Pier at Sunrise (GH3)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Brian G, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    We went to our favorite breakfast joint at the beach yesterday, getting there just before the sun crested the horizon. I'd taken a tripod and the 7-14, and set up just above the waterline, but there was a strong wind off the ocean and too much salt spray.

    About 10 minutes later, having gone back up for breakfast, the sky was looking more dramatic, so on went the 20mm, and I grabbed a series of handheld exposure brackets.

    For exposure bracketing, the GH3 is so much more convenient than the EM5.

    Brian

    8432663642_ff8b1d8700_b.
    Sunrise at Pier by Blueshound250, on Flickr
     
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  2. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    Gorgeous! Is that an HDR or multiple frames? Seems like a lot of shadow detail for shooting into the sun.
     
  3. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks! Yes, it's from a 5-bracket series, then merged in Photomatix. Photomatix has two different processing algorithms, Tonemapping & Fusion. (PM also has a Compression option, which is a subset of one of the two main algorithms.)

    Fusion is great for images that you want to appear more photo-realistic, but with the benefits of HDR. It doesn't produce the "flat" or "grunge" appearances that many people think of as hallmarks of HDR processing. Fusion also offers quite a bit of adjustabiity, and control over the final result.

    I also did some minor touch-ups in Photoshop, primarily a moderate use of Topaz Detail (some of this is negated when downsizing for web, and then also when posting Flickr's resizing to 1024 pixels.)

    Thanks for the kind comment. :smile:

    Brian
     
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  4. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    Gorgeous. I don't usually like HDR but this one is very well done and doesn't look like one.
     
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  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Absolutely beautiful shot! :thumbup:
     
  6. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Very nice work. I'll have to check out the software. It clearly doesn't produce the cartoon effect that I dislike in most hdr images.
     
  7. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks caimi. While you can use Photomatix to produce very extreme effects, it's very versatile, and you can also be as subtle as you wish. The tone mapping side is what most people use, but even sticking to the tonemapping engine, you still have everything from subtle to extreme.

    I used the Fusion option for the image above, which is what many would describe as more "photo-realistic".

    Here's a different example of an image using (5) exposure brackets in Photomatix:

    6962702849_fccd2b0a67_b.
    Side Panel by Blueshound250, on Flickr
     
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  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Beautiful indeed - HDR at its best.
     
  9. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    Great composition, great light and great use of HDR - this is how it should be done. :smile:
     
  10. Blackdog

    Blackdog Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Jan 31, 2013
    Rhode Island USA
    Wonderful work. Very dramatic. Love the exposure. Was the vignetting added in post or a result of the lens or Photomatix? Either way, I like it. Vignetting gets a bad name in lens reviews, but I end up adding it in to most shots.

    I haven't used that program in a long time. I'll have to upgrade to the latest version and check out the Fusion option.
     
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  11. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    I like vignetting - it seems to lend something extra to most images. The vignette here was added in post, specifically in Topaz Adjust as a plugin to Photoshop (the only thing that Adjust was used for in this image). In the past I've used a different process in Photoshop, but I find that Adjust provides a nice degree of flexibility.

    Hey Blackdog, like your screen name. By any chance is this a reference to Led Zeppelin?

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  12. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Well done!
     
  13. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    who said the GH3 is strickly for videography?
     
  14. Blackdog

    Blackdog Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Jan 31, 2013
    Rhode Island USA
    Hey hey mama, say the way you move....

    I'd like to say yes, but Blackdog is a username I've used from way back when I actually had a black dog named Pepper.
     
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  15. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Excellent image Brian...love it.
    Out of curiosity, you mentioned that the software allows everything from very subtle to extreme in terms of its HDR rendering...on a scale of 1 to 10...1 being the absolute most subtle this fusion type software would allow you to go...where would you rank the work you did here ?
     
  16. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks much, Livnius. Good question . . . without going back through the process to be exact (I save my settings for each image in the form of presets), I'd say about a 5 - 6. Maybe 6. In a single exposure edited more conventionally, the clouds wouldn't take on as much contrast & dark tones, for example, but that's part what makes such an image interesting in the sense of being more dramatic (IMO). In addition to allowing the user to select what balance you want between dark, mid & light tones, the Fusion process also allows a degree of control over micro-contrast, which determines apparent detail emphasis. Typically I'd use this in moderation; I can increase micro-contrast later in PS if I choose to.

    Sorry for the long-winded reply.

    For anyone who doesn't know, Photomatix can be downloaded as a 30 day trial; the limitiation with that is that processed images have a repeating watermark until the software is licensed. But it does let you get a feel for how you like it. There are competitors, but I have no experience with them. I'm not promoting PM, it's just what I'm familiar with.

    Brian
     
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  17. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Cheers mate, and no need to apologize, I appreciate the explanation.
    I will look into Photomatix...quite often I've found that the HDR type images I like most tend to be done with PM, I guess their way of doing HDR looks best to me, most natural I guess you could say. Great to hear that you rate this image about a 5 or 6 on the scale i mentioned, means there is still quite a bit of room left to go even more subtle which to be fair, is where I would go.

    I'm not sure how, if at all, the Nik Software does this 'fusion' type exposure blending.

    Tell me, is there a brush type tool with appropriate density/opacity parameters that would allow for targeting specific parts of an image ?
     
  18. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    No, no targeted brushes. If I wanted to do this, I'd process two different files, one done very subtly (perhaps even just develop a single exposure conventionally, so that it looks natural), and one file more stylized. You can then use masking and layers in a program such as Photoshop to brush in or out specific sections.

    Another approach would be to bring the natural & stylized files into your editing application that allows layers (PS in my case), place the stylized file over the natural file, and reduce the opacity of the top layer until you see a more moderate result that you like. You could then still use selective masking to further tweak.

    You can apply a similar process to give targeted emphasis or focus to specific elements in the image to help them to draw the eye, through use of micro contrast, burning or dodging, vibrance, selective sharpening or softening, etc. etc.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
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  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    That image is wonderful, nothing less.
     
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