Comments on: Send us your poor, your tired, your haloed images… The latest news about the top pixel wrangling application on the planet. Sat, 25 May 2013 08:41:56 +0000 hourly 1 By: Chris Cox Chris Cox Mon, 01 May 2006 01:24:59 +0000 Jim — no, John asked for sample images so Adobe can check the results of their software and improve their software. Having everyone convert one set of images wouldn’t help Adobe improve their software in any way (and Adobe’s already been doing that with their own test images).

Also, the only automated part of making HDR images is the merge of exposures – and it should be automatic because there is only one right answer (within a constant multiplier). And Photoshop does give you controls (4 algorithms representing the best available when the feature was written) for converting 32 bit images down to 8 or 16 bit images.

And what you describe with Optipix isn’t High Dynamic Range – just adding more images together to get the result you want (more like an average). In theory, there is only one perfect HDR image for a scene — one that is proportional to the photons that hit the camera in that scene. Then the user chooses how they want to convert that HDR image to a Low Dynamic Range image (toning). But there are a lot of open questions about how to deal with edge conditions, movement/changes in the scene, and noise — and Adobe wants to make sure they have the best possible answers and can handle the problem images.

So, please, read what John posted again, and see if you can help improve the software.

And if you still don’t understand what I’m saying, there is a good book on High Dynamic Range Imaging (in fact, that’s the title) available from Amazon that goes into all the details.

By: JIm Scott JIm Scott Sat, 29 Apr 2006 07:45:21 +0000 Hi John!

I do a lot of QTVR work using bracketed images where I can have, as you might expect in a 360 x 180 degree panorama, a huge variation in lighting. I almost laugh at situations where “still” photographers struggle over one image – try 31 images stitched together in your final picture!

I think the methodology is flawed here.

Instead of having everone send in their examples – there should be just one set, as in the featured images above (which I could not download) – and then have people work them over so there is an “apples to apples” comparison.

My favorite HDR “program” is in fact a Photoshop filter – “Optipix” from Reindeer Graphics (

There are two ways to do HDR in this filter -both are powerful in that they let you continue to add exposures (in whatever combo) from the same sequence into the mix to get the result you are looking for – instead using of a single sequence as it is to output an image.

For example using Optipix with (7) bracketed images (1 = darkest; 7 = lightest)
Run all the images through the filter – result a little too light washed out? OK, you can “add” a darker image (say #2) from the sequence in *again* – or as many times as you want. Or add #2 & and then #3 to change the output.

The problem I have found with most “automated” HDR output is that one size does not fit all. You need to have the option of manual intervention.

But really, all considered, I still need to use masks to achieve the exact look I want… but Optipix gets me most of the way there (major exception: interior shots with windows featuring bright light outside, i.e. blow hightlights – must be done completely manual in these areas).

In conclusion:
The content creator needs to have the ability to manually augment the recipe for the “perfect” HDR image IMO. Total automation will never work in this situation.