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Tour Hosting, and More Photomatix Examples

Published: 13/04/2007
By: larry

Ed Parsons of Myrtle Beach, SC ( sent me an example of his Interactive Home Showcase for a recent client. This virtual tour has several things I want to comment on.

The first is that it's an example of a Flash slide-show created by the program which is a bunch of Flash templates that you can use as a virtual tour, like Ed does or burn them on a CD or both. Ed says, "I use SellFolio 3.0 For Client Projects- Merchandising version. The program paid for itself with our first tour"

The second thing is that this tour is hosted by which is a virtural tour hosting service that hosts a variety of tours that you build for a monthly cost. Apparently, this service is easier than maintaining your own web site from scratch.

After I studied Ed's photos Ed had to endure my lecture on converging verticals and barrel distortion... I think Ed is now a believer in avoiding these mortal sins. I also was telling Ed that for my taste his images were a little under lit. He obviously was not using any lighting. He told me that he was a Photomatix user and all the images in this tour with Photomatix. This surprised me because I'd never been able to get images I did with Photomatrix to look this good. Mine always come out "dirty" looking. Ed says he shoots 10-to 12 shots per scene and carefully chooses the images to use. I need to go back and try to get Photomatix to make images that look this good.

7 comments on “Tour Hosting, and More Photomatix Examples”

  1. I am fiddling around with Photomatix today trying to get some exterior HDR's to look good. I need to take a Photomatix/Photoshop class because I suck!

    I think two of the keys to getting good interior images using Photomatix are to take lots of shots to fully bracket the f-stop range, and leave the interior lights OFF. Without enough images, Photomatix will try and pull highlight and shadow detail from images where it's not really there, resulting in grainy shadow areas and highlight halos. HDR greatly amplifies color casts from different light sources as well. This is why I don't use it that much, because I like to show the interior lights on.

  2. Hi Aaron,
    I think your are right about needing a lot of shots for Photomatix (I just noticed I spelled it wrong all over this post again) someone else told me that they use six images. That's a lot of work to avoid learning to use lighting equipment.

    Once I figure out how to make a decent image with Photomatix I want do do an example post. When I shot my son's home the image I used for the composite image I have many bracket shots so I'll have to go back and try Photomatix with 5 or 6 bracked images. In the past I've always just used 3 images.

  3. Larry,

    The method I like to use with Photomatix is to use it mainly for the luminosity of a shot and blend it on top of a single shot in the middle of the exposure range as the basis for the color information. I can't stand all the color casts that pop up when tone mapping an hdr image. I have started to get away from relying on Photomatix as a crutch for dificult interiors and instead have practiced using multiple strobes instead.

    Here is my most recent shoot where I used mostly small strobes (Vivitar 285 and SB-24) on the interiors although some of the kitchen shots are a single shot with the tone mapped hdr layer blended on top of it with the mode changed to luminosity. I also brought along my 6' monopod to add some height to my exterior shots. I'm planning on building/buying a 50' mast next because renting a helicopter just isn't financially viable in the long run.


  4. Traci's web site does not work with Firefox with Pop-Ups disabled. It does not work with Mac OS X either.

  5. What do you mean when you say "dirty looking" - too much noise in the dark areas?
    You might want to adjust your ISO settings or even experiment with different combinations of controls in Photomatix.

    I bought Photomatix Pro (15% off if you use VPG15 Photomatix Coupon) a little while ago and have had that same issue. I usually take -2, 0, +2 ev exposures, but you need to make sure there's enough light in the room - even if it's artificial light.