Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ABC Wednesday: P is for Photomatix Pro

What can a man do if the wife was away for two weeks. Buy a new gadget to play with. I have been playing around the trial version of the software "Photomatix" for over a year and finally decided to get the full version last week. The idea of the software is to take a picture that is perfectly exposed to the high light and a one that is perfect exposed for the shadow to blend them together into a HDR, High Dynamic Range image. Well, our regular computer monitor cannot view the HDR image. It needs to be "tone mapped" to generate a viewable picture. During the ton mapping process, various parameters can be adjusted. It sometimes produced a particular look.

The RAW image of the modern camera already has a very wide dynamic range. Thus a single RAW image can be manipulated to also generate this particular HDR look.

I mean to photo this special mountain stream for a long time. It is very photogenic for two reasons. It originates in a volcanic hot spring and its water contains sulfur, which staines the rock into a reddish gold color. When the stream flows through the forest, the light shinning through the trees gives the rock and stream an added interest.

For the first picture, I used the software to generate a pseudo-HDR using a single RAW image. For the second image, I use Capture NX2 (Nikon's software) first generates a +2 stops over exposed image and a -2 stops underexposed image from a single RAW. I then blended the two together to generate a HDR. The result is interesting and does have a different look.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

17 comments:

AJEYA RAO said...

Great work and amazing pics.

Igor Tryndin said...

Photomatix is a good tool to get you a "fantasy" type effect for your images. However, if you want a realisting color picture, I invite you to take a look at HDR PhotoStudio, a new HDR application, released just 2 months ago. One of the key features of HDR PhotoStudio is color integrity, which lets you keep original color tones in all image adjustments.

Denise said...

They do look different but in a great way, I have enjoyed them very much, thank you! Thank you also for the explanation. I am always trying to learn new things and this sounds interesting.

Sylvia K said...

Really stunning shots! Beautiful colors and I enjoyed your reading your explanation. I'm pretty new to photography, so it's fun to learn about something new!

Rena said...

Amazing pictures!

J said...

sounds like it could be quite addictive...I really like the way it makes the images look 'hyper real'

Mara said...

Those photos are really nice, that technique you used makes them almost surreal and phantastical. Good choice!

Marie Reed said...

Wow! It creates quite a fantasy image! I'm glad that you bought a new gadget while your wife is away!

RuneE said...

I have tried Photomatrix and, both "peaudo" and "real". It is easy to get the fantasy look if that is what you want, but it is more difficult to get a picture that looks "right" and that compensates for the lack of dynamical width in the sensors in a proper way.

I saw a recommendation for a new program in one of the comments, and I'll have a look.

uncleawang said...

Good try!!photo is beautiful.
I'm still using trial version.

Reader Wil said...

You've got the hang of it, by the looks of it!

photowannabe said...

Looks like you are having a good time while your wife is away. Nice treatment for your photos. My brain just doesn't want to wrap around some of the new processes.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Looks like a fun toy. I'd love to have one too. ;-)

kRiZ cPEc said...

seems like a great photo-editing software. :)

spacedlaw said...

I am jealous of your toy!

Alexander said...

Love these shots! Great composition and controls.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Pamposh Dhar said...

Wow! Great pix and very interesting explanation too. Thanks for sharing the info as well as the pix.

Pamposh from the ABC Team

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