My previous post was about an outing at Stanford yesterday with Scott Loftesness. This post will be less confusing if you scroll down and read it first.
Scott processed several HDR images, and I picked the lighting which matched what I was painting, as the clouds were rolling in and out at times. Below is Scott’s final image, which has been scaled down for web display–
Just as a comparison, below is my painting again–
In the HDR photo, it seems the lighted areas of the tower were a bit darker, the color more saturated, and warmer (more reddish) than what I painted. The shadows were about in line with my observations. Although I usually apply more gradient (a gradual value and color change to a particular area) to enhance whatever I am painting I didn’t in this work. You will notice, however that Scott’s image had more gradient, for example the shadow area is lighter at the top and darkens toward the bottom.
I am rather confident on the value accuracy of my painting, and the photo of it shown, at least on my monitor, matches the actual painting. I imagine Scott could adjust the HDR image somewhat, but would probably have to go on location with a computer to match it exactly.
There are no winners or losers here, just observations. The HDR process produces beautiful and stunning photographs. However, I think to accurately capture values and color, painting from real life still wins out.