Question on HDR photography...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by trjwv, May 15, 2010.

  1. trjwv macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    kentucky...Go Cats
    New to HDR question.....Do you have to take 3 or more pics at different exposures to create an HDR or can you simply use aperture 3 to create different exposures of 1 picture and make an HDR from this. Example: I already have a photograph i want to make into an HDR. Can I overexpose and underexpose and merge into an HDR?
    Is photomatix pro the best software to use or is the Hydra HDR plug-in for aperture good?
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    It all depends on what you're looking to do.

    You can either bracket shot 3jpegs (or more) or make 3jpegs in Aperture from a RAW image.

    In my experience Hydra gives more realistic results while photomatix gives a very cartoony effect.

    Either way HDR is yucky. :D
  3. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I actually just made a blog post about HDR last night, as I crafted my first ever HDR image yesterday. I don't use Aperture, I'm a Lightroom 3 guy. I take 3 RAW images and use Photomatix Pro for my HDR. You can process from one RAW in Photomatix though.

    Link to blog if interested.
  4. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    Depending on the situation I will do either. If it is a static photo, with no moving people, animals, clouds, etc then I will take 3 RAW images bracketed +/- 2 EV.

    If it is a photo with some risk of motion, I will take just one properly exposed RAW image.

    If I have just the one RAW image, I will use the RAW editor to create 3 images, again bracketed +/- 2EV.

    In all cases I use the Photoshop RAW editor to save these as 16 bit TIFF images before importing into Photomatix Pro.The final HDR merged image is saved as JPEG.
  5. Captpegleg macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    With Photomatix…I don't think you could get this kind of detail without it.
    Tried to find the owner to see if he could help tidy up my garage.

    Attached Files:

  6. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    HDR is High Dynamic Range photography. It's usually a two step process:

    1/ Take multiple differently exposed images and merge these to create a HDR 32 bit original. This merged picture usually looks very boring and low contrast... it has to be to represent such a wide range of light in a single image.
    2/ Reprocess this, using global and local contrast adjustments to look more 'normal' and vibrant.

    What you're doing with your one image is only the second step - reprocessing with local contrast adjustment to produce that characteristic saturated type of image we associate with HDR, you are not really increasing the dynamic range (by virtue of the fact that you started with just a single RAW file).

    So I'd say that you really need to take multiple shots to call your images 'HDR' - but you can reproduce the local-contrast-adjusted effect we associate with HDR post processing by just using one image.

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