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any basic HDR with m9 tips/guide?


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#1 uroman

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:45

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I am interested in doing some HDR shots. Does anyone have a basic guide on how to do this? Can someone relate their experience? If you are not a HDR fan, then you dont have to respond. I am looking for some basic "how-to" information to get me started.

#2 digger1914

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:08

The obvious is to use exposure bracketing, with a minimum of 3 shots. Use a tripod. Bracket the exposure pretty widely too, I guess.

Having said that, I had a brief flirtation with HDR and have now run away. It just looks too artificial to me.
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#3 bpalme

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:44

Someone posted some black and whites that looked fantastic. Usually I'm not too crazy about the over done HDRs but I liked them in B&W... so give that a try.

#4 davidbaddley

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:38

I've been doing HDRI since it became popular enough that students demanded I include it in the Digital Imaging class that I teach. Here are some tips for shooting that are helpful:

Use digital for initial capture.
Use a tripod.
Use the same aperture for all photographs.
Use same ISO for all photographs.
Use same lighting for all photographs.
Make sure nothing is moving or changing in scene.
Use manual mode.

Make first exposure to get good shadow detail in the darkest part of the scene.

Cut the shutter time in half, giving the second exposure one less stop (exposure value) of light.

Halve the shutter time again, reducing the third exposure by another stop.

Continue making exposures, using the shutter speed to cut the exposure in half each time, until you get good detail in your brightest highlights.

For putting them together, it all depends on which application you are using. Even within Photoshop, it changes with each edition. If you use an older edition of Photoshop without Merge to HDR, you can still stack each exposure as another layer and use the blending sliders to combine them. I actually like this technique better, since it avoids some of the fakey-looking stuff you sometimes get with the automated processing.

- David
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#5 Tibicen

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:00

Like Digger I was some time enthusiastic about HDR, then cooled down for the same reason.

But like many things, if not overdone, it can be a valuable tool. The M9 gives good premises for bracketing (better though, than in my former 5D II). I did some very decent shots in this technique with it.

The crucial part is the tonemapping, the beginner tends to overdo it. But there is only learning by doing.

I myself use the well-known Photomatix-Software. The provided Presets are mostly in bad taste, especially regarding color. So you have to figure it out yourself, but you can use the presets as a starting-point.

I recommend also the following article from Luminous Landscape:

HDR Plea

It gives an excellent and non-biased view of the pro and cons.

So, strong antipathy against HDR is not reasonable, because rightly employed it can be rewarding!

I encourage you to do your own experiments.

Regards, Claus

#6 250swb

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:06

The big problem with HDR are the hideous overdone images that get all the airtime, leaving people to forget it can be a delicate and useful tool which done with care will not get noticed as 'HDR' at all.

As others have said, use a tripod, use .dng, bracket widely (half stops are a waste of time), and have a plan, think about how you want the image to turn out before you make the exposures. OK, you may want to try one of the hideous examples (just for fun), so make more bracketed exposures to feed into your software, but three exposures can be enough for improving a landcape or interior in a subtle way. I still find Photomatix software the best.

Steve
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#7 baci

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:52

There's a bit of HDR going on here: Stuck In Customs Products

And this fellow's shots seem to demonstrate variants of the technique: Last Flight Out Photography

Whilst I'm not a fan of HDR generally, I do like the quality that Scott Graham achieves.

It's like pate.

Not all the time, but once in a while quite good!

#8 C_R

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:42

Enough good advice here already, but no one mentioned Oloneo

Oloneo - HDR Software

I use Photomatix more for B&W HDR, and like Oloneo because of more natural looking color HDR results.

An example with the CV 15/4.5 Heliar on M9
Posted Image

Just my 2 cents

Carsten

Edited by C_R, 18 August 2011 - 10:48.

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#9 vanhulsenbeek

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 13:48

Differences can be subtle: a matter of taste. Stuck In Customs (Trey Ratcliff) often goes for the heavier approach, although of late some of his work is more subdued. Photomatix is good. NIK HDR Efex Pro ( Nik Software, Inc. | Welcome ) is very flexible and its sliders give very good control Plus is is very well integrated with LR3.
Here are two recent examples, one without and one with HDR. The clouds give the HDR away. End-of Afternoon light.
More: Zenfolio | Sander van Hulsenbeek Photography | Bunaken Island and surroundings

Attached Files


Edited by vanhulsenbeek, 18 August 2011 - 13:57.

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Sander
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#10 texasrancher

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 17:05

Carsten - Thanks for the tip on Oloneo. Your landscape shot is stunning. I went to the Oloneo website and was quite impressed with its capability of handling multiple light sources of differing white balance & intensity. Unfortunately, their current program does not support Mac OS, so in order to use on a Mac, one must run Parallels or some other interface program that runs Windows on a Mac. For me at least, that is a deal breaker. I have requested notification of an upgrade that will run natively on a Mac, but that frankly may be a long time (or never) coming. Thanks for alerting us to the potential of the program.

#11 dickp

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 17:45

The Photomatix site will tell you how to do HDR - HDR photography software & plugin for Lightroom, Aperture & Photoshop - Tone Mapping, Exposure Fusion & High Dynamic Range Imaging for photography

The M9 is very good at exposure bracketing, and will do 5 exposures at 2EV's or 7 at 1EV's. The 5 exposure at 2EV's gives total of a 8EV range which is one of the widest of any camera on the market. I find exposure bracketing to be the most effective way to do HDR and then experiment with the Photomatix software to get your desired results.

#12 Steve Fines

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 23:24

The M9 is very good at exposure bracketing


Beg to differ on this one.

Set your m9 on manual mode and see how that bracketing works out.

To do hdr's manual mode is best.

Unlike just about every decent point and shoot, dslr and slr on the market since 2003 the m9 won't bracket in manual mode.

Now try doing an HDR pano with the m9 and there is so much dial turning ( read chances of camera movement and dial errors ) that it frankly is a lousy camera for this.

This could be fixed with firmware (which would make the m9 a fantastic bracketing camera), but as it stands - without being able to bracket in manual mode - it is really less than mediocre for this purpose.

#13 thighslapper

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 23:51

M9 is great for HDR.

I have a custom profile set with 5 bracketed images and white balance set to daylight.

Just press a button and that's it.

I have hand held down to 1/6 with a Tri-elmar on 18mm (3rd pic, others similar) ... never used a tripod .... HDR is good to have as an option in difficult conditions ....

Most of the bad press is due to the software.

Oloneo Photoengine is by far the best and produces very natural results... it can also do some fancy tricks with noise reduction and lighting..... only downside is that they have never got it to display DNG thumbnails.....

Attached Files


Edited by thighslapper, 19 August 2011 - 00:09.

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#14 haroldp

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 00:31

I use HDR for subtle expansion of dynamic range, typically 1 EV above and 1 EV below and 1 centered. The results do not look like HDR, instead looking like I simply had more manageable light.

For this purpose, merge to HDR in Photoshop CS5 works well enough, and I typically do little to nothing, to alter tone curves or color.

If your goal for HDR is subtle, simple tools may well be adequate.

I also saved an outdoor portrait shot in sunlight (not by me) with no fill or light modification, but an outstanding pose by processing the raw file to tiffs at nominal, 1 EV below, and 1 EV above, and merging the tiffs to HDR. (also in CS5).

In a moral universe this should not have worked, but it did.

Regards .... H
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#15 geotrupede

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 00:46

I have been using HDR for work for quite a white (about 7 years?!).
But probably not in the way and for the same purpose that everybody is speaking for.

I can say that the Ms are not the easiest platform to use as there is no record of the aperture in the exif file.
This means that the camera response curve has to be guessed.
I do not know how photoshop manages.... but this is an indicator of things not scientifically sound...

If you are happy to experiment you should look into exiftools and the possibility to edit the exif file and include the aperture tag. Then makehdr is the way to go.
You can script all with unix into a plan text file.

I have been using this recently for some scientific measurement and found the M files quite reliable. Better than the nikon I used before (it was a d100)/
It is all about setting the correct aperture into the files and then the game is done...

If you need help or want to know more please just send a private message.
G

#16 dwbell

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:21

I use and can highly recommend Lightroom Enfuse from Timothy Armes. It's exposure blending, not HDR, which for my purposes (and to my eyes) gives me exactly what I want. It runs from Lightroom and left at the default settings works wonders. I use a five shot two stop bracket on the M9.

It's donate-ware so I would strongly encourage you to give generously. Tim has a good blog there too.
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#17 dickp

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 21:54

Beg to differ on this one.

Set your m9 on manual mode and see how that bracketing works out.

To do hdr's manual mode is best.

Unlike just about every decent point and shoot, dslr and slr on the market since 2003 the m9 won't bracket in manual mode.

Now try doing an HDR pano with the m9 and there is so much dial turning ( read chances of camera movement and dial errors ) that it frankly is a lousy camera for this.

This could be fixed with firmware (which would make the m9 a fantastic bracketing camera), but as it stands - without being able to bracket in manual mode - it is really less than mediocre for this purpose.


While I agree that manual mode is preferable (which is what I use when shooting with my DSLR), and I agree that manual mode will not work with the M9 on exposure bracketing (I too wish it did). This is still not a reason not to use the M9 on "A" mode with exposure bracketing to do very good HDR! Its just that you don't have as much control over the first exposure as you would like.

#18 vanhulsenbeek

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:04

I use and can highly recommend Lightroom Enfuse from Timothy Armes. It's exposure blending, not HDR, which for my purposes (and to my eyes) gives me exactly what I want. It runs from Lightroom and left at the default settings works wonders. I use a five shot two stop bracket on the M9.

It's donate-ware so I would strongly encourage you to give generously. Tim has a good blog there too.


I tried this and donated. The extra software to install (Hugins plugin installation) does not work, so the software is useless to me.
And email to the Photographers toolbax several days ago is still not answered.

So beware!
Sander
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www.vanhulsenbeek.com
sanderva.zenfolio.com

#19 dwbell

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:52

I tried this and donated. The extra software to install (Hugins plugin installation) does not work, so the software is useless to me.
And email to the Photographers toolbax several days ago is still not answered.

So beware!


Sorry to hear that - the program located (online) the plugins and downloaded / installed automatically for me. No hiccups what-so-ever. What platform are you on. Don't forget also that, like the famous Luigi here with half cases, Timothy is a working photographer and is not full time employed "selling" Enfuse. So be a little patient and don't expect instant software support.

#20 Ecar

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 22:04

Someone posted some black and whites that looked fantastic. Usually I'm not too crazy about the over done HDRs but I liked them in B&W... so give that a try.

+1
Never really liked HDR output for color images and set it aside until I recently tried HDR Efex on some BW pictures.
Here's an example:
Ecar | Panama
It doesn't work all the time, and may not be to everyone's taste, but the results can be quite impressive IMHO.




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