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Archive 2012 · Layer blending instead of HDR
  
 
Ho1972
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p.1 #1 · Layer blending instead of HDR


I've played around with layer blends in the past as a way to increase dynamic range, but it only seemed to work well for certain images, mainly due to my inability to mask effectively. Recently I've started experimenting with luminosity masks for this purpose (http://www.hougaardmalan.com/blog/advanced-contrast-application/) and the results are starting to show promise. Below are two images, one is the middle exposure from a 5 frame bracketed set and the other is a layer blend produced from the set.

Comments and advice are appreciated.

Thanks

EDIT: For comparison, I've added output from Photomatix which I processed to mimic my layer blend as closely as I could -- without spending so much time on it that I missed lunch.





Original







Blend







Photomatix




Jan 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
dadagallery
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p.1 #2 · Layer blending instead of HDR


Yes, before HDR, luminosity masking and blending was the only way I knew of to "save a sky." Once you set up some actions for it, it can be almost quicker than processing with Photmatix. The advantage of HDR is that you can get so many different effects, so quickly. Thanks for sharing your examples.


Jan 22, 2012 at 06:42 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #3 · Layer blending instead of HDR


I like how your technique of layer blending was even able to mix in information taken from the other direction revealing the sign.

i think the blend looks a bit better than the photomax
some good stuff at that link

you can also use stuff like viveza and target all over the sky, it would be nice if they added local Levels control too



Jan 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #4 · Layer blending instead of HDR


skibum5 wrote:
I like how your technique of layer blending was even able to mix in information taken from the other direction revealing the sign.


Another example of what separates the experts from the amateurs



Jan 23, 2012 at 08:00 AM
 

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Ho1972
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p.1 #5 · Layer blending instead of HDR


skibum5 wrote:
I like how your technique of layer blending was even able to mix in information taken from the other direction revealing the sign.



What I am finding I like about layer blending is the amount of control I can exert over the results. I suppose it's true I can spit out more "looks" more quickly with HDR software, but with the blending method I feel as though I am creating something -- not just moving some sliders around until I get an acceptable result.

Granted I wouldn't want to invest the time for just any set of frames, but I think from now on some will merit this treatment.

Thanks for the comments.



Jan 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM
lesaus
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p.1 #6 · Layer blending instead of HDR


Nice shot of one of Oglebay's golf courses. I will be back there Memorial Day weekend for my 50th high-school reunion.


Jan 24, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Ho1972
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p.1 #7 · Layer blending instead of HDR


Thanks. My wife's family has a reunion there every two or three years. I'm no golfer but it doesn't keep me from shooting. Have fun at your reunion, it's a beautiful place.

Here's another view, this one was coaxed from a single frame.







Jan 24, 2012 at 09:16 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #8 · Layer blending instead of HDR


beautiful shot



Jan 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM





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