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Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

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  • Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR


    This is a Photoshop CS2 HDR merge of three bracketed exposures (though only -0.3 to +1.7 EV). It has preserved the sky well, but not lifted that much of the dark areas.

    I think +/1 3 stops might have produced a more interesting result, but what do you think?

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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  • #2
    Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR


    Just for interest, here is the camera JPEG of the darkest (-0.3 EV) of the three donor images. The actual merge was made using RAW files. I used an Olympus E-330 with 14-54 lens @f/5.6 perched on top of a wall, using a pencil under the lens to keep the camera steady and pointed upwards enough, above the embarcation point for the cross-river ferry boat.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
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    • #3
      Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

      I'm actually kind of suprised you have got so much colour and detail in the sky when you see what its like in the second shot.

      I like the shot if only for the colour and the sky, though of course cologne cathedral is one og the most spectacular in Germany.

      Pesonally I felt there was more detail to brought out of those shadows, so have given it some of my own treatment.
      Attached Files
      Stephen

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      • #4
        Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

        I think it's a beautiful shot! The sky is wonderful and there are also loads of details to be seen in the landscape.

        I can also see what Stephen means about there being a more potential for 'lifting' the land details - though I reckon he's slightly overdone it and made it just a tad too light. However, we do sometimes differ slightly over where to 'stop' -- I lean more towards the subtle approach.

        I'd say there's probably an optimum point somewhere between Ian's first image and Stephen's tweak.

        Pol

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        • #5
          Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

          Hi Ian,
          I like your rendition, as being natural. Since the light source is in your picture, bringing up the shadows, as Stephen has done, implies another light source and that sends my intuition scrambling for an answer....
          Bob

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          • #6
            Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

            I quite like the version Stephen has done, there seemed to be too much detail missing from the buildings in the previous shot(s)

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            • #7
              Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

              I love the first image and I think the shadows actually add atmosphere which is lost with too much lightening.

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              • #8
                Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                Originally posted by JoLeady View Post
                I love the first image and I think the shadows actually add atmosphere which is lost with too much lightening.
                Thanks Jo - far be it for me to comment, but I tend to agree with you!

                I have passed the original RAW files to Danny Chau as a kind of challenge for him to do better - he reckons the shadows aren't contrasty enough in my version

                Watch this space!

                Ian
                Founder/editor
                Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
                Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
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                • #9
                  Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                  Originally posted by Ian View Post
                  Thanks Jo - far be it for me to comment, but I tend to agree with you!

                  I have passed the original RAW files to Danny Chau as a kind of challenge for him to do better - he reckons the shadows aren't contrasty enough in my version

                  Watch this space!

                  Ian
                  I really like it Ian, again, I like to see silhouetted buildings, it adds to the atmosphere. I also like the inclusion of the bridge as it draws the eye forward to the cathedral.

                  (by the way, Danny Chau, he carrys out critique in a Digital Photography magazine does he not?)
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                  • #10
                    Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                    Against the light you can't expect there to be detail in the dark areas. It wouldn't be realistic anyway. I think it looks fine as it is. The last time I saw it was from the back of an army transport in 1945. It was surrounded by grassy hills which was all that was left of the buildings of the city. It was rather uplifting.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                      Originally posted by Nitfie View Post
                      Against the light you can't expect there to be detail in the dark areas. It wouldn't be realistic anyway. I think it looks fine as it is.
                      I hear what you are saying here Nitfie, but I can't totally agree with you. The fact is that the human eye sees detail in a scene that normally the camera either film or digital may struggle to do so. Indeed Ians attempt at HDR was to counter the limitations of a single exposure. So in the first shot, the HDR version is showing more detail that would normally be seen as can be sen by the next image. I would argue that the eye would see even more, hence my attempt to pull some of this out. The sun is clearly not casting its warm glows on the cathedral but the eye would not see it as a dark mass necessarily and I see no problem in trying to see shadow detail, albeit darker than a sunlit area.
                      Stephen

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                        I am looking at the picture from an artistic point of view. Its dramatic as shown. I am not concerned with extracting the last ounce of detail.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                          Hi Ian,

                          Here is my version of your Cathedral, as I would like to see it in print.

                          Danny Chau
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                            Originally posted by coupekid View Post
                            I really like it Ian, again, I like to see silhouetted buildings, it adds to the atmosphere. I also like the inclusion of the bridge as it draws the eye forward to the cathedral.

                            (by the way, Danny Chau, he carrys out critique in a Digital Photography magazine does he not?)
                            Thanks, Ben.

                            What do you think of Danny's version?

                            I'll ask Danny about Digital Photography mag, but I think you might mean Will Cheung from Photography Monthly?

                            Ian
                            Founder/editor
                            Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
                            Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                            Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                            Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cologne Cathedral at Dusk - PS HDR

                              Originally posted by Ian View Post

                              What do you think of Danny's version?

                              Ian
                              Well here's what I think of it- though I've only had a few minutes to look at it.

                              I d/l the full size copy, viewed it at full screen and my immedicate reaction was ............ by heck! That's a picture that certainly pops! Great impact at full screen, superb processing bringing the Cathedral and far share to life.

                              Next I resized Danny's to the same size as Ian's version. I wanted to compare them side by side. Danny's still 'pops' - beautiful processing.

                              The way the bridge leads the eye to the Cathedral is super composition from Ian - the way Danny enhanced the impact of both the bridge and Cathedral by working on the light and contrast brings the entire scene to life. It's fabulous at full screen (I viewed it at 1024X768 on the PC ... Mitsubishi DP CRT monitor, calibrated)

                              Very nice processing imho.

                              Pol

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