Remastered in 32bit

A few days ago I wrote a post about processing 32 bit images. Honestly this process had had a revolutionary effect on how I process my HDR images. To make sure I wasn’t just waxing lyrical over something new, I went back to some favourite images I have edited in the not so recent past. To be fair to the original images I choose three that I also edited at the same time.

Three Doors

The picture was originally taken on the request of my wife, because she liked the look of the three doors revealing the one behind. The difference in exposure between the light inside and outside was about 3 stops. Personally I was and still am happy with this edit. I got all three areas well balanced with a revealing some texture in the floor tiles and wall.

With the remastered image I was able to take utilise the extra dynamic range and bring more light detail to the interior of the doorways as well as lighten the outer door and make it seem more natural. The wall in the furthest background is no longer white but has a light grey tone. I still have the texture in the floor as well as what I feel is better contrast overall.

Empty Landscape Near Leczca

This is one of my favourite shots of the year; I love the mood, the subdued yet saturated colours and the silhouetted trees. I remember it took me a while to edit, finding it hard to balance the light and colours. I also think it has a painterly quality to it and could easily be the beginning of a Turner styled painting.

The remastered image still has the same feel but also has more clarity. The foreground is no longer soft and dreamy, it has real definition in the trees and the field which before was a smudge of brown/grey. The colour palette of the scene is still limited but there are a wider range of tones in the colours. Looking at the sky you can see blues where before there was a hot spot which leads down to a grey magenta all contrasted with a glowing yellow.

Wooden Church Tum

This image became my example to anyone who said that they wouldn’t go out and take pictures when the sky is overcast. I love it, the lighting and the colours.

The remastered version has all that the original had plus more. The sky is greyer as I had more dynamic range to play with, the colours are warmer and the whole scene seems less contrasted. While editing the strength of yellows were so strong I had to pull back its strength selectively. Even with this reduction in saturation the greens are on the more yellow side compared to the original edit. There is more contrasted texture in the church cementing it in the scene.

Current Conclusions

32bit editing really has added more depth to my images, in colour and light. With 32bit, I have more tones to work with and colours that I can control, which are lost due to the clipping when editing in 16 bit. I also feel that toning the images myself I have more control than I do with tone mapping software and the process creates less artefacts. The only negative is using Photoshop HDR Pro; its ghost removal is not very good. I have to use Photoshop HDR Pro, as I am still having problems with Photomatix saving the 32bit image.
I have a feeling I may need to go back through my archive of favourite HDR shots and remaster them in 32bit.

Let me know in the comments which versions of images you like, also have you tried 32bit editing yet? or just say hi if you like.


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