Old 11-20-2009, 05:27 PM   #26
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The whole point of HDR, which seems to be missed by a few, is to make up for the fact that it's simply impossible to capture the entire dynamic range (= range of bright to dark) in a single exposure. If you have a picture that looks just fine, HDR isn't going to do anything for it unless you want that HDR tone-mapping "look", or if you like fake halos in your pictures

To get the best out of HDR you need to actually shoot enough images at different exposures so that all of the darks-to-brights are adequately captured in at least one of the images. So for instance, if you had a sunset-thru-stormclouds sky, and dark truck detail; you'd end up with one image where the sunset isn't overblown and one where you can clearly see the detail. Photomatix (or other software) would then put all that together into an HDR image.

The various looks that result from HDR isn't the actual HDR image itself, you're seeing the result of converting a true HDR *back* into a normal dynamic range. In essence you need to squish down the contrast range to that it makes sense as a visible image. Tonemapping is one technique; layer masks are another - automatic layer masks tend to make that halo-y look that I hate so much.

Shadow/highlight can help for minor correction but don't overdo it. Overly S/H filtered images look clammy and fake. I find that I'm rarely able to go over a 7 on the shadow side in PS CS4 Raw.

In summary: If you're shooting a situation that's impossible to expose properly, bracket a lot (take multiple pix at different exposures) and HDR later. If you didn't do this you might be able to use RAW processing to create 3 differently-processed TIFs to HDR (this sometimes works). If you just have a JPG, try a little Shadow/Highlight filter but don't overdo it.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:59 AM   #27
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So are HDR images being openly accepted here now or do they still violate RP's submission rules?
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:33 PM   #28
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So are HDR images being openly accepted here now or do they still violate RP's submission rules?
Depends if they look publicity-worthy fake or just bad HDR fake
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:17 AM   #29
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Depends if they look publicity-worthy fake or just bad HDR fake
....ah I see, so it's a don't ask don't tell kinda situation now.

...or are you saying that only 'real' HDR images are okay since "fake" ones (whatever that is) may not?
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:38 PM   #30
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....ah I see, so it's a don't ask don't tell kinda situation now.

...or are you saying that only 'real' HDR images are okay since "fake" ones (whatever that is) may not?
Loosely speaking, very loosely, HDR which is used to make a shot portray reality better than a non-HDR treatment is OK. HDR which puts greater emphasis on the "HDR look" with its strange and/or artsy contrasts and such is not OK. RP is looking for processing representative of reality, no selective coloring, no odd tinting (sepia OK), no obvious HDR.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #31
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....ah I see, so it's a don't ask don't tell kinda situation now.

...or are you saying that only 'real' HDR images are okay since "fake" ones (whatever that is) may not?
Real HDR: One image created from multiple exposures.
Fake HDR: One image created from multiple adjusted copies of the same source photo.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:29 PM   #32
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Loosely speaking, very loosely, HDR which is used to make a shot portray reality better than a non-HDR treatment is OK. HDR which puts greater emphasis on the "HDR look" with its strange and/or artsy contrasts and such is not OK. RP is looking for processing representative of reality, no selective coloring, no odd tinting (sepia OK), no obvious HDR.
Thanks for your thoughts. Although I may agree with your intent the rules do not bear out HDR use here, a quote from the rules:


"Manipulation:

The purpose of our website is to display genuine, authentic photographs of trains and railroad related scenes. Bearing this in mind, digital manipulation of photographs (beyond standard post-processing techniques such as levelling, sharpening, dust removal, etc.) is not permitted on photographs submitted to RailPictures.Net."



HDR is way beyond standard PP even though it may reflect reality in a more accurate way than any single exposure might. I understand that when these rules were put forth the creators may not have considered HDR/TM creations but were more concerned with folks cloning and sky replacements I suspect. HDR efforts do not add or take away anything from a scene but just provide more control over the scene. The rules should be amended to clarify RP's stance more accurately.

Lastly I would not necessarily consider obvious HDR to be rejected. Any scene with high DR that can only be attained with multi-exposure efforts should not be discarded outright just because the screener knows this image would typically be impossible. Perhaps by 'obvious" you are referring to the myriad of hyper-real, surrealistic or velvet Elvis type tonemapping creations...this understandably would and should be rejected according to RP's rules.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:42 PM   #33
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Lastly I would not necessarily consider obvious HDR to be rejected.
I would, especially if it looks 'faked' (see attached gem as an example). If the shot doesn't *look* same/similar to what my eyeballs would see, it should be bounced.

If you're wanting to submit HDR shots, do so. If they get accepted here, fine. If not, fine. No need for "20 Questions" when you clearly can read the rules yourself...
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:46 PM   #34
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Real HDR: One image created from multiple exposures.
Fake HDR: One image created from multiple adjusted copies of the same source photo.
Thanks Jim.

I think his use of "fake" had nothing to do with the origin persay of HDR but rather the final results. I gather from his comment that all HDR/pseudo-HDR is 'fake looking' regardless of creation method.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #35
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I would, especially if it looks 'faked' (see attached gem as an example). If the shot doesn't *look* same/similar to what my eyeballs would see, it should be bounced.
You do understand that you completely agree with my comment?

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If you're wanting to submit HDR shots, do so. If they get accepted here, fine. If not, fine. No need for "20 Questions" when you clearly can read the rules yourself...
Well no need to be so cranky. Why is it such a nerve-tapping issue to ask? Especially when you told me in another thread that HDR was not allowed, now you tell me to try them? ...and really unless you are in charge of the site why are you dictating to me anything?

My request seems very simple and since I have been checking in time to time I have not seen any clarity regarding this. Ambiguity in the rules can cause folks to question them.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:57 PM   #36
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Ambiguity also means you can bend the rules a bit too. Since the admin is clearly reluctant to publically make a statement on the HDR issue, your checking in from time to time isn't going to find answers to any of your questions. And since you're asking folks who aren't in charge anyway, why not just upload your images and see what happens?

And not sure where you get 'cranky' or 'dictating' from; I was 'giving an opinion' and 'suggesting.' Maybe ambiguity comes from the fact that you can't read the tea leaves correctly...
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:10 PM   #37
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Lastly I would not necessarily consider obvious HDR to be rejected. Any scene with high DR that can only be attained with multi-exposure efforts should not be discarded outright just because the screener knows this image would typically be impossible. Perhaps by 'obvious" you are referring to the myriad of hyper-real, surrealistic or velvet Elvis type tonemapping creations...this understandably would and should be rejected according to RP's rules.
Yes, that is what I meant. RP is not discarding high DR shots. The principle being applied appears to be whether or not the shot looks realistic. My view only.

Regarding your quote from the guidelines, those seem to be well out of date.

As for Jim, instead of fake HDR I have seen the term pseudo-HDR used in many places, and not just in these forums where I have suggested it several times and it may or may not have 'taken' yet.

Chris, you *do* sound a little cranky today! Feliz Navidad!
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:44 PM   #38
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Ambiguity also means you can bend the rules a bit too. Since the admin is clearly reluctant to publically make a statement on the HDR issue, your checking in from time to time isn't going to find answers to any of your questions. And since you're asking folks who aren't in charge anyway, why not just upload your images and see what happens?
Just because I may ask folks who are not in charge doesn't mean you cannot respond for them if you have accurate knowledge/information regarding an issue or question.

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And not sure where you get 'cranky' or 'dictating' from; I was 'giving an opinion' and 'suggesting.' Maybe ambiguity comes from the fact that you can't read the tea leaves correctly...
Actually your comment was not "suggesting" but directive...but that is fine I am used to your 'crank-e-ness' now and hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:04 PM   #39
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Yes, that is what I meant. RP is not discarding high DR shots. The principle being applied appears to be whether or not the shot looks realistic. My view only.
Yeah, I completely agree with this. It's funny when folks call HDR/TM images fake looking when in all actuality all photos are imperfect facsimiles of any scene...so the term "fake' can be attributed to all imagery regardless. It is a matter of what your biases are that determines if something looks natural or not. If your baseline on realism of imagery is based on single exposure imagery than it will be lacking in some areas...where if you base your concept of 'realism' on nature itself your imagery can definitely look unreal when compared to non-HDR imagery for high DR scenes. It goes without saying that any HDR/TM or single exposure imagery can be made to look unnatural.

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Regarding your quote from the guidelines, those seem to be well out of date.
I agree, photography doesn't sit still and moves forward...rules should not be static but also evolving and keeping in step with the times.

Quote:
As for Jim, instead of fake HDR I have seen the term pseudo-HDR used in many places, and not just in these forums where I have suggested it several times and it may or may not have 'taken' yet.
This is the term that I think Photomatix uses when you use their software to create a tonemapped image from a single RAW file.

Have a Merry Christmas!

BTW...I just noticed your link to the "Plea for HDR"...I will post some of my thoughts on that article there for your consideration.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:53 PM   #40
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Actually your comment was not "suggesting" but directive
Wrong. It was a suggestion. Here it is again, clearly implying a choice:
Quote:
If you're wanting to submit HDR shots, do so. If they get accepted here, fine. If not, fine.
The choice being either you submit your shots or you don't. I wasn't ordering you to submit shots and I wasn't ordering you not to submit shots...not directive.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:15 PM   #41
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Wrong. It was a suggestion. Here it is again, clearly implying a choice:

If you're wanting to submit HDR shots, do so. If they get accepted here, fine. If not, fine.

The choice being either you submit your shots or you don't. I wasn't ordering you to submit shots and I wasn't ordering you not to submit shots...not directive.
Correct, this part of your comment was a suggestion...albeit an obvious non-helpful statement since anyone can post anything they want and see if it gets in...heck maybe tonight I will try Christmas trees pictures!

The question is not whether someone can submit HDR/TM images (this we know already) but rather are they in accordance to RP guidelines or not.

The "directive" part of your comment that you left out of your quote is when you tell folks "No Need for 20 Questions...", first you bloat my question count... I only asked one question regarding HDR acceptance and then who are you to tell me not to ask questions and just go read the rules after I just posted them for reference? I am sorry but I won't let forum bullies push me around when I am seeking out answers to basic questions, there is no need for your contrary ways with me.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:56 PM   #42
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The question is not whether someone can submit HDR/TM images (this we know already) but rather are they in accordance to RP guidelines or not
What I'm getting at is that you don't have to have an answer spelled out for you. In other words:

RP has rules about manipulation which most would agree are out-dated + The admin refuses to publically rule out HDR images when asked + HDR images get added to the database = If it's a good enough HDR job, there should be no issues with it being added to the database, guidelines or not.

Or, to take it a step farther, if someone submits an HDR image and it gets rejected for Digital Manipulation, then that image is outside of the guidelines. In other words, because photography is so subjective which in turn means the screening process is subjective, it's pretty much a case-by-case basis on whether an HDR image makes it or not at this point.

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...who are you to tell me not to ask questions and just go read the rules after I just posted them for reference?...there is no need for your contrary ways with me.
Really? Do you not see the irony in this part of your reply?
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:06 AM   #43
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I would, especially if it looks 'faked' (see attached gem as an example). If the shot doesn't *look* same/similar to what my eyeballs would see, it should be bounced.
You're a cruel man for attaching that photo, Chris.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:08 AM   #44
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You're a cruel man for attaching that photo, Chris.
You're a cruel man for unleashing that image on the world...
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:40 AM   #45
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We have all done things we aren't proud of.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:50 AM   #46
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We have all done things we aren't proud of.
True, and sometimes those things are there to keep egos in check...
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:19 AM   #47
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True, and sometimes those things are there to keep egos in check...
You don't talk to Matt Hicks that way. Matt Hicks does what Matt Hicks wants.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:40 AM   #48
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What I'm getting at is that you don't have to have an answer spelled out for you. In other words:

RP has rules about manipulation which most would agree are out-dated + The admin refuses to publically rule out HDR images when asked + HDR images get added to the database = If it's a good enough HDR job, there should be no issues with it being added to the database, guidelines or not.
Well now this is good info to share. I only know of my simple questioning here on the forum, but to now know that the Admin directly refuses to make a call on it is new to me. Interesting.

Again I know I could submit HDR/TM images, but I have a thing called integrity that would keep me from violating this sites manipulation rules. No big deal, I will just keep checking in from time to time and see if the rules are amended that would allow these type images from me.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:27 AM   #49
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I only know of my simple questioning here on the forum, but to now know that the Admin directly refuses to make a call on it is new to me. Interesting.
I'm confused...how is this news to you? You've been on the HDR thing for 2 years now, and in that time, the admin has not addressed it. There's been no statement from them one way or the other. Their silence is their answer. Did you not piece that together in that time?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:20 PM   #50
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I'm confused
I would concur with your assessment!

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You've been on the HDR thing for 2 years now, and in that time, the admin has not addressed it. There's been no statement from them one way or the other. Their silence is their answer. Did you not piece that together in that time?
Simple, when I occasionally stop in and then notice a thread such as this... and one of the posters posts an HDR image that is in RP archives...I think to myself and wonder did RP finally change their stance? Did I miss the big announcement possibly?

My periodic visits does not lend to me being an authoritative RP expert...so hence my simple and direct question.

Be warned Mr. Ween I may have more questions in the future and I would suggest you block me or ignore my posts so as to not cause you anymore concern!
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