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derekf
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HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:54 am

I thought there was a topic about HDR on here last night but I can't find it now. I was interested to find out the answer and I hope that we haven't reverted back to stifling debate on the forum.
 
dazbo5
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:23 am

I was under the impression HDR wasn't permitted here as it's a form of digital manipulation rather than pure photography? It's been discussed a few times with the same conclusion, no.

Darren
 
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derekf
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:32 am

Odd isn't it, we can and indeed have to change the colour caste, the contrast, the brightness, the grain, all of which is also "digital manipulation" and yet something which can actually enhance an image is not allowed. Except sometimes.....
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:54 am

What's the story for those cameras which can produce HDR in camera?

Cheers,

Colin
 
vikkyvik
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:34 pm

Quoting derekf (Thread starter):
I was interested to find out the answer and I hope that we haven't reverted back to stifling debate on the forum.

Not being aware of said thread, what answer are you referring to?

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
I was under the impression HDR wasn't permitted here as it's a form of digital manipulation rather than pure photography? It's been discussed a few times with the same conclusion, no.

Indeed, not allowed. Whether it's digital manipulation or not....well, I won't touch that one. All editing is digital manipulation. In fact, recording an image onto a CCD is digital manipulation, since the sensor isn't able to perfectly represent the world.  
Quoting ckw (Reply 3):
What's the story for those cameras which can produce HDR in camera?

Not sure that's been answered. I mean, if it looks HDR, it'll likely be rejected. But it's possible to do HDR or quasi-HDR that doesn't really look it. Those are my favorite HDR images - ones that don't look HDR.
 
dendrobatid
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Thie removed thread was not an attempt to stifle debate but the thread was a complaint about an accepted image which is not good form, the proper way being to complain to the Headscreeners. The image has also been removed.

Well done HDR or pseudo HDR images can be difficult to detect but the answer to discussion is that HDR is not permitted.

Mick Bajcar
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:01 pm

Quoting derekf (Reply 2):
Odd isn't it, we can and indeed have to change the colour caste, the contrast, the brightness, the grain, all of which is also "digital manipulation" and yet something which can actually enhance an image is not allowed. Except sometimes.....


What gets me is selective sharpening is allowed using layers and masks but no other selective adjustments are allowed.

I do, however, see plenty of shots in the DB where I know there's a very good chance the photographer made selective adjustments.
 
mjgbtv
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:35 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
What gets me is selective sharpening is allowed using layers and masks but no other selective adjustments are allowed.

Maybe I'm not thinking this through enough, but it seems to me that with selective sharpening you can make an image look 'better', but not really 'different'. By using some other adjustments selectively you can make an image look very different.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:57 pm

Quoting mjgbtv (Reply 7):
By using some other adjustments selectively you can make an image look very different.

...like Levels, and Contrast, and Color Balance, to name a few....  

I'm not getting into the HDR vs. no-HDR argument, but let's be honest - one can make an image look very different from what was captured, by only using A.net-acceptable editing. And no one may be the wiser if they haven't seen the original.

It also gets interesting when you consider RAW images. In essence, you're eliminating the camera's JPEG processing and doing it yourself. Are you changing the image? Are you simply tweaking it to reflect exactly what you saw? There's a lot of latitude in what you can do to the RAW image to spit out the JPEG you're looking for.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:14 pm

Quoting mjgbtv (Reply 7):

I can make photos look very different using only methods that are acceptable here.
 
mjgbtv
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:03 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 9):
I can make photos look very different using only methods that are acceptable here.

No doubt. My point was more to compare what you can do with selective sharpening vs, say, selective color adjustments. Maybe I'm just not creative enough, but I don't think that sharpening has the same potential to significantly alter an image as some of the others.
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:39 pm

The problem is that the rules are fundamentally the same as when A.net was film based. You were much more limited with what you could do with a scanned slide without it becoming obvious.

Digital is a whole new world - it is fundamentally different from film. Film rules don't make sense in the digital context.

With a scanned slide you have a reference point - the object is to reproduce that slide as closely as possible.

With digital, esp. RAW there is no fixed reference point - the image MUST be manipulated to produce a finished image. Why does it matter where the manipulation takes place.

For example, I could put a polarizing filter on the lens to get more dramatic skies.

On some cameras I could use a built in art filter for a similar effect (no not identical, but that's beside the point)

Or I could add a grad layer in photoshop

The first option is acceptable, the last isn't - don't know about the second.

But what is the difference?? Why should it matter if someone chooses to make a creative decision at the time of taking the photo or in the 'darkroom'?

One reason that I don't upload here is that it can feel like making images with one hand tied behind your back. I'm not interested in presenting final images that are not as good as I think I could make them, which may require some 'forbidden' manipulation.

Of course the people who are good at this are unlikely to be caught   It would be more fair all round to allow everyone to use the tools available to them.


Cheers,

Colin
 
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ghajdufi
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:19 pm

I do like tasty HDR, heavily manipulated images and digital post-processing but since these images are not allowed here on airliners.net I share them elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with image manipulation as long as it's done nicely and properly and also I don't think there is much wrong with the rules of this website.

Personally(!) I am more than happy with any manipulation that was done in-camera. For example if you want a more atmospheric sunset look you could crank up the white balance. You want increased contrast or saturated images, just play around with Pictures Styles (Canon). My camera does HDR and multi-expo and I use these features all the time for my non-aviation work. Interestingly these are the rules of most of the major nature and wildlife photo competitions too, as long the manipulation was done in-camera before the shot was taken and it can be proven by attaching the original file the judges are OK with them.

For me the most important element of digital photography is still to get it right in-camera, set things up before the photo is taken instead of just get a snapshot and "rape the sh***" out of the RAW file with Photoshop, NIK software etc to create something stunning.

You want to have your photos here on a.net just respect the rules but that doesn't stop you doing photography the way you like it.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:32 pm

Quoting ghajdufi (Reply 12):
You want to have your photos here on a.net just respect the rules but that doesn't stop you doing photography the way you like it.

And that's exactly what I do. I play by the rules when I upload here which is extremely rare these days, and I share my other work elsewhere.

I do believe if this website allowed more complex editing techniques and multiple exposure or HDR images, this site could raise the bar and feature even more epic and stunning aviation images. They could allow it and still screen according to strict standards. Allowing HDR images doesn't mean we will start seeing clown barf (tonemapped HDR) in the DB, unless the screeners let them in.
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:45 pm

Quoting ghajdufi (Reply 12):
For me the most important element of digital photography is still to get it right in-camera, set things up before the photo is taken instead of just get a snapshot and "rape the sh***" out of the RAW file with Photoshop, NIK software etc to create something stunning.

That's one point of view and totally valid. But there is another view that pressing the shutter is just the preliminary step in producing the image - ie the darkroom/photoshop is at least equally important. This isn't a digital thing, it goes back to the beginnings of photography. Probably the best known advocate was Ansel Adams - to crudely summarise, the object of the exposure was not to produce a final image but rather raw data that would require careful work in development, choice of paper and printing to fully realise.

There is no right or wrong in this, but these are quite different ways of working.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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ghajdufi
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:03 pm

Ryan, I agree with you personally but as a crew member I also understand how subjective the application of the current rules are e.g. contrast, soft, centering just to name a few that came up recently.
The crew is being criticised for inconsistency quite frequently. Imagine if we allowed more complex editing techniques with their even more subjective results how inconsistent the screening would feel like.

here is an example, this is most probably my most popular aviation image off airliners.net:

www.flickr.com/photos/gaborhajdufi/7832604436/

Photo of the year on several sites, SC and EC on other photo sharing sites, calendars, plus a lot of positive feedback. This is a 5 exposure HDR. Does that mean everyone likes it? Of course not, and most like it drives a lot of very experienced photographer crazy.

[Edited 2014-03-27 16:10:56]

[Edited 2014-03-27 16:26:37]
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:27 pm

I see it this way. Photography IS subjective ... I can't think of another photo environment, professional or amateur, where the use or non-use of my images is anything other than subjective. Sure, the photo editor was having a bad day, the decision to bin my shots was unfair, but that's the way it is. You suck it up and move on.

A.net has been running what I think is a noble experiment - trying to bring objectivity to something that can never be fully quantified. I think the very reason that there is so much criticism is that people will inevitably attempt to bend the rules - its human nature.

If you simply said that pictures will be accepted based on the views of 3 experienced screeners and their decision is final things would run much more smoothly. Sure, you would get some initial moaning, but once people realised there was no rules to be flexible about it would soon stop. Moreover, photographers would worry less about adhering to a set of rules and more about impressing the screeners.

To be honest, the database argument has, in my opinion, lost a lot of it's strength. In fact very few images these days genuinely add to the database - how many sunny side ons of a BA 747 do you need? There will always be sufficient photographers who specialise in that sort of shot to ensure the database is kept up to date ... but lets see something new, more creativity. How about some shots that really polarize the viewing public? A.net could afford to shock without diminishing its reputation.

Cheers,

Colin
 
vikkyvik
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:26 am

Quoting ghajdufi (Reply 12):

Hmmm. But manipulating a RAW file is doing the same thing the camera is doing. One could say it gives the photog more control over how the camera represents the scene. I'm really not sure how that's considered manipulation and frowned upon, while letting the camera do the same thing is OK. Especially if you're able to better represent the scene manually than the camera is, in your opinion.

It's an interesting discussion, but ultimately every photog has a different goal for his/her shots. Personally, when I've manipulated a shot to where it's not a particularly accurate representation of what I saw, then I consider it more of an image than a photo.

Quoting ckw (Reply 16):
If you simply said that pictures will be accepted based on the views of 3 experienced screeners and their decision is final things would run much more smoothly. Sure, you would get some initial moaning, but once people realised there was no rules to be flexible about it would soon stop. Moreover, photographers would worry less about adhering to a set of rules and more about impressing the screeners.

To be honest, I'm not sure that would result in anything much different than we see already, especially from the frustrated-photog side.
 
Psych
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:44 am

The following paragraphs of free association are just my thoughts about these issues - I really do hope discussion continues. It is stimulating and a healthy thing for the site and its community.

There are some real connections between this discussion and the on-going thread concerning centring. Fundamentally the issues being discussed are questions regarding the basis of the site's criteria. What 'standards','house style' etc are effectively being maintained by the criteria being operated?

It would be really good to have some continuing debate about this, including members of the site hierarchy. Most of us understand that screeners are operating with the rules handed to them - in the same way a police officer must apply the law of the land. They may not agree with those laws, but it's their job. Continuing that analogy, it is the law makers - i.e. the elected (or not, dependent on your country of residence - substitute dictators, royalty etc) politicians - who decide on the laws and change them. They do that on behalf of the population they represent. Now there's a question - is A.net a democracy or another type of community? I don't mean to say this mischievously here - the analogy may help us understand the rule making and change process.

Here at A.net who are the law makers? The screening team as a body? The Heads? Paul McC? DM managers? The photographer community? A combination? When Johan owned the site there was no lack of clarity.

The photo triggering this thread was a very nice image in my opinion. But to my eye it was pretty obviously an HDR-type image. Gabor's superb photo is most definitely an HDR image. What is it about them that is outside the 'philosophy' of A.net? This is what we are struggling to articulate. The 'is it a database or an aviation photography site' question, mentioned by Mick in the other thread, is central. Can it be both, and if so, can we more overtly embrace the 'aviation photography' element?

Some of us were arguing that the centre rule (when it is applied apparently harshly) makes little sense, so long as the image 'works'. When we talk about the image 'working', we are talking visual aesthetics - which is all about photography, not database. The 'subjectivity' that Colin nicely articulates. HDR is all about digital manipulation - but that can't be the 'rule breaker' here because so is significantly adjusting contrast when you were unfortunate enough to go out when the light was flat.

Manipulation to make the photo look better is already a requirement here; the photographer whose photo has been removed definitely made his photograph look better, because what was so striking about it was that all elements - ground, sky, aircraft structure - were perfectly exposed. But he obviously went too far, in some not well defined way. You might think A.net operates on the underlying principle ...'we want it to look the way it really looked at the time to the human eye'. But that can't be right, because that would exclude some silhouette images, or those wonderful high level shots from the ground with almost black skies, or really slow panning shots with a completely blurred background, and so on.

For what it's worth, I think a lot of the angst we see and hear from some photographers is based on this inherent difficulty articulating (and therefore understanding) the underlying pictorial philosophy of the site's criteria.

Just food for thought.

Paul
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:55 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 17):
where it's not a particularly accurate representation

Actually this is what it comes down to - the difference between representation and interpretation. When I shoot aircraft (which admittedly less and less these days) I'm more interested in trying to capture the more abstract aspects of the subject (power, speed, excitement etc.) than accurately portraying a particular livery. (not that these have to be exclusive).

In my head I take 2 kinds of shot - what I call a reference shot (this is what it looked like) and photographs - which I like to think capture a little bit of how I understood what I was seeing ... the latter I find a lot more fun, though also a bit more hit and miss.

But I think there should be room for both on what is supposed to be the premier aviation site.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:29 pm

Quoting mjgbtv (Reply 7):
Maybe I'm not thinking this through enough, but it seems to me that with selective sharpening you can make an image look 'better', but not really 'different'. By using some other adjustments selectively you can make an image look very different.

How about using the Highlight recovery and shadows sliders, aren't they changing the exposure selectively? I guess those should also be banned
  
 
korpenko
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:26 pm

Yes, sliding down the highlights and pushing up the shadows is a form of HDR... And it is fully acceptable, hell, recommended on this website...
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Quoting korpenko (Reply 21):
sliding down the highlights and pushing up the shadows is a form of HDR

... well not really. And in the context of this discussion it is important to understand the difference. Using the sliders or the tone curve, or for that matter brightness and contrast are simply altering the pixels in that image. All the shadows slider does is boost the values of the shadow areas of the image.

HDR requires two or more images - or possibly 2 different exposure variations of the same image. The point of HDR is to capture a dynamic range wider than can be handled by the sensor.

Hence it is a very different type of manipulation than simply adjusting the exposure. It is in fact making a double exposure.

Now I can undertand the potential slippery slope - what's the difference between HDR and composite images?

Well at one level none at all. At another level, a huge difference. A composite is a lie - it portrays a scene that never existed. HDR is a technique for capturing a dynamic range that the sensor can't cope with (but our eyes can), so it could be argued to be a more honest rendering of the scene,

BTW I have nothing against composites provided they don't claim to be genuine, I've made more than a few in my time at the request of an author to illustrate something that would be too difficult or dangerous to stage for real.

Cheers,

Colin
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:32 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 22):
Well at one level none at all. At another level, a huge difference. A composite is a lie - it portrays a scene that never existed. HDR is a technique for capturing a dynamic range that the sensor can't cope with (but our eyes can), so it could be argued to be a more honest rendering of the scene,

So if I take two exposures, one exposed for the sky and another exposed for the subject/foreground and composite them together manually instead of running through fusion or Tonemapping software, that's a lie?
 
korpenko
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:37 pm

Yes, and if you use Canon's or Nikon's most advanced sensor currently in development with the highest dynamic range, you're also a liar..
 
vikkyvik
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:49 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 23):
So if I take two exposures, one exposed for the sky and another exposed for the subject/foreground and composite them together manually instead of running through fusion or Tonemapping software, that's a lie?

Isn't that what you told me in NonAv?  

(kidding)

I think Colin is talking about composites that take parts of totally different scenes and splice them together.

My version of HDR is taking two or three images, and using layer masks in Photoshop to combine them. Works well for me, and doesn't look cartoonish. No tonemapping or whatever.

Quoting korpenko (Reply 21):
Yes, sliding down the highlights and pushing up the shadows is a form of HDR... And it is fully acceptable, hell, recommended on this website...

Using the shadows/highlights tool really isn't recommended, and plenty of photos are rejected for overuse of said tools. Also, you really can't consider it a form of HDR, because you're still limited to the dynamic range of one photograph.
 
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dvincent
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:56 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 23):
So if I take two exposures, one exposed for the sky and another exposed for the subject/foreground and composite them together manually instead of running through fusion or Tonemapping software, that's a lie?

When he's saying "composite' i think he means say, copy and pasting whole elements from one image into another (e.g. replacing the sky, or pasting a plane in a different image). That is what he considers a "lie," not HDR.
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:04 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 23):
So if I take two exposures, one exposed for the sky and another exposed for the subject/foreground and composite them together manually instead of running through fusion or Tonemapping software, that's a lie?

No of course not - that's steam powered HDR which people have been doing since the start of photography. There's nothing new in HDR software, it just makes it easier.

Sorry, perhaps I should have been clearer. By composite image I meant taking objects from 2 separate images to make a new one (eg. using 2 aircraft from different images to create a formation flight that never happened). Which is fine unless you present it as fact.

Also I shouldn't have used the word 'lie' - it has negative connotations. What I mean is creating an image of something that didn't occur - which is not necessarily a bad thing unless you attempt to pass it off as reality,

Perhaps there's a clearer word than composite for this - but I can't think of it.

Cheers,

Colin
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:18 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 27):

I got confused because I thought we were only talking about HDR. Of course compositing different elements of different photos to create a fake scene is something entirely different.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:07 pm

99 out of 100 HDR images are pure crap. If you let one in then you open the gates for more interpretation. Our current policy is the correct, and only, choice. I find it highly amusing that many of the people weighing on this subject complain about our current policies having driven away the "old timers" yet now want nonsense like composite images and HDR.

Our standards are very clear, and there are literally millions of examples to choose from. Maybe they aren't for everybody, fair enough. If you choose to believe we have "difficulty articulating the underlying pictorial philosophy of the site," you are so far off base I have to question your motives. I think a more fair statement might read something like "difficulty accepting (and therefore always questioning) the underlying pictorial philosophy of the site."

Have a nice day   
 
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dvincent
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:51 pm

I think it is more the rationale used to ban the HDR images than the actual banning of them that is causing most of the disconnect.

If screeners don't like how overprocessed HDR images look and that's the reason why they're not allowed (which I largely agree with, BTW, which was also my opinion when I was a screener), then it should be the stated policy. It's a subjective, not objective thing, and people will be more accepting of it if the rationale is stated that way. The whole "in camera/out of camera" dichotomy is a distraction and cannot be used as a dividing line. Cameras are only going to become more and more capable.

Just as an example, there is no operational difference between a grad filter attached to a lens versus one used in Lightroom. They both perform the exact same function (though the on-camera grad filter will give higher quality results). You cannot logically allow one in without the other. Otherwise we'd be forcing people to use old-school warming/cooling filters to account for color temperatures instead of a white balance control, and nobody here wants to do that (unless they are actually shooting slides).

In the end, our photos are manipulated in some way, full stop. It is the reality of both film and digital imaging—the manipulation just happens in different places. Film is just a latent image without proper processing (by either you in your own darkroom or by a lab), so are RAW images on cameras (your own computer and a RAW converter or processed by the on-camera ASIC).

We just need to determine where the line for too much manipulation is and where it can be reasonably drawn. Everybody agrees that actual composites being published on this website are a step too far, since it claims to have at least some modicum of documentary effect (shopping in skies, planes, backdrops). The cloning out of distracting elements is less absolute - I personally don't care if someone shops out a little fence post or light, but at some point it stops being that and turns into composites in a different form. These techniques might be necessary in other applications (such as producing work for paying clients who do not want any reg numbers, distracting backgrounds or elements, etc), but we all agree that objects in the frame should be in the uploaded frame here on airliners.

HDR is much cloudier. Personally, I have no objection to "tasteful" HDR, but where this scale falls is different for a lot of people. Our cameras have limited dynamic range compared to our eyeballs, but imaging technology has improved so much in the past ten years that our cameras of today soundly spank what we used to consider top of the line in terms of dynamic range. There may come a day when dual-ISO chips or multiple exposures on chip are reality. Don't laugh, electronic shutters on a pixel level will make this a reality. We already have global and rolling electronic shutters, it's just the next step in the line. When that time comes, what will be functionally a very laborious process (creating an HDR on the computer) or one with limitations (in-camera multiple exposure HDR) will be painless, and there will be no difference between a normal capture and an HDR one.

[Edited 2014-03-28 11:53:55]
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:56 pm

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 29):
99 out of 100 HDR images are pure crap.

That's because those 99 are probably tonemapped. Tonemapping is what gives HDR the bad name.

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 29):
I find it highly amusing that many of the people weighing on this subject complain about our current policies having driven away the "old timers" yet now want nonsense like composite images and HDR.

Honestly I'm just discussing more creative processing methods for the sake of discussion. Personally I'd use more selective techniques to simply enhance photos and not create gaudy clown barf. But whenever HDR is mentioned, the first thing everyone assumes we are talking about it clown barffed crap. I'm not.

[Edited 2014-03-28 11:59:15]
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:03 pm

Quoting dvincent (Reply 30):
If screeners don't like how overprocessed HDR images look and that's the reason why they're not allowed (which I largely agree with, BTW, which was also my opinion when I was a screener), then it should be the stated policy. It's a subjective, not objective thing, and people will be more accepting of it if the rationale is stated that way. The whole "in camera/out of camera" dichotomy is a distraction and cannot be used as a dividing line. Cameras are only going to become more and more capable.

If screeners don't like how overprocessed HDR look, then don't accept them! Why would that part change if HDR was allowed? That's my issue. Expand allowable processing techniques, but still screen the final image the same way you do now.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:30 pm

A properly exposed image doesn't need any gimmicks. They don't need to be "enhanced."

Full stop.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:48 pm

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 33):
A properly exposed image doesn't need any gimmicks. They don't need to be "enhanced."

Full stop.

As has been explained, HDR isn't necessarily an "enhancement". It's a tool to capture a wider dynamic range than the camera sensor is capable of.

Sure, it can be used in a gimmicky way, but it can also be used, quite justifiably, to capture what the eye sees. I'd actually consider that a more "valid" basis for photography than limiting yourself to what your sensor can capture - that is, the ability to capture as close to what your eye is seeing as you can, rather than capturing only the parts of the scene that your sensor is capable of recording in a single frame.

Besides which, most images on A.net are "enhanced" - whether through color balance, sharpening, whatever.
 
ckw
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RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:37 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 32):
If screeners don't like how overprocessed HDR look, then don't accept them! Why would that part change if HDR was allowed? That's my issue. Expand allowable processing techniques, but still screen the final image the same way you do now.

Exactly. That's what screeners should be there for.

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 33):

A properly exposed image doesn't need any gimmicks. They don't need to be "enhanced."

Full stop.

1 - totally unenforceable. Unless you examine the RAW file you simply will not spot a well processed "enhancement" (I would prefer to say an image developed to its full potential). If you do spot it, then it fails the quality test.

2- this does sound a bit like King Canute trying to hold back the waves. Most of the stuff A.net seems to be afraid of is going to be built in to the next generation or so of cameras. So either you are going to let the technology determine the standards and force the latest camera to be the price of admission, or you will have to accept other means of meeting this standard.

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 29):
I find it highly amusing that many of the people weighing on this subject complain about our current policies having driven away the "old timers" yet now want nonsense like composite images and HDR.

I don't think anyone has advocated composites. And speaking as one 'old timer' currently not uploading, where's the incentive? When I joined A.net, I had a target to shoot for (and for this I am thankful),which improved my photography no end.

Its the nature of the beast that any photographer exposing their work to the public has an ego, and thinks they are hot stuff. A.net is (initially) for many a big wake up call. But there's a plateau - if you want to go beyond that level, try new things etc. A.net is effectively saying go elsewhere. That can't be good. Yes, A.net has quantity, but equal or better quality can be found in many other places. Does A.net want to be the Walmart of aviation photography?

Cheers,

Colin
 
Psych
Posts: 3011
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:59 pm

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 29):
If you choose to believe we have "difficulty articulating the underlying pictorial philosophy of the site," you are so far off base I have to question your motives.

Not quite sure if this is a dig at me personally or just the general sentiment.

I can only speak for myself, but I think it is a legitimate question to ask why HDR is considered unacceptable manipulation and other editing processes discussed above are acceptable. I'm not taking a position that HDR should be invited in necessarily, nor am I arguing that A.net's rules are all to cock - just acting as Devil's Advocate in the hope that we can help community members understand the rationale for the ground rules.

We need to remember that this thread started because a clear HDR image was accepted - and was doing rather well in terms of views.

Paul
 
Silver1SWA
Posts: 4770
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: HDR Images

Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:48 pm

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 33):

A properly exposed image doesn't need any gimmicks. They don't need to be "enhanced."

Full stop.




Ok then, here is an example of where "HDR" can be used positively to allow for a shot otherwise not possible, in my opinion.


Boeing 737-700 Flight Deck by Silver1SWA (Ryan Pastorino), on Flickr

Here is a shot I took a couple years ago and shared in a thread in the photography forum. You might recognize this, Royal, because you complimented the shot and said you hoped to see it in the database. I never uploaded it because I edited it using a method that is not allowed here. This was created with two exposures, one stop apart if I remember correctly.

NOW BEFORE I GET FLAMED, I know there is a way to take a cockpit shot using a flash that will create a photo good enough and acceptable for airliners.net. However, the reason why I chose to do the composite via layer masking method is because I felt using only ambient light to preserve the natural atmosphere looked much better and more realistic. The dynamic range was beyond the capability of the camera sensor. With one of the latest cameras, this might have been possible with one frame and some aggressive tweaking of the RAW file.

Anyway, the point is that my desire to use these editing methods isn't to create wild and surreal images, or to lie by creating something that never really happened. I like to use the techniques to more accurately recreate reality in ways not possible with one correctly exposed shot.

[Edited 2014-03-28 15:51:07]
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:21 am

An excellent example of both the use of HDR (by whatever means) and why it should be acceptable. Does anyone really think this image would not be an asset to the database?

Cheers,

Colin
 
sulman
Posts: 1966
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:09 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:54 am

HDR's just a tool to reproduce dynamic range to an approximation of what the human eye can resolve. I suspect many conflate it with tone mapping, which produces those ghostly grey images that were all the rage in 2008, and look like shit, for the most part.

If it's done properly, in theory you shouldn't be able to tell, other than an internal remark that says "By 'eck those shadows and highlights are very impressive for a single exposure..."

I don't think it's any different from manipulating white balance to create those very pretty but ultimately unrepresentative cool-blue night ramp shots that have been the standard for years.

Obviously, the correct use case for HDR is rather limited.


Edit: The 738 flight deck shot above is an excellent example.

[Edited 2014-03-28 20:01:51]
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 3249
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:43 am

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 33):
A properly exposed image doesn't need any gimmicks. They don't need to be "enhanced."

Full stop.

Would you mind if I use this quote to appeal the next soft rejection I get?
 
Psych
Posts: 3011
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:37 am

Quoting dvincent (Reply 30):
I think it is more the rationale used to ban the HDR images than the actual banning of them that is causing most of the disconnect.

You make the point very clearly Dan. Excellent post all round in Reply 30.

Let's not allow this thread to die, when it has the potential to be informative and useful more generally. Can I pose a further question:

Most of us would agree that Ryan's flightdeck shot is excellent. Great to see no flash in the display screens, and the exposure inside and through the window nicely done, as we would see with our eyes. If it is the case that the photo cannot be acceptable to A.net, it seems the sole reason is that it employs an 'outlawed' process. It would help to bring clarity as to why this is outlawed.

Is it simply because that editing technique has the potential to do 'worse' things, that would be greater distortions of the reality at the time? i.e. the 'slippery slope' argument?

Let's be clear what the principles are which are operating and, importantly, why they are deemed important to hold.

Paul
 
Chukcha
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:57 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Quoting Psych (Reply 41):
...and, importantly, why they are deemed important to hold.

Because otherwise there will be CHAOS...
 
Psych
Posts: 3011
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:14 pm

Well maybe Andrei, or maybe the rules would get clarified in response to clarity regarding those underlying principles.

In the absence of anyone else taking up my question, one of my thoughts is that A.net wants its hosted images to look 'real' - as would be taken by a film camera without significant post-processing in the darkroom. The 'house style' does not include images that 'look' like they've been digitally manipulated. In which case, that might allow Ryan's flight deck shot, because it looks 'real', as the eye would register it, but not, say, Gabor's photo, because that shows clear evidence of that digital manipulation - taking the result beyond what the naked eye would register.

Thus significantly juiced up HDR images would still fall foul of the rules, but others might not, because the rule - though still ultimately a subjective judgement by your peers - would have a clear rationale. i.e. photo must not 'look' artificially enhanced. It's okay to have been artificially enhanced (assuming it was an accurate representation of the reality of the scene) - because 99% of hosted images have been enhanced - so long as the enhancement doesn't 'show'.

I just put it out there for discussion.

Paul
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: HDR Images

Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:26 pm

Quoting Chukcha (Reply 42):
Because otherwise there will be CHAOS...

Not necessarily - to take it to the extreme, consider one editor making the decision on acceptance purely on his/her subjective judgement. No appeals allowed. Everyone knows where they stand - they might not like it, and some would leave (though I suspect not as many as you would think). Sounds impossible? That's how pretty much every commercial operation works.

Quoting Psych (Reply 43):
one of my thoughts is that A.net wants its hosted images to look 'real' - as would be taken by a film camera without significant post-processing in the darkroom.

Well A.net has pushed well beyond that with the obsession for sharpening. While the need to sharpen was required with scanned film to get the image back to the original, an out of the camera jpg is generally already at that level. Further sharpening, to my eyes, looks unnatural and too "edgy". But I accept this is a matter of taste.

Cheers,

Colin
 
Chukcha
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:57 am

RE: HDR Images

Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:45 am

Quoting Psych (Reply 43):
Well maybe Andrei, or maybe the rules would get clarified in response to clarity regarding those underlying principles.

Actually, Paul, I was just a little bit sarcastic. What I meant is that allowing images like that would create more of a 'gray area' in the screening. IMHO, that's why all the recent and not so recent attempts of the screening team to introduce any major changes (e.g.. allowing more 'creative images', more flexibility in this or that) have come to nothing. They created too much of a 'gray area', too much controversy, and every time the screening has eventually returned back into the old boundaries, where the screeners feel a lot more comfortable. If the images like Ryan's were allowed, just imagine the amount of arguments about what looks natural and what not. But as long as they are not allowed - it is easy. Not allowed. No arguments. Full stop.
 
User avatar
Joshu
Posts: 468
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:05 pm

RE: HDR Images

Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:34 am

This front page photo screams of the use of an HDR filter:


https://www.airliners.net/photo/UK---.../British-Aerospace-Hawk/2417104/L/
 
Silver1SWA
Posts: 4770
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: HDR Images

Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:55 am

Quoting JOshu (Reply 46):

This front page photo screams of the use of an HDR filter:


https://www.airliners.net/photo/UK---.../British-Aerospace-Hawk/2417104/L/


HDR filter?? Further proof that HDR is grossly misunderstood. Looks to me like a detail enhancer might have been used, not a "HDR Filter"...

Anyway, your post will likely be deleted. Let's please keep this discussion on track and not give them reason to lock the thread. We have a good discussion going.
 
Psych
Posts: 3011
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: HDR Images

Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:11 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 47):
Looks to me like a detail enhancer might have been used, not a "HDR Filter"...

I'll freely admit, Ryan, that I don't understand much at all about HDR. Can you explain more what you mean about a 'detail enhancer'? Certainly the Reds' photo looks 'striking' - almost like a painting.

Back to the issue of chaos, or not, as the case may be. People get very hot under the collar about A.net criteria for various reasons - one key one is whether or not the rules as they stand are being operated consistently. Most of us understand how difficult it is to ensure that 30 odd people will interpret things in exactly the same way. But that's why I feel that certain criteria will benefit from really being spelled out - in terms of what the underlying principles relating to them are and what is trying to be achieved.

For example, for me the principle about the 'centre' rule should not be about having the subject 'technically' in the centre of the image (in a way that can be measures in pixels from the top/bottom/left or right) - it's all about whether the resulting image has a 'balance' that works. I agree that really it is 'composition', not 'centring'. If it is kind of there, give any benefit of the doubt to the photographer (IMHO).

Back to the point about the desire to have photos that 'look real'. Mick stated above that HDR is not permitted. I am assuming Mick means 'HDR' in the way I understood it - the kind of photo that looks overly enhanced and therefore 'not real' (defined as how it would be seen by the eye).

To take Colin's point about sharpening - one of the skills here is to develop an editing eye for the amount of sharpening required to meet the A.net requirement (irrespective of whether you feel it is 'real' or 'overdone'). You could easily argue that the same could be done for the amount of HDR/detail enhancer - or whatever it is - that is okay and roughly where the boundary is. It would be subjective, but no more so that sharpening/contrast and some of the other criteria that are the subject of debate. Screeners are here to employ the criteria as they understand them - including giving an educated opinion on those 'impossible to define' areas of subjectivity.

Paul
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12663
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: HDR Images

Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:51 am

Quoting Psych (Reply 48):
Back to the point about the desire to have photos that 'look real'. Mick stated above that HDR is not permitted. I am assuming Mick means 'HDR' in the way I understood it - the kind of photo that looks overly enhanced and therefore 'not real' (defined as how it would be seen by the eye).

No, HDR is not permitted in that photos that are composites involving more than one exposure are not permitted. HDR falls under that, as do panoramas.

Photos that look overly edited are also not permitted, but it certainly doesn't mean that they are HDR.

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