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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation 
Thread started 08 Apr 2010 (Thursday) 13:41
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Real Estate Interiors

 
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Apr 14, 2010 16:22 |  #16

Bob Hasty wrote in post #9990078 (external link)
You couldnt be more wrong!

Wrong in what?


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kirkt
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Apr 14, 2010 18:48 |  #17

Bob Hasty wrote in post #9966413 (external link)
If your shooting interiors I highly suggest you pretend your shooting outside in bright sun and shoot atleast 11 exposures from -5 to +5 after metering a medium toned scene inside. This way your just about sure to gather all the detail for both inside and out. If its super bright outside I'd even go a few stops darker too, check your histogram.

You don't need to pretend anything. Meter your highlights and shadows and capture them with proper exposure. You certainly don't NEED 11 images - sure, you can shoot as many as you want, but your camera probably has a dynamic range of about 8 to 10 stops - if you take two or three shots spaced 2 to 3 EV apart, you'll capture the 14 stops that the human brain can perceive. Now, combining them to leverage all of that data can be an issue. if you use exposure blending (enfuse, tufuse, by hand - also Zero Noise which does the same thing but in 16 bit TIFF form) then you are good to go because there is no pixel averaging, just segmentation of the best exposed pixels. If you use HDR combination techniques, then you may need more data to eliminate noise - then you obviously have to deal with tonemapping. Then there is HDR PhotoStudio which is somewhere in between because it allows you to make traditional adjustments in 32 bit space, giving you fewer artifacts. Then of course you can do a whole boatload of 32 bit adjustments in PS using the Magic Bullet Photolooks plug-in from Red Giant Software (can you believe it, 32 bit CURVES!). Blah blah blah.

Example from some old RAWs I found cleaning a hard drive. Sorry about the JPEG compression - trying to keep the file size small. Three RAWs combined in HDR Photo Studio 2 (Mac) and some basic adjustments done there. Saved as a 32 bit "BEF" file - HDR Photo Studio's file format - there is a plug-in for PS to open this format. In PS, 32 bit adjustments in PhotoLooks, the mode change to 16 bit with some final tweaks.

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TGrundvig
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Jun 10, 2010 23:31 |  #18

heathermarie wrote in post #9958784 (external link)
Thanks for the response guys...

If I meter to get the windows any where near to not being blown out then everything else is way too dark.. beyond recovery..

In this tour is a couple of HDR photos... the look I'm talking about.. the windows look surreal and I'm assuming this is HDR... but without the HDR feel (which is my goal)

http://www.obeo.com/56​5975 (external link)

Please let me know if you have any other comments/help/tips for me!

Ok, this company does the photo processing themselves. They send out the photog, get the images and then they blend, or fuse. If you look closely at the images in the link you provided, you will see both blow out windows and crystal clear windows, yet the interior exposure appears to be the same. Take the kitchen, for example, one has a blown out window over the sink and the other does not, but they both appear to have similar interior exposure.

What they are doing is a very time consuming practice. Basically, they create the HDR image using whatever software they use. Once they get that final image, they then take it and the image with the most ideal window view, or a HDR image created from images to get the best window view. They then layer those to images with the window view image on top. From there, you use a soft brush and literally just erase all the parts of the image except for the window area to reveal the properly exposed interior underneath. The result is the perfectly esposed interior with a layer of the perfect exposed window area. Flatten the layers into one image and you have.

Trust me, I have used several programs, I have used everything from two images to 12, I have played with all the settings, there is no program that will give you an interior exposed like that with the windows exposed like that in one image. Another give away of this technique is to look closely at the kitchen sink below the window....see the extremely bright areas on the sink fixture? How could that be so bright if the window is so soft? It can't, it's impossible. The only way to get that final image is the way I described.

Here is one I did using the technique I described....


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TGrundvig
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Jun 10, 2010 23:37 as a reply to  @ TGrundvig's post |  #19

Here is another one but I used PS to do the HDR. I created two HDR images, one for the interior, one for the exterior, I layered them and then erased the areas I didn't want in the top layer.


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TGrundvig
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Jun 10, 2010 23:40 as a reply to  @ TGrundvig's post |  #20

Now, this image was done using six images and the HDR was created in Photomatix 3 Pro. The only reason this image worked is because of how close I was to the window. The HDR I created from further back (at the entry to the kitchen) did not give me the same results because the dynamic range was too wide.


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bfinta
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Jun 11, 2010 06:04 |  #21

also you can see in that set that he only bothered to 'fix' some of the windows in some of the shots, there is some bedroom pics where the windows are blown out and some where its not completely blown out but certainly washed out a bit. I too have been playing with my setting for interior 'blended' shots and I find for really bright windows -2 is not enough to prevent the windows from being blown out, usually i find if i go -4 then my problem of windows being blown out is eliminated but then of course i have to bracket -4 -2 0 so then i have no choice but to bracket 3 more shots so i end up doing 0 +2 +4 ... now i may be wrong as i've gone on the assumption (probably wrong but i'll test it myself in the next few days) that they have to be evenly spread out the shots but i will try doing a set -4 -2 0 +1 +2 and see how that turns out.




  
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TGrundvig
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Jun 11, 2010 12:50 |  #22

bfinta wrote in post #10342575 (external link)
also you can see in that set that he only bothered to 'fix' some of the windows in some of the shots, there is some bedroom pics where the windows are blown out and some where its not completely blown out but certainly washed out a bit. I too have been playing with my setting for interior 'blended' shots and I find for really bright windows -2 is not enough to prevent the windows from being blown out, usually i find if i go -4 then my problem of windows being blown out is eliminated but then of course i have to bracket -4 -2 0 so then i have no choice but to bracket 3 more shots so i end up doing 0 +2 +4 ... now i may be wrong as i've gone on the assumption (probably wrong but i'll test it myself in the next few days) that they have to be evenly spread out the shots but i will try doing a set -4 -2 0 +1 +2 and see how that turns out.

I'd be interested in hearing your findings becuase I apply the same process, if -4 is what is required to expose for the window then +4 is the other end. However, I find that +4 is usually off the scale on the histogram. One book I read mentioned something about using the histogram as a guideline, not the EV. What I end up doing is just deleting the image(s) that over expose too much. I only want to see the shadows, not see clearly under the couch, which is what +4 gives me. I try to keep the shadows as much as I can so it looks as natural as it can, but then the images used typically do not result in a balanced -4 to +4 range.

Please let me know what you discover and I'll try the same thing and we can compare notes. Maybe even provide the images of both. The HDR of -4 to +4 and the HDR of just following the histogram. After all, this is how we get better, right?


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Jun 13, 2010 09:00 |  #23

Hi Heather, if you really want to up your game in real estate photography you really need to get some basic rules sorted out first.

Tripod is an absolute must to start with. You need to shoot at as low ISO as possible and for interiors that means a tripod, end of story. Also if you want to get into HDR photography you must use tripod if you want decent results.

On camera flash is rarely a good option for lighting up interiors as it often creates flat and ugly images. Try to use as much available light as possible and in cases when that's not enough use 2-3 of camera flashes/strobes to gently lit up your area. As you want to step up your game why dont get yourself two softboxes, they work great for lighten up interiors with a soft smooth light.

As for metering there is no "one recipe" solution for how many brackets you need to to shoot. It all depends of the actual scene. In a dimly lit room you maybe need 9-11 stops of range to cover the whole scene's dynamic range. In a well lit room less brackets can get you covered.

Michael James is a great real estate shooter and you can find some useful tips and ideas on his blog at http://hdriblog.com/ (external link). If you take a look at his galleries, thats how good real estate HDR images should look like.



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Nov 02, 2011 02:10 |  #24

kirkt wrote in post #9996244 (external link)
You don't need to pretend anything. Meter your highlights and shadows and capture them with proper exposure. You certainly don't NEED 11 images - sure, you can shoot as many as you want, but your camera probably has a dynamic range of about 8 to 10 stops - if you take two or three shots spaced 2 to 3 EV apart, you'll capture the 14 stops that the human brain can perceive.
...
Kirk

Dynamic Range varies from Sensor to Sensor
http://hdriblog.com/ca​tegory/hdr-tutorial/ (external link)

A single shot on a D3x is like taking two separate shots with an older Canon Rebel about 1 EV stops apart and then blending them in post. So if a D3x shooter says you only need 3aeb with frames at +/-2EV, you actually need 6aeb at +/-1EV with your older Canon Rebel to get the same gorgeous post production results. How do I know this? I’ve shot with both!!!
...
When bracketing you only get extremely clean data in the center/sweet spot of each capture. A camera like a Nikon D3x gives you more clean data in the middle part of the histogram than even a Canon 5D Mark II. So if you have to bracket a huge dynamic range scene with 11 frames spaced 1EV apart with a D3x, you might want to consider bracketing only 2/3rds steps between frames with a 5D Mark II (and increase the number of shots to cover the same dynamic range). With an APS-C sensor you will often need to go down to 1/3rd EV jumps between frames and take far more shots to cover the same dynamic range in order to caputure the same clean data throughout that range.
...
I know this because I’ve delivered nearly 15,000 commercial images that were originally fully bracketed series of 7-15 shots per image. And I’ve used dozens of cameras from various brands like Pentax, Nikon, Sigma and the worst of dynamic range brands… Canon. So I’ve done a ridiculous amount testing to try and find the holy grail of HDR capture. In the end, there is no one camera sensor or system that is perfect, but what I’ve found are general rules that allow you to make sure you get the entire dynamic range of a scene nailed with what system you are currently using.

Maybe this explains why Bob Hasty suggested such a large number of exposures.


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kirkt
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Nov 02, 2011 09:04 |  #25

CaptivatedByBeauty wrote in post #13340976 (external link)
Dynamic Range varies from Sensor to Sensor
http://hdriblog.com/ca​tegory/hdr-tutorial/ (external link)

Maybe this explains why Bob Hasty suggested such a large number of exposures.

While DR varies from sensor to sensor, it is the way that you use the available dynamic range that counts.

Here is a database that will permit you to compare the dynamic range of many commercially available sensors:

http://www.dxomark.com …as/Camera-Sensor-Database (external link)

When you arbitrarily pronounce that you MUST shoot 11 or 13 or whatever exposures, you are already assuming things about the shoot that may be irrelevant. Because most people do not understand how exposures are combined in various workflows, they assume more is better. This is not the case. This is similar to stating that you MUST merge only raw files for HDR - nope. JPEG can be just as good, and sometimes better, for example - when acquisition speed is a factor, or you are shooting a large HDR panoramic image where there are several exposures per panorama segment. If you are making a true 32bit HDR file in your workflow, you can always correct white balance in full 32bit precision if your JPEG WB was a little off. But you need to understand how your JPEGs must be made in camera so that you do not start introducing artifacts into the HDR assembly process. Again, more is not always better.

You need to evaluate two aspects of capturing the full scene-referred luminance:

1) the exposure bracket
2) the images used in the merge, based on the tools you are using to produce the final set of data.

Simply saying that you need to pretend that you are shooting in bright sunlight outside for interior captures makes no sense. Although it may be counterintuitive, shooting outside in bright sunlight does not necessarily mean that your scene will have a high dynamic range. In most any scene you can meter for the dynamic range and choose a range of exposures that acquires the full range in the scene. If you read Michael James' blog thoroughly, you will appreciate this as well, although I know he likes to do things like shoot in fractional EV steps, which can get a little over the top.

There are automation tools that permit extended bracketing so that you can easily acquire 13 exposures - i use a Promote Control and it makes life easy. However, I rarely use all of the exposures when I make the merge, regardless of which application or workflow I use. Because memory cards are cheap, you can shoot way more exposures than you think you need, just in case there is something you want to bring out in the data that you did not visualize when you were shooting.

So, I'm not sure why Bob Hasty says the things he says in this (old!) post. Here is a really good resource that addresses a lot of these issues - Christian Bloch is working on the second edition of his essential HDRI Handbook reference and, hopefully, it will be out soon:

http://www.hdrlabs.com​/tutorials/index.html (external link)

kirk


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