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 Post subject: HDR question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:13 pm 
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What is the difference between bracketing and exposure to create and HDR and taking 1 photo and messing with the exposure in pp and save a couple different exposures of the same photo and merging them?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:43 pm 
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If you take multiple shots at different exposure, each shot will contain a different range of information that can be used in HDR. A single shot only has that single shot worth of info, no matter what you do to it in post.

Serious HDR software will work on RAWs so make use of the whole dynamic range of the file, and negate the need to manually create different exposures from a single file.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:33 am 
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Photomatix actually can do a reasonable pseudo-HDR on a single raw file, but bracketed shots contain much more to work with and produce more of the 'HDR effect' that some people want

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:37 am 
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Thanks for the replies guys.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:46 pm 
I'll ask something here about HDR so there's no need for another topic.

Just got into DSLR world and I still have no tripod. I was thinking if it's possible to get 3 photos using D5000's Auto exposure bracketing and sequencial shoot 3 RAW pictures handheld. Would that achieve plausible results?

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:51 am 
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I have tried to shoot a series of 2 shots without a tripod, it didn't turn out well. I think it also depends on what you are shooting, if you're shooting in the wind, don't bother. I think wind or not your going to have some movement.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:59 am 
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You can use a single raw file and 'take' muptiple exposures when processing it, but you will introduce noise into the shadow areas on your underexposed images. That can reduce the quality of the output.

Looking at your histogram, the quarter on the right contains most image data, so it's best to expose to the right without blowing highlights, and then manually or using camera bracketing take the shots for the HDR. This will not look as good on your LCD, but you'll have more data in the image itself so when processing you'll get even more detail from your output.

HDR software can reduce ghosting from multiple exposures when stacking (like leaves or branches swaying, fast clouds moving) but it's not foolproof, so in some instances where there is a lot of movement in foreground elements you can get away with a single exposure processed to cover several virtual bracketed shots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:01 pm 
I take all my HDR pictures handheld. The main reason is that I'm lazy and don't like walking around with my tripod. But I normaly only take landscape shots with wide angle and I have IS on my lens. I have an old Canon 20D, but it takes 3 bracket picture pretty fast....I can imagine if the camera can't take 3 pictures fast, that you will have a hard time taking hdr's handheld, because it's hard to keep the camera stedy for such a long time.

This is a recent handheld HDR from 3 jpegs taken in aperture mode -2ev 0ev +2ev. at 17 mm with my 20D v/tamron 17-50 vc.

Image
Morning by Jákup, on Flickr


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Is the proper way to shoot for an HDR image to simply bracket the exposure compensation or to change the the shutter speed for 2 or 3 photos to adjust the lighting? Or will both of those techniques give similar results? Should auto ISO be turned of when doing this? Thanks!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:49 pm 
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I'd stick with manual ISO. If shooting handheld with fastish shutter speeds, I can get away without the tripod by setting the camera up for high shutter speed and auto bracketing. That way the camera will reel off the 3 shots in the bracketing sequence you select with one long hold of the shutter release.

Sometimes, when taking internal shots which include a bright exterior window I'll need to have more than 3 shots so I just make a mental note of the interior exposure, then expose for the exterior view, click the shutter speed down by 3 x 1/3 clicks repeatedly until I'm overexposing for the dark interior. This is all best done in full manual, on a tripod, with manual WB, ISO, the works...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:51 pm 
My experience with HDR so far can make up for this little list:

1. Set shooting to serial if handheld, normal for tripod
2. Set bracketing to AE 2.0, if more, than take more, but usually 2 is just enough.
3. Set RAW on, will produce better quality afterwards
4. Take 3 pictures (I very often take 3 pictures in series)
5. Put them in photomatix (aligning by matching features - that's the option I tick in the initial window)
6. Go for the preset you like (me mostly "Natural" and then adjust it to your liking)
7. Save as 16 bit tiff, drop it in lightroom for final adjustments.

In the end you might come with something like this:

Image

or

Image

I hope I was helpful at least a bit. If there's anything you'd like to know (though I'm not a pro, but I have some experience), PM me :)

P.S. Jakup's pic outruns any of my ones by miles :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:49 am 
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Thanks Carloz, I'm not familiar with serial or normal though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:17 am 
By serial or normal I mean the different "firing" modes, serial is when the camera keeps taking pictures if you keep the shutter button pressed, normal is when it only takes one picture, no matter how long you keep the shutter button pressed.


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