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First attempt at Architectural HDR. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by jambaj0e, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    So this image is of downtown LA. I used the GH2 with the Olympus 4/3 Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 mkII lens, and took 5 exposures from -1 1/3, -2/3, 0, 2/3, 1 1/3.

    I used Nik Software's HDR software, which was the very first time that I ever used it. Got a pretty decent look for it. Then I wanted to see what would happen if I manually blend each exposures together in Photoshop. I did that, got a pretty good image, too.

    I layered the Nik HDR image on top of my manually blended HDR and blended both of them together.

    A bit labor intensive, but I think the result paid off. What do you think?

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    • Like Like x 1
  2. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Allen Rowand
    Nice work! I'd clone out the orange cones on the right; I find them oddly distracting. But a great image overall.
  3. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    Very nice indeed - perfectly done IMO and not obviously processed.
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Actually, I didn't notice them until you mentioned it. This turned out really well. If a photographer is trying to capture what the eye actually sees this comes pretty darn close. Nice!:smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Thanks! I really tried hard to keep it look as real as I can. And I was already shooting f/16 with the lens, too.

    As for the cones, haha, I don't mind them for some reason. I did clone out someone's tripod right by the pillars. For some reason, that stood out a lot.
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I'd probably try to bring back some of the blown areas just a tiny bit more, notably the top of the building next to BoA and the sign text on the right side. But some loss of highlight detail is a nice way to hide the HDR effects.
  7. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    To me, it looks like you have some halo effects around the buildings. Otherwise, it looks very good.
  8. emptysensor

    emptysensor Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    I think the processing looks very good, definitely not overdone, which I tend to do with my own shots. I agree about the halos, but could those be from ambient light from the rest of the city rather than the processing? For me I'm never happy with the colors in my night city shots because the different lights always seem to clash. I like a B&W treatment, usually with a little split toning.
  9. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Yea, they're more ambient city lights fading upwards into the sky. I darkened the top half of the sky a bit more in post to accentuate the difference, though
  10. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Very nicely done overall. If I'm to be critical though, my 2c:

    I thought it looked a bit soft.. The f/16 probably explains it, I'm not a big fan of diffraction softness. I've used small apertures like that in a pinch for waterfall shots, etc, but never like the results. I think it would look better under f/10. Probably don't need nearly that small of an aperture to get everything in focus, you're quite a ways away and using a pretty short focal length.

    The other thing, for my tastes, I'd give it a bit more contrast and / or lower the brightness a bit. The sky looks too light to me for a night shot.
  11. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    The lens goes to f/22, but I chose the f/16 for the starburst look for the light sources. I had some more photos for different areas that are shot f/11, too. I probably can get away with f/11 with shot, too, but may lose those starbursts.

    As for the sky, I could probably use one of the darker exposures. although the sky was a bit lit up from all the city lights.

    As far as contrast, the background skyscrapers can probably use a bit more 3-dimensionality with some play on contrast.
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