HDR and Stacking


Apr 20, 2010
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#1
hello!

Finally join CS! still a newbie and excited to get more involved! ;). I'm relatively new to serious photography, and so...I've a few questions!

Heard about HDR and stacking and I am wondering what it is? I've a friend who told me to do bracketing (shoot in -1 EV -> 0 EV -> +1 EV for example) and then do HDR after that.

Hmm, but what HDR software do we use, how do we do it? I've tried in PS, but it looks weird and not properly matched.

and yea, I'm curious as to what stacking means. I've seen people talk about stacking various shots to get that nice image, but I have no idea how it works.

:cheers:,
char
 

aspenx

New Member
Aug 10, 2008
1,350
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here
#2
hello!

Finally join CS! still a newbie and excited to get more involved! ;). I'm relatively new to serious photography, and so...I've a few questions!

Heard about HDR and stacking and I am wondering what it is? I've a friend who told me to do bracketing (shoot in -1 EV -> 0 EV -> +1 EV for example) and then do HDR after that.

Hmm, but what HDR software do we use, how do we do it? I've tried in PS, but it looks weird and not properly matched.

and yea, I'm curious as to what stacking means. I've seen people talk about stacking various shots to get that nice image, but I have no idea how it works.

:cheers:,
char
You have to do a tone-mapping process after getting your HDR image because it contains data that can not be displayed on our regular monitors, displays and printers.

As for stacking, as the name implies, it just stacks multiple images into the same photoshop file layer by layer. There are various types of it.

People do focus stacking to make an image with incredible DOF, stacking for star trails and you can remove unwanted objects but stacking multiple photos of say the same place with tonnes of tourists in the frame to get a clean image without them by applying a median filter.

There's a whole lot of stuff that can be done from HDR and stacking alone. The digital darkroom corner of the forums might be a better place to ask more specific questions.
 

Sep 15, 2009
237
0
0
#3
hello!

Finally join CS! still a newbie and excited to get more involved! ;). I'm relatively new to serious photography, and so...I've a few questions!

Heard about HDR and stacking and I am wondering what it is? I've a friend who told me to do bracketing (shoot in -1 EV -> 0 EV -> +1 EV for example) and then do HDR after that.

Hmm, but what HDR software do we use, how do we do it? I've tried in PS, but it looks weird and not properly matched.

and yea, I'm curious as to what stacking means. I've seen people talk about stacking various shots to get that nice image, but I have no idea how it works.

:cheers:,
char
Hi char,

ill try to explain as best as i can :)
basically camera sensor (even latest models) will not be able to match our own eyes dynamic range, our eyes are capable of high dynamic range i.e. we are able to properly expose both brightly lit or darkly lit areas at the same time! try this at your home, at a very high noon look out the window, you will still see the interior of your house properly exposed and at the same time, the building outside are allso properly exposed, now try capturing both the interior and outside scene with your camera, no matter what setting you do, only one will be properly exposed, it's either the building outside is properly exposed and the interior of your home is dark, or if you choose to properly expose the interior, then the outside will be overly exposed and almost all white!
Now HDR imaging techniques tries to solve that problem, you have to take around 3 pictures with different exposures (the more the better), that's why you're friend suggested to take -1,0,+1 exposures, for me i use -2,0+2, in our example the -2 will have the building outside properly exposed while the +2 will have the interior properly exposed and the 0 in between, your objective is to have both the building and the interior be properly exposed as what our eyes could see.
You can process these 3 pictures using photoshop (there's a merge HDR option in there), photoshop will use some kind of algorithm to combine the images and get a high dynamic range resultant image (it will also try to align images), but you still have to "finetune" the output as our normal monitors still unable to properly interpret a high dynamic range picture, that's when photomatix comes in, photomatix can tonemap that hdr picture to your normal jpg. You can also use photomatix directly to merge hdr but i find photoshop's algorithm better.
so hdr techniques works best when capturing scenes with high dynamic range (scenes with shadows, skies etc..)
hope that helps. cheers.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
6,232
2
0
SG
#4
Hi charmaine

here is a nice writeup on HDR
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/high-dynamic-range.htm

other than PS, there is a software that u can trial review that is pretty popular around here - photomatix. there are many other hdr softwares available.

the greatest problem with HDR is the overuse and ending up looking unnatural. remember to put composition above any other fancy postprocessing.


ryan
 

Apr 20, 2010
23
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0
#7
hey aspenx, gimumancer & ryan

Thank you for taking the time to reply! :D I understand HDR better now. I think it is time for me to start trying combining my images and start learning how to use photomatix! Been hearing a lot about it, but haven't gotten down to trying it. shall see how it goes. excited. ;)

As for stacking, is there any program to use? or it can be done on ps? ( ohh, I shall scan the digital darkroom corner for it!) hehe!

ryan, thanks for the link! love their tutorials. it's in my bookmarks now.


Treetrunk, onarciso


haha! Thank you for those welcome messages! Logging in here, seems to be a routine now. :bigeyes:

cheers,
char
 

aspenx

New Member
Aug 10, 2008
1,350
0
0
here
#11
...

As for stacking, is there any program to use? or it can be done on ps? ( ohh, I shall scan the digital darkroom corner for it!) hehe!

...
There are specific programs for stacking star trails, but it can be done in PS with a script (just have to download the script for free and use it).

For focus stacking, there are also external programs around to do it for you, but using PS layers and blending yourself will give you more control and better results.

Basically, stacking in PS can mean 2 things: loading the images separately manually and using layers to put one above the other or letting PS run a script to do it for you and maybe save as a smart object.

Here is a vid on how to "remove crowds" and it shows one of the ways that you can let PS handle the stacking.
 

Apr 20, 2010
23
0
0
#12
There are specific programs for stacking star trails, but it can be done in PS with a script (just have to download the script for free and use it).

For focus stacking, there are also external programs around to do it for you, but using PS layers and blending yourself will give you more control and better results.

Basically, stacking in PS can mean 2 things: loading the images separately manually and using layers to put one above the other or letting PS run a script to do it for you and maybe save as a smart object.

Here is a vid on how to "remove crowds" and it shows one of the ways that you can let PS handle the stacking.
i've just watched the video! Thanks! :D Learning something new each time, this is amazing!

cheers,
Char.
 

#13
Just something to add on, bracketing in smaller steps may be a good idea. Another way to do this is to meter the scene manually at different spots, such as the bright areas, shadowy areas and areas of medium brightness. Record those values down and manually dial the settings into the camera after each shot. It also gives you a good idea on the range to cover if you really want to do bracketing. Shoot more and experiment :)
 

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