanding the basics?

A good place to start is the Photomatrix website
http://www.hdrsoft.com/
There is a lot of info, reading links etc
This is a good book
http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_b_img_b
For more esoteric stuff (really makes you realize how smart some people are and how dumb the rest of us are), this guy is one of the gurus that started it all.
http://www.anyhere.c...ward/index.html

Now can we get back to the part where somebody picks me up in the Lear to go diving with Jeff, Drew, and Jeremy? :)

Now that's what I'm talking about; guess Matthew can be the pilot.

PS: Can the waternymphs come too?
Steve

Now we really get your true motivation for all this! :)

Edited by loftus, 15 October 2008 - 03:12 AM.

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#46 segal3

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:00 PM

I am a fan of the article on HDR by Royce Howland at Naturescapes, even though a few years old. I guess that means I prefer the 'natural'-appearance HDR :).
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#47 jeremypayne

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:40 PM

I am a fan of the article on HDR by Royce Howland at Naturescapes, even though a few years old. I guess that means I prefer the 'natural'-appearance HDR :).

That's a great article!

As far as tools go, I just picked up AutoPano Pro.

It can be pointed at a directory full of RAW files, will automatically identify the HDR and PANO series, group them together and automatically do conversions and preliminary combinations/stitching. I've only been playing with it for less than a day ... but I pointed it at a directory with about 500 RAW files and it correctly identified, converted and stitched 40 HDR panos within a couple hours. Impressive.

There are some rumblings that the latest release is buggy, but I'll do my own diligence and report back.

It's what Thom Hogan uses.
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#48 loftus

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

I am a fan of the article on HDR by Royce Howland at Naturescapes, even though a few years old. I guess that means I prefer the 'natural'-appearance HDR :).

I agree it's a good article. I see HDR potentially the way I see all the other parameters we use to obtain the highest fidelity images, including resolution, low noise, color fidelity etc. When one considers that the average sunny day outdoor scene has a 20:1 EV range and our digital cameras and output devices maybe can capture half of that, we obviously have a way to go. Present day HDR is nothing more than an attempt to simulate this effect in the absence of hardware that can actually record and reproduce it.

Edited by loftus, 15 October 2008 - 06:59 PM.

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#49 loftus

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 12:20 PM

For the folks who doubt the potential value of HDR imaging, I think this example is instructive. This weekend I was confronted with this high contrast scene. The first image is the Photomatrix HDR of 3 images 2EV apart. The second and third are images that demonstrate the dynamic range I was dealing with, showing that an exposure that was decent (maybe a little under) for the sky, was not even close for the foreground and visa versa.I can honestly say that the HDR image is a pretty close picture of the way I actually saw the scene. I actually did an HDR image using 8 images 1EV apart and got a better HDR image, but with too much artifact in the water.
I think underwater we are quite frequently confronted with similar high contrast scenes; so IF we could do underwater HDR well we could certainly generate some nice images.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by loftus, 22 October 2008 - 12:38 PM.

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#50 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 12:55 PM

Jeff,

Great example of the type of subject matter well-suited for HDR processing.

What was your exact workflow here?

I go Camera -> NEF -> LR 2.0 -> Zero all controls, choose WB, choose color calibration, export: 16bit TIFF, sRGB -> Photomatix tonemapping -> PS CS3 for sharpening, levels, etc.

I think that Photomatix might to do a better job with sRGB versus PhotoProRGB files ... but that could be spurious as there are lots of moving parts and I'm not testing in a strictly controlled way ...
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#51 loftus

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 01:02 PM

Jeff,

Great example of the type of subject matter well-suited for HDR processing.

What was your exact workflow here?

I go Camera -> NEF -> LR 2.0 -> Zero all controls, choose WB, choose color calibration, export: 16bit TIFF, sRGB -> Photomatix tonemapping -> PS CS3 for sharpening, levels, etc.

I think that Photomatix might to do a better job with sRGB versus PhotoProRGB files ... but that could be spurious as there are lots of moving parts and I'm not testing in a strictly controlled way ...

My workflow is similar except I use Aperture mostly for my initial import. Because I have some concerns with Aperture and gamut changes at the moment that I am still trying to resolve, if I think I have anything I really like and plan to print, I am using Capture NX2 to import and create TIFF's. What makes you think sRGB would be better than Prophoto? It would seem like you would be defeating the purpose a little using a smaller gamut rather than the largest possible gamut, though gamut is not tied to DR.

Edited by loftus, 22 October 2008 - 01:03 PM.

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#52 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 02:01 PM

What makes you think sRGB would be better than Prophoto? It would seem like you would be defeating the purpose a little using a smaller gamut rather than the largest possible gamut, though gamut is not tied to DR.

It's subtle, but the final colors seem a bit off when I use PhotoPro TIFFs compared to when I use sRGB. My hunch was that Photomatix don't know PhotoPro and is assuming it is sRGB or something ... but I have no confirmation one way or the other about Photomatix's ability to interpret PhotoPro.

When I compare the color in the original TIFFs to the color in the tone-mapped HDR, they seem closer to the original than when I use PhotoPro.

That said, I wasn't 100% controlled in my experiments ... this was a hunch that popped into my mind as I visually compared the colors in one final image to the TIFFs I used to create it ... I redid the process with sRGB instead of PhotoPro and the end result was spot on with the input files. Since then, I've been use sRGB.

I've been all over the road trying different workflows and ideas trying to get the "best" conversions. My basic philosophy at this point it to create TIFFs with no curve applied, a good consistent WB across all images and no other processing as inputs to Photomatix. If I don't like the result, I go back and try mild curves and adjustments that I apply to all input files and try again. For some images, a bit of brightness and contrast often make the difference if the more linear image gives a bad result.

I'll do some testing with a few different images to see if I'm just imagining this color space problem or not ... I'll report back.
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#53 loftus

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 02:10 PM

It's subtle, but the final colors seem a bit off when I use PhotoPro TIFFs compared to when I use sRGB. My hunch was that Photomatix don't know PhotoPro and is assuming it is sRGB or something ... but I have no confirmation one way or the other about Photomatix's ability to interpret PhotoPro.

When I compare the color in the original TIFFs to the color in the tone-mapped HDR, they seem closer to the original than when I use PhotoPro.

That said, I wasn't 100% controlled in my experiments ... this was a hunch that popped into my mind as I visually compared the colors in one final image to the TIFFs I used to create it ... I redid the process with sRGB instead of PhotoPro and the end result was spot on with the input files. Since then, I've been use sRGB.

I've been all over the road trying different workflows and ideas trying to get the "best" conversions. My basic philosophy at this point it to create TIFFs with no curve applied, a good consistent WB across all images and no other processing as inputs to Photomatix. If I don't like the result, I go back and try mild curves and adjustments that I apply to all input files and try again. For some images, a bit of brightness and contrast often make the difference if the more linear image gives a bad result.

I'll do some testing with a few different images to see if I'm just imagining this color space problem or not ... I'll report back.

This is what I found on the Photomatrix FAQ page
http://www.hdrsoft.c...ix.html#profile
I'll do some more research; it may really just be a matter of using different settings in Photomatrix. I will also run some gamut checks on images run through Photomatrix and see if there are any unexpected changes.
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#54 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 06:55 PM

This is what I found on the Photomatrix FAQ page
http://www.hdrsoft.c...ix.html#profile
I'll do some more research; it may really just be a matter of using different settings in Photomatrix. I will also run some gamut checks on images run through Photomatrix and see if there are any unexpected changes.

Interesting - thanks for that; I'm gonna do a more controlled test right now.
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#55 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:13 PM

Ok ... so I'm not crazy ...

Here's the PhotoPro TIF (0 EV) -
Posted Image

Here's the sRGB TIF (0 EV) -
Posted Image

Here's the PhotoPro ToneMapped HDR -
Posted Image

Here's the sRGB ToneMapped HDR -
Posted Image
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#56 loftus

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 03:31 AM

Interesting; yes there is a difference, again my question is whether or not they can be made to look similar with different saturation and intensity adjustments. This does seem to be the case when I play with them in PS. When I bring them into Color Think, there is a definite gamut shift between the two. Maybe a good question for the Photomatrix people.
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#57 loftus

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 04:14 AM

Here is a screen grab of gamut plots of your image. sRGB on left, Prophoto on right. There does appear to be some loss of data (more diffuse and more gaps) in the Prophoto gamut.

Attached Files


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#58 loftus

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 06:26 AM

Jeremy,
Here is an answer to my query to Photomatrix, it does not totally clarify my question as to why Photomatrix handles Prophoto differently to sRGB, but I do have a suspicion. Have you looked at the gamuts of your Prophoto tiff to see whether any of the information on those TIFFS is outside of the gamut of your monitor? If some of the information is outside the gamut of your monitor then probably what is happening that information is being manipulated and amplified in Photomatrix and then when you try to view it again on your monitor, even more information is out of gamut. In other words creating more out of gamut areas and thus desaturating the image on your monitor, even though the info is still there.
It would then be important to check your Prophoto TIFFS for areas that are out of the sRGB gamut prior to importing to Photomatrix, or just compress them to sRGB first.
Alternatively, and probably a better idea, at least worth trying, is to perform the HDR in Prophoto so as not to lose any color information, then convert a copy back to sRGB is significant problems show up after the HDR process.

Here's Photomatrix's answer:

Hi Jeff,

Wide-gamut working spaces such as ProPhoto RGB have the advantage of containing virtually all of the color your camera's sensor is capable of capturing. While this is very good for conserving all information that is coming from the sensor, most output devices, including your monitor, are unlikely to be able to reproduce all those captured colors. When the gamut of your working space (ProPhoto RGB) exceeds that of your display (most of them are close to sRGB, even the most expensive one barely cover Adobe RGB), you won't be able to see the most saturated colors and the image looks less saturated.

A smaller working space such as sRGB needs to squeeze the colors captured in to a much smaller space, which is what you are observing when looking at a gamut plot. As the sRGB working space comes closer to your monitor's ability to display colors, an image converted to this working space looks more saturated than an image in ProPhoto RGB. However, this doesn't mean the colors are not here in ProPhoto RGB, your monitor just cannot display them.

There are some good online resources regarding color management, for instance Andrew Rodney's website:
http://www.digitaldog.net/

Andrew Rodney published two interesting articles on the 'RGB working space debate', which should shed some light on the subject:
http://www.ppmag.com...09_rodneycm.pdf
http://www.ppmag.com...10_rodneycm.pdf

I hope this helps, else please let me know.


Sincerely,

Andreas
HDR Imaging for Photography
www.hdrsoft.com

Edited by loftus, 24 October 2008 - 08:14 AM.

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#59 jeremypayne

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 09:18 AM

I'm not buying it.

Photoshop and Adobe seem to manage this exact issue much better than Photomatix can. They (photomatix) are blowing the color management somewhere along the line with PhotoPro and Adobe isn't ... or else the two different 0EV Tiffs wouldn't look exactly the same.

Right?
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#60 loftus

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 12:47 PM

I'm not buying it.

Photoshop and Adobe seem to manage this exact issue much better than Photomatix can. They (photomatix) are blowing the color management somewhere along the line with PhotoPro and Adobe isn't ... or else the two different 0EV Tiffs wouldn't look exactly the same.

Right?

Can you send me an original TIFF of the leaf? I'd like to play with it.
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