Get 5% off Loupedeck CT with code: Ephotozine5

how we like to see things

Pete Plus
19 18.8k 97 England
5 Aug 2013 10:15PM
I walked up Snowdon at the weekend. The weather was disappointing and the company I was with were not into photography so I wasn't expecting much photographically, but it was a really enjoyable couple of days in the hills with fresh air and knowledge that I would be getting some quality exercise.

All the photos I took were snap shots with the Olympus OM-D, most could be enhanced to make them more than diary illustrations. And while I was enhancing a landscape I took it a level, or three beyond where I normally go. At that point I though it could lead to an interesting discussion.

Here's the original photo straight out of the camera. The latitude of exposure is too great for software to deliver what the eye sees. So it would either be too dark in the land or too bright (as seen here) in the sky


Fortunately, with the software we can tweak the exposure by adjusting contrast, levels, curves, or highlights / shadows. And by doing so we can condense the latitude and make all the missing tones appear in the photo. Then it looks more like we remember it on the this:

And these days with the advent of HDR (High Dynamic Range) software we can go a stage further and make the scene look like we'd prefer it to be by tweaking the tone map. At this point how far you go reminds me of the days of manual tune colour TVs. You'd go into a neighbour's house and the TV picture would have incredibly weird colours due to brightness and contrast knobs been turned to 11 out of 10.

There's one photographer who tends to be an 11 out of 10 HDR applicator who has amassed an incredible number (we're talking millions) of followers on Google+ for his totally frazzled tone mapped colour schemes.
So he'd probably have done this to the photo and would receive masses of adoration

I prefer to make it more dramatic, but not cook the colours so this is what I'd do:

What would you do? Do you like heavily tone mapped/hdr photos? Do you prefer to keep it how the camera records it? Feel free to download the first photo and tweak it and add to this thread.
SlowSong Plus
12 9.3k 30 England
5 Aug 2013 10:24PM
I think you've got is spot on with No.2. I don't think I could do better.
No.1 is how I imagine my eye would see the scene, but the haze over the peak is something I think we'd all try to "correct" if it was ours.
No 3's good for a laugh.
No.4 looks a bit unnatural because the foreground's a bit too green and bright and the sky's a bit too glarey and distracting.

I often think images are over-processed, when they'd look so much better with a lighter hand on the sliders. But everyone has their preferences.
Four good comparisons.
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
5 Aug 2013 10:26PM
Me personally if there just snaps for records and memories I would probably try to record how I`d seen it, I`ve never been into HDR.

Have you played around with camera profiles in LR, I put a load in the download section for the OMD.
ianrobinson 10 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 12:41AM
Personally speaking I like to get the best out of an image even when i hand hold, If hand holding i tend to expose for the highlights and pull out the low lights in PS, as we all know if you over expose the highlights it is very difficult to get any detail back, much easier to pull out detail in shadows, however doing this does create noise but this can be toned down as well.
I never say no to any type of photography because i find they all have there uses in certain situations, I find HDR is good as long as you keep it as natural as possible, I see many people over cooking HDR and there is no shadows in there image, I tend to put quite a lot of black in my HDR shots to put back some shadows to give it a more believable feel to the image.
I don't tend to use HDR much any more as I would rather go with one shot and try to get the exposure as close as i can before tweaking in Lightroom and PS.

V1 the sky is too bright and a lot of detail is lost but the ground looks pretty well exposed, v2 the sky looks well exposed but the ground looks too dim.

I personally like v3, I like it it because the end result is more pleasing to my eyes, I know it has been tweaked but that does not bother me in the slightest, the end result is what matter in a photo to me personally.

V3 is too much for me personally.
LiamKav 7 15 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 1:05AM
I don't think this is something that only happened with older TVs. If I go over someone's house and their TV is set on "dynamic", my wife has to stop me from grabbing the remote and changing it. That, and "intelligent frame creation" which can make any film look like an episode of Eastenders. Bleaugh.

We are very bad at not abusing "enhancement effects", and as a result we often end up with an escalation race where we have films with camera cuts every 4 seconds, where JJ Abrahms covers everything in lens flare, and where every fight scene has to look like it's taken place between two shaolin monks even if it's a punch up in a car park.

I do think it is a bit different with photos. Even in the old days people got film stock that made colours look more vibrant. And if a bit more colour is good, then surely a lot more colour is even better? It often depends on the photo. I've just starting playing around with Lightroom and I'm going through the photos I took at Glastonbury. What I'm finding works best is a mix of different effects. So there are a couple where I have bumped up the vibrancy and clarity to make them "punchy", and even gone over the line to make a statement. And then I've got others where I've pulled everything right back because I want the image to be subdued.

Do you want the photo to remind you of the day? Or do you want to create something dramatic? Different effects for different photos. Of course, I'm still a beginner, so I could be talking out of my bottom. Smile If so, feel free to tell me so.
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
6 Aug 2013 2:30AM
Pretty pictures look best on chocolate boxes our in travel brochures.

If I had to pick my one favourite family holiday picture I have it would be one from a holiday we had in Cornwall.

It didn`t stop raining all week and I have a picture of the wife and kids sheltering from the rain at a bus stop, all drenched and miserable looking, every time I look at it it makes me smile Smile
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 6:29AM
I'm not a fan of over-blown HDR and of the four images #2 is the one that reminds me of the N.Wales that I remember from my years of living in Chester.

The moment we went anywhere near Snowdon this was the weather we always seemed to get Smile

I find that despite having various HDR tweaking options on my PC I'm sticking with LR to make all the tonal adjustment I need these days
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 6:39AM
a quick and dirty play in LR5 gave me this image


not sure if I like it any better than #2 but it has something that reminds me of the threatening feel that region can have on some dark days
cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
6 Aug 2013 7:01AM
An interesting trouble with eyes is thta they all see different shades (of grey). Mine for example are hindered or perhaps enhanced by the fact that I wear Reactolite & Photochromic coated lenses. I never actually see what I'm seeing, so when I process it's sometimes a matter of imagination GrinGrinGrin

Here's my take from LR4

I've given the sky a `Big Sky preset', and enhanced the fg with tone mapping and the greens/blues with added colour luminance Grin
Gaucho 18 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 7:29AM
On my screen number 4 is about as good as you are going to get. Perhaps a little bit more lightening of the cliffs on the right is all.

I know exactly who you are talking about on Google+ Pete Grin
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 7:32AM
Another problem with this is of course that we will all be seeing something different because of the differences in our monitors?

An interesting thread for all that Smile
Stillbase 9 79 Wales
6 Aug 2013 8:38AM
Convert No2 to B&W?
6 Aug 2013 9:10AM

What would you do? Do you like heavily tone mapped/hdr photos? Do you prefer to keep it how the camera records it? Feel free to download the first photo and tweak it and add to this thread.

I would need to see the nature with my own eyes to answer that - as human eye and brain is much more complex instrument than a camera with it's inbuilt computer. Camera "looks" and "remembers", but does not "see". Seeing is our own quality. We rarely look at the image as whole - even if we think so. The eye scans the picture and changes it's focus and sensitivity continuously. It also sort of "zooms" into most interesting parts of the image. On computer screen in images like the ones above, or in small print the eye will not have enough depth and size of the scene to look at it naturally. Therefore, getting different parts of the image exposed differently ( by HDR or Lightroom gradual filter, etc.) may give the image overall feel much closer to what the photographer felt when they were shooting this image. While having almost no experience in HDR ( that's one field to develop for me) I use filters and curve tweaking on regular basis.
joolsb 15 27.1k 38 Switzerland
6 Aug 2013 11:20AM
No. 4, although not what the camera recorded, is probably the closest to how the scene would be perceived with the the human eye - although I'd personally bring the brightness up a tad.

HDR is just a misnomer, imo. It should really be called 'HDC' for 'High Dynamic Compression' as all it effectively does is to render everything as the same boring midtone - unless there is careful human intervention at some point.
puertouk 9 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2013 11:27AM

Put it into lightroom and came up with this.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.