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| p.1 #5 · First Attempt at HDR - Coudland Canyon |
Third one looks pretty close to natural. The first two, moreso the first one, looks a touch off since the sky should be much brighter than everything else but doesn't look it. It's a tricky thing. Still messing with it myself. Pretty solid first try!
Sometimes you can use ACR tools to bring highlights wayyy down to protect them and rise exposure up and shadows up and black level up a bit and then on ACR levels lower the highlights quite a bit but then pump up the lower highs a real lot and then raise up the last two sliders a little. Then in PS if you have Viveza you can drop control points all over the brightest parts and, if needed, the very, very blackest, and then drop one on an area should look darker than the sky and is semi-dark but sort of faded out looking at the moment and then bring structure control way up to give that low contrast mid and lower midtone and upper shadows contrast and detail back and raise contrast a touch and then drag brightness down a bunch. And add some more points as and if needed to mess around with those.
Then in PS again once you exit the Viveza plug in you can do a shadow highlights and raise shadows 1-3. And then in PS levels you can maybe bring the blackpoint up 1 if needed, perhaps 2 although maybe not and then drag the mids well down to bring more contrast in again and make sure they are not too close to the brights and then slide the highlights control down just a bit, just clip a few of the tiny brightest bits but bring some extra pop to the hihglights and brights that should seem to be glowing a real lot.
My Armstrong Redwoods thread had the images processed that way.
As for motion, yeah that is tricky, that's why it's nice if you have something like Exmor sensor in your camera with good DR at lower ISOs. I don't so I fight at times and sometimes have to live with the darker areas looking a bit ugly mess at large print size or really really fight and try to fix the bad parts up for a long time and mask the banding and noise. I used HDR software on some multi-image HDR in some of my Muir Woods shots, the earlier ones from teh thread a few days ago and I set the motion compensator to max which helped a lot but some things still got a bit weird at 100% view to say the least. Sometimes you can do complicated masks between layers and try to isolate moving parts and dark and light and so on but it takes a long time and it's a real pain if the scene is complex and yeah tricky stuff at best and time consuming and sometimes it will still be a bit too tough to work out.
But as with the later Muir Woods and Armstrong photos you can sometimes fight pretty good stuff out of single shot even with lesser DR sensors (although in a couple of them the darkest large trunk looks a little rougher than you'd ideally like, it's a bit weak in detail and high in noise and artifacts and yet right next to the rest which is all smooth).