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08-20-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Lake HDR
Lens: DA 18-135 Camera: K-5 Photo Location: Lake Berryessa ISO: 100 Aperture: F11 

I snapped a quick handheld HDR during a recent houseboating trip. I chose HDR to bring out the details in the clouds and the foreground and prevent the image from looking flat. Was that a good choice? Also, I noticed some CA on the top of the stump. Not sure how that to avoid that.

Any advice is much appreciated.

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08-20-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Well the tone of the image is just about at the overbaked cliched HDR level which calls way too much attention to itself instead of the actual image. The colors appear unnatural as well.
You are accurate regarding the artifacts around the stump.
From a compositional basis, the photograph seems off kilter to me. The stump is the dominant feature in the shot, and generally I find dead trees and their ilk unartful, especially non-compelling stumps like this one.
I'm curious and trying to be open-minded--what about the stump appeals to you?

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08-20-2014, 09:42 PM   #3
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I agree with the above remarks when it comes to HDR. As for the "aberrations", I suspect the HDR conversion is to blame there again. Composition-wise I like it. It tells a story, the stump looks as if the tree must have fallen during a storm and slowly deteriorated afterward. On my end, the stump seems out of focus.
08-22-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of HDR but at least it gave you a basis to work with. A little PP makes it an entirely different picture

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08-22-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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I think the composition works. It would be nicer with a more interesting shape to the stump but you have to work with what you find. The HDR has captured the range of tones . On this site it looks a bit over saturated. I did a screen capture and opened it in PS and it looks better than it does here. As it stands(on this site anyway) I feel it's somewhat over saturated in the reds and yellows, if you pulled them back a bit I think it would look more natural. The biggest problem here are the heavy magenta CA's on the top of the stump and some odd blurring. That would need to be removed and cleaned up. Some people just don't like HDR no matter how it's done. It's not like it's been cranked up to eleven with halos and horrendous colors .
08-22-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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I like it, though I do agree to an extent about the stump itself. I think if you'd shot from over by the stump, and kept the same general framing, it could have been more compelling in that the 'focus' would be drawn to that wonderful tree off to the left, with the wide open expanse around it.

It would have given a true feeling of emptiness or loneliness, especially with how the colors came out.

In this case the stump doesn't really lend much at all (at least in my opinion).

In my experience with HDR, its always better to just bracket the shot, save the RAW files, then manually work them together in whatever HDR software you are comfortable with. In-camera handhelds rarely work well, and the lack of control over how the camera will work the image is a huge turn off for me.

As far as clouds go, HDR (even a faux HDR made from a single shot) usually will do wonders with them.

FAKE EDIT: One thing you could try with that shot is making it monochrome. The colors aren't doing much for the shot, but if you go black and white and contrasty, it could make things really pop for you with it.
08-24-2014, 01:56 AM   #7
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I guess I'm just old school - what's wrong with just letting the natural (more or less) light speak for it's self?

Last edited by wildman; 08-27-2014 at 06:46 PM.
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