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Archive 2012 · HDR question

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · HDR question

I shoot strictly landscape with a 5D2 when I bracket for HDR I set it up to the normal +2,0,-2
the -2 comes washed out/ too white, I am not able to adjust exposure during bracketing and I end using just two exposures..is there anyway I can overcome that?
I appreciate all the help! thanks


Dec 04, 2012 at 06:17 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · HDR question

Your message is a bit confusing. You say the "-2 comes washed out/too white". Do you mean that? The -2 exposure should be underexposed, and dark.

You say "I am not able to adjust exposure during bracketing." Why not? Exposure compensation works all the time, even when bracketing. On the 5D2, bracketing even works in manual exposure mode. So you can set exposure manually, and bracket accordingly.

Here's how I do it, using a 5D2.

1. Go to Live View mode, adjust the exposure (manual or AV mode) until the histogram shows no highlight clipping (underexposure).
2. Then adjust exposure again until the histogram shows no shadow clipping (overexposure). Count the number of clicks/fsops between these 2 exposures. That's your dynamic range.
3. Adjust "base" exposure to the middle position of these two exposures.
4. Set the bracketing to cover the high and low exposures. Rarely does it take the full 2 stop range. Many of my full daylight landscapes are bracketed at 1.33 or 1.66. Sunrises and sunsets are different of course. There you may have to go full manual and shoot 5 to 7 brackets to cover the entire dynamic range.

5. Shoot and review. Do the shots cover the entire range? Is there one shot with no highlight clipping and one with no shadow clipping? If not, rinse and repeat.

All this depends on accurate in-camera histograms of course. No in-camera histogram is a perfect match to the true raw. How to get the best match is a different discussion.

Dec 04, 2012 at 07:02 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · HDR question

Sorry for the confusion, I meant +2...
I'm still unable to adjust exposure after taking the first two shots, or can I only do this before taking any shots? thanks again

Dec 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · HDR question

redcrown has a good process. You want to set the middle exposure for the middle of the dynamic range if possible.

It is not unusual for the +2 to look "washed out/too white". You are not concerned with the washed out/too white parts of that exposure for the HDR. That exposure will be used for detail in the dark, shadow areas of the image. The bright tones from that exposure will be essentially discarded for the final HDR.

To some extent, the "washed out/too white" look may also be due to your using HDR techniques for a scene that doesn't really require them (in other words, a case where the entire dynamic range of the scene fits perfectly fine within the dynamic range of one exposure of the camera). It may still be worth doing this on occasion to reduce shadow noise to an absolute minimum but under these conditions you may not see the dramatic difference you were expecting.

Dec 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · HDR question

Ah, I think I get it now. Sounds like you are setting the bracketing (AEB), but then firing off the shots in one-shot drive mode instead of continous multiple shot mode. So you press the shutter button and get one shot (+0 exposure), then press the shutter button again and get the +2 exposure, then stop and try to adjust exposure for the 3rd shot (-2 exposure)?

Probably not the best technique. Use multi-shot continous drive mode, press and hold the shutter button and let the camera fire all three shots as fast as possible. When AEB is set, the camera will stop after 3 shots. If AEB is not set, the camera will keep firing shots as long as you hold the shutter button.

If you really want to adjust exposure separately, don't use AEB or continuous drive mode. Just set a manual exposure, fire one shot, adjust the manual exposure (add 1 to 3 stops) and fire one shot again, and keep going until you has as many exposures as desired.

Problem with that technique is that touching the camera to adjust each exposure can cause slight alignment shifts, even with a very sturdy tripod. Plus, the time it takes to do this can result in movement of the subject. It can take 5 to 10 seconds to manually fire bracketed shots, and in that time clouds, trees, water can move enough to cause significant ghosting in the result.

Dec 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · HDR question

Thank you eyeball for your input.
redcrown, how about using the C1,C2,C3 for different exposures (using AEB continuous mode in multi-shot

Dec 05, 2012 at 08:54 PM

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