Subway Hands


Run through the tone mapping tool in PhotoMatix.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

13 thoughts on “Subway Hands”

  1. Craig – it’s a stand alone program with hooks for various programs like Lightroom. However, it is memory intensive and it often runs out of memory when I’m using it through Lightroom. I think that xp only supports 3GB of ram which is what I have.

    It really consists of three programs: tone mapping, hdr, and image fusing. You can download a fully functional try it program – which of puts the logo on the final images so that they can’t be used unless. For $99 (pro edition) it offers a lot. I’m guessing that many of the things it does could be done through PS – but for someone like me that doesn’t use PS much anymore except for masking and dust spotting negs. etc. – it’s pretty useful. The tone mapping can be used on single files.

  2. Dave the tones in this are beautiful. Is this considered HDR? If it is, it’s poles away from those gag inducing HDR shots so frquent on flickr…

  3. Thanks. I don’t know what to call it. It’s really faux hdr. I just make a virtual copy of the original raw file in Lightroom, make changes to the second file to bring out some stuff that I can’t get out of Lightroom without messing something else up, and then fuse the virtual image with the first image photomatix; then I work on how they’re combined in the tone mapper… and finally back into Lightroom where I may or may not make some other changes. But it all begins with one raw shot, so I’m not really sure what you call it. Basically, what I discovered (of course I’m not the first one) that I just have more control if I’m using two images (even though one is just a copy of the first). Not always necessary, but a lot of my old color stuff I was just never happy with until lately. If you want, I can take the same shot and with a few button presses turn it into something that looks like HDR.

  4. Dave:

    This is really very beautiful. I’m not quite sure I fully understand your process. Is it something that can be cadged together in Photoshop?


  5. Hi Dave,
    Bob Estremera left this comment… I haven’t looked at it, but it sounds like it’s along the same lines.

    “Here’s a Photoshop technique that you can try.

    This is really ‘exposure blending’ rather than HDR. I find it works nicely when converting to b&w but it would be a PS workflow.
    Just another option that you might like. Works well when using one RAW file processed over and under also.

  6. I played a lot with Photomatix over a year ago, and when I did use it, I was aiming for exactly the kind of effect you’ve done brilliantly above; kind of a ‘dream light’ or inner illumination that is like a glow. I hate all the science-fictiony HDR that most people do. It’s almost like painting with light as you’ve done above. Lovely, really.

  7. Quite interesting (and awfully nice image, Dave). But I can’t help but wonder whether the advent of high-ISO dSLRs and the like might render apps like this a tad moot (although the issue of DR still looms regardless…where are the high-DR sensors?).

    ‘Course, I mostly mess around with film (still)…

    – Barrett

  8. Hi Barrett, long time no hear. But yes, the real issue is high DR sensors… uhm I’m not really as hip as I should be in this area – maybe they exist already.

    Maybe nobody really cares (consumer-wise). As I’ve said a long time ago in camera years, the high-priority custom function on the 40D was what allowed me to jump full force into digital capture.

    However, I have it turned off when I’m doing the HDR shooting.

  9. Hi Dave! This is one of the best HDR images I’ve ever seen, even if it is from a single RAW. I like your post-processing treatment; subtlety doesn’t seem to be terribly popular in HDR photography (see Phill’s comment about Flickr), but your image demonstrates the advantages of bring higher contrast and color depth to an image rather than making everything glow like neon.

    By the way, you can get a 15% discount on Photomatix by using the code STUCKINCUSTOMS.

  10. Ethan, I simply read a bit about HDR and decided that it would be useful for one image of a street sign that was going to be contrasty that needed to be blown up to 40 x 60 inches for the client.

    I really didn’t know much about HDR until after I had finished the street sign image and saw the benefits of combining the data from three bracketed images.

    I’m still in the “discovery” phase.

    This morning I shot a bunch of static subjects – and bracketed them while handholding the camera – and Photomatix had no problem aligning the handheld images into one image. Pretty cool.

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