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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 22 Jun 2015 (Monday) 12:19
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rgs
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Jul 16, 2015 11:16 |  #31

pknight wrote in post #17633506 (external link)
As I mentioned earlier here (I think), this may work if you have the luxury of being able to shoot at low ISOs, but when forced to use high ISO settings (3200) by the circumstances (very dim light overall with bright highlights and no tripod allowed), I found that two images, four stops apart (-2, +2) resulted in noisy mid-range tones, because they had to be pulled from the underexposed image. Including the base (0) exposure gave much cleaner results.

Am am told that using a 1 stop bracket reduces noise for the same reason multi-scanning film does - it causes data to "overlap" (not a technical term!) closely in a way that combats just the effect you are speaking about.


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Jul 16, 2015 14:33 |  #32

rgs wrote in post #17633511 (external link)
Am am told that using a 1 stop bracket reduces noise for the same reason multi-scanning film does - it causes data to "overlap" (not a technical term!) closely in a way that combats just the effect you are speaking about.

Certainly. And given that, there is no reason to leave out the base exposure when creating HDR. However, several sources (e.g., Victoria Brampton's blog) are touting the ability of LR to create HDR without the base exposure, and while it can be done, there is a price to pay.


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davesrose
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Jul 16, 2015 17:23 as a reply to  @ pknight's post |  #33

You absolutely should include the base exposure with the overexposed and underexposed images when photomerging. rgs, when you say you select which exposures to photomerge, are you choosing all the ones that fall in-between your most overexposed vs underexposed? If not, then you're not photomerging 1EV exposures anyway (and is self defeating in trying to get the most tonal information). Ideally, you should photomerge all your exposures since you need all of them to fill all stops of light (including the various tones that aren't visible in your 8bit preview). Well if the argument for 1EV bracketing is to reduce noise, that doesn't make sense to me. Noise appears if you try to adjust your curves in the shadow areas ( and has the least amount of data anyway). One of the reasons expose to the right is a recommendation for digital exposures is that there's more tonal data in bright areas vs dark. If you're missing data in the highlights or midtones, it would show up more as banding or clipping rather then noise. I've only tried 7 bracketed exposures a few times....but now I'm wondering if I should try running an experiment this weekend to compare identical brackets with 1EV or 3 to see if there's differences in clipping with the bright areas. The main argument for 1EV brackets (making sure you merge all your photos 1EV), is that there may be more tonal information recorded. But the overall dynamic range is reduced because you're now missing 2 or 3 stops of highlights and 2 or 3 stops of shadows. You got me wondering, since I don't think there's as drastic a difference in noise or banding when merging all your RAW exposures...will just have to go out and shoot to see for myself:)


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Jul 16, 2015 18:10 |  #34

pknight wrote in post #17633506 (external link)
As I mentioned earlier here (I think), this may work if you have the luxury of being able to shoot at low ISOs, but when forced to use high ISO settings (3200) by the circumstances (very dim light overall with bright highlights and no tripod allowed), I found that two images, four stops apart (-2, +2) resulted in noisy mid-range tones, because they had to be pulled from the underexposed image. Including the base (0) exposure gave much cleaner results.

Well that is a problem, and why I wouldn't shoot HDR at ISO 3200. The dynamic range of each RAW is seriously reduced after ISO 400 onward. You're not getting much tonal information when you're getting into the high ISOs...that would be a reason to stay at 1EV for that situation (and would explain why your photo even had noise in mid tones)...


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Jul 16, 2015 19:36 |  #35

I would completely agree w/ using 1 EV bracketing if you're shooting high iso HDR due to the reduced DR of your sensor the higher you raise the iso. I hadn't considered this might be some of your cases.

I never shoot above 400 iso when bracketing, and normally I don't leave iso 100. I want a clean image w/ the most DR possible. Many times I shoot manual brackets. I calculate the stops needed by exposing for the shadows and then the highlights and then deciding on my EV step and divide the difference from the shadows/highlights by my step (EV2). I've done many this way and shot at 1 EV, 2 EV and 3EV and after many trials have found no real difference between the results of using 6-8 shots to using 3...again all at low iso.

I recently did some brackets of waterfalls and used both Photomerge in LR and HDR Efex2 and the NIK results crushed the PM results...your mileage may vary.


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Jul 16, 2015 20:05 |  #36

DagoImaging wrote in post #17633964 (external link)
I would completely agree w/ using 1 EV bracketing if you're shooting high iso HDR

I calculate the stops needed by exposing for the shadows and then the highlights and then deciding on my EV step and divide the difference from the shadows/highlights by my step (EV2). I've done many this way and shot at 1 EV, 2 EV and 3EV and after many trials have found no real difference between the results of using 6-8 shots to using 3...again all at low iso.

Almost like a zone system approach and certainly makes sense. I used to do manual brackets with my 50D because it would only bracket 3 shots. When I installed Magic Lantern on it, I could get up to 9 stops all in either direction or alternating so I started exposing for the light coming in the windows and then a 7 shot 1 stop bracket all on the overexposure side (the window shot was usually 2, 3 or more stops under). That was automated and worked well. Now, with my 7DII I can get 7 shots automated but nor all in one direction so I meter for the best overall exposure, maybe shade it a bit, and run my 7 shot bracket.

I usually shoot interiors at 160, sometimes 320 but never higher. I'm in no hurry.

One other point. Often the blown highlights in the very overexposed brackets will bleed into adjacent areas. This is an especially common problem around windows. If you try to blend those brackets, the software will often leave flare around the widows. If you try to take it out by hand, it often looks pasted in. So I tend toward the darker brackets and then lighten afterwards.


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Jul 16, 2015 21:34 |  #37

davesrose wrote in post #17633892 (external link)
Well that is a problem, and why I wouldn't shoot HDR at ISO 3200.

DagoImaging wrote in post #17633964 (external link)
I never shoot above 400 iso when bracketing, and normally I don't leave iso 100.

Not exactly a solution when you have no choice but to shoot at high ISO because of extreme contrast between highlights and shadows and the need to handhold. In my case this was at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The only light in the cellblock hallways is natural light from widely-spaced skylights, and in the cells themselves there are only very small skylights. No tripods allowed without special permission. Below is a bracketed set where the base shot was f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO 3200. If I had been shooting at ISO 100, the base shot would have had to been at 1/6 sec, and the +2 exposure at .7 sec. I would have much preferred to have used a tripod and been able to stop down to f/8 and set the ISO to 100. Not an option here. Consequently the results are not as clean or sharp as I would like, but I ended up with a much better image than I could have without bracketing. I would hate to think that HDR was only appropriate for either brightly lit landscapes or when you have a tripod.

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/338/19573548718_0513b174be_z.jpg
-2 EV

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/451/19140672473_24e7f99ca0_z.jpg
0 EV

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/471/19140669143_95141e32c7_z.jpg
+2 EV

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/546/19735393336_b5cc03055b_z.jpg
Final edited HDR from LR Photo Merge

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Jul 16, 2015 21:59 as a reply to  @ pknight's post |  #38

Yeah, looks like you made do with your situation....definitel​y a situation where you need to HDR with 1EV brackets and photomerge all your exposures (I always photomerge all my exposures to be safe). Since most interior HDRs are tripods, I think 2 or 3EV is negligible in usual cases (as you've proved. the caveat is assuming lower ISO). :)


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Jul 16, 2015 22:41 |  #39

I agree, in certain situations you do what you have to do.

Last night I shot a handheld 1/5s shot of my hotel building (in Shanghai) at 1600iso because it's what I had to do. The 5 axis stabilization in my camera was a godsend as it's reasonably sharp at 24mm. I wish I had a tripod but I didn't.

Most of my HDR shots are planned but I understand your situation and you had to make the best of it, and did a great job.


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