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Author Topic: Not Convinced: Raw vs JPG?  (Read 70707 times)
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« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2010, 01:06:14 PM »

Perhaps we need some more of Mike's magic, eg. TT NR, or whatever is appropriate.  Cool
Terry

Already have it!   Grin  Seriously, just use tone targeting, select the sky, and then use something like radius 4, strength -100.  Noise reduction is nothing more than softening/blurring so this should work really well in this shot since the sky is a unique color and you don't have anything in that sky that you need to remain sharp (like high contrast edges).  This actually may work better than Noiseware because it'll only noise filter the sky and will leave the rest of the photo alone.

So yes, Qimage Ultimate already has tone targeted noise filtering.

Mike
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« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2010, 01:35:41 PM »

Here is my little non scientific test

1st camera jpeg
2nd Ultimate conversion - no adjustments
3rd  Ultimate - with human adjustment
4th HDR - Photomatix default and adjusted in Elements

Comments - Ultimate without adjustment gave a blown cloud, camera jpeg avoided that.  Ultimate with adjustment (exposure on top right blown area and 9 on the fill) gave better result than the camera jpeg

HDR chucked in for good measure, I don't like the 'greens' and don't know how to correct it with the Sel.!!


Number four is not the same shot as the other three.  The clouds have moved.
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« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2010, 01:38:06 PM »

Jeff,
Just tick the grid box where the blown cloud resides, and QU will reset the exposure knowing that you want the cloud marked as the main interest.
Fred

Hi Fred-

You cannot get what you don't have.  Only a bracket and HDR or merge will recover a bright sky behind an overcast foreground.  Of course you could burn in, but it would be unnatural.
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« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2010, 01:45:21 PM »


To me, raw files are already HDR.  They capture (at a minimum) four thousand times the number of colors than you can display on your monitor or in print, so in a case like this one below, you can easily just meter for the sky and then use Qimage's fill light to push the shades on the ground.  That alone (with one shot) gives you "HDR" without needing true HDR. 

Other than knowing the technical details behind HDR, I don't have much experience with it as I haven't found much real need for it.  So educate me if you will.   Wink  Anyone have any good examples of stuff you've shot that really required HDR (in the multi-shot sense)?

Here is my little non scientific test

Raw is really not HDR.  It is just all the sensor data without the JPEG interpolation and compression.  HDR is done with two or more DIFFERENT exposures.  I think sme are using "tone mapping" and calling it HDR.
Likewise, exposing for highlights then "pulling out" the under exposed shadows with ANY program can result in a lot of shadow noise. 
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« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2010, 01:48:15 PM »

To be honest, on the railway station I think the QU processed (one raw) is a clear winner over the HDR.  Maybe that's a bad example?  The HDR of that railway station just looks a bit "odd": almost like a painting. 

You have hit the nail on the head.  That is the biggest gripe about over processed HDR.  They get surreal.  Kind of like "super real" paintings.  This is where less is more!
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« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2010, 02:04:42 PM »

Hi Seth,
Quote
That is the biggest gripe about over processed HDR.  They get surreal.  Kind of like "super real" paintings.  This is where less is more!
I couldn't agree more but it does seem to be the latest fashion. It has annoyed me that such images have been praised by competition judges who don't seem to recognise distorted colours, tones and introduced noise.
The worse examples of "HDR" seems to be the result over-done post combination tone mapping. Some of the examples on Outback Photo appear overdone to me.
Terry
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« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2010, 04:16:13 PM »



Number four is not the same shot as the other three.  The clouds have moved.

It was a windy day, and the 'simple' raw was shot before the hdr set.

I do wish I had not included it, I only succeeded in clouding Smiley the issue. 

But then again it led me to all that follows and that was most instructive and forced me to think a little deeper.

Jeff
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« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2010, 04:59:35 PM »

Raw is really not HDR.  It is just all the sensor data without the JPEG interpolation and compression.  HDR is done with two or more DIFFERENT exposures.  I think sme are using "tone mapping" and calling it HDR.
Likewise, exposing for highlights then "pulling out" the under exposed shadows with ANY program can result in a lot of shadow noise. 

Technically, raw by itself is not even a photo.  It needs to be processed but you can process a raw in such a way that you get HDR imaging... from a single raw file.  Multiple separate exposures are not a requirement of HDR.  HDR simply refers to any technique that can give you a higher dynamic range than you would get from "standard" processing methods.  By metering for the brightest part of the scene and using judicious fill, you are creating HDR simply by doing that!  In reality, anything you do to a photo to "compress" it's dynamic range so that a higher dynamic range can be viewed than would normally be possible (on the given monitor/printer) is HDR.

Mike
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« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2010, 08:07:26 PM »

Mike- Can we do that now with QIU?

If so, would someone give us the steps? Have always loved the beauty of various HDR photos; however, I have never attempted. I do not own software that would create that effect...unless you are saying QIU can do this now.
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« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2010, 08:18:45 PM »

Mike- Can we do that now with QIU?

If so, would someone give us the steps? Have always loved the beauty of various HDR photos; however, I have never attempted. I do not own software that would create that effect...unless you are saying QIU can do this now.

Yes.  All you have to do to create an HDR image out of a raw file in Qimage is to open the raw refine tool on a raw and move the fill light slider to the right.  Example: meter your shot for the sky/clouds on a daylight shot and the sky will likely look great but the landscape (ground) will be too dark.  Use fill (typically +10 to +16) to compress the dynamic range and bring the ground back into proper exposure.  Voila: instant HDR.

Now... as previously pointed out, a lot depends on the scene, the camera, and other factors.  You may notice some noise in the dark areas that got recovered with the fill light.  You may find that the raw didn't quite capture enough dynamic range to do it in one shot.  And so on.  That's why I think if you are headed down the path of HDR, Jeff's idea to bracket each shot is a good one.  Bracket it so you CAN do multi-exposure HDR if you need it, but try it first by seeing how much range you can get out of a single raw.  That way you can only go the multi-shot route if you need it.  If not, you save yourself a lot of time and your shot may look better with the single raw due to the limitations of meshing multiple shots together.

Mike
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« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2010, 08:37:10 PM »

Thank you very much! Will try it soon on some shots I have already taken that may fit your description. Will get me to explore the other settings/tools within QIU.

Then I will take some new shots and "go to school".

Thank you again Mike!
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« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2010, 08:44:06 PM »


Technically, raw by itself is not even a photo.  It needs to be processed but you can process a raw in such a way that you get HDR imaging... from a single raw file.  Multiple separate exposures are not a requirement of HDR.  HDR simply refers to any technique that can give you a higher dynamic range than you would get from "standard" processing methods. 

Sure, RAW is not a photo--neither is a JPEG. It's a binary file.  You couldn't get HDR from film with standard processing either.  Either under expose/over develop or vice versa.  Or contrast masking and sandwiching.  You can tone map a RAW to get more dynamic range; that's a given.  

Still, you cannot put back what is not there!  An extremely high contrast RAW will not have all the values you need.  Sensors have EV range limits also.  In order to get a bright cloudy sky over a dark, backlit subject you need at least two images.  (RAW has a wider range than JPG, so you can get by with fewer.)

All sensors have saturation points.  You still cannot get what you missed.  (That's one reason pros use fill flash.)
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« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2010, 09:53:33 PM »

Seth, you just repeated everything I just said.  But I think you are trying to place requirements on HDR that do not exist.  There are a number of methods of achieving HDR and taking multiple shots is not a requirement.  Some people do it that way but it is not always necessary: and the point of my post here, not as necessary as some people believe.  You could take several JPEG's and run a contrast reduction on them to create an HDR image.  When you do that, you are simply taking the dynamic range that exceeds that of a "standard" photo (one designed to be displayed on your monitor/printer) and compressing it so that it now fits into the smaller space of your monitor/printer.   Now a raw image has several stops more range than a JPEG to begin with so I could do the same thing with one raw and get the same results.

An extremely high contrast RAW will not have all the values you need.  Sensors have EV range limits also.  In order to get a bright cloudy sky over a dark, backlit subject you need at least two images.  (RAW has a wider range than JPG, so you can get by with fewer.)

The dynamic range of the sensor is irrelevant.  And you are dead wrong that you can't expose for sky and still get good detail in the backlit landscape from one raw.  I do it all the time, and so do many others.  Here's a quick example first with standard processing and then with HDR done simply by using the fill light in Qimage's raw refine.  This is from a single raw, all processing done in Qimage Ultimate:




The first shot is "standard processing".  That is: it maps dynamic range without compressing it.  The second one, even though it came from the same raw file, is now HDR because you are allowing the observer to view far greater dynamic range from the lightest to darkest areas of the image than the linear (technically gamma mapped) image.  As long as you end up with a photo that allows you to view subjects with a much broader dynamic range than you would get from the standard luminance curve, you have HDR.

It really doesn't matter how you got there!  Think about it this way.  You have a point and shoot that doesn't even offer raw and I have a Canon 5D Mark II.  You take five JPEG shots on your point and shoot and you end up with a decent landscape/sky shot that you call HDR because you merged multiple photos and "crunched" the dynamic range.  Now I take one photo from the 5D MKII and get the same shot with even better quality due to the sensor and the fact I used raw.  So you can call your 5 JPEG's HDR because they are multiple shots but I'm not allowed to call my (better) photo HDR?  Another example... you have a smaller dSLR with a small sensor and I have a full frame dSLR.  It takes you three raws on your "cheaper" dSLR to match the dynamic range of my one shot.  If you put your three raws together and I just do tone mapping (fill) on my one raw and the results are the same, yours from the cheap dSLR is HDR but mine isn't?  Doesn't make sense.  It simply makes no difference how you get there.  If you are able to produce a photo with significantly enhanced dynamic range from that of "normal" processing (meaning a non-modified tone curve), then you have HDR by definition.

Mike
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« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2010, 10:16:55 PM »

Mike, Is there anyway with current QIU that I could keep the clouds and sky you captured in the 1st photo, in the second HDR photo? The combination of the two would be..well, Dynamic!

Just asking as I learn. Very interesting discussions.
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« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2010, 10:45:02 PM »

Mike, Is there anyway with current QIU that I could keep the clouds and sky you captured in the 1st photo, in the second HDR photo? The combination of the two would be..well, Dynamic!

Just asking as I learn. Very interesting discussions.

It'd probably look a bit "odd" keeping the sky and clouds from the first shot.  Might look cool though.  The short answer is no: the current fill in Qimage was designed to remap everything so that it remains "connected".  Obviously the data is there to do it though because both renditions came from the same raw file, so with the right tone mapping it can certainly be done.  Hey maybe that'll be the next big thing in Qimage Ultimate: tone targeted contrast mapping.   Grin

Mike
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