I was traveling just to see one of my favorite places called Tokaj which may
be known to you (although it’s small place in Hungary) because of it’s
world famous wine. But as always I took my photography equipment with, and not
only digital but my new Sinar 4x5” view camera as well and hoped there
will be a picture worth to take with it. After waiting half a day for the weather
becoming suitable for shooting and taking a few pictures using the lf camera
and sheet film, which is really rare nowadays in our country I took my “everyday
equipment” to see how it can handle those circumstances.
I wanted to preserve
the beauty of the landscape and the drama of the clouded sky in one picture.
Because of the contrast of the scene and the foggy weather
I knew that a plain well exposed picture taken with my EOS 10D is not enough
to maintain all the details in the highlights of the sky and shadows of the
Just a few days before I saw a picture using Tone mapping an
HDR image merged from multiple exposures. I gave a chance to that
technique and took a series
of bracketed photos. Images were made using ISO 100 to keep noise level low
and get high dynamic range. Lens was stopped down to f/8, not too much
to get the
best overall sharpness/depth
of field ratio. I didn’t used mirror lock up because the clouds were
moving pretty fast and the delay would cause some visible artifacts on the
Bracketed images taken with 2 EV distance
I did use Photomatix
Pro 2.2.4 (read our review) to generate the
HDR image from the bracketed images.
As I tried fine tuning
Tone mapping parameters I was impressed how well the resulting image
is reflecting what I felt as I took those images. I
and started batch processing with the settings seen in the following
Examining the images found that not only shadow details and highlights
were preserved, but the effect of the fog - covering the landscape
- is also reduced.
details back to the distant parts of the scene even not visible to
my eyes on the site.
In the next step I merged the final image from the above visible
tone-mapped HDR images.
With appropriate layer masking I could
reduce the visible shift between image slices caused by the fast
movement of the clouds
The result was even better than I hoped as I took the images.
Many people who saw this picture told me: Very nice, sure you
a very good
camera. I bet most of them wouldn’t wait half a day there
to take this picture. And there is no way you can explain them
the camera is the least significant
factor in the process of making a picture looking like this.
Comment by Uwe Steinmueller
"Some people call images like this featured here "overcooked" with
HDR (the so called "Flickr look"). We think that the goal
of the photographer is to create a less boring rendering of the scene.
It may not meet
the taste of some photographers while other photographers just
The effect is not related to HDR per se but rather to
the use and settings of certain Tone Mapping algorithms."
Reply by Imre Tömöri
"It's totally ok for me. Maybe it was my initial enthusiasm what caused
me to use such an "aggressive" tone mapping setting. Maybe
I was charmed by the possibilities of tone mapping. I made some pictures
using bracketing HDRI and tone mapped them with more softer setting.
I don't mind if someone asks if it is a forgery.
This picture was not made for photojournalistic purposes.
If there was such a critical adjudication to all the' experimental photo artistic
techniques' of the former decades our visual culture would be much poorer."