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An HDR for Paul

An HDR for Paul
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-30
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC EX HSM, Cokin P121M
Exposure: f/16, 1 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Your favorites, Sallandse Heuvelrug, 40 - 49 Points (Chapter 12), My HDRs [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-18 10:33
Viewed: 3905
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A while back Paul Haynes (PaulH) surprised us with some wonderful HDR photos. The photos were followed by some good conversations which eventually brought me back to trying HDR again. I know that HDR is a hot topic in many photography forums and that some purist do not consider it to be photography. I still haven't made up my mind for the simple fact that I like to do it.

This tree might look familiar. I photographed this tree before, but in a different season and probably from a slightly different POV. As a reminder please see here

This is a HDR of 4 exposures being 1/8sec, 1/4sec, 1/2sec and 1 sec. I used Photomatix Pro 3.0 for the HDR and tonemapping.

For those that are interesting in HDR, I would recommend to buy the October issue of Practical Photography. There the Photomatix program is explained and there is a 3 step guide.

Helkoryo, gracious, cicindela, jaycee, eqshannon, Jamesp, soccer, bach37, PaulH, bobcat08, Dis. Ac., SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To scottevers7: Great to hear from youSunToucher 1 09-25 06:57
To bobcat08: Geen flitsSunToucher 1 09-22 10:28
To mbasil: a bit lateSunToucher 1 09-22 10:24
To lovenature: Great siteSunToucher 1 09-19 08:42
To mbasil: single exposureSunToucher 1 09-19 04:14
To erve: AgreeSunToucher 1 09-18 10:58
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • erve Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 3 N: 131] (620)
  • [2008-09-18 10:51]
  • [+]

Hi niek, i think this a very succesful HDR. I personally quite like the effects of hdr and this is done very subtly done and natural looking. I love the light on the purple heather in the foreground and the sunburst through the trees.
I find the long grass in the bottom left a little distracting, perhaps it caught the wind slightly resulting in some ghosting.



Hello Niek

I Am off to the newsagents first thing in the morning, this effect is lovely and the lilac tones here just excellent. I agree there is a small amount of ghosting bottom right but the overall tones and hues more than make up for it so I dont find it particularly distracting.

Beautiful scenic shot

TFS regards Helen

Hello Niek,
Thank you for this superb landscape in HDR format, truly beautiful indeed in it's warm colouration!
superb depth with great exposure and focus in the shot! also the perfect moment with the sun that appeared from the horizon
well done

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-09-18 12:29]

Hi Niek

I see more and more folks trying this type of processing...just as you, i still haven't made up my mind about how i feel about it.
It's definitely a result close to what the human eyes sees. I like the even light in the entire scene and the fact that every element retains good details, weather if it's highlighted or in the shade.
However, there are some losses: the "ghostly" grass as Ewan noted (although i personally don't find that so bothering) or that halo around the tree. Just as i mentioned Paul in his last HDR (if i recall correctly) that i was distracts me the most. And that is definitely unnatural.
That being said, i think it's still more "charismatic" to take photos the old way, with filters and exact calculations and meterings of the light. You do that very well and especially now (with new toys) i for one can't wait to see some great autumnal shots from the upcoming season :)

Back to this shot(s), i really like the composition that you created here (i think its better than the former one) - with those blue flowers looking terrific in the FG.
The time of day - with the sun just dipping under the horizon - was also very nicely chosen and adds some more drama to the shot.
Very well thought of, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

Hi Niek!
Very nice picture of sunset. I like composition with tree in BG and light coming thnough the tree. Really nice work!

I reaallly liek this, it still looks very natural too. Lighting is .. very calming. The picture itself was captured very nicely!! I have created some HDR images, but they always ended up looking over-done. Maybe I will have to buy the october issue of practical photography and get somes tips,


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-18 16:48]

Hi Niek,

A lovely example of an HDR photo - I, for one, know nothing about it. All I do know is this is a beautiful scene. The lavendar flowers and the sparkle of the sun are wonderful. Everything looks so real and so natural. The grasses, the sun, the tree and the sky are all outstanding. I'd like to see more.


I think I might have found a new element in this kind of work...and no not the Canon video which you so obviously noted...and were quite right on..but I have now are found film cameras....and it is through images such as this, and Horia and Paul and a few others...these images tell me that the new film camera I am working with is working much better than I had ever imagined..and now also I wish I were back on the coastal of California..You folks are always getting my mind thinking...now if my blood flow would keep up with your images and thoughts

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-18 20:08]

Hello Niek! Well done my friend, you're one of the best landscape photographer here and I would love to be the photographer of anyone of those fine shots, well done my friend!


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-18 22:48]

Hi Niek

A very useful note - I had no idea what HDR was (yes, I am that stupid ;) )Great shot with excellent dof and colours.


  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2008-09-18 23:23]


Excellent composition and technically very good. I like the variation of colours throughout the pic. The detail shown of the landscape is great. Your comoposition allows the sun to just be peaking through the tree and it is not too bright or distracting. I think you got this one, just perfect!

Beauty, Niek. HDR is one of those things I've been meaning to try (though I'd have to always have a tripod with me). Any chance you could paste one of the single-exposure photos as a WS (maybe a middle-range 1/4 or 1/2 second)?

Hi Niek
HDR sounds very interesting. I like the effect and colours it brings out in your landscape. The colours do seem richer. I had to check HRD out and found an easy explaination on this website....
(let me know if the website is correct or not)
Technology...it's forever changing. Is this Heather blooming in the field? What ever it is is very pretty. Well done Niek.
TFS Janice

Hi Niek,

I think the overall effect of this shot, the initial impact, is superb!. It is stunning. The color, light and composition are top notch. I think any of the problems mentioned could be fixed with reprocessing. It really is an image that is worth the effort. The grass in the lower left is a problem...couldn't you just choose one of the exposures and carefully clone-in or blend the images to get just one version of the grasses?

Thanks for sharing such a nice image and good info too.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-09-21 3:42]

Ah, so this is how it SHOULD be done eh? i hope you don't me saying, but i think this is an unnecessary HDR, as i think you are more than capable of producing a well balanced exposure without it.
That said, it is still a beautiful image, and shows exactly what can be done with HDR when used properly. I think the ideas about what is and what isn't real photography are constantly changing as the digital format itself keeps advancing. I also think to anyone who doesn't have this hobby, the end result is the only thing that matters - and thats something that moves them or gives them pleasure. In that respect, you have succeeded here. Very well done, and i appreciate you thinking of me

Hallo Niek,

Eerst maar eens even wat gaan lezen over HDR. Toen werd jouw foto ook ineens wat duidelijker. Ik vond er al "iets" anders aan, meer volume of misschien wel 3D was mijn eerste indruk. Zat aardig in de richting achteraf. Terug naar de basis.

Een prachtige compositie. Het strijklicht van de zon over de heide en de belichting (fill flits???) vanaf de rechterzijde over de heide aan de voorzijde geeft een heel mooi effect. In een woord een mooi plaatje. Als ik de reactie van Paul lees dan weet ik niet meer wat nu wel of niet mooi is. Ik denk dat jij zo'n mooi foto ook wel had kunnen maken en hier geen andere technieken had voor hoeven te gebruiken. maar ja stilstand is achteruitgang wordt er weleens beweerd.

Ga vooral je eigen gang, dan komt alles op z'n pootjes terecht.

Ik vind het een schitterend plaatje vanuit een heel mooie omgeving, tijdens een van de mooiste jaargetijden.

Groeten en TFS BOB

Hallo Niek,

Mooie compositie van de bloeiende heide.
Hou persoonlijk niet zo van teggen de zon in fotograferen, krijg je uitgebeten stukken van en ook hier verdwijnt er wat van de boom door de felle zon.
Heb zelf nog nooit hdr geprobeerd maar misschien komt dat nog eens binnenkort.
Trouwens wel heel mooie kleuren vooral van die bloeiende heide.


Hi Niek,
Long time no communicate! I really love HDR photography. It just really depends on how you process it to meet your taste. Beautifully photo realistic such as this, or garishly cartoonish as you see very often. I love the the vertical composition to make a dramatic foreground with the flowers. Great detail in the shadows! Colors are really beautiful in this. A great sense of depth. Very well done!

Talked to Scott Hale yesterday and he said you had asked about me. I really miss all of the great people I have met over the years on TN and TL. I have just been so busy as a police administrator and running my photography business that I can not keep up. I won't post if I do not take the time to give back and properly critique and help. I still reguarly keep in touch with Howard. (Marhowie)

My photgraphy business is slowly growing despite the fact that I do not devote enough time to it. Have recently sold large prints for commercial jobs to our local hospital here and at the Ronald McDonald House at St. Louis Cardinal Glennon Hospital. I have done quite a few art shows and sell prints there and off my web site. I could make good money if I would do portraits and weddings but then that would be work. I will try to drop by more often to check in. Heck I may post one!
Take care my friend,

Ha Niek,

Prachtig landschap
uitstekende kleuren van de laagstaande zon en de bloeiende heide

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2008-10-20 18:36]

Hi Niek,

Nice job wiht HDR. Strickly speaking it is not possible to get with that backlit sun so much details in the foreground. But photography is an art as many other medium, and art serve to express artist vision. So in my mind there is nothing wrong in it. Final result give plenty of details as I am used to see it in Ansel Adams images.
Good work and TFS.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-11-11 3:05]

Hi Niek,
I never tried HDR, I am not that patient with spending that much time on post processing the photo afterwards, instead I prefer using GND filters while shooting. You got a very good result in this one. It seems natural and well balanced. TFS
Best wishes,

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