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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation 
Thread started 06 Feb 2014 (Thursday) 04:09
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Single RAW vs bracketing

 
Andyosh
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Feb 06, 2014 04:09 |  #1

Hi all,

May have opened a can of worms here.

What do you think about faux HDR vs bracketing? If you artificially increase the DR in PP, is it really HDR? Or do you prefer to have to several exposures and them combine them?

If the end result is good, does it really matter how you created the HDR image?

Andy




  
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Tareq
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Feb 06, 2014 05:09 |  #2

HDR means high dynamic range, some cameras their DR is not that much wide, so whatever you try to fix it it will not be HDR, and when you take multiple shots and bracket then you get HDR, some new high mp cameras and MF having that great DR which may help in pp, but still can't call it HDR yet, but you just said it, if you can get the shot with bracketing good enough with pp then this is all matter, many people still don't like that HDR look even it is very nice done.


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thomatis
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Feb 06, 2014 05:16 |  #3

Andy, I'll probably get shot down here, but I believe faux HDR can improve a single image that doesn't have a great deal more dynamic range than what could have been captured in a single image. BUT with a scene ranging from very bright sky to deep shadows, I can't see how detail that is not even there, can be recovered. (talking RAW images, of course).




  
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thomatis
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Feb 06, 2014 05:26 |  #4

Tareq wrote in post #16667498 (external link)
... many people still don't like that HDR look even it is very nice done.

Tareq,- do you mean 'Tone Mapped look' when you say 'HDR look' ??

So many people think they are 'one and the same'. Not so.




  
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Tareq
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Feb 06, 2014 05:37 |  #5

thomatis wrote in post #16667515 (external link)
Tareq,- do you mean 'Tone Mapped look' when you say 'HDR look' ??

So many people think they are 'one and the same'. Not so.

Yes, i mean the "tone mapped" HDRs.


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mystik610
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Feb 06, 2014 06:22 |  #6

Tareq wrote in post #16667498 (external link)
HDR means high dynamic range, some cameras their DR is not that much wide, so whatever you try to fix it it will not be HDR, and when you take multiple shots and bracket then you get HDR, some new high mp cameras and MF having that great DR which may help in pp, but still can't call it HDR yet, but you just said it, if you can get the shot with bracketing good enough with pp then this is all matter, many people still don't like that HDR look even it is very nice done.

Mostly because people have grown accustomed to the low dynamic range of images captured on a typical camera vs the human eye. I can see how over-cooked HDR/shadow lifting can be off-putting, but usually when I do pull shadows aggressively and/or use HDR, its because the image captured on the camera doesn't really represent what I saw in person.


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Tareq
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Feb 06, 2014 06:27 |  #7

mystik610 wrote in post #16667567 (external link)
Mostly because people have grown accustomed to the low dynamic range of images captured on a typical camera vs the human eye. I can see how over-cooked HDR/shadow lifting can be off-putting, but usually when I do pull shadows aggressively and/or use HDR, its because the image captured on the camera doesn't really represent what I saw in person.

I know that, and i use HDR to a point that it doesn't show much of overdone, i try to have good enough shots before i play for HDR, some getting wrong exposures and thinking HDR will turn that into decent HDR shot.

In all cases, new technology trying to improve annually, this year cameras are doing much better job than 3-5 years cameras, and i am happy that i have digital MF, it is in another class for DR.


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Andyosh
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Feb 10, 2014 04:15 as a reply to  @ Tareq's post |  #8

I don't understand how having one RAW file and then doing three artificial exposures to then combine them extends the HDR range. Surely if you can't capture details in the darker zones because you are underexposed (or in the highlights because you are exposed) you won't be able to increase DR because the detail isn't there in the first place...




  
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Tareq
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Feb 10, 2014 04:19 |  #9

Andyosh wrote in post #16677851 (external link)
I don't understand how having one RAW file and then doing three artificial exposures to then combine them extends the HDR range. Surely if you can't capture details in the darker zones because you are underexposed (or in the highlights because you are exposed) you won't be able to increase DR because the detail isn't there in the first place...

True, but all that depends on how much DR in the scene you shoot, i don't try to shoot everything without correcting or adjusting for proper exposure if possible, for example i keep using filters when i shoot landscapes and some cityscape/architecture​s outdoors, i will not depend on HDR to fix everything, and my best HDR anyway is from those shots are properly exposed even one RAW, and many times the scene is not that extreme DR between highlight and shadows to give HDR a try, direct or strong sun light is the most big problem in huge DR.


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Feb 10, 2014 05:37 |  #10

Andyosh wrote in post #16677851 (external link)
I don't understand how having one RAW file and then doing three artificial exposures to then combine them extends the HDR range. Surely if you can't capture details in the darker zones because you are underexposed (or in the highlights because you are exposed) you won't be able to increase DR because the detail isn't there in the first place...

Depends on the dynamic range of the sensor. i.e., while you couldn't pull this off with a Canon sensor, Sony's sensors capture a lot of detail embedded in the shadows....which can be aggressively lifted in post, very cleanly creating the "look" of HDR, with a single shot.


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Feb 10, 2014 09:53 |  #11

Andyosh wrote in post #16677851 (external link)
I don't understand how having one RAW file and then doing three artificial exposures to then combine them extends the HDR range. Surely if you can't capture details in the darker zones because you are underexposed (or in the highlights because you are exposed) you won't be able to increase DR because the detail isn't there in the first place...

You say true. Faux HDR is just "tone mapping" so it will never add signal. Combining three artificial exposures is a hack when HDR softwares do not allow single image.

If DR is lower than sensor capacity, you should not need HDR processing but if you like artistic result from your favorite HDR software this hack can be great (but it only works if the software do not check EXIF).

PS: sorry if my english is not very good. it's not my native language. :oops:




  
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Feb 10, 2014 10:09 |  #12

Andyosh wrote in post #16667443 (external link)
Hi all,

May have opened a can of worms here.

What do you think about faux HDR vs bracketing? If you artificially increase the DR in PP, is it really HDR? Or do you prefer to have to several exposures and them combine them?

If the end result is good, does it really matter how you created the HDR image?

Andy

You aren't "artificially increasing the DR", you're simply processing the image. That's what the shadow and highlight adjustments in Lr are for, as well as others. Granted it's a personal pet peeve of mine when people run a single image through an HDR engine and call it HDR. It isn't; it's just tonemapped. Oftentimes the same effect (or better) can be had in mere seconds in Lr.


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kirkt
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Feb 10, 2014 10:28 |  #13

Eventually, cameras will reach the point where the sensor can capture a useable DR that is in line with human vision. While this may obviate the need to capture multiple exposures and merge them into a single, 32 bit HDR file ready for tonal range compression, the need to compress the tonal range of these new cameras will still exist - until HDR displays become widely accessible and available and until we no longer print things on paper or with similar, inherently LDR substrates and inks.

The art and science of HDR imaging is in the tonal range compression and reproduction of the scene as the human visual system perceives the scene. In order to create such an end result for whatever output device you choose, you need to start with data that encompass the full range of scene luminance, acquired by whatever means you can manage (a single exposure from the newest, capable sensors or multiple exposures merged into a single data set). If you are shooting with a camera that cannot capture the scene with something close to the DR of the human visual system (we can approximate that as about 14EV of useable data) then you have to adjust your acquisition technique (multiple exposures, for example) or make stylistic decisions about your shadows and highlights, as we have all done when trying to capture such scenes.

Even highlight reconstruction from partial data (extending highlight information) and aggressive noise reduction (extending shadow data) only can eek out a small increase in useable DR from an image. If your maximum useable DR is 10 EV, then it really doesn't matter if you make duplicates of this data and increase or decrease exposure in your raw converter - it's the same data. It would seem that making duplicates of a single file is really more about convenience in a particular workflow (exposure blending by hand, for example) than it is for increasing the DR of your data.

Raw converters will eventually adapt to the increasing DR and the need to produce a convincing tonal range compression - that said, the same problems of tonal range compression will apply. Which just makes you realize how incredibly well-adapted our visual system is.

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Andyosh
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Feb 11, 2014 05:03 |  #14

Good answer :)

So, if are using a single exposure, it ultimately depends on the DR of the camera? I've seen tutorials from people that explain how to use one RAW file to create an HDR image but, they would only be able to do it if the camera was capable of capturing enough DR in the first place...




  
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Tareq
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Feb 11, 2014 05:37 |  #15

Andyosh wrote in post #16680504 (external link)
Good answer :)

So, if are using a single exposure, it ultimately depends on the DR of the camera? I've seen tutorials from people that explain how to use one RAW file to create an HDR image but, they would only be able to do it if the camera was capable of capturing enough DR in the first place...

That,.. and if the scene is not that hard wide DR, i did many HDR with only 1 RAW files, i even did HDR from 1 RAW file done by 350D and 30D or even 5Dc which are old generations.


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Single RAW vs bracketing
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