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Posts Tagged ‘Tonemap’

The old Nevada City fire house at the top of Broad Street

The old Nevada City fire house at the top of Broad Street

This is the old fire house in Nevada City, California located at the top of the main street through town.

I took 9 exposures (at f/3.8) ranging from 1.6 seconds to 44 seconds. I wanted 45 seconds but a car was coming and I had to finish the exposure a little bit earlier then I would have liked.

As I usually do I used Photomatix Pro to compile the HDR using the following settings:

  • Strength: 100
  • Saturation: 50
  • Luminosity: -2
  • Light Smoothing: High
  • Microcontrast: +10

Tone Settings:

  • White Point: 1.196
  • Black Point: 0
  • Gamma: 1.01

Color Settings:

  • Temperature: 0
  • Saturation Highlights: 0
  • Saturation Shadows: 0

Smoothing Settings:

  • Micro-smoothing: 2
  • Highlights Smoothing: 30
  • Shadows Smoothing: 0
  • Shadows Clipping: 50
My three main critiques of this HDR has to be the glow around the top of the trees, the top of the fire house is a bit overexposed and the movement of the flags.
There is not much I could do about the flags since there was a soft breeze, I suppose I could see about photoshopping a set of still flags from one of the exposures.
However I am very satisfied by the night sky usually there are bad star trails, straight up black or just generally fuzziness.
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The Humanities and Social Studies building courtyard at UCSB, in HD.

The Humanities and Social Studies building courtyard at UCSB, in HD.

This HDR photo posed a little more challenge then previous ones. In the past when faces with these I did not really like the photo enough to dedicate the time to find a way to solve it. The problem: the night sky.

With many HDR photos taken at night the night sky turns into a mess of noise and artifacts, a result of the processing software. To avoid these using Photomatix Pro I upped the Shadow Clipping and then adjusted the remaining settings to make up for this. In the end this is what I used:

  • Strength: 80
  • Saturation: 55
  • Luminosity: +4
  • Light Smoothing: High
  • Microcontrast: +10

Tone Settings:

  • White Point: 0.604
  • Black Point: 0.161
  • Gamma: 1.23

Color Settings:

  • Temperature: 0
  • Saturation Highlights: 0
  • Saturation Shadows: 0

Smoothing Settings:

  • Micro-smoothing: 2
  • Highlights Smoothing: 30
  • Shadows Smoothing: 0
  • Shadows Clipping: 50

These settings worked well and I used this preset for several other photos taken in the same night.

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    I feel that clouds make the sunset.

    I feel that clouds make the sunset.

    Today my friend mentioned an effect where the currents in the Pacific Ocean create a depression in the middle where all of the garbage collects. I looked it up and found out it is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I wonder if it will grow to the point where it will form an actual floating landmass capable of supporting significant weight. If not I would not be surprised if it became beneficial in the same way decommissioned scuttled ships act as artificial coral reefs. Or it may just be a huge blight on the seas.

    Oddly enough the Santa Barbara Channel has enough natural seepage to be considered a huge disaster if the same amount came form a man-made source like a big tanker, in spite of this the channel has a huge biodiversity for the small area. To be fair the channel has had a long time to come to equilibrium while the trash island is relatively recent.

    Now for the settings for my above tonemapped photo (single RAW, not HDR): 

    • Strength: 100
    • Saturation: 50
    • Luminosity: 0
    • Light Smoothing: High
    • Microcontrast: +6

    Tone Settings:

    • White Point: 0.808
    • Black Point: 0.250
    • Gamma: 1.01

    Color Settings:

    • Temperature: 0
    • Saturation Highlights: +1
    • Saturation Shadows: 0

    Smoothing Settings:

    • Micro-smoothing: 2
    • Highlights Smoothing: 21
    • Shadows Smoothing: 22
    • Shadows Clipping: 0

    Admittedly these settings are not markedly different then the other photo which actually surprised me once I looked at them.

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    The same photo as before just slightly redone.

    The same photo as before just slightly redone.

    As I was uploading photos to flickr I realized that I have not tonemapped any images in a while. And this the image above. I took this image and ran it through Photomatix Pro with the following Details Enhancer settings:

    • Strength: 100
    • Saturation: 60
    • Luminosity: +2
    • Light Smoothing: High
    • Microcontrast: +6

    Tone Settings:

    • White Point: 0.808
    • Black Point: 0.250
    • Gamma: 1.01

    Color Settings:

    • Temperature: 0
    • Saturation Highlights: +1
    • Saturation Shadows: 0

    Smoothing Settings:

    • Micro-smoothing: 2
    • Highlights Smoothing: 21
    • Shadows Smoothing: 22
    • Shadows Clipping: 0

    I have a few more similar to this one that I might go over in the next few days.

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    The Lovable Storke Tower

    The Lovable Storke Tower

    Last night I went to the freshman Ice Cream Social held in Storke Plaza. It was not so much of a social and more of a large crowd accompanied by some sort of music. I went for the ice cream, I stayed for the night photography.

    My goal was to get some HDR shots of the crowds with motion blur from the moving people. Except when I tried to process the photos the movement created a lot of large artifacts. I am falling back to just tonemapping a single image, as seen above. The distortion along the top of the image is from the lens hood, it was either that or a large lens flare from the light I was under.

    What will make great night photos will be the trees around campus, they have good under lighting and unlike crowds they tend not to move.

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