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Thread: Freehand HDR....

  1. #1
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    Default Freehand HDR....

    May i ask how does one take a freehand HDR shot with lets say 5 exposures? i'm still quite baffled by how it is being done and which software to use etc... is anyone able to assist in this area? thanks !

  2. #2

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    what do you mean by "freehand"?

    software used - a lot of options, i prefer photomatix, or manual blending.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    i tink he meant blending 5 handheld exposures into one.

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    freehand in a sense handheld without a tripod...

    HDR to me pretty much means multiple shots of different exposure values taken off a tripod but i have seen an influx of "free-hand" HDR shots

    just wondering how they are being done...

    examples here...

    http://flickr.com/photos/altus/367995035/
    Last edited by ReiszRie; 25th August 2008 at 12:21 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    freehand in a sense handheld without a tripod...

    HDR to me pretty much means multiple shots of different exposure values taken off a tripod but i have seen an influx of "free-hand" HDR shots

    just wondering how they are being done...

    examples here...

    http://flickr.com/photos/altus/367995035/
    probably with autobracketing, and very steady hands + bracing by leaning on support or lowering, or placing hands on ledge, etc

    otherwise believe me, handheld hdr which is literally freehand requiring you to turn any wheels, it's literally impossible.

    whatever the case, hdr is still best done with a tripod. period. why be lazy and miss getting the results you want when you can get certainty?

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    probably with autobracketing, and very steady hands + bracing by leaning on support or lowering, or placing hands on ledge, etc

    otherwise believe me, handheld hdr which is literally freehand requiring you to turn any wheels, it's literally impossible.

    whatever the case, hdr is still best done with a tripod. period. why be lazy and miss getting the results you want when you can get certainty?
    one of the reason why freehand HDR appeals to me is the possibility of being able to take HDR shots anywhere and anytime i choose to as setting up a tripod etc isn't always convenient or even possible depending on the situation.

    hmm... auto-bracketing only allows for up to 3 different exposures, is that right? so how does one attain 5 exposures? like the guy did in the example i've posted.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    one of the reason why freehand HDR appeals to me is the possibility of being able to take HDR shots anywhere and anytime i choose to as setting up a tripod etc isn't always convenient or even possible depending on the situation.

    hmm... auto-bracketing only allows for up to 3 different exposures, is that right? so how does one attain 5 exposures? like the guy did in the example i've posted.

    HDR is a very useful tool to know.

    i promise i'll master it one day (actually i ve bracketed some shots. jus havent ve time to fig out how to put them together).

    but its jus a tool. used only when necessary. certainly not f every shot.

    and its something deliberate. u took several exposures, with the intention of blending them together later.

    if its something deliberate, then i makes sense to deliberately use a tripod to achieve what u ve in mind.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by attap seed View Post

    but its jus a tool. used only when necessary. certainly not f every shot.
    this is something very true

    hdr is most commonly used when you need an expanded dynamic range - when does this happen? during the golden hours, or shooting into the sun.

    for the first case, believe me, if you don't have a tripod you must be kidding me, for the second.. the chances of that happening is rare and rare.

    the only reason why i can think of for you to have an excuse not to have a tripod is that you're travelling. but even then it is not really one.

    if you are serious about landscapes, where hdr applies a lot.. then you should have a tripod 90% of the time. even during the day.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    hmm... auto-bracketing only allows for up to 3 different exposures, is that right? so how does one attain 5 exposures? like the guy did in the example i've posted.
    some cameras allow 5 exp.. i think my k20d does.

    even then, i frown on auto bracketing as a means to get the shots needed for hdr. give me manual any day, so much more freedom if the range taken is slightly off.

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by attap seed View Post
    HDR is a very useful tool to know.

    i promise i'll master it one day (actually i ve bracketed some shots. jus havent ve time to fig out how to put them together).

    but its jus a tool. used only when necessary. certainly not f every shot.

    and its something deliberate. u took several exposures, with the intention of blending them together later.

    if its something deliberate, then i makes sense to deliberately use a tripod to achieve what u ve in mind.
    i do understand what you've posted but take a look at Altus's free-hand HDR collection and you might understand that even if it's deliberate, it might have come at such a time and in a circumstance where setting up a tripod just isn't practical anymore. Thats the draw of free-hand HDR

    i have yet to see any snowboarders carrying their tripods on the ski slopes...


    anyways, i'll just like to know how it is being done and having the knowledge equips me with the ability to take such a shot when the time comes... i'm personally not too much of a HDR fan and i rarely take any HDR shots in reality.
    Last edited by ReiszRie; 25th August 2008 at 01:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    this is something very true

    hdr is most commonly used when you need an expanded dynamic range - when does this happen? during the golden hours, or shooting into the sun.

    for the first case, believe me, if you don't have a tripod you must be kidding me, for the second.. the chances of that happening is rare and rare.

    the only reason why i can think of for you to have an excuse not to have a tripod is that you're travelling. but even then it is not really one.

    if you are serious about landscapes, where hdr applies a lot.. then you should have a tripod 90% of the time. even during the day.
    HDR can be applied to a large number of scenes and it isn't restricted to only the golden hours or shooting into the sun.

    i do not see why one should lug a heavy tripod around for the entire day just to anticipate a single HDR moment, a tripod during the day is a little too unwieldy and cumbersome for me to move around freely on my feet during travels.... not to mention heavy.
    Last edited by ReiszRie; 25th August 2008 at 01:54 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    HDR can be applied to a large number of scenes and it isn't restricted to only the golden hours or shooting into the sun.

    i do not see why one should lug a heavy tripod around for the entire day just to anticipate a single HDR moment, this is what happens to me on most of my trips, a tripod during the day is a little too unwieldy and cumbersome for me to move around freely on my feet during travels.... not to mention heavy.
    well, to be frank the hokkaido backcountry shot you linked can be done with proper exposure, just whack the shadows and highlights using photoshop cs2.

    to use hdr to achieve it is like lowering your pants to fart.. giving yourself more hassle in exchange for the same result. tell me - what's so special about the dynamic range there? is it problematic even for digital? no. has he given expanded dynamic range? no. the area near the sun is still blown out massively. so what has he used the technique for? for a look. and that look can be achieved in photoshop without taking a few exposures - simple burning dodging even can do it.

    as for the rest of his shots, they are so saturated my eyes hurt. the colors are so unnatural i have no idea which planet he took them on.

    why do i use the example of the golden hours? because it is a period of high contrast, where the bright point in the image and the dark point in the image is so far apart that it warrants hdr to "compress" the dynamic range in the scene to fit into the dynamic range present on computers.

    knowing when a tool is required, best suited, rather than trying to use a "one size fits all" solution and literally approaching photography like a headless chicken in the hopes of getting lucky is probably advisable. of course, you can beg to differ - but then that was never my problem to begin with.

    i do not disagree with you that lugging a tripod can be cumbersome - to be frank heaviness is relative - if you are lugging a 2.5kg tripod when you have cheap 1 kg or so options then that's simply silliness. if you choose to indulge laziness, why not take it a step further? just use a compact lor, dslr is heavy leh.
    Last edited by night86mare; 25th August 2008 at 01:59 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    How about using a mini tripod? like those cute 3 inch ones you usually use for PnS?
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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Sorry to OT abit...
    I was told if we took in RAW format. Then using the software provided to increase/decrease stops to make 3 different exposure pictures then making it a HDR picture. Sounds possible though.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by Crabby View Post
    Sorry to OT abit...
    I was told if we took in RAW format. Then using the software provided to increase/decrease stops to make 3 different exposure pictures then making it a HDR picture. Sounds possible though.
    for certain programs like photomatix you just need to open the raw file, and the program will do it automatically for you.

    however - note that you will only gain about a stop or so of extra dynamic range - nothing as good as what separate jpg exposures will give. the advantage of shooting single shot raw is that if you are capturing action, or a subject that won't keep still, i.e. animals, people, freezing waves.. then it will not be a problem.

    combining gnd with single shot raw can give pretty good results thoguh.. since you "compress" the dynamic range a little with the gnd.. and then do it further with hdr.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    I use an application called HDR Alingment Tool to align and trim the pictures before HDR. This need more work but the result is better than Photoshop Auto Align. You may give it a try, it is a freeware.
    http://www.geocities.com/rnd6statrat...ment_tool.html

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by GavinTing View Post
    How about using a mini tripod? like those cute 3 inch ones you usually use for PnS?
    And watch your camera fall to the ground because the tripod supports only half of the weight of your camera.

    Sure, you can try and show us how it turns out.

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    Default Re: Freehand HDR....

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    well, to be frank the hokkaido backcountry shot you linked can be done with proper exposure, just whack the shadows and highlights using photoshop cs2.

    to use hdr to achieve it is like lowering your pants to fart.. giving yourself more hassle in exchange for the same result. tell me - what's so special about the dynamic range there? is it problematic even for digital? no. has he given expanded dynamic range? no. the area near the sun is still blown out massively. so what has he used the technique for? for a look. and that look can be achieved in photoshop without taking a few exposures - simple burning dodging even can do it.

    as for the rest of his shots, they are so saturated my eyes hurt. the colors are so unnatural i have no idea which planet he took them on.

    why do i use the example of the golden hours? because it is a period of high contrast, where the bright point in the image and the dark point in the image is so far apart that it warrants hdr to "compress" the dynamic range in the scene to fit into the dynamic range present on computers.

    knowing when a tool is required, best suited, rather than trying to use a "one size fits all" solution and literally approaching photography like a headless chicken in the hopes of getting lucky is probably advisable. of course, you can beg to differ - but then that was never my problem to begin with.

    i do not disagree with you that lugging a tripod can be cumbersome - to be frank heaviness is relative - if you are lugging a 2.5kg tripod when you have cheap 1 kg or so options then that's simply silliness. if you choose to indulge laziness, why not take it a step further? just use a compact lor, dslr is heavy leh.
    i guess it boils down to an individual's taste, nevertheless, this thread was never meant as debate on where, how and the morality of taking HDR images, its a thread solely for finding out how freehand HDR can be achieved.

    you seem quick to criticize on the works of others just because it does not fit into your concept of an "ideal" HDR, if photography is simply about technicalities, i'll be real sorry as photography to me is an expression, an art.

    I am in fact baffled at how you can bring morality in the the picture, laziness is the lack of desire to perform work or expend effort, therefore i really do not see how a guy should put himself through the torture of carrying heavy tripods just as a means of justification, i see no "laziness" you have implied in the actions of a man reducing his traveling weight-load for increased mobility and comfort.
    Last edited by ReiszRie; 25th August 2008 at 10:38 AM.

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