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Newbie :-) What did I do wrong here?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by MSnap, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    Hello

    I tried to take a picture recently, but I thought I couldn't really get the dynamic range I wanted. Maybe some other mistakes too. I'm looking for some tips. Here is the picture (I took it twice so that I could try to merge the two later).

    imgur: the simple image sharer
    imgur: the simple image sharer

    Thanks
     
  2. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    MSnap, What made you think you did anything wrong? You have some good starting images (as far as I can tell at the moment), now find the right software to HDR them. PS will do it (I'm not sure about Elements though), as will Photomatix, but those are the only two that I have used.

    --- edit ---

    OK MSnap, here is what I found when I tried to merge them:
    First PS said "the images must be the same size to merge the images" (or words to that effect). So I used the Nik plugin called HDR Efex Pro II to attempt to merge them. It proceeded to try and merge the images but the result showed that the images were (if close enough to the same size) not registered (all the match points couldn't line up). While the steeple was registered, the windows on the lower building were doubly exposed (displayed).

    Did you take these handheld? Were you the same distance away from the scene? Did you change the focal length of a zoom you might have been using?
     
  3. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    Hi Tom

    I don't really remember. They were handheld, yes. And I definitely moved the camera to change the settings between images. Perhaps I didn't get it back in the right place.

    Is HDR the only way to take a scene like this?

    Thanks
     
  4. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    The best and most reliable way to take HDRs is using a tripod, and look in your camera settings for HDR Bracketing or Exposure Bracketing. This will allow you to set the options such as 1EV, 2EV etc., between each exposure, and then you don't need to move or change anything between shots. (This also gives you a fighting chance of staying still if you do have to hand-hold, and even better if you can use sequential shooting - just keep the button held down - along with your auto-bracketing)

    Without being able to see the EXIF or histograms for those images, or the RAW files, on pure looking they do look as though you could recover plenty of detail in a RAW processor, e.g Lightroom, Aperture etc., without having to go the HDR Route.
     
  5. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    I managed to improve it a bit using the Olympus Viewer software with the RAW file.

    This is about as good as I could get it, which looks a lot like the real scene I think :) I only changed the tone curve and the aspect ratio.

    imgur: the simple image sharer
     
  6. abepak

    abepak Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 21, 2013
    SFV, CA
    Your fix looks good. HDR isn't the only way. I'm not sure what camera you have but with my EM-5, I can recover a surprising amount of details with the use of the highlights and shadow sliders (in lightroom). HDR's pretty hard to do unless you're tripod mounted.
     
  7. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    That looks pretty good.

    If you are serious about shooting RAW, get Lightroom or equivalent, much better than just OV3.

    You could get even more detail out of that image using the highlights & shadow recovery. I had a quick play with your fixed jpg in LR. Even though it had already been worked on, and was only 300K with data already destroyed, I got it looking pretty good using only the highlights, shadows, Whites, and Blacks sliders - it would have been even better using LR on the large RAW file, and using the other tools in LR available.
     
  8. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    If you'd like to show me what Lightroom can achieve, be my guest :)

    I've uploaded the RAW file here. It has a 10 download limit I think.

    On a related topic, I do have Photoshop CS2 with Adobe RAW 3.7 but I can't open .ORF files. Does anyone know why?

    Thanks

    Edit: I have an E-PM1, 14-42 Kit and 20mm f1.7
     
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I am a big proponent of getting it right in the camera the first time, rather trying to recover it in post.

    One of the things about the m43 sensors is the dynamic range, and the fact they clip highlights pretty easy. So, in your high exposure shot, you probably didnt miss by much, and it just blew out the sky - even 1/3 or 1/2 stop of -EV could have resulted in a much different image.

    So, on the one image, did you spot meter on the sky, and the other in the tunnel?
     
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    More importantly - where is this? Looks like Bratislava.
     
  11. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    It's Riga, Latvia :)
     
  12. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    I think so, yeah. I noticed the sky highlights were blown on the 2nd image too. I must learn how to use the histogram.
     
  13. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    OK, edited with LR, nothing special, about 3 to 4 minutes effort, if that.

    Note the sky and the detail of the old man in the archway, compared to your OV3 edit. I didn't take any care over noise or sharpening, so probably could have done better.

    8686840818_f75b59a141_b.

    I believe you need a much later version of ACR to import the E-PM1 files. ACR is now up to about 7.3 or 7.4 I believe, but I don't know if it's compatible with CS2, I don't use Photoshop.

    HTH :smile:
     
  14. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Dec 13, 2012
    Iowa
    Jared
    I had a go at it as well. I did a little more than what Les did I think.
    Exposure: +.27
    Contrast: +20
    Highlights: -100
    Shadows: +100
    Whites: +48
    Blacks: -18
    Clarity: +27
    Vibrance: +20
    Saturation: +10

    HSL tab
    Saturation
    Red: +13
    Orange: +19
    Blue: +11
    Luminance
    Red: -39
    Orange: -31
    Blue: -11

    Also did a graduated filter from the bottom up to about halfway through the picture with +.67 to exposure to brighten the bottom and Used a brush to paint on the building in the left to equal the exposure out.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/woody112704/8686867190/" title="MSnap by woody112704, on Flickr"> 8686867190_08fde9aa4c_b. "768" height="1024" alt="MSnap"></a>
     
  15. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    Nice one, Jared, that shows it off much better than my couple of sliders !!

    I was just trying to illustrate the basic difference over LR vs OV3
     
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Pretty good guess for an American! LOL

    My second guess was Prague, I haven't been further north than that.
     
  17. MSnap

    MSnap Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 27, 2013
    Wow, it looks awesome. Thanks. I'll definitely check out Lightroom (and alternatives).

    Please could you send me the full-size tiff? It's going in a frame :D
     
  18. abepak

    abepak Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 21, 2013
    SFV, CA

    P4081811
    Here's what I did. A quick job.
     
  19. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Dec 13, 2012
    Iowa
    Jared
    Yea, I wasn't trying to show you up or anything, if you tried I'm sure you could blow me away. lol Was just playing with it and doing with it how I would my own pictures.

    Will do, I got it uploading to Dropbox atm so once its green I'll post the link here.