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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

 
Timza
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Feb 22, 2016 05:43 |  #16

Brad999 wrote in post #17902398 (external link)
I drank the Trey Ratcliffe stuckincustoms koolaid...

What was the effect of said koolaid? Using software other than Lightroom? Or making HDR images that look like bubblegum? Pop music. Pop psychology. Pop photography. I do prefer more of a realistic HDR image. But it does not mean that I can not learn a lot from him. Who would you recommend I read or youtube or web browse to for more natural HDR tutorials and recommendations? Is Enfuse better for more natural HDR than Photomatix?




  
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Brad999
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Feb 22, 2016 11:18 as a reply to  @ post 17907936 |  #17

Yes, stop thinking and researching so much, and get out and just shoot! lol




  
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Timza
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Feb 22, 2016 11:55 |  #18

Yes, I need to be in the oh my goodness I have all these images what do I do with them now situation instead of being in the before I go out and shoot any more how to I make sure I have everything perfectly figured out situation.




  
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rgs
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Feb 22, 2016 11:55 |  #19

Timza wrote in post #17907936 (external link)
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?

Precise zone metering and placement before exposure is no longer needed. You are overthinking. No need to make such decisions irrevocably on site, just be sure you get back with plenty of good image data. Make sure your bracket covers all the extremes of highlight and shadow you need (and more for good measure). If your camera won't make a 7 shot bracket automatically, do it by hand. It's almost as fast as auto. I would start with the darkest (probably -3) and add one stop of SS each time until you make 7 (+3).

Then, using good judgement and the histogram in LightRoom, select the needed shots to blend. For the smoothest blends, leave only 1 stop between them. LIghtRoom is probably all you need but Photoshop is occasionally needed. The merge to HDR in Lightroom is better than almost any third-party HDR software - at least for now. Avoid other software until you know exactly what LR will do and what else you want to achieve that LR won't do.

I used Adams' zone system a lot. It was a disciplined way of controlling film exposure and development and remains a useful way of thinking about exposure today. But digital photography has controls that AA didn't even dream of (well maybe he did - he was pretty smart!) so most of the work today needs to be done in post. I think, if you want to compare good film work to modern digital, compare the work and methods of Paul Caponigro (who was much like AA in some ways) to that of his son, John Paul Caponigro.


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kirkt
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Feb 22, 2016 12:21 |  #20

Timza wrote in post #17907958 (external link)
What was the effect of said koolaid? Using software other than Lightroom? Or making HDR images that look like bubblegum? Pop music. Pop psychology. Pop photography. I do prefer more of a realistic HDR image. But it does not mean that I can not learn a lot from him. Who would you recommend I read or youtube or web browse to for more natural HDR tutorials and recommendations? Is Enfuse better for more natural HDR than Photomatix?

Consider purchasing the print book (gasp!) written by Christian Bloch:

http://www.amazon.com …sr=8-1&keywords=bloch+hdr (external link)

HDRI Handbook 2nd Edition.

You will learn more about HDR than you will ever want, maybe, but you will understand the WHY behind HDR in addition to the HOW. The choice you make regarding software will then be based on understanding the specifics of what you are trying to achieve, rather than the internet's opinion about what is "great!!!"

kirk


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Timza
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Feb 22, 2016 17:41 as a reply to  @ rgs's post |  #21

I think there are lots of people with Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) in their cameras limited to three exposures/images that want to know how to figure out how many exposures they need for HDR and/or how to do a three image AEB for a specific scene. They are standing in front of a scene and don't know what to do. These same cameras have spot metering. I am saying if you spot meter the brightest area, then spot meter the darkest area, that determines your dynamic range. Then 1) Take your three AEB images with the lowest exposure sitting at your measured low metering and your highest exposure sitting at your measured highest metering, or 2) Take enough images to cover that range in some stop increment from the lowest to the highest, or 3) Take enough images to cover that range in some stop increment from one step below the lowest to one step above the highest.




  
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rgs
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Feb 22, 2016 19:15 as a reply to  @ Timza's post |  #22

Again, I think you are overthinking this whole process. Meter for your darkest area - spot or average which ever works best for the size of the area. If you want to think in Zone System terms, place that reading on about Zone IV so you get plenty of detail and low noise - you can always pull it down in post. Then run you 7 shot, 1 stop bracket using only SS so the image doesn't change. In post, throw away what is not needed. Easy.

When I shoot real estate, I can tell from the display and the histogram where I need to start and I just set it there and run a 7 shot auto bracket.


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David ­ Arbogast
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Feb 22, 2016 22:46 |  #23

Back when I had a Canon camera limited to just three brackets I would typically set my first AEB brackets so my lightest exposure was at -1 EV (brackets at -3, -2, and -1), then I would simply shift up the next set of three had the darkest exposure at 0 (brackets at 0, +1, and +2). This let me weight my brackets towards maximizing highlight details while generally providing adequate shadow recovery detail. A very easy workflow that never left me standing in front of a scene not knowing what to do.

Worrying about zones is a waste of effort. All you need do is record brackets that cover your image needs for highlight and shadow details. And if you aren't sure if you captured enough brackets, then don't fret and just overshoot the crap out of your brackets (keep them spaced at 1EV increments though). When you're at the PC ready to merge and tonemap the brackets, you can always cull out and not use any of the unnecessary brackets for the hdr merge process. In short order you'll develop a sense for bracketing your scenes and you'll finetune your approach. So, I recommend overshooting your brackets initially, to cover yourself, until you begin to reach that comfort level to become more bracketing efficient.


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Timza
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Timza.
     
Feb 22, 2016 23:07 |  #24

Yes. I agree. From my previous post.

Timza wrote in post #17907936 (external link)
...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...

This allows me to adjust that compensation dial once between AEB sets and get six images spread out one stop apart.




  
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David ­ Arbogast
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Post edited over 2 years ago by David Arbogast.
     
Feb 22, 2016 23:37 |  #25

Timza wrote in post #17909145 (external link)
Yes. I agree. From my previous post.This allows me to adjust that compensation dial once between AEB sets and get six images spread out one stop apart.

Indeed, but you can make your life easier by skipping unnecessary worries and considerations about Zones or even spot metering. I don't bother with spot metering...just not necessary when braketing. Meter the full scene and bracket off that. Only in severe cases will it prove inadequate (in which case additional brackets may be needed). Chimp after shooting the brakets - if uncertain - to ensure your captured your scene's full EV range.


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kirkt
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Feb 23, 2016 08:50 |  #26

How ever you determine the range of exposures required to capture your scene, you can capture those brackets in any number of ways, from fully automated (like Promote Control) to fully manual.

Most of the time I shoot on a tripod and advance the exposure manually. Setting up an AEB sequence is not necessary.

I take a couple of test shots at the bookends of my bracket, and then set the exposure for one end of the sequence and shoot the bracket. Depending on your camera and the settings for it, your shutter speed will be adjusted in 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments - mine is set to 1/3, for example. So, I take my first shot, then click-click-click of the shutter speed dial (1 stop change) take the next shot, click-click-click, etc. You can shoot a 7 image bracket in a few seconds (assuming the exposure for your scene allows reasonably short shutter speeds across the sequence) without having to worry about setting up the AEB, advancing it, worrying about which order things are being shot in, etc.

The only time I use a remote or take more precautions is when the shutter speeds get pretty long for the shadow exposures - then I might shoot manually but with a 2 second timer and mirror lock up. In those situations, I would use the Promote Control, where the set up of extra hardware is worth the effort.

As always, remember that you must fix your white balance, ISO and aperture and only change your shutter speed. It is also best to fix your focus as well - as in, once you have composed and focused your scene, disable auto-focus. You can use the same methodology described above (shoot, click-click-click) when shooting handheld as well, as long as the shutter speeds do not get too long. Most HDR applications have fairly robust alignment algorithms that will account for small changes in camera position, etc.

Good luck,

kirk


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Timza
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Feb 23, 2016 11:09 |  #27

kirkt wrote in post #17909514 (external link)
Most HDR applications have fairly robust alignment algorithms that will account for small changes in camera position, etc.

Wow. I did not know that. I was trying to minimize touching the camera. That is really helpful information.




  
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kirkt
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Feb 23, 2016 11:14 as a reply to  @ Timza's post |  #28

Similarly, most HDR applications have some sort of deghosting algorithms (some are better than others) that account for changes in position of objects in the scene (blowing tree branches, people walking through the scene, etc.).

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David ­ Arbogast
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Feb 23, 2016 11:18 |  #29

kirkt wrote in post #17909687 (external link)
Similarly, most HDR applications have some sort of deghosting algorithms (some are better than others) that account for changes in position of objects in the scene (blowing tree branches, people walking through the scene, etc.).

kirk

Kirk, speaking of hdr apps...what is your preferred app for PC?


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DagoImaging
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Mar 01, 2016 11:26 |  #30

For me LR merge to HDR is nice but not nearly as good as standalone products. I use NIK HDR Efex2 and Photomatix when I want more options, which is 99% of the time.


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