View Full Version : RAW or jpeg for HDR's? Help a new guy

20th of May 2008 (Tue), 21:00
I am going to Alaska Thursday and want to capture some images for HDR's. I have a Canon 40D (first DSLR) and understand basic camera functions. I have a tripod and remote shutter release. But I am as green as they come. I just want to know what camera settings to use. I usually shoot RAW in Av mode and convert to DNG. Should I do this or shoot jpegs? Any tips on basic technique? I can figure out the software when I get home. But I am desperate to figure out how to capture the images. I don't want to waste this opportunity to get some good shots in Alaska. I ordered a Dell PC last week with 24" Ultrasharp monitor. I have PSE 6.0 and will likely download Photomatix when I get back from Alaska. Trying to get into the game (at breakneck speed). Anyone willing to help?

20th of May 2008 (Tue), 21:45
My Process: Mounted on a tripod, In Manual Mode, Shoot at least 3 Raw images usually 2 stops apart, Load to and Export as 16bit ProPhotoRGB Tiffs from Lightroom, Merge to HDR and Tonemap in Photomatix and put the finishing touches on in Photoshop.


21st of May 2008 (Wed), 07:33
Thanks Jarrad. I appreciate the input. Glad to hear some info about the file format. I am lost as to whether I should capture in RAW or jpeg, then when it goes through the DNG converter, and on to ACR, do I save as jpeg before putting into Photomatix? After tone mapping, do I save as a jpeg or Tiff? So much to figure out.

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 08:08
Set the camera to AV mode\Auto bracket (2 stops apart in the Menu) and remember to press the Set Button on the Mode Dial Wheel\use one of the High Speed Shutter options in Drive Mode. That way you just press and hold the Shutter Release.

And do shoot in RAW as it'll record more data to work with in post processing.

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 08:13
I find that RAW or JPEGs both come out great in Photomatix.. i never had a problem with either. I shoot in RAW + large Jpeg anyhow so i can go either way, Hmmm I guess that makes me a "Bi-filer" lol

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 08:22
Definitely shoot RAW, it has far more latitude than JPG. As already said, use a tripod, it will save a lot of work at the PP stage. I use aperture priority mode and AEB along with continuous shooting. Try using 2 stop AEB, but make sure that you capture the full range of EV in doing so. In extreme cases, you may need an extra shot to do so. If the sun is in front of you for example.
Once you've got the scene focussed as you want it, switch to manual focus, to prevent autofocus changing the focal point in subsequent shots. Also use one of the White Balance presets, rather than AWB to ensure consistency across all frames. A remote release is very handy too, so you don't need to touch the camera whilst capturing the series.
Unless there is some chromatic aberration in the image, I just load the RAW files straight into Photomatix and then do any extra processing in Photoshop.
Have a great time and I hope you capture some memorable shots. :D

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 08:26
also, dont forget, if you just shoot a "one shot" scene like moving water or cars.. you can bring that one raw file into PM and make it into a Pseudo HDR.. ( a tone mappable image) try it.. just clcik and drag a raw file into PM..

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 09:39
Great insights here. I sure appreciate you guys/gals taking the time to help me out. I don't want to waste the opportunity to get some good shots in Alaska. Thank for any additional thoughts.

21st of May 2008 (Wed), 16:43
I have done a few hdr's with my 40d. I 'm not sure about other modes but in manual I set it to 2 second delay with +/-2 bracket and only need to hit shutter button once and it takes all 3 shots. Experiment before your big trip!