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HDR, how to capture the frames. Part 2.

12/24-2009 at 04:53

Jens Stolt Jens Stolt writes::  There are different ways to capture a good set of frames for the HDR image.

First you can measure at different places in the frame and manually record the picture at the setting the camera gives you. Fx you can measure the sky, the treetrunk and the shadow and such obtain 3 differently exposed images to work with.

You can change aperture, like photographers did in the old days, that is risky as you also change DOF and IF the scene requieres certain features to be within DOF then you will loose them in the open apertures.

So the best way is to get you frames by bracketing shutterspeed.
Below is an example of 7 frames obtained by bracketing shutterspeed.

Author: Jens Stolt

So this is how you do:

Camera on tripod.
Set Camera to bracketing fx 7 steps one step apart. Its easy with most Nikon cameras as there is a button for this, while Canon and other cameras have to be set deep in a menu. Some Cameras can only obtain 3 automatically bracketed frames.

In theory its relatively easy, but moving objects, such as walking people, cars and leaves tend to destroy a lot of frames.

The longer shutterspeeds for the light exposures of course conflict with movements in the frame and many sceneries are not suited for HDR because of that. Also the burst of bracketed shots takes some time to fire.

After a while you get an experience in what moving objects you can handle and how to work with such a series of exposures that can compare to one long exposure of more than one second.

The seven frames from the Storstroemsbridge processed to a "raw" HDR image, no further postprosessing:

Author: Jens Stolt

We have lensflares, fog and burned out sky. That can be fixed.

Please note how the details in the bridge have come to life and how the water is generally well lit and even looks natural. The stones to the right would need a lighter exposure to not be blacked out and the sky also needs a darker exposure to not be burned out around the sun. So actually 9 exposures would have suited the image better.

Also note how the HDR program misbehaves around one of the lamp posts and produces an uneven banded tonemapping, that is a fault, that comes from the settings when you tonemap the HDR and should be avoided if possible.

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