HDR with Photomatix

I ran the same images I did my last HDR from through Photomatix to see what you get from paying for something (except I haven’t paid for it yet – doing the trial thing – but it’s supposed to be the same thing).

Here’s the SOOTC  jpg images:

20090328-dsc_0050_sm

20090328-dsc_0049_sm

20090328-dsc_0048_sm

Here’s the HDR that I produced using CS3:

desk_hdr1_sm

I liked the details it picked up in the shadows, but was disappointed that the window washed out.  The colors are also washed out.  The alignment was spot on.

Here’s the HDR I produced using Photomatix Pro3:

20090328-DSC_0048_49_50_Photomatix_HDR_sm

The final result was actually a lot darker than this so I added some fill to brighten it up.

The colors just blew off the page. I actually had to pull back the magenta/red cast – added a bunch of green and blue. That brought it into better balance. But still, compared to the CS3 version the color is just in the wow stage – big difference. I was amazed at the amount of reflected green cast that came off of the leaves.

It also kept the details in the window and didn’t let that burn out. Not that a brick wall is the sexyist thing in the world, but I can tell what it is now.

Except for one thing it is a great improvement. The alignment is off. The CS3 image lined everything up perfectly, but Photomatix left a slight overlap.

CS3 Alignment detail:

DESK_HDR1_sm_detail

Photomatix Alignment detail:

20090328-DSC_0048_49_50_Photomatix_HDR_sm_detail

Another feature of Photomatix is Blending. I tried that to see if it would balance out the window detail and what it would do in the shadows:

20090328-DSC_0048_49_50_Photomatix_Blend_sm

As expected, more detail in the window and everything else not as dramatic as the HDR. Again, the alignment is off a tad. That’s disappointing.  I realize I can help that by using a tripod, but CS3 did such a great job lining it up I’m surprised Photomatix didn’t. Oh well. Time to dig into the tutorials on the Photomatix site and see if I can do better next time. Shot some more images last week end I can try out.

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I actually got 3 hits on the site over the past couple of weeks – of course while I was completely ignoring it. Two came from a comment I posted on pixelatedimage.com and another without a source.

The moment of excitement was immediately overwhelmed by the feeling of horror that people actually looked at the crap I’ve got up right now.  The duality of displaying your work and exposing your thoughts/feelings/efforts. Excitement that others can share and experience it with you – fear that they might not like it and or you.

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