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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It is well known that for a best result in creating a high dynamic range image it is the best to use
the images in a following manner (from best to worse):

1) tone-mapping of 3 or more RAW images of various exposure (i.e -2EV, 0EV, +2 EV)
2) tone-mapping of 3 or more JPG images of various exposure (i.e -2EV, 0EV, +2 EV)
3) tone-mapping of 1 RAW image (and have the software to create artificially underexposed
and over exposed images before the 'merger')
4) tone-mapping of 1 single JPG image. Obviously, the dynamic range we are working
here with, is very limited vs. the above listed options 1-3 and is the worse option of the 4.


Software like Oloneo as well as Photomatix Pro 4.1 can now do a pretty decent job showing
highlights as well as shadows (although creating some more noise and sacrificing some detail).....but still
able to show a much more dynamic image that the original. One can appreciate the benefit of tone-mapping
of even just one single image especially in a high contrast image where the shadows suffer the most.







Larger images:
http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee69/FL_Investor/1 Picture a Day - 2012/D7C_6820.jpg

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee69/FL_Investor/1 Picture a Day - 2012/D7C_6820ee.jpg

In summary, as you see above - it's not that bad to work even with just one single image, so do not
be afraid to tone-map just one JPG if a high contrast situation robbed you of some dynamic range and
sometimes you can save what looked like a 'throw-away image' at first glance...
 

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Milos - It would be interesting to use LR4 Beta to fill in some of those shadows on that image and compare the results. I imagine the LR4 version would have a more natural, less processed look which some might prefer (it's just a matter of personal preference).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I imagine the LR4 version would have a more natural, less processed look which some might prefer (it's just a matter of personal preference).
No doubt about it....In this instance I pushed it quite a bit on purpose and the natural look
was not what I was after ;)...But I am sure Photomatix 4 can do that as well.
OTOH, there is 'only so much' one can do when tone-mapping only one JPG. The less processed
look AND recovered shadows can be achieved only while using multiple exposure images with
various exposures (or at least 1 RAW image that has a wider dynamic range to begin with).
Once can go after the 'more natural look' even with tone mapping of only one JPG, but
the shadow recovery will not be nearly as good as when working with RAW or mult. images.

I know that the LR4 now has the 'semi-HDR" set and I bet it will be nice. I read all the reviews and
watched some of the video clips in those links above, but I did not install it yet.
 

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Milos, I've got LR3 and have not had a chance to install it yet, I don't know if it has any of the same HDR functions as LR4... would I benefit from Oleono or Photomatrix, and which do you prefer? I played briefly with O-Photo Engine on the 30 day trial but didn't really learn what I was doing right or wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I do not believe that LR has the tone-mapping/quasi-HDR features like LR4 has

I prefer Oloneo as I like their layout and the whole interface easier to follow than Photomatix.
However, my beta and trial are no longer working and I have fully working latest Photomatix Pro 4.1,
so I am using that. (I must admit that I find the 4.1 version much better than eve 4.0 as the
presets are now visible with thumbnail previews)....

OTOH, as much as I like the interface on Oloneo, it STILL does lousy job aligning multiple images.
(and I tried all possible methods), while Photomatix Pro does an excellent job with alignment.

These 2 are however a true HDR creators/editors.... If you are not into HDR and would need only
some minimal tone-mapping, LR4 could be all one needs.
 
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