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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation
Thread started 31 Jan 2016 (Sunday) 23:45
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Bracketing for HDR

 
vinmunoz
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by vinmunoz. 3 edits done in total.
Jan 31, 2016 23:45 |  #1

How or when do we decide how many bracketed images to get the most out of HDR? is 3 enough? or more the better?

thank you.


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ejenner
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Feb 01, 2016 00:05 |  #2

Optimally I bracket them 1 stop apart with as many as I need to cover the DR of the scene.

However, in practice, if there is something moving a bit, or I'm going to be taking more shots than I want for whatever reason - like I am also stitching or focus stacking or hand-holding, then I may go up to 2 stops apart. Personally I have not had a problem with a 2 stop difference, but it is less optimal and may not give you as much leeway.

If in doubt I take extra, even if they overlap and end up not being evenly spaced - I think most HDR software can handle that just fine.

In case you were unaware, Magic Lantern has an automatic feature where it will take as many shots as needed (and change the exposure automatically) for the scene and will also make sure you get all the shadows and highlights. I tested it and it works great, but since I may have other things going on (as mentioned) and I have quite a lot of experience with bracketing I found I didn't actually need it.


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vinmunoz
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by vinmunoz.
Feb 01, 2016 00:16 |  #3

cool thanks.

1 follow up question.... is it okay to manually meter each area of the scene and shoot it one by one. That way the difference of exposures may not be the same or consistent, will it work?


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David ­ Arbogast
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Feb 01, 2016 00:38 |  #4

I agree that a one-stop difference between brackets is a good standard to go by. If there is too much exposure difference between brackets you can get bad transitions, particularly where there is any extreme backlit areas in the frame. These bad transistions can create an ugly halo effect or even a sort of double outline along the edges of backlit subjects.

A couple of Sony bracketing tips:

1. If you set your a7R II to continuous bracket mode and use the cheapo Foto&Tech wireless trigger it will automatically take all the brackets. You can even use the built-in 2-second delay button - it works regardless of what drive mode the camera is in.

2. Raw files captured with the a7R II in continuous mode (as well as in silent mode) will be only 12-bit raw files instead of the standard 14-bit raw files. But, it shouldn't matter...they are brackets for an hdr, so it has never bothered me that the individual brackets are slightly compromised.

This for some real-estate photography?


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vinmunoz
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Feb 01, 2016 00:48 |  #5

Thanks David. Yah mostly for real-estate.


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MalVeauX
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Feb 01, 2016 05:01 |  #6

vinmunoz wrote in post #17881099 (external link)
How or when do we decide how many bracketed images to get the most out of HDR? is 3 enough? or more the better?

thank you.

Heya,

You only need enough brackets to achieve dynamic range. That's the point. Or you can go above and beyond and overkill and grab the data several times over if you want, if you want to have more to work with later. For example, if you were in a split second moment that cannot be redone, why fool with trying to achieve just 3 brackets, when you could instantly grab 5 and get more information so that later, you might have a better chance of having the correct range of exposure to be able to do the best tonemap of that moment that cannot be recreated, right? For something you can plan, you don't need that many brackets, but there is no number that just works. You really should be looking at the histogram or many use a light meter with spot meter to do it.

When doing a series of brackets, regardless of the number of images to bracket:

Find exposure for the highlights.
Find exposure for the darkest areas that you want detail retained in.
That's your effective dynamic range you're wanting to cover.
Fill that range with any number of brackets in whatever stop value interval you want (1 stop, 2 stop, etc; 3 brackets, 5 brackets, etc).

Very best,


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MalVeauX
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Feb 01, 2016 05:03 |  #7

vinmunoz wrote in post #17881119 (external link)
cool thanks.

1 follow up question.... is it okay to manually meter each area of the scene and shoot it one by one. That way the difference of exposures may not be the same or consistent, will it work?

It's absolutely ok to do this if nothing is moving.

In a house? It will work just fine.

In a scene with movement, like clouds moving, etc, it will not work great because you will have significant differences per frame which results in ghosting and a lot more clean up (so fast sequential shots are ideal).

Very best,


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vinmunoz
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Feb 01, 2016 06:39 |  #8

MalVeauX wrote in post #17881243 (external link)
It's absolutely ok to do this if nothing is moving.

In a house? It will work just fine.

In a scene with movement, like clouds moving, etc, it will not work great because you will have significant differences per frame which results in ghosting and a lot more clean up (so fast sequential shots are ideal).

Very best,

thank you very much for taking the time to clear this up to me with your experience. appreciate it, awesome. :)


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maxblack
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Feb 01, 2016 10:03 |  #9

Good article on the subject.
I think we've all wondered about this question.

http://thehdrimage.com ...any-exposures-are-enough/ (external link)



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vinmunoz
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Feb 02, 2016 05:02 |  #10

thank you for the link.


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rgs
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Feb 11, 2016 18:57 |  #11

For real estate interiors I use a 7 shot, 1 stop bracket. In post I only use as many as I need - usually 4 or 5 - but I always make 7 on site so I know I have the range covered. I am, of course, using a tripod (and tethered to my phone as a remote) so my results won't be the same as those of you who are hand holding.

RE interiors present extreme cases for exposure blending of all types because the range from deep shadows to a bright windows and lamps can be quite large. The bracket is weighted toward the shadow end to avoid sensor bloom around bright windows as much as possible.


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maxblack
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Feb 11, 2016 20:33 |  #12

^^^ Those are sweet rgs ^^^



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Chopper ­ Al
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Feb 12, 2016 13:40 |  #13

I really like the sunroom picture. Awesome!


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Brad999
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Feb 17, 2016 16:47 |  #14

I use -2 0 2 for everything except shooting into a sun and then I go -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3

I drank the Trey Ratcliffe stuckincustoms koolaid many years ago and use photomatix, and NIK software and then into PS. Trey has now teamed up with a company that he helped develop their software so I'm guessing he no longer peddles photomatix, but it is cheap, and easy to use.




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Timza
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Timza.
Feb 22, 2016 05:32 |  #15

I am new to this. My camera only automatically brackets three images. If I set the brackets at one stop apart. And then take the first set at -2 compensation. Then take three at +1 compensation. I get six images with the extra one on the lower side. You could do -1 and +2 compensation if you want the extra image on the high side.

Hmmm. I have never thought that the high only needs to be for the highs. And the low only needs to be for the lows. Are you saying that if Ansel Easton Adams were doing digital HDR, he would spot meter for the highs. And spot meter for the lows. Set manual exposure at exactly the middle of those exposures. And spread the exposures only over the high and low? I do feel that using his middle name is appropriate for such a discussion.

So then also, when I watch a well lighted movie scene, they knew the range of the movie projector, spot metered the highs, and then they light up the lows to be in the range? And also wait for the right time of day so they don't have to light up so much? So another part of this is shooting when the dynamic range is less if you can?

My head just exploded. In a good way. I have been researching so much about the software end. And just thinking about how many images I need to take. And not thinking how Ansel Easton Adams would spread those images out.

Is there anything I am thinking wrong or missing?




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