Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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53

An HDR image has a high dynamic range, which means a very large ratio between the brightest and darkest parts of the image. An HDR image on a normal (low dynamic range) monitor will actually look very flat: This is because that huge range of brightnesses has to be compressed to fit into a much smaller range of brightnesses. This results in an overall lack ...


31

Doing an automatic conversion with Photomatix, Photoshop etc. is not the only way to blend multiple exposures in order to extend the dynamic range as as you've found it can be very difficult if you have moving subjects. A simple way of achiveing HDR effects is to simply layer the images in photoshop and mask the relevant parts of each image. e.g. take the ...


29

First and foremost, the best "tool" for creating HDR images is having a proper understanding of what HDR is, and why you might need to use it. Most people are familiar with the classic "HDR Look", while at the same time not fully understanding why the classic HDR look is not necessarily how an HDR image should look. HDR, or high dynamic range, is a means of ...


25

I'd suggest sticking to using a fixed aperture size, otherwise the depth of field will be different between shots (as well as overall exposure), which will make it a lot easier to combine images afterwards. Given the best HDR shots are done using a tripod to maintain the same field of view between shots, exposure time is less of an issue.


25

First of all it's important to understand the difference between HDR and tonemapping. HDR is a technique to capture images which contain a huge variety of brightness information. However most people lack high dynamic range monitors to show this information. If you simply scale the large range of brightnesses down to a smaller range, you end up with an image ...


25

Exposure fusion is a process that takes multiple images and combines them to create a single image while only keeping the properly exposed elements. In contrast to HDR images, exposure fusion is more basic, gives a more realistic effect, and requires fewer steps. The exposure fusion(fusion, or EF) process takes each individual pixel and assigns a weight to ...


22

ND filters Advantages No extra post-processing required. You can see the result in the viewfinder. Disadvantages Making the exposure is more complicated because you have to select a filter and place the transition appropriately for the scene. You probably need several filters (of different density and transition abruptness) to cover a sufficiently ...


22

Doing HDR first has advantages: the HDR process is working on a smaller image size, and you only have to stitch one set of images. But the disadvantage of doing the HDR step first is it becomes more difficult to exactly match the tones between sets of images, so when you stitch them together you get more obvious seams. If you are able to control this and ...


21

The key to a good hdr photo is to use the correct amount of processing for the feel you want to achieve. If your goal is to get the "hdr look", then you're probably doing it about right, because there should be a slightly "fake" feel. If you are only using hdr as a method to improve a photo, then just be careful and try to under-process it. If you can't ...


20

The simple answer is in order to get non-fake looking HDR, or good looking tasteful HDR you have to put lots of work in. If you entrust artistic decsisons to a computer program the quality is going to suffer. So expect to take a considerable amount of time in your tonemapping software adjusting the settings, and remember that's not the end of the process, ...


16

In addition to the answers presented already, there's a huge potential disadavantage of stitching first - the stitching programs might decide to stitch each exposure differently leading to misalignment when you do the HDR. Unless the stitching program lets you repeat the warping with different images this could be the deciding factor in which to do first. ...


16

With high resolution images, even the tiniest vibrations will be visible in the image when viewed at the pixel level. The same holds for slight movement of the subjects in the image (from wind, motion, etc.). Misaligned images degrade the quality of the result of the HDR processor. Note that if you shoot RAW, you can use a single image to generate a few ...


15

Definitely shoot in AV (aperture value) mode and vary the shutter speed! You don't want to change aperture between shots as the effect is dependent on how well the photos line up, if one photo was shot with a wide aperture the foreground/background might be out of focus in one shot and not in another. I would normally focus the image in advance and turn AF ...


15

HDR (High Dynamic Range) can be called a technique where you take multiple shots at multiple exposures and combine them to get a perfectly exposed picture with best possible details. Its best applicable where the scene contrast is the most. For example, if you're taking a picture of the sky (bright) through the window of a dark room (dark), you have two ...


13

I use TuFuse to create good-looking HDR images. I shoot into RAW and check the histogram immediately to have no overexposures. Then I develop two pictures - one with nice bright parts and the second with nice dark parts: Next, I run TuFuse with standard parameters: tufuse.exe -o out.tif im1.tif im2.tif It produces quite a nice image (using standard ...


12

Ideally you want to capture at least 3 distinct images, but the more properly exposed your single raw image is, the better the outcome. By proper exposure (a subjective term), I mean to expose to the right. You want to capture as much detail in the shadow areas of your image, without blowing out the highlights. The way dSLR CMOS sensors work, they do a much ...


12

Well it depends on how big the difference is between the dark and light areas. Every sensor as a certain dynamic range that it can capture - right now most DSLRs are in the 10-14'ish EV range. Your particular camera can capture 11.5 EV in a single exposure. This is the range you can capture in a single go. This doesn't mean this is the dynamic range of ...


12

Did you try asking the photographer? :) The EXIF data for the first photograph says: 459 seconds f/6.3 50 ISO 20mm focal length It also says that the camera model is "O" (just a single letter), so I don't know for sure how accurate that EXIF data is. It also means we don't know anything about the sensor size, so the 20mm focal length isn't very useful ...


11

I usually export a single RAW three times by only changing the exposure (0, -1, +1). You might be using too extreme exposure settings for your shots. Or the Photomatix settings are far from optimal. The Light Smooting setting should be quite high to achieve a realistic result. This shot is a HDR from one RAW file, it worked fine for me so I'm sure you can ...


11

If you're taking bracketed shots, ghosting of moving people / objects is always going to be an issue when combining to create an HDR image (of course, bracketing without a tripod will bring in the extra issue of ghosting due to camera movement). The 2 solutions are: Shoot a single RAW and generate an HDR from this (my personal preference for shots ...


11

Raw files are definitely the best starting point for doing HDR processing (or almost any other editing). JPEGs should (in general) be used purely as a write-only format -- i.e., you produce a JPEG for viewing, possibly printing, etc., but once you've converted something to JPEG, you'd ideally never do any editing on it again. Instead, you should generally ...


10

Recently, I've been exploring Exposure Fusion as an alternative to HDR. I've lost a lot of interest in HDR processing to improve photographs that can't be captured in a single photograph due to the amount of meticulous and very careful effort required to properly tone-map the extensive dynamic range of an HDR image into the far smaller dynamic range of a ...


10

I typically take three shots, 1 1/2 or 2 stops apart, and then process in photomatix pro followed by cleanup in Lightroom. That seems to work fine for most of what I do.


10

What you are looking for Exposure Fusion not HDR. This averages out pixels from different exposures to produce directly a low-dynamic-range image, so there is not need to do the tone-mapping like for HDR images. Tone-mapping is the delicate operation where, without a subtle hand, you end up with the types of images you are talking about.


10

HDR from a single RAW images does not add any dynamic-range than is captured. If the scene exceeds the dynamic-range of your camera, then no matter what you do the RAW will contained clipped channels on one or even both ends. Even if you have the best camera and use it at its optimal ISO setting, the most you get today is just above 14 stops of DR. Taking a ...


9

Hugin will meet needs 2 and 3. Not sure about #1, but try it out and see if it's close enough.


9

First, I recommend you take a look at my answer to another question about photographing the moon here: Best Settings for Nighttime Moon Photos As for your specific question, it would probably be fairly difficult to get two shots that you could merge together without a tracking mount. As such, my first recommendation is to either buy an equatorial ...


9

I would say they are HDR images. The built-in photoshop HDR program is not that great. You would want to look into Oloneo, Photomatix or Nik Software. Of these Photomatix is the recognized leader, and you can use some components of their software for free. The other two have 30 day trials. If yours are blurry, it may be the aligning and ghost removal. ...


9

There are two distinct steps to producing the images that are frequently labelled "HDR": Exposure blending: merging multiple low dynamic range images into one image with higher dynamic range. Tonemapping: processing that high dynamic range image into a low dynamic range image suitable for viewing on standard [low dynamic range] equipment (such as regular ...



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