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Bracketing (HDR)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mani, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Mani


    Jan 14, 2006
    Toronto - Canada
    whats the best setting for Evening Sunset with city Skyline.... and whats the best software to go for HDR images
  2. From everything I've read Aperture Priority, low ISO and Photomatix for HDR processing
  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Aperture Priority and low ISO as Rob suggested. You cannot go wrong with Photomatix - especially if you are a Lightroom user. The new plugin makes the HDR process a snap.

    As far as settings go (assuming you are talking about bracketing settings) you need to take enough exposures to make sure that no highlight detail has been lost in the most underexposed image, and that no shadow detail is missing from the most overexposed one. In other words, the exposures at either end of the sequence should show a gap at the appropriate end of the histogram. In practice, you should aim for at least 3 exposures, 2 stops apart, but more extreme contrast scenes will require more.

    I wish Nikon would give us a 2-stop increment option . . .
  4. For HDR, always Aperture Priority, if you do Shutter Priority, then your depth of field will change, and you will not get good HDRs. If there is anything in the foreground that you want to have in focus, then use a small F/ stop (larger number) if you are not worried about things in the foreground being in focus, use a large F/ stop (smaller number). I find myself that I shoot a lot of my stuff around f/8 and f/11, tending to stay at f/11 for almost everything HDR related. But like everything else in photography, that is subject to change at anytime depending on what I am trying to capture.
  5. Photomatix
  6. Photomatix for me as well
  7. There are no "best" settings as every scene is very different. The only real constant would be your aperture. Set your camera to (or manually) vary your EV compensation. You can vary it as much as 3 or four stops or as little as 1/3 stop. More exposures is usually (but not always) better than less (I usually take at least 5 and sometimes as many as 9). It really depends on how many different components are in the image you want properly exposed and how much (or how little) dynamic range contrast you want.

    Photomatix is considered the standard, though a search will yield a few different choices. In my opinion, there's a reason Photomatix is considered the standard...
  8. McGunnigle


    Jul 13, 2009
    The tutorial I read said to use Photomatix to process the images and then use photoshop to edit the final image
  9. I determine the correct exposure and then set to manual. I know then I have a stable "baseline" from which I vary the exposures. Also, I go overkill and collect 7 exposures, and then use either 3,5, or 7 depending on the way things look. So much is trial and error.

    Photomatix definately.
  10. Hey John, I just noticed on the Harmon site you had a workshop recently on HDR - lol...cool.
    I've thought about taking one (or more) of the workshops as I am nearby in Lakeland. One of these days hopefully.

    If you ever need an assistant (human flash holder or something), let me know :biggrin:
  11. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Would love to see you Rob! The HDR workshop was very well attended - a lot of interest in this subject it seems. Keep watching for news of our next wedding workshop as well as a model pool shoot. I will probably repeat the Nikon CLS workshop before the end of the year also.
  12. This may be a dumb question, but if you're shooting Aperture Priority, how do you get the under- and overexposed shots, since the camera will always choose the correct settings for the Aperture you choose?

    When I'm shooting for HDR, I shoot manually and adjust the shutter speed to under and overexpose. And Photomatix seems to be the most popular tool for HDR.
  13. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Not dumb at all. If you use the Automatic Exposure Bracketing, the camera figures that out for you, otherwise you can just dial in negative or positive exposure compensation for each shot in the bracketing sequence.
  14. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    Automatic bracketing. If your camera does not have that feature, then manual exposure mode is the easiest way to go.
  15. I'd actually be interested in those three workshops. Hopefully I can find some cash in the budget--we'll see.
  16. Thanks John and Peter. My D80 has the bracketing feature, but my D40 doesn't. Never thought about using Exposure Compensation.
  17. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Photomatix for HDR.

    oh, wait.....

  18. Wow 2-stop increments. I normally just stick with 1/3 stop to try to make transitions moother.

    Thank god for my in camera HDR machine. S5 pro!
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