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General photography questions and answers: Discuss HDR Question?...I just recently learned about HDR photography. I know you should always shoot in RAW format. I'm using Photomatix to ...
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Old 19-11-2010, 07:20   #1 (permalink)
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HDR Question?

I just recently learned about HDR photography. I know you should always shoot in RAW format. I'm using Photomatix to process. My question is why shoot in RAW when the software automatically changes it to JPEG before it processes it? I've even had a little "Helpful Hint" box pop up suggesting I convert my photos to JPEG before loading them into the program. I know I'm missing something here.
Also, I've noticed when using Photoshop to processes HDR photos that the images look horrible and I have to do some extreme adjusting and usually just give up and go back to Photomatix. What is it about Photoshop that makes my RAW images barley recognizable. Does it have something to do with the option setting in my camera to shoot sRGB or RGB?
I know I should probably due my homework... but this is doing my homework.
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Old 19-11-2010, 09:26   #2 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

might be a silly question but are you 'tone mapping' in photomatix after you've converted?
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Old 19-11-2010, 12:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

The reason RAW is best is that they contain more exposure info than the jpeg, so there's more info for the HDR software. I have heard it recommended that you convert to TIFF from RAW before using photomatix, but I just import the RAW files to Photomatix.

I've no idea with photoshop - I don't use that for HDR.
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Old 19-11-2010, 12:40   #4 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

I have no idea why your version of Photomatix changes files to JPEG before processing; are you sure and how can you tell?

I normally open Raw files directly into PM because there is far more information in a Raw file than a JPEG. However, you can use JPEG files for HDR but you need to capture more exposures. For example in a fairly straightforward HDR situation you may use 3 Raw files taken at 2 stop intervals. If using JPEG you should use 5 exposures at 1 stop intervals. The more images you use, the more chances for artifacts and movement degradation so Raw is still the best option.

There are reasons why you may wish to convert a Raw file to TIFF before HDR processing which include:-

Lens correction (Lightroom & Adone Raw can do a better job particularly LR3 & CS5)

Noise reduction - may be advantageous sometimes

Conversion to B&W - though it could be left to later

Camera calibration- if you have a specific profile you wish to use

You must save the TIFF as 16 bit or you will lose information.

It is not recommended that you make any exposure or tonal changes when converting to TIFF; leave this for PM.

I also save the final Tone Mapped files from PM in 16 bit TIFF for final editing in PS.
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Old 19-11-2010, 17:05   #5 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

i maybe missing something here but when i use LR2 to convert into photomatix it only allows me to use 16 tiff.8bit tiff and jpeg there is nothing there to suggest using raw my file is a raw file but photomatix will convert to tiff
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Old 19-11-2010, 20:39   #6 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Useful guides here to HDR

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...ing-18219.html
http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...ues-19805.html
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Old 19-11-2010, 22:47   #7 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bain View Post
i maybe missing something here but when i use LR2 to convert into photomatix it only allows me to use 16 tiff.8bit tiff and jpeg there is nothing there to suggest using raw my file is a raw file but photomatix will convert to tiff
I had not spotted this. I have used PM for some time stand alone and it does open the Raw files. Recently, when exporting from LR, I assumed it used the Raw Files and in the export window it refers to Output Format. I had assumed that this meant the format which would be output from PM. I have now carefully checked and you are right that the LR export does convert to TIFF though always 16 bit TIFF for me (my default). As far as I know there is probably no significant disadvantage as 16 bit TIFF can accommodate all the data. I am about to update to LR3 and then I will take advantage of the Lens correction so it will be a positive advantage to convert to 16 bit TIFF first. I also suspect that the Raw converter in LR is better than the one in PM.
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Old 20-11-2010, 06:24   #8 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Thank you all for your comments. I am in HDR pre school and trying to skip ahead to High School. I'll do some more homework and maybe my next question for the forum will be a more educated one. Thanks Again
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Old 20-11-2010, 06:45   #9 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

I think with HDR it is like anything else..."Junk in-Junk out". I've been asking Photomatix to take three horrible photos and work a miracle. I need to learn the settings on my new t2i a little better. When I set the camera to bracket shots at +2, 0, -2, that is what it does. I have been using only three shots to make an HDR photograph. I don't know how to set it to bracket shots at +2 +1 0 -1 -2. Will I have to set each shot manually? Oh well back to the drawing board for me.
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Old 20-11-2010, 09:47   #10 (permalink)
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HDR Question?

I'm actually on a HDR course today with a Pro. I'll let you know my thoughts after.
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Old 20-11-2010, 23:27   #11 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmatureMark View Post
I think with HDR it is like anything else..."Junk in-Junk out". I've been asking Photomatix to take three horrible photos and work a miracle. I need to learn the settings on my new t2i a little better. When I set the camera to bracket shots at +2, 0, -2, that is what it does. I have been using only three shots to make an HDR photograph. I don't know how to set it to bracket shots at +2 +1 0 -1 -2. Will I have to set each shot manually? Oh well back to the drawing board for me.
My Canon camera only offer 3 exposure in the auto bracketing but many Nikon Cameras offer more choice. If you use Raw, you only need to take at two stop intervals and for scenes of dynamic range up to around 13-14 stops three exposure will be enough but above that you will need 5 (-4,-2, 0, +2, +4). having established the middle exposure set the camera to -2 EV then take the 3 exposures (using manual exposure, 2 stop interval and auto bracketing) then change the setting to +2EV and take another three exposures. You will have 6 but two at 0 EV so you can eliminate one of them leaving 5 exposures.
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Old 21-11-2010, 01:13   #12 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

I think I understand what your saying Dave. First bracket each way starting from 0. then bracket each way STARTING at -2EV and the same STARTING at +2EV. That will give me 9 all together then delete the shots that are the same. Thank god for DIGITAL photography. The other day I set my camera (Canon T2i) to bracket -2 0 +2. Then set the Drive Mode to "Self Timer Continuous". I was surprised when it took 5 bracketed shots. I thought, great I have my 5 different exposures, only to find out later during processing, I had to through out two because they were the same exposure. Its back to the manual for me. Thanks Again Dave
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Old 21-11-2010, 01:48   #13 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Thanks for the URL Dave...What a great web site!
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Old 21-11-2010, 16:18   #14 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

You need only take the three bracketed exposures centred on -2EV and +2 EV so you will have 6 exposures (two will be at 0EV).

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Old 21-11-2010, 23:51   #15 (permalink)
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Re: HDR Question?

Thanks Dave... (I realized my mistake after I posted) It just finished raining here in sunny California and there are some big bright puffy clouds in the sky . I will go try it again with a brand new out look . Thanks Again Mark
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