Sunday, August 09, 2015

The not so dark side of “almost auto”HDR

I must admit I haven’t upgraded up to lightroom 6 or decided to buy into their rental/subscriptrion (just not my personal choice) but I did test it out and in particular I was interested in the much hyped HDR & Pano features. If you are looking for a comprehensive HDR tool kit this is not really for you. It just performs the maths of extracting the maximum dynamic range out of the image, and more particularly it works with RAW files (so it has no trouble creating 16 and 32 bit colour renderings). It only have limited tone mapping but passes that task onto the already very good lightroom tools. It is almost the one-click fix I’m not keen on but it is relatively easy to set up and worked fine for me. panoApparently it has to be run individually for each set (I couldn’t find a way to batch it) but there is less fiddling than most other HDR tool sets. Speed was ok but picturenaut and aftershot 2’s HDR are faster. It did handle hand-held bracketed sets well, without obvious ghosting. It avoided dirty skies and the haloing around the sun can be forgiven.

In this case I took 9 images, that meant three HDR sessions. I wanted to then try the panorama but alas the new lightroom pano feature wouldn’t play on these HDR images. Probably because I rotated the camera slightly between shots. So the final stitching was carried out in Autostitch.

Palm Cove HDR pano

IMGP0064Whilst this probably looks “over baked” to many, it does satisfy my desire to take photos in the style I might paint. To prove that aspect, here is a small sketch I had just finished while sitting on the now empty chair, before I got up and took this bracketed set of photos contre jour.

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