Beginner HDR Question

Messages
42
Name
Andy
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Have a question regarding HDR photography i could use a little assistance with.

I am at the age of 44 currently doing NCFE Level 2 Photography qualification and have to do an assignment where we emulate another photographer and take 6 pictures in the same style. I have chose Trey Radcliffe for his use of HDR.

In the class were were taught to use bracketing to take pictures at -2 0 and +2 exposures and use them to stack in photoshop.

My question is about the bracketing.

Rather than stack 3 pictures would it produce better results if i took multiple exposures using the following bracketing?

-3 0 +3 and -2 0 +2 and -1 0 +1 rather than the previous or would
-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 achieve better results? Or stick to the -2 0 +2?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015
Messages
8,615
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
I imagine it depends on the dynamic range of the scene and the dynamic range of your camera's sensor.
 
Messages
3,000
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
It's been a long time since I did any HDR - it's really not my thing - but I seem to remember reading that the more exposures you have the better the result can be ... but I have no idea if that's right or even if I remembered it correctly :)
 

Jimmy_Lemon

Moo!
Staff member
Messages
15,775
Name
Tom
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
I think the general idea behind the -2,0,+2 idea is that a raw file from any dslr should capture at least 4 stops of dynamic range, so shooting the exposures in between is sort of pointless as you are just duplicating what is already there. In practise that does work most of the time, but if you are shooting in really low light or having to use high(ish) ISO to get the exposures you want (sunrise, sunsets, indoors etc) then having the in between exposures is always going to be useful as you are not pushing a single raw as far.

Also a lot of DSLRs still dont do more than 3 bracketed shots and also if shooting handheld you need a very quick frames per second to capture more than 3 frames without moving too much.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
andybiff
Messages
42
Name
Andy
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
Thanks for the advice. using Canon 80D on a tripod at 100 ISO for a shot in a cathedral at the stained glass window. will give it a bash anyway and see how i get on.
 
Messages
2,309
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Thanks for the advice. using Canon 80D on a tripod at 100 ISO for a shot in a cathedral at the stained glass window. will give it a bash anyway and see how i get on.
For that specific shot I would use at least -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 as the dynamic range in a cathedral around the windows is very large. If you try to use too few images it will look very unnatural.
 
Messages
4,452
Name
David
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Thanks for the advice. using Canon 80D on a tripod at 100 ISO for a shot in a cathedral at the stained glass window. will give it a bash anyway and see how i get on.
For that specific shot I would use at least -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 as the dynamic range in a cathedral around the windows is very large. If you try to use too few images it will look very unnatural.
Agreed, I use 9 bracketed images for such situations. If your camera only supports 3 stop bracketing, take the first one with Exp Comp set to zero, this gives you -1,0,1 then set it to -3 and take the shot again, giving you -4,-3,-2 and then set it to +3 to get 2,3,4 Now you have the whole range from -4 to +4

An an example, Liverpool Cathedral Lady Chapel

170929 Liverpool Cathedral Lady Chapel 2000px
by David Yeoman, on Flickr
 
Messages
4,918
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
View attachment 236995

Well here is my first ever HDR picture taken today at Chester cathedral used 9 shots to merge and used lightroom to merge the pics with only a little adjustments. Also my first pic on the forum I think. Any constructive criticism welcomed not used lightroom much so beginner really
Well for a first attempt that is really excellent!

So Kudos to you also Andy, and keep up the good work.
 
Messages
130
Name
Michael
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
I wouldn't recommend doing a -3, 0, +3 as the difference between the exposures is too great. If you need that much dynamic range it might be better doing -4, -2, 0, 2, 4 . I have personally tried doing 3 stops difference and it didn't work out for me. I would recommend that you do at the most 2 stops between exposures and not 3. Good luck with your course and you have done very well on your first HDR photograph! :)
 

StewartR

Efrem Zimbalist Jr
Advertiser
Messages
12,073
Name
Stewart
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
View attachment 236995

Well here is my first ever HDR picture taken today at Chester cathedral used 9 shots to merge and used lightroom to merge the pics with only a little adjustments. Also my first pic on the forum I think. Any constructive criticism welcomed not used lightroom much so beginner really
I'd be pretty happy with that!

I think it would benefit from a bit of sharpening, or perhaps a nudge of the clarity slider instead. But that's a minor issue. I think the exposure is handled very well, and that's the main point.

I was going to make an observation about it not being quite symmetrical, but then I realised that it's the cathedral itself that isn't symmetrical, not your photo!
 
Top