Serene Life

by garik

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I know how to make HDR pictures, and I've seen a huge amount of HDR pictures. I dislike most of them. I heard about Exposure-Fusion, which seems to match my expectations.

There is one photographer that I admire for his indoors work and he masters EF : Andre Govia. But I don't know how to get similar results through the post processing.

Once you have your 7 or 9 (or more) shots with the whole range covered, how to merge them so that the final rendering could be as soft as Govia's ? And what about the vintage look ?

What I see :

  • tripod, additional lighting, several shots
  • desaturation
  • pink hue
  • less contrast
  • texture overlay

Does anyone recognize some other steps and could explain them ? Do you recommend any dedicated software/plugin for EF ? What is your workflow ? If you could provide picture examples, it would be great ! :)

Two samples :

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Are you sure that the samples were produced using HDR as there's nothing really that needs HDR in those samples. Just a diffuse reflector or a well placed bit of fill flash would get those in one shot and be much less complicated. –  James Snell Jul 10 '13 at 10:23
    
You may be right, thank you for your answer. On some other photos, though, I think there are more than one shot : link (same author). Any clue on the processing ? –  Jon Jul 10 '13 at 10:29
    
I've not used this software successfully (yet), but take a look at Enfuse. It's a command line interfaced program that enables exposure blending. Here's a GUI to the program and here's a Flickr group with shots processed with Enfuse. –  Bart Arondson Jul 10 '13 at 11:12
    
The part of your question that is "Do you recommend any dedicated software/plugin for EF?" is already covered here: What Software Exists to Perform Exposure-Fusion? –  dpollitt Jul 10 '13 at 13:01
    
great topic here , I started a few years ago using photomatix as we all loved the detail , I soon moved away from that program as I found it a little too harsh . I now use photoshop cs3 for every part of my image via layers and masks and often with only 1 photo , I often use a layer for that horrid window blow out in a dark room –  user23105 Nov 8 '13 at 9:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The first shot does not require multiple exposures, or any complex lighting set up, there's nothing to suggest it wasn't just window light from the left. Light from a large window on an overcast day is about as good as you ever get for this type of photography.

The second shot could have been one exposure for inside and one for the outside as seen through the windows (or some fill flash for the interior).

The processing is just low contrast and saturation, with a colour tint. Probably some shadow recovery also. The reduction in contrast and tinting is evident in the second shot if you look at the highlights in the top left. They would have originally been overexposed and clipped to pure white (hence the lack of detail in that area). The reduction in contrast would have pulled them down to a very light grey, and the tinting turned them green. That if anything also points to it not being multiple exposures.


Having looked at some more of the photographer's work on Flickr it seems many of the shots are multiple exposures, due to the fact the light coming in from the windows isn't overexposed, and also due to the overall look.

My approach to multiple exposures has always been to do as much as possible by hand. Where I have used tools such as Photomatix to do tonemapping I have always tried to blend as much of the original image(s) back in as possible to retain the realistic feel.

Enfuse is probably a good place to start, just remember that at the end of the day there is no workflow available to replace the talent of the person in charge!

see also: How can I stop my HDR shots looking so fake?

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