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I have taken a series of 8 images for a 360 panoramic shot using bracketed exposure of 3. This produces 24 total images, which I would like to process in lightroom using HDR merge.

Currently, I am manually selecting each group of 3 bracketed exposure images in lightroom to to process into a single HDR image.

My question is: Is it possible to batch/automatically process each group of 3 images into an HDR processed images in one round rather than manually selecting each group of 3 images through 8 rounds of processing?

  • For the photomatix users out there, is batch processing bracketed images into hdr a feature? Does it perform better at batch processing hdr images than lightroom? – AME Jun 27 '15 at 5:02
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I just did a 360 hdr pano using the new built in features. There isn't a one button setup that you could select them all and make it happen. You can do your first round of hdr and while it is processing use the keyboard shortcuts Alt-Shift-H (Windows) or Option-Shift-H (Mac) to use the same settings on the next bracket to get it started. Then you can go onto the next one. I would not start more than 4 or 5 of those at a time though. Also I found that it helps that once you get the hdr image to make sure you stack your bracketed pictures together with your merged dng on top. That way when you make the pano. you can just select all of the hdr dng's. Also when you start the pano. I would shutdown any nonessential programs (web browsers). I've got 16GB and it used all of my ram and could have probably used more. My first attempt to render the pano failed but my second attempt came out okay.

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I don't think it's possible in Lightroom. You could, however, cut down the processing passes by stitching three bracketed sets first, and then doing the HDR/exposure fusion of the panoramas, so instead of exposure-merging eight sets of images and then stitching, you stitch three sets of eight images, and then exposure merge three panos.

It is possible to stich and HDR/exposure fuse at the same time in PTGui or Hugin which are packages specifically made for panorama stitching. I've created 360x180 exposure-fused equirectangulars from bracketed sets of images in both packages. You simply have to specify the bracketed groups before doing alignment and stitching, and you typically have your choice to either create HDR files, or use exposure fusing (e.g., enfuse) instead.

  • thank you, that is actually a very good suggestion. I'll try and see if this results in a faster overall workflow. Good idea! – AME Jun 27 '15 at 4:58
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Try the free-to-try Lightroom Enfuse plugin. Place exposure alternatives in stacks, and the plugin can batch process them all in one go. Most of the time with perfect results. I usually also lower contrast a bit, and set blackpoint to -20.

  • Hi Maki, welcome to Photo.SE. Good suggestion. However, I believe LR/Enfuse isn't precisely free; rather it's free-to-try donationware, that limits the output file size to 500px. That doesn't detract from the recommendation though — it's excellent software. – scottbb Jul 20 '16 at 22:36
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    Yes, you're right. I must have donated several years ago and forgotten about it :) – Maki Jul 20 '16 at 22:47

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