Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Doing HDRs with the 645pro (beta)

Camera App: 645pro beta

Other Apps used for post processing:
Mobile HDR - to create a HDR picture from 3 files. Most iOS HDR apps use only 2 files, one overexposed and one underexposed. Mobile HDR aims at creating HDR pictures from your bracket shots made with a DSLR. Because the 645pro currently offers the best picture quality available on the iPhone I wanted to see if Mobile HDR can be useful for photos made with the iPhone too. The answer is YES it can! But to create the files necessary for the HDR picture one must use some tricks because the 645pro offers no bracket mode shooting. So I did the following:
1) I used the 645pro film with the richest colors, which is the FC5 film.
2) I used the Neutral Density #1 filter with 100% efficiency. Currently that filter is only available in the actual beta version of the 645pro but that version is to be released soon. It runs rock stable and comes with a lot of improvements. So if you don't already have the 645pro on your iPhone I recommend you buying it. It's definitely the best camera app available, and it's a pleasure to work with it. 
The 645pro saves your photos in TIFF format as well as in JPG formt. The TIFFs are the RAW files, unprocessed, no film effects, no filters. Development of RAW photos shot with a DSLR is usually done in a so called "RAW converter" but no such app exists for the iOS devices so development is done in the 645pro itself, that's why it's called a dRAW file - a developed RAW file. The JPG file (of the same photo) is the photo with the configured effects applied, such as films and filters used.
3) In case of the old Diesel engine (above) I also created a black and white version in MonoPhix HD as well as an overexposed version in Laminar.
4) To create the HDR picture in Mobile HDR I used the black and white version created in MonoPhix HD, the JPG version from 645pro and the overexposed version made in Laminar. To create the overexposed picture I simply adjusted its curve by pulling it a bit outwards on a spot set in the middle of the line.

Here you see the original photos and the finished HDR picture

Screenshot from Laminar showing the adjusted curve 
to create an overexposed photo.

The black and white picture created from the TIFF file
using MonoPhix HD.

After importing the files into Mobile HDR the processing
 screen looked like this.

Here's yet another HDR picture created in a similar way than the picture on top of the page. In this case I created an underexposed version of the TIFF file to use with the set of 3 photos in Mobile HDR. Then I created a black and white version from the HDR picture in MonoPhix HD. I also tried Snapseed but I liked the result from MonoPhix HD more. Then I was opening the color HDR and the b/w HDR in Blender. The color version on the left side - the b/w version on the right side. Blending mode was "normal", with the slider set 25% to the left. This enhanced the colors and de-saturated the picture a bit at the same time.

As usual, a copyright watermark was added in A+Signature.

If you got questions please feel free to ask. You may also find me on Facebook. Just search for "quaffii" or "Gaston Graf".

Monday, August 6, 2012


Camera Apps used: 645pro, BracketMode and Hipstamatic with Jane lens + Ina's 1982 film

Additional Apps used for post processing:

And now I'm in trouble, cause I don't remember all the steps I took to create the pictures on this page, except for the Hipstamatic shots which are left unprocessed. For the rest there was:
iPhoto - for local corrections. I love iPhoto for that feature!
Photo fx Ultra - for color corrections, fog effect and other.
Blender - to blend the different versions to obtain different results, as usual. For instance, I added the frame in Camera Awesome but blended the result with the previous version to reduce the frame effect by 50% because I found it too strong.
Snapseed - very useful for the detail functions, like "structure" which is about the same as the pseudo-HDR function of other apps is. I did two versions, one using SimplyHDR and one with the "structure" function in Snapseed and the outcome was about the same. Also Snapseed is great for creating b/w pictures. The b/w version of the above picture had been created using Snapseed with neutral filter but 25% of grain setting.
Pixlromatic - for various retro filters which I mixed in Blender. Don't remember what combination I kept in the end, I'm sorry.
LensFlareHD - to enhance the sunlight reflections in the chrome on the headlights, the fuel level indicator cap on the gas tank and on top of the rear view mirror. I did not add it to the reflection on the handle bar close to the risers and left it as it is. To place such light reflections precisely, move them in bigger size with two fingers to the destination, then use the controls panel to adjust size, brightness and rotation. After saving your picture, LensFlareHD reduces it a bit from 3264x2448 to 3072x2304 but you can easily get your original resolution back. Load any photo that has original size on the left side in Blender, then load the version you created with LensFlareHD on the right side. Pull the slider all to the right in "normal" blend mode and save your picture. If you check it with apps such as ExifWizardPro or the free PhotoSize you will see that it is back to original resolution.
ProHDR - I did some photo sets with BracketMode but in the end I disliked the outcome of the HDR picture as I put them together in ProHDR so I used only the overexposed version for this photo.
A+Signature - for the usual copyright watermarks. I also use it to mark my Hipstamatic shots with lens/film combo so I don't need to repeat this again and again when posting the photos to various Facebook groups.

The day before yesterday I felt for making some new pics of my bike, especially because it now has the Metzler Me880 Marathon tires mounted and because it had a different derby cover for a while. Usually it wears the Willie G. Skull derby cover but mine had been scratched so I wanted a new one but that one needed some time to arrive so I used the cover with the big bad Nr.1 on it. It's nice, but I like the skull cover much more. Yesterday I finally changed the cover and I made some more pics.

This is the b/w version I created using Snapseed. 
No filter but 25% of grain. I like that!

The photo from yesterday, with the Willie G. Skull derby cover. Photo made with the 645pro camera app. This time I was finally able to snap about a dozen shots before the damn app crashed again. I guess it's having a memory problem. If you close all apps that ran in the background, then reboot your iPhone the 645pro runs fine, until a given moment when it crashes again. And that's when the memory is filled up. I hope the developers will get that problem solved soon.

 Hipstamatic photo with the Bad Nr.1 derby cover

 Hipstamatic photo with the Willie G. Skull derby cover

Hipstamatic photo of the Willie G. Skull derby cover in detail.