First Photos PP with Manual Blending, HDR, Panorama Stitch


PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#1
After 2hrs Photoshop sharing session at APD meeting room given by edutilos, nitewalk, shiosaki, thought I give it a try.

Was sick past few days so finally today took 3 shots using GR function auto 3 shots exposure bracketing (-2,0, +1) on top of 28 floor.
could not catch sunset or sunrise but just a normal shot for practicing the Manual blending with Photoshop software.

Downloaded Photoshop CC Free Trial 30days - https://creative.adobe.com/plans?plan=individual&store_cnalode=sg.html

1. Base layer (+2)


2. 1st layer (-2)


3. After figuring first how to use the software, finding out how to combine the layers ( this was toughest ), and tried many times how to tweak the brush opacity to 12%, adjust to Big soft brush, then Erased the 1st layer for the buildings and mrt lines , the final product , 3 hrs later !


4. Actually, the dynamic range on the GR was able to capture the scene but just for first practice manual blend 2 layers.
(at 0)


Thanks again, I know, it's not that good, YET ! More Hours to go !:sweat:
 

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fengwei

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#2
Nice try. But some dark areas might spoil the photo: the one on the left and some dark stray lines on the left top of the roof. Probably due to the blending of multiple layers.

The original one from GR can look pretty nice if you apply some level (start from auto level if you don't know how) and curve adjustment (for landscapes I like to use S curves). This won't take more than a min :)
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#3
Nice try. But some dark areas might spoil the photo: the one on the left and some dark stray lines on the left top of the roof. Probably due to the blending of multiple layers.

The original one from GR can look pretty nice if you apply some level (start from auto level if you don't know how) and curve adjustment (for landscapes I like to use S curves). This won't take more than a min :)
Thanks, yes, have to redo the 1st layer brushing, maybe need some discipline to brush reveal section by section, I think repeated some area and missed the dark area, quite difficult to see where you have reveal and not yet.

What is " apply level"? Auto level?
I had applied S curve on the final, the color saturated too much I think, and vibrancy seemed not visibly improved. It looks easy when Edutilos did it but was not sure where best two points to pinch the curve.

Thanks again.
 

armadillo

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Jan 30, 2006
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#4
Using your first image to adjust, just adjust contrast, saturation, gamma, using faststone, anyhow adjust :bsmilie:
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#5
Philip, nice try.

My few cents.
Try to think about what needs to go into the blend (eg. sky from -2; on 0ev and maybe thats all)
In this case, treat the blend like as if you were using a graduated ND filter.
You can also tweak the exposure and opacity of the layers to get what you want.

Its always important to try yourself, thats the best way to pick up, so good try.
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#6
Thank Q !
More coming.

Philip, nice try.

My few cents.
Try to think about what needs to go into the blend (eg. sky from -2; on 0ev and maybe thats all)
In this case, treat the blend like as if you were using a graduated ND filter.
You can also tweak the exposure and opacity of the layers to get what you want.

Its always important to try yourself, thats the best way to pick up, so good try.
 

nitewalk

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May 31, 2010
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#7
Looking at the output i'd think a +1 and -1EV would be more suitable. I dont think i ever had two consecutive layers which are more than 2 EV apart. Just my preference :)
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#8
Looking at the output i'd think a +1 and -1EV would be more suitable. I dont think i ever had two consecutive layers which are more than 2 EV apart. Just my preference :)
Thanks nitewalk , Pinholecam suggested the same. Will try.
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#11
Sorry just saw this. The 0EV is pretty close hence blending isn't that required. I'd probably underexpose by a stop and bring the details out instead.

In any case if you MUST blend then here's what I'd do, assuming I had 0 EV and -2 EV in your post.

#1: Layer -2 EV at 20% opacity over to darken the blocks just a little.
#2: Layer another duplicate layer of -2 EV at 50% opacity, to be used as a GND.

Result + Layer capture (no further adjustments, which you should do)


Top layer
 

nitewalk

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#12
I'm more curious actually why the blue-ness. Looks like colour casting from filter.
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#13
Thanks, for the new technique advise.
-layering different opacity of duplicates-GND effect, faster ! OK, no need to blend if the exposure difference is little
Looks less abrupt changing from the sky clouds to lower half blocks section.

Sorry just saw this. The 0EV is pretty close hence blending isn't that required. I'd probably underexpose by a stop and bring the details out instead.

In any case if you MUST blend then here's what I'd do, assuming I had 0 EV and -2 EV in your post.

#1: Layer -2 EV at 20% opacity over to darken the blocks just a little.
#2: Layer another duplicate layer of -2 EV at 50% opacity, to be used as a GND.

Result + Layer capture (no further adjustments, which you should do)


Top layer
 

Last edited:

PhilipKr35

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2011
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#14
Blending can become quite addictive !

Colour Palettes of Gombak !
 

PhilipKr35

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Jul 17, 2011
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#16
Hi ,
I am back with attempt with Panorama stitch of 3 photos(Left+Centre+right photos),
each of which was pre-blended from 2 exposures except right shot, 2 exposures needed since the restaurant light was much brighter than the condominium at the background, all photos taken with Pentax Q 01 lens on tripod.

Using Photoshop Photomerge function Auto, 3 photos stitched automatically I thick it uses cylinder format, then I pulled the edges to fit the rectangular frame. Watching video on line helped> http://layersmagazine.com/photoshop-cs4-photomerge.html

Any advise welcome on any mistakes or better way of processing.

#1 Left photo


#2 Centre photo


#3 Right photo


Panorama: ( It's the largest size I could post, how do you all post a bigger photo ? I am using PICASA web album)
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#17
Hi ,
I am back with attempt with Panorama stitch of 3 photos(Left+Centre+right photos),
each of which was pre-blended from 2 exposures except right shot, 2 exposures needed since the restaurant light was much brighter than the condominium at the background, all photos taken with Pentax Q 01 lens on tripod.

Using Photoshop Photomerge function Auto, 3 photos stitched automatically I thick it uses cylinder format, then I pulled the edges to fit the rectangular frame. Watching video on line helped> http://layersmagazine.com/photoshop-cs4-photomerge.html

Any advise welcome on any mistakes or better way of processing.

I don't have much issues with the pano.
To be real good, you will need to take into account the distortion that the pano stitching causes.
(Eg. notice how the 2 flats are 'parting' from each other)
But I'm not there as a photographer to be picking on those (usually for me look ok, can already). :D

A program that has more control to the distortion is better.
I think Hugin (free) works pretty well and allows far more control.

Blending wise, I think its too mild.
One of the first steps is to think of what needs a 'HDR intervention'
Yes, you got a bit of idea of that, since you are using the -ev shot to recover the coffee shop, but overall, I think there can be more 'impact' if the blend shows off more of the dark areas too. (eg. Trees; Path)

In a way, to me, HDR (or increased DR) is to show off either close to what the eye saw or what the eye/camera cannot see normally (in one exposure).
My few cents.
 

PhilipKr35

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2011
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#18
Hi JK,
Thanks for comments n advise.
Yes, will look at Hugin.
For the shots, I did not want to put too much on the trees, as I felt it would make the "HDR " too unnaturally fake, so only expose the tree a little or just enough, as the eye could see, the Q also reached its limit, 30seconds and I did not have the remote with me and not to risk shaking while pressing the shutter button.

Yes, beginning to get a feel of how to get greatest impact with blending. These shots are mild and only correct the dynamic range as you rightly put it.

Concept of maximum impact of blending in my mind now is when one want to put many different scenarios happening at different moments into one shot , like waves + sunrise+ shadows+ foreground object; or light trails + buildings+ sunset + foreground. Perhaps for this scene I took of the restaurant n condo I need to go back and include the sunset that will be behind the condo.

Thanks again.

I don't have much issues with the pano.
To be real good, you will need to take into account the distortion that the pano stitching causes.
(Eg. notice how the 2 flats are 'parting' from each other)
But I'm not there as a photographer to be picking on those (usually for me look ok, can already). :D

A program that has more control to the distortion is better.
I think Hugin (free) works pretty well and allows far more control.

Blending wise, I think its too mild.
One of the first steps is to think of what needs a 'HDR intervention'
Yes, you got a bit of idea of that, since you are using the -ev shot to recover the coffee shop, but overall, I think there can be more 'impact' if the blend shows off more of the dark areas too. (eg. Trees; Path)

In a way, to me, HDR (or increased DR) is to show off either close to what the eye saw or what the eye/camera cannot see normally (in one exposure).
My few cents.
 

PhilipKr35

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2011
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Yew Tee
#19
Final homework !

Went back to capture Sunset, when the sun drop behind the North Vale condo.
Hence, after I took the "sun setting or dropping" at 6:20pm,
I had to wait till the evening 7:10pm like that , then the restaurant switch on the lights.

If the sun was orange color that would be great.

Kr DA15 Limited, manual blends of 3 shots.

 

Dec 29, 2012
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#20
Hi Philip,

Looking at your blending techniques from the start to the last photo. It seems that you are slowly getting the hang of it. Some issues to note while blending that you should take into consideration:

The last photo of North Vale Condo
-there is the halo/glow around the condo making the blend untidy
-in consideration of such a nice sunset/glow, shouldn't the sky be nicer being bright rather than dark? I do understand that usually for sky blending we usually take the -ev photo so that we can get nice colors. But for your case (just a suggestion and not necessarily the best one) the top part of your sky lacks color so increasing the brightness will do justice to your photo.

In your case, looking at such a bright sunset, I expect the camera (matrix metering) to measure the scene and show an underexposed photo. Therefore, you will need to overexpose your shot for the foreground -> trees and condo. What I am trying to say here is that...I will most probably use the 0ev and the +1ev for blending.
0ev as base shot
1ev for foreground
*the above is a guess-timate as I am not sure what your settings are...
I am just trying to tell you the thought process that we put into when we bracket our shots for blending.

One more rather chim thing to note from blending:
Try to overexpose your shot for blending. I am speaking from personal experience that when you try to recover details from an underexposed shot, you start to see noise/artifacts. Whereas, when you recover details from an overexposed shot, lesser noise/no noise is shown but the downside to a overexposed shot is that...highlights could be clipped and that is where blending comes in. It does sounds weird to overexpose your shot because in-camera, you see no color, nothing fantastic...but trust me that when you are in raw processing it...everything will come back nicely.

The positive to your photo:
-the foreground is well exposed

Just my 1/2 cents worth of opinion and it may not be the best way to do things. I believe the rest of the Pentaxians are much better than me at this so their advice will be worth more.

P.S: Try not to tilt your camera...just a strange habit of mine to keep buildings straight and nice.
 

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