Topaz vs HDR

Richard Charpentier HDR, Photography, Photomatix, Photoshop 8 Comments

This is a quick post.  I’m going to leave readers to ponder the following two images.  They’re both the same scene.  One was done with Topaz, one was done in HDR.

Here’s the thing, you might not be too quick about certainty regarding which is which.  I’ve left them with some real differences.  Fun fact?  I can in fact make the Topaz look almost exactly like the HDR.  And with some subtle changes to the way I processed the HDR, it could look just like the Topaz results.

What does this all tell me?  I think it leads me to conclude that Topaz may be the way to go if I want to start experimenting further with people in my scenes.  It also tells me that I can in fact have folks in an HDR and not have them look all Frankensteinesque.

Well, I’ll leave you to pondering and squinting.  Just when you think you know which is which, you’ll probably realize you’re wrong and change your mind……..


Number one.....which is it?


Number two....Have you figured it out yet?

Comments 8

  1. I’m going to guess number 2 because some of the shadows seem to be better illuminated than those in number 1.
    What a day we had! And you be assured that “the crew” wasn’t the only one to benefit from information shared at Vulture. That was quite a group, and when I saw group that most definitely includes you!
    .-= Bert Gildart´s last blog ..Transforming Photography Into Art =-.

  2. The first is the Topaz, the second is the HDR – I an tell because that’s how you titled the post “Topaz vs HDR” an subconsciously you put them in that order…” People leave clues all the time, and it was easy to figure out! 🙂

    Just kidding – that’s not how I knew, I could tell because the detail on the wall inside the window in the first is blown out, and in the second, it has detail that was recovered in the HDR tone mapping. Also the shadows on the back wall are a lot lighter in the second which were likely pulled in a little from the conversion.

    Don’t tell me here if I am right or wrong though, as I wouldn’t want to spoil the guesses of others. 🙂

  3. I agree with Bert, in thinking the second shot is HDR and the first using Topaz. Its a little more difficult to get the light/shadow spots you achieve with HDR processing (at least in Photomatix Pro) than with Topaz. You can clearly see these on the wood floor in the second shot. In addition, as Bert says, the shadows are highlighted much more in the second shot and that favors the HDR processing some – even though you can achieve the same affect with Topaz with some effort.
    .-= Matthew K. Hartman´s last blog ..Storms Across America: Texas – Day 1 of 7 =-.

  4. Since I gave up on HDR (primarily because Photoshop does a poor job), Topaz is my choice for adding “my artistic touch” to some of my photos.

    Both are great photos without another to compare to. However, the second with its brighter background may somewhat detract from the “model” sitting on the window sill.
    .-= Wandrin Lloyd´s last blog ..Decorating RVs =-.

  5. Post

    Oh boy, Jason, you’re a sharp guy. Guess I should watch the way I title things. And I should have layered the Topaz with an underexposed adjustment and painted the window!

    #1 Topaz, #2 HDR. However, I can get the Topaz to just about where the HDR is, and the HDR to where Topaz is. Lot’s of opportunity to be sure! 🙂

    Wow, got a lot of comments on this one! Glad you all enjoyed it!

  6. Well, some people already answered right.
    I immediately recognized the second one as an HDR’ed shot, more specifically, a tone-mapped processed image. I think that the tell-tale is in the un-natural distribution of tonalities in the image, i.e some ev values in the background are just as bright as some areas in the foreground. Great visual opportunity to compare post-process options, thanks!
    .-= Adolfo Isassi´s last blog ..Why so few portraits… =-.

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