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  1. #1396

    • Minion
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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” runs somewhat parallel to the discussion we had a little bit ago about making a HDR image out of one photo. For today’s post, I wanted to show you a very common problem we face when we are taking pictures of something in the late afternoon sun. The extreme variances in light can cause all kinds of dark shadows and blown out highlights, even if shooting a bracketed exposure for a HDR.

    Big Thunder Mountain is the perfect example of extreme lighting differences. I set up my Gorillapod on the railing of the wooden bridge to shoot this set of photos. It was about 5:30 in the evening and the sun was illuminating part of the mountain just beautifully, but the top of it was completely white from the direct sun. Here are the original 3 exposures. These are after I lowered the Highlights slider as far as it would go.
    The first one is at -1/3 exposure compensation.


    This is at -2 2/3rds.


    This one is at +1 2/3rds.


    As you can see, the top of the mountain is completely blown out in the first and third shots. I knew it would be a failure but out of curiosity, I tried making the HDR out of the 3 images as they were and this is what I ended up with. It’s still too overexposed to work.


    First I tried layer masking the -2 1/3 image on topof the HDR and brushing in the mountain but the processing of the HDR gave it a different looking texture, so that didn’t work.

    The trick is to layer mask and brush in the mountain from the under exposed image onto both of the other two, then making the HDR out of those. Since we’ve covered Layer Masking previously I won’t go into all that here. However I will say that once you do one of the images with the layer mask and brush in the mountain, all you do is delete the background layer and then place the other image in its spot, click back on the layer mask layer and hit Control +G. That will reengage the layer mask and all the work you did on the previous one will instantly transfer to this shot.

    Here are the two images after the layer masking.


    I set the opacity of the layer mask to 50% for the overexposed image.


    Now here is the final HDR image after processing and a few other edits like lightening shadows and sharpening.


    When I was shooting these brackets, I also flicked the camera to Shutter Priority, sped up the shutter to 1/640 and took a shot of the train as it went by so I could layer that into the final HDR image. Here is my final image all put together.


    I hope this little trick can help you save some of those shots where the light was so bright that the detail was lost in two of the exposures but useable in the underexposed one.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2011
    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #1397

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Whoah, was just working on a shot similar to this and running into the overexposed mountain. GREAT TIP! Of course I was lazy and working off of one shot.
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #1398

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I'm trying my hand at some high key portraits lately. This is one of my first attempts that is worth showing. I'm still learning and have a LONG way to go with it. Once I get better at it and can explain it somewhat intelligently, I will do a post on it. Hope you like it.


    I probably won't have a new post up for a few days. I've been stuck here at work till after 2 am every night and haven't had a chance to work on one.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  4. #1399

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    I'm trying my hand at some high key portraits lately. This is one of my first attempts that is worth showing. I'm still learning and have a LONG way to go with it. Once I get better at it and can explain it somewhat intelligently, I will do a post on it. Hope you like it.


    I probably won't have a new post up for a few days. I've been stuck here at work till after 2 am every night and haven't had a chance to work on one.
    That's a gorgeous shot, Mike! When did you take this? Is it from the parade? Hang in there with all the extra work. I guess the upside is that you guys will have your next round of AP purchases and hotel stays paid for!

  5. #1400

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac Daddy View Post
    That's a gorgeous shot, Mike! When did you take this? Is it from the parade? Hang in there with all the extra work. I guess the upside is that you guys will have your next round of AP purchases and hotel stays paid for!
    That is from the parade, when Mike and I were shooting it from in front of City Hall. The buildings created huge shadows on thier path, so we had to follow them from the shade into the sun and as soon as they hit another shadow, we turned left again for the next group.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  6. #1401

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-7-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” gives some of those mediocre or not quite right photos a New Life with an Old Look. Let’s face it, we all take (ok I take) lots and lots of pictures when we go to Disneyland. Sometimes we see something and think “Ooh that looks neat. That would make a great picture.” Then we get home and see it on the computer and the thought turns to “Well that one sucks.” Either the composition doesn’t work, the colors don’t pop or it is simply overexposed and isn’t something you want to show off.

    By thinking with an eye towards the past, it can give a whole new feel and new life to some of those recycle bin candidates. This works especially well on architectural subjects such as buildings or large structures.

    When I was walking into DCA one beautiful day, I was struck by the contrast of the bright red bridge against the blue sky and white clouds.


    However once I saw it in the computer, it did nothing for me. I thought it was ok, but it just doesn’t pop. I decided to give it a much more dramatic feeling by going with a dark and moody black and white treatment.


    I felt the same way when I took this of one part of the bridge.


    Architecturally it reminded me of one of my favorite movies “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand so I used the Optikverve plugin and gave it some impact.


    I also gave it an old Hollywood feel and I just can't decide which one I like best.


    I shot this one of the exterior of Snow White’s Scary Adventure one night thinking ooh this will make such a pretty HDR. Once again, once processed all it got was a “Meh!”


    Once I clicked the black and white button in Photoscape, it jumped right out at me. Now it fits the entire feel of “Scary Adventure”.


    This HDR of Main St. looked great when I took the photos but once processed, it just seems boring.


    But in black and white, it fits the time period and has a whole new life.


    This shot of the fireworks from in front of the castle is so over exposed and over saturated that it actually hurts my eyes to look at it.


    By simply applying a sepia tone to it, the blown highlights don’t seem to matter and the over saturation simply disappears.


    This castle fireworks shot is ok, but it isn’t anything I would normally post on Flickr.


    I applied a World War II filter to it and at least now it has a unique look a feel to it that makes it something I don’t mind having in my screensaver.


    So if you have some of those photos that just don’tlook as good as you thought they would, try thinking old and give them new life.

    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 09-11-2011 at 03:44 PM.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  7. #1402

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    That was spectacular, Mike!

    Thanks!
    Rico

  8. #1403

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Mike, excellent examples. You're teaching folks to not be afraid to mess with their photos in post-production. Usually blah photos can be creatively turned into art - and that's what it's all about! Creating art that you like.
    Died in 1720 ya know...

    Checkout all my Disneyland photos
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5198394...7625048447449/

  9. #1404

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Sorry I couldn't do a post for today. As I'm sure you know, we were without power for quite some time that affected everything I do. I got to spend most of the night staying up to change the battery every two hours in a battery operated pump trying to keep all my fish alive. I'm not sure if it was a good thing that it sounds like a lawnmower and kept me awake all night. Fortunately I didn't lose any fish. On the down side, we did lose about 150 lbs. of garlic that was in the fridge here at work. I'll be billing SDG&E for that.

    Here's a pretty for today in leiu of a post.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  10. #1405

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Hey Mike,
    I'm just getting around to shooting HDR for the first time, and I'm wondering which program you use to stitch them together. You've mentioned several programs that you have used in the past. I also need to know what you use for noise reduction. I took an amazing B&W shot, but it has some noise in it that I would like to remove.

  11. #1406

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tremellochick View Post
    Hey Mike,
    I'm just getting around to shooting HDR for the first time, and I'm wondering which program you use to stitch them together. You've mentioned several programs that you have used in the past. I also need to know what you use for noise reduction. I took an amazing B&W shot, but it has some noise in it that I would like to remove.
    To create the HDR image, I use Photomatix, which is pretty much what everyone uses. I've tried several others but wasn't happy with the results.
    After processing it in Photomatix, I generally do more touch up work in Photoshop Elements and final work in Photoscape.

    For Noise Reduction, I start with the RAW file and do it with the Canon Software that came with the camera. You can also do it in Photoshope Elements and Photoscape. All of them work pretty well. Doing it in the RAW stage is much, much better than after it is a jpeg.

    If it is a jpeg, open it in Photoscape and click on Filter - Noise Reduction (clear skin) and click Medium. See where that takes you. Then after the noise reduction, click on the Bright/Color dropdown menu and Contrast Enhancement - Low, then Sharpen (usually 7 or 8) if needed.

    Hope that helps.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  12. #1407

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Here's the "Pretty" for today. Even though this is a scene often photographed and nothing you haven't seen before, this was more of a testing ground for me. This was shot with my kit lens at F/3.5 and an ISO of 6400. My camera doesn't handle noise from any ISO over 1600 all that well and I've never been able to process a decent looking HDR from anything with an ISO over 200. I used the single RAW image and processed it in Adobe Camera RAW to reduce the noise and correct it where necessary. Then I took the same RAW image and changed the exposure to a +2 and to a -2 to process the HDR image. (I've covered this in a previous post) After processing the HDR, I opened it in Photoshop and toned down the highlights a tad and some minor adjustments but all in all, i'm very happy with the result. I really am stunned that I was able to process a HDR from an image with an ISO of 6400 and not have it look like it was shot through a screen door. Hope you agree.

    Money Can't Buy Happines... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 05-25-2012 at 09:38 PM.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  13. #1408

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Wow! By far one of the greatest photos of that scene. The rock ceiling looks great, and everything looks perfectly soft without being blurry. It'd be great to see you adopt that soft look for future photos. Experiment: Success!

  14. #1409

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I had tried a similar shot and method back on 2009. I overexposed in my case. I've been meaning to take another... wait for it... shot... at it. Yours came out great!


  15. #1410

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    I had tried a similar shot and method back on 2009. I overexposed in my case. I've been meaning to take another... wait for it... shot... at it. Yours came out great!

    Wow, you got a lot of the scene in there. Perfect color temp too.

    To everyone or anyone... Sorry I haven't had a post in a while. We are un-freaking believably busy right now and haven't been getting home till almost 3 am every night. To be honest, I'm also out of ideas at the moment. I have some really good new ones planned out but I need to get to Disneyland to shoot them.

    I've asked Canhasal (Lindsey) who is by far the most experienced and prolific photographer of the Aladdin show to do a post for me on her strategies and tactics for photographing that show. Hopefully she will have that up soon.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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