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Old 04-11-2013, 08:25 PM   #826
dave6253 OP
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Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2

Google has purchased the Nik Software and recently lowered the price to only $149 for the entire suite of their products.
I have always heard great things about some of their software, especially the Silver Efex Pro for black and white conversions.
So I downloaded a 15 day free trial to test it out. At first I didn't like any of the products. After a couple days I pretty much decided
that I wouldn't purchase it. However; the more I play around with it the more I like it. I really like the Silver Efex Pro and am even
starting to find how to get looks I like in HDR Efex Pro 2. It will not completely replace Photomatix Pro as I still think that is the
best HDR software, but I often end up with many photos looking the same by using the same software. I now have an option for
achieving different looks. I'll have to pony up the $149 when my trial runs out.

Here are two different sunsets from this week using Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.







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Old 04-11-2013, 08:28 PM   #827
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^^^^^ THAT is what HDR is for! Improving the details throughout a picture with off lighting. It is NOT making it look cartooney and overprocessed. I love seeing HDR being PROPERLY used! Great shot(s).
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #828
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Here are two different sunsets from this week using Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.







These look fantastic. I'm assuming simulated HDR? Would u mind posting the original pics for comparison?
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:00 PM   #829
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Dorzok, Why would you assume "simulated HDR"? The camera is pointed directly into the sun, which would require any camera to bracket exposures to capture all of the dynamic range of light. These are 5 exposure brackets merged to real HDR in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:08 PM   #830
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Here is one HDR with the 5 brackets (JPEG previews of the unprocessed RAW files)
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #831
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Nik'it

I've been playing with the Nik software as well. Although no motorcycle, it does have HDR, and then Silver EFX PRO 2. The exposures where taken at the Dallas Arboretum during at the Chihuly exhibit in the fall.

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Old 04-11-2013, 10:16 PM   #832
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The term "Simulated HDR" I would only apply to a single image processed in a non HDR program to create a look similar to the look associated with HDR. Any time you use an HDR software program to create an HDR with tonemapping, exposure fusion etc, then it is not simulated (even if this is done with a single exposure).

I believe it was Geek that threw out the term "simulated HDR" and said most of the images in this thread are not true HDRs. (Correct me if I am wrong.)
While some here are simulating HDR with non-HDR software, I do not think that is the majority of the images here.
For you HDR simulators, If you like the HDR look, then get yourself some HDR software and learn to use it. It isn't hard.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:57 PM   #833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Dorzok, Why would you assume "simulated HDR"? The camera is pointed directly into the sun, which would require any camera to bracket exposures to capture all of the dynamic range of light. These are 5 exposure brackets merged to real HDR in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.
simply because i know nothing of photography and all the software talk in the original post led me to surmise digital fancy pantsing. that's all.

thanks for post the brackets (?).

are all digital DSLRs capable of true HDR?
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #834
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are all digital DSLRs capable of true HDR?
Any camera that you can control the exposure some will work, including many point-n-shoots, but it helps to have a camera that shoots RAW files and auto-brackets. A wider range of auto-bracketing capability is better. Mine shoots up to 5 exposures 2 E/V apart automatically, which is usually enough to properly expose the sun and a dark canyon at the same time. My Olympus PEN shoots auto-brackets, but only 3 at 1 E/V apart, which doesn't help most scenes.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #835
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time to brake out the user manual. now that i know what i'm looking for
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:08 PM   #836
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Any camera that you can control the exposure some will work, including many point-n-shoots, but it helps to have a camera that shoots RAW files and auto-brackets. A wider range of auto-bracketing capability is better. Mine shoots up to 5 exposures 2 E/V apart automatically, which is usually enough to properly expose the sun and a dark canyon at the same time. My Olympus PEN shoots auto-brackets, but only 3 at 1 E/V apart, which doesn't help most scenes.
What camera are you using that shoots the 5 exposures 2 E/V apart?

Do you use a tripod or mount to take these photos?

Awesome sunset photos BTW.

JG
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #837
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]
Love this, nice work Dave!

Do you find the Photomatix Pro to be that much better than Essentials? I'm thinking of upgrading... thanks for any opinions.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #838
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I realize this is can be a technical thread, but the great images are worth the view.



To all the posters with great photos!
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:53 PM   #839
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What camera are you using that shoots the 5 exposures 2 E/V apart?

Do you use a tripod or mount to take these photos?

Awesome sunset photos BTW.

JG
Thanks JG. I use a Pentax K-5. I often shoot handheld brackets, but you must keep an eye on the shutter speed as the overexposed shots in the brackets often require a tripod. A tripod will prevent much cursing when you later you realize some of the shots are not sharp or the set won't align correctly. If you are using a camera without auto-bracketing in quick succession you will want a tripod to ensure alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merfman View Post
Love this, nice work Dave!

Do you find the Photomatix Pro to be that much better than Essentials? I'm thinking of upgrading... thanks for any opinions.
I've not used the HDR features of any Adobe product, but the reviews I've read always have Photomatix coming out on top and I really like it. There's an easy way to find out which program works better for the looks you are trying to achieve. Try them all out. Most (if not all) of the software companies allow you to download trial versions. It sounds like you may already have Essentials. I would suggest you try Photomatix Pro. When that trial runs out, try the Nik HDR Efex Pro 2. Buy all of them you can afford and think you will use. I only own Photomatix Pro now, but plan to also add HDR Efex Pro 2.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #840
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Thanks JG. I use a Pentax K-5. I often shoot handheld brackets, but you must keep an eye on the shutter speed as the overexposed shots in the brackets often require a tripod. A tripod will prevent much cursing when you later you realize some of the shots are not sharp or the set won't align correctly. If you are using a camera without auto-bracketing in quick succession you will want a tripod to ensure alignment.
Most high end HDR programs will automatically match features and align the images for you if you are shooting without a tripod. I know Photomatix does.
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