Ziggy Becket (ziggybecket) wrote,
Ziggy Becket


So NVIDIA hosted NVISION 2008, which is basically a huge LAN party. I checked it out with some of my co-workers, mostly because I heard there was a Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 beta you could play. X-D

Apparently that is my, serious RTS face while I was playing Red Alert 3. LOL

Waiting for the Red Alert 3 patch. After installing the game, there was a 900 MEG patch you had to download! They don't call it beta for nothing. LOL

For the photo geeks, this was an HDR image, since I wanted to have the screen and my co-worker visible in the shot. I might make another HDR post later about how I got this image to work.

Oh yah baby!

Counter-strike: Source

Another HDR image.

There was also Rock Band at the SLI Lounge



What the HUGE Lan party room looked like.

This hilarious because this was basically the Fanime Dealer room at the San Jose Convention Center. X-D

OMG! This was totally my FAVORITE case mod of the night.

With a working DRADIS and LCD panels

And working lights for the landing bay that blinked. 8-O

Pretty lights


Shiny. X-D

One of the professional Korean gamers playing Warcraft 3.

Ok, random HDR lesson

Ok, so the problem I was having was that in a lot of my shots, in order to expose the gamer with all the low light and black light, I would have to meter on the gamer. But that means that the LCD panel would be blown out. But if I metered so that the LCD was visible and you can see the gamer was playing, you couldn't see the gamer anymore because he was too under exposed.

So I thought this would be a perfect chance to try some more HDR photography. Hand held no less. LOL

I set my camera to AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) and took 3 JPEG files (above). One shot would be properly exposed, then it would shoot one 3 stops under exposed and 3 stops over exposed.

Balanced Exposure - The camera is trying to balance everything in the frame. It get's it mostly right, the gamer is lit ok and you can sort of see what's on the LCD screen. But it's a compromise, you can't really see the gamer or the background and you can't really see the screen too well.

Under Exposed - The LCD screen exposed right, so you can see what he's playing. Unfortunately everything else is black.

Over Exposed - The screen is blown out again, as is everything else. The gamer's face is whited out from the light of the LCD. But the advantage of this shot is you can see all of the other gamers in the background.

The trick now is to combine all 3 images so you can see everything in one shot.

I imported all three files into Photoshop CS3 with the File->Automate->Merge into HDR option.

That gave me a 32-bit file with all of the detail from all 3 JPEGs. That means that I would have the properly exposed LCD screen as well as the properly exposed gamer lit by the LCD screen and all of the gamers in the background.

To do that, I used the Image->Mode->8 bits/Channel...->Local Adaptation and dropped down the Toning Curve and Histogram and played with the curves. This is the hard part. You need to adjust the curves in the photo so that the LCD is properly exposed so you can see what the game was on screen. But also adjust it so that you can see the player properly exposed. Basically getting the best of all 3 photos. I still am doing a lot of trial and error with this part and got really lucky getting what I wanted in the final shot.

Of course you could probably do a cut and paste thing where you can cut the LCD image from one picture and paste it into another, but when I tried to do it, it looked like some noob cut and pasted the image and it looked really fake.

I also tried to get the "balanced exposure" shot and used the Shadow/Highlight tool to bring up the shadows, and keep the detail of what was on the LCD. Unfortunately gave me a picture with a ton of noise, so that didn't look good either.

At least with this picture, HDR was the perfect method to get the proper exposure with all of the best elements from the 3 pictures into one photo.

Anyway, I have to say, this was my first successful HDR! Woo!
Tags: events, hdr, photography, pictures, san jose
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