HDR Photography Tip: Check for halos by zooming out your image
One of the reasons why some photographers consider HDR photography evil are halo artifacts – phenomenon that appears between regions of very different luminosity like bright sky and dark mountain. You can see example of halo artifact in the image on the right. This is the lighter area around the trees and building.
Most of the time they are clearly visible but there are cases when there are so subtle than you can actually miss them (but sooner or later someone will find out). If you opened the image on the right in larger size, halo artifacts wouldn’t seem so bad.
There is very easy trick to make sure your photo is halo-free – just make your photo very small (either by zooming out in your HDR program or when previewing finished image) as halos tend to become more visible as you make the image smaller or look at it at the distance (so walking a few feet away of your computer will work equally as good).
If there are halo artifacts in your photos you might be interested in learning how to get rid of them. In the past I wrote several pieces of information on that subject:
- Dealing with halos section in my HDR tutorial
- Few tips on removing halos in Photomatix were discussed in my post titled What makes HDR photo look unrealistic?
- Video tutorial about removing halo artifacts
Featured photo – Reflection of Royal Palace
For today I decided to share yet another sunset image from Warsaw… yes, another from my workshops 🙂 5 exposures at 1 stop spacing were required to capture whole dynamic range of this scene. At first it might seem its dynamic range isn’t very high as there is no longer sun in the frame but there was still a little glow in the sky that was very bright and using fewer exposures resulted in blown-out highlights.
What you might notice in this image is that there is plenty of dirt in the reflection. Unfortunately it is how it looks at the moment. Vistula river level is very low right now (after very dry winter, spring and summer) and there is also a lot of debris in it right now.
If you would like to create such photos yourself, make sure to read my HDR tutorial.
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 55 mm
Exposure time: 0.5 s
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0 EV
Flash used: no
Technique: HDR, Tone-Mapping
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Capture One 8, Photoshop CC 2015, Topaz Clarity