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Wollaton Hall

By xwang
It was a dark and dull day yesterday when I took the photos. I thought that I should give a try of HDR.So, this is my first one.I really didn't know what I was doing...SmileI took 3 bracketing photos(without tripod)at +/- 2 stops. The middle one's settings are:S1/40;F14;Focal lenth18mm;ISO200;I wonder if I've got it right.All criticisms,comments are very welcome.Thank you.

Tags: Architecture Digitally manipulated Landscape and travel


RipleyExile 16 1.6k 17 England
29 Sep 2010 12:11PM
It is a rather dull and flat image. Once you've put the 3 images together and tone mapped it, go into levels or curves (depending on your preference) and adjust the settings to improve the contrast.

Also, you need to sort out the verticals as they are leaning inwards at the edges of the image (most notably the outside edges of the towers). There is a touch of chromatic aberation as well on the edges of the building. This is thin cyan lines down the left sides and red down the right and is more noticable on the left tower and tree. This is caused by the lens when a dark area in the image meets a light area. Some lenses cope better than others with avoiding it.

The verticals and CA can be sorted using the lens correction filter in Photoshop (if you have a version of PS with that filter) Filters>Distort>Lens Correction. If you don't have lens correction then there are tutorials on Epz that address all these issues.

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metro074 10 8 Australia
29 Sep 2010 1:19PM
xiaoli this is a superb capture and if I had took it I would be very proud of it. I did do a little Mod for you. I lightend it by 20% add 30% saturation and sharpend it by 3%. Hope you like it. Your image is still a great presentation Smile
Regards Carol
gary_d 12 576 13 Wales
29 Sep 2010 1:28PM
Carol has brought out the full potential that was already in the image. - gary
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2010 3:30PM
HDR is designed to allow you to photograph a very high-contrast scene using the limited dynamic range of camera sensors. It's a good way to get detail out of dark shadows and bright highlights. But the problem that you have is not high contrast but extremely low contrast caused by the dull weather. HDR can't help you here and I bet this HDRed version looks almost identical to your original 'middle' (+0) exposure.

I'd forget about HDR for this shot and, instead, use the curves tool (or a simple contrast adjustment) to increase the contrast of the middle exposure, aiming for something along the lines of Carol's mod. Ultimately, though, you're still going to end up with a rather flat-looking photograph and you'd get better results from reshooting in better light.

A few thoughts on the photograph itself. You're using a wide-angle lens to photograph something that's essentially flat (the front of a building) from a reasonable distance away. Even a fairly wide aperture will give you more than enough depth of field: at f/5.6 you can get everything from ten feet away to infinity in sharp focus at 18mm. Using a wider aperture, would have given you a faster shutter speed (in this case, 1/250s at f/5.6 or 1/125s at f/8), giving you a sharper image. At 18mm, there's no need to be using really narrow apertures unless there's a close foreground object that you're trying to keep in focus as well as the background.

When taking a photo like this, I think it's worth making the effort to line the shot up carefully. If you stand in front of the centre of the building, you'll get a more symmetrical image, without the perspective distortions that come from looking slightly from the side, as you are here. The verticals will still converge a little, because you're looking up at the building, but the horizontals will be rendered parallel to one another. If you like, you can then use a perspective correction to stop the verticals leaning in. Personally, I wouldn't bother in this case, as they're only leaning a little and we're used to that because we usually look up at buildings. Because we're so used to seeing converging verticals, making them perfectly straight can sometimes make them look as if they're leaning outwards!
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2010 4:52PM
A good try and the basis of a fine image is there. HDR is ONLY to try and level out tones when the tonal range is very wide - on a dull day the tonal range is already compressed and HDR is not needed, nor is it a good idea.

All you needed here is a correction of each end of the Histogram to sort out the white and black points. Then a touch of extra contrast via curves and finally a small increase from the brightness slider.

The outside verticals converge slightly - on this type of shot I would have straightened them.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4083 Canada
29 Sep 2010 5:59PM
Hi Xiaoli,

Good advice above, but a few comments to add.

HDR = High Dynamic Range photography, and I suspect that what you were doing here was combining three exposure to get the best of each one. HDR cant be done without a tripod, as you will need precisely the same shot for each exposure. Nor can the subject be moving, or have elements that move, - and the resulting MINIMUM 7 exposure have to be run though and HDR programme to combine.

So you did have a good idea to bracket exposures, and this approach will work for other subjects.

Back to this shot.

Again loads of good advice especially re aperture at short focal lengths (wide angle), and another thing to keep in mind is symmetry. Wide angles lenses will bend light, and as Paul mentioned there are verticals that are not vertical, - but in this shot they really cant be fixed. This is due to the fact that when shooting a building like this wide angle, you need to stand exactly in the middle of the building, - directly in front to ensure you minimize distortion, - AND any distortion is equal on both sides and therefor can be fixed quite easily.

Hope all this helps, - its not a bad shot by the way, just a tad dark, - uploaded a mod.


xwang 10 56 8
29 Sep 2010 6:44PM
Wow..It's great! Grin
Thank you all very much.It will take me a while to digest all this information. I'll get back to you all later.Great thanks to everybody.
xwang 10 56 8
1 Oct 2010 12:03AM
Thank you Alex for telling me about Chromatic Aberation. I noticed the coloured line on the building, but I didn't know what it was and how to deal with it. Unfortunately I use PSP, and have difficulty to understand it. | tried chromatic aberration removal,Radius:20 twice.But I can't see much change.I used clone to remove them once.I don't know what else I can do.
Thank you Carol for you MOD and your kind help.
Thank you Gary.
Thank you David for your technical help about lens and HDR.I really didn't know. I thought the sky was dull and tried to get more dynamic range out,but the range was not thereGrin...Thank you so much for telling me about 18mm at F5.6,F8's speed and sharpness.I still haven't got on with tripod, I learned that camera shaken should be considered.That means high shutter speed is necessary. I never use F5.6 when I shoot buildings, I was worried that I would get a shallow foreground.(Am I saying the right word technically?)I'm glad to know..
Thank you Paul,no, HDR is not a good idea.Thank you very much for telling me , I tried what you said,not sure if I get it right, great pleasure to learn from you,sir. I wish you were more critical.SmileKeep up your excellent work ...
Thank you Wille for your MOD and HDR. I noticed that chromatic aberration is corrected.I couldn't do it...I did +/- (2) stops bracketing to combine HDR.When You said "MINIMUM 7 exposure", what stops should I set for each exposure? I'm thinking even I don't use tripod,I wonder if I can make up the exposures on computerSmile.
Thank you all again for your kind help.
RipleyExile 16 1.6k 17 England
1 Oct 2010 10:07AM
I don't know if this is of any use (or you are doing all of this already), but it's from Corel's reviewers Guide. I don't use PSP so can't offer any practical advice I'm affraid.

"The Chromatic Aberration Removal Filter eliminates the colored glow that often appears in the high-contrast areas of digital photos.
To use this filter choose Adjust > Photo Fix > Chromatic Aberration.
Note: It's critical in using this dialog that the preview windows are shown. Make sure the Show/Hide Previews button is active. Use the Zoom in, Zoom out, or navigate buttons to zero in on the problem area. In the left preview window define the range by dragging the cursor to enclose problem area(s). Mark the Show
Differences check box to show which image areas will be affected. The affected areas will appear in the right preview window as white areas on black. The brighter (whiter) the area, the higher the degree of correction that will be applied. Note: If Show Differences is marked, click the Auto Proof or the Proof button to
preview the results on the image itself. Set the Radius (located to the left of the List of Samples area). The default value is 10. Usually values in the range of 4 to 20 produce the most acceptable results.
Mark the Result on New Layer box if you would like to automatically create a new raster layer and protect your original. Click OK to apply the corrections."
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2010 11:01AM
Yes, you need to tell PSP which colours are the chromatic aberration. Each time you highlight a block of CA, it will remove everything that looks like that; you might need to highlight several blocks. Once you've got it to remove all the CA, you should then decrease the radius to the lowest value you can that still removes it all. Using too high a radius can catch some things that aren't actually CA.
xwang 10 56 8
4 Oct 2010 3:57PM
Thank you Alex for your kind help again.
Thank you David for telling me to use lowest value.
I learned a great deal from all of you through this simple photo.From HDR,verticals converge,wide-angle lens to chromatic aberration.It was a great learning day.Smile
Thank you all very much.

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