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Experimenting with HDR

Please click on the photo for a larger version. Here are five samples using four separate techniques. It certainly looks like tone mapping produces a more pleasing result.  There are at least a dozen programs that will do HDR, including PS CS3.  My favorite to date would be Photomatrix. Be aware that if you use HDR with a single raw file you will bump headlong into noise levels being a problem. For best results count on at least 3 separate photos and preferably 5 - or even more. On these samples be sure to check the roof texture, back wall texture, floor shadows, and the highlights. The trick is to make it look real - as the eye sees it. Most users tend to go overboard at first.

Feel free to download all the photos (right click) and drop one on top of another as multiple layers in PS. This is a real easy to make exacting comparisons.

1- Using PS CS2 and Image - Adjust - Highlights and Shadows                                                   

 

 

2- Using a raw file and three separate raw conversions and combining them using masks.       

 

 

3- Using these same three files in a HDR program and tweaking                                                       

 

 

4- Same as above  (HDR) with a second more aggressive tweak

                                                      

 

5- HDR and Tone Mapping