Maui Day 3: Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park.
I left the meeting early to get to the Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak for sunset. I am using the images taken at sunset to do a comparison of HDR (high dynamic range) processing programs. The first image is the original image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). The next three images are HDR composites from 5 exposures (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro, Photomatix Pro, and Nik HDR Efex Pro. The final image was processed using DxO Optics Pro 6 using a “single-shot” HDR technique. All of the new HDR programs have multiple, if not many presets as well as many controls to optimize the image. The HDR programs have come a long way over the last 3-4 years, where the HDR effects were often overboard. But then again, HDR can recover an uninteresting image i.e. “A derelict fishing boat along the Alaska Canada Highway”
(1) Original Exposure, no HDR. Processed using Capture One Pro 6, Photoshop CS5, Nik Define 2. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec).
(2) HDR composite using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro from 5 Images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV). (Saturated Default). With this image there is some detail in the dark foreground including the road to the Air Force Satellite tracking station and some of the coast.
(3) HDR composite using Photomatix Pro from 5 Images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV). (Compressor Deep). It is interesting to compare the sunburst patterns for the 5 different images.
(4) HDR composite using Nik HDR Efex Pro from 5 Images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV). Again, the sunburst pattern is different, in this case the most detail. Also, the satellite telescope is brighter than in any of the other images.
(5) Original Raw image processed with DxO Optic Pro using the “single-shot” HDR mode. DxO does not have any lens correction info for this lens (but as a PC-E lens should not require much correction).
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