From: So. Cal.
HP Intel core2 Quad CPU 2.67ghz
4gb ram - Nvidia GeForce 8600GT - ADS A/V Link capture device
Canon 7D | Canon 1Ds MKII
Windows 7 Ultimate, Vegas9 Pro + DVDA5,
TMPGEnc 4.0 Express & TMPGEnc DVD Author, Adobe CS4 Production Premium
Audacity audio editor
I think you did a great job with the tree using photomatix (I'll abreviate as pm for brevity). It has proper contrast without losing detail in the shadows. It's also very difficult, using pm, to avoid halos in the sky, especially around trees and other objects but your image looks good in that respect too. I sometimes have to replace the hdr sky using one of the images from the bracketed set.
I think of working with hdr images as two processes. The first is the merging of the multiple exposed images to create a single 32bit image that contains all the information of dynamic range and tonemapping, which is used to adjust the image in order to create a rendered image where there is good detail in both the shadows and highlights, more so than any single exposed image due to the limits of todays digital sensors.
When I first started doing hdr processing, I used pm for both merging and tonemapping since CS4 had such a clunky way of doing any kind of tonemapping. I will add that many of the shots I take I don't consider to be of a high dynamic range that would require the hdr process but I like the look of the tonemapped final image.
I learned through a book by Scott Kelby that I could use CS4 to do the merge and then save it as a 'radiance' file with the extension of .hdr. I think CS4 does a better job than pm in this respect. I would then open the .hdr file created in CS4 with pm to do the tonemapping. If you try this, I think you will see quite a difference in the final image. Pm seems to produce a warmer, more saturated image but I prefer the look photoshop produces in the merged .hdr image.
CS5 on the other hand has much improved tools for doing tonemapping with the merged hdr file and I think it produces a more natural look than pm.
I tend to prefer my final image to have a bit of that 'illustration' look to it so I generally use CS5 to do the merge and save as an .hdr file then use pm to do the tonemapping. In all cases, I ALWAYS bring the tonemapped image back into photoshop for further adjustments using levels, curves and of course to reduce noise which can be more obvious in an hdr image.
The following two images show examples of the differences between tonemapping in pm or CS. The first was done in pm and the second in CS5. Which image you prefer depends on the individual image itself and the look the creator of the image wants. The merged .hdr file was created in CS5 then tonemapped using both programs.
CS5 does a much better job of removing ghosting than pm when creating the merged hdr file. Ghosting is caused by movement such as water flowing or that caused by wind.
< Message edited by Doc -- 7/27/2010 5:46:21 AM >
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