April 25, 2018, 10:45:19 PM

Author Topic: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?  (Read 4165 times)

scottkinfw

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 10:58:03 PM »
Just curious....

I was thinking, that once you combine your multiple exposure images, that is the last time you will have opportunity to do any RAW manipulations to them.

Do ya'll do any RAW changes before combining the images into an HDR for tone mapping?

If so...what?

Since you are combining images...are there any RAW changes you have to be careful of in order to not have problems multiply as they combine?

Thanks in advance!!

cayenne

Excellent question.  I have wondered this myself.  Thanks for asking.


Scott
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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 10:58:03 PM »

scottkinfw

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2018, 11:13:01 PM »
Just curious....

I was thinking, that once you combine your multiple exposure images, that is the last time you will have opportunity to do any RAW manipulations to them.

Do ya'll do any RAW changes before combining the images into an HDR for tone mapping?

If so...what?

Since you are combining images...are there any RAW changes you have to be careful of in order to not have problems multiply as they combine?

Thanks in advance!!

cayenne

Not to hijack the thread.  I am curious do people who use Photomatix feel it is superior to LR, and why?

Thanks.

sek
Cameras: 1DXII,5D III, 5D II.  Lenses    24-70 2.8L II IS, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8.   Flashes: 600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT, 580 EX II.
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

jaell

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 03:18:59 PM »
Not to hijack the thread.  I am curious do people who use Photomatix feel it is superior to LR, and why?

Thanks.

sek

I have no idea about LR's HDR capabilities. I don't use LR. I'm weird.

Photomatix has a bit of a steep learning curve, but is very flexible and you can do quite a bit with it. I tried another HDR program 9 yers ago--I think it was EasyHDR--and it didn't have all the options that Photomatix did, though it was ostensibly easier to use... because it didn't have all the options that Photomatix has.

I *ahem* bought a lot of Nik plug-ins, but stayed away from HDREfex, despite it getting glowing reviews, mainly because I had given Nik enough money already and was happy with Photomatix. Then when Google acquired Nik, I got HDREfex for free. Tried it, seemed fine to use, but again, Photomatix just has more options and feels more powerful.

It's a clunkier process than a Photoshop plug-in or a LR process, but I have a decent workflow established. And I've gotta say, HDRSoft has been very generous with free upgrades, and even when they had a major update, they had a very reasonable upgrade price for owners of prior versions. And they allow you to install Photomatix on 2 machines, so I have a laptop (with no PS) with Photomatix installed, and I can end up doing a lot of work on it.
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Woodwideweb

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 03:37:04 PM »
Hi

Only done a limited amount of HDR, but have used Affinity Photo.  Created an HDR Panorama from 18 images.  Each of the 6 slices was created from 3 raw files, no raw processing except selecting specific areas from one of the input files where I wanted a certain image to be used in the HDR output.
When merging into a panorama, there seemed to be some slight exposure differences, but Affinity took care of that and I could then process the final image.
If you want to see the process there are tutorial videos available on the Affinity forum website
https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/10119-official-affinity-photo-desktop-video-tutorials-200/
Look under the HDR section for HDR panoramas.  That’s how I learnt to use the tool features.

Chris
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ken

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 08:38:19 PM »
Just curious....

I was thinking, that once you combine your multiple exposure images, that is the last time you will have opportunity to do any RAW manipulations to them.

Do ya'll do any RAW changes before combining the images into an HDR for tone mapping?

If so...what?

Since you are combining images...are there any RAW changes you have to be careful of in order to not have problems multiply as they combine?

Thanks in advance!!

cayenne

Not to hijack the thread.  I am curious do people who use Photomatix feel it is superior to LR, and why?

Thanks.

sek

Lightroom's internal HDR support is extremely limited. It will do it, but you have very limited control over the process.  Photomatix provides very detailed control over the fusion and tone mapping processes, and choices of algorithms. (And a big pile of presets to get you started) I use Lightroom to manage the images and to edit the final result. When you export a set from Lightroom to Photomatix, Lightroom will generate the intermediate TIF files for you so it's an easy process. (Same with Nik HDR, which I don't use much anymore... although it isn't bad).

And I'll say again, as someone who has generated thousands of HDR photos for real estate business, there is a DEFINITE difference in processing highlights prior to HDR processing vs after for many, many cases, although it can be exaggerated based on which fusion process you use. Also, if all the images in your bracket are below normal exposure, it won't be as noticeable. I typically shoot 5 shots, from -2EV to +2EV, so there can be plenty of blown highlights. Just because someone has never noticed a difference in processing them before or after in their particular shooting situations doesn't mean they've encountered every use-case. :-)  I don't always fuse the same way, so I always work highlights ahead of time just to be safe.

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stevelee

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 09:08:42 PM »
I understand that LR is a lot like ACR, so I've never bothered with it. I've heard from pros that it helps their workflow, but I don't see any advantage for me. The current version of HDR working out of filmstrip mode in Bridge seems rather easy and gives me a lot of control, using the same sliders of ACR after merging the files. Is that how LR's current version works? I've tried the more native Photoshop version, and am not good enough at it for it to be an advantage. I've also tried some third-party solutions that didn't much impress me, though I could get different, though not necessarily better, results.

Woodwideweb

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2018, 12:17:57 PM »
Hi Ken

Just a quick question on your workflow.  If you shoot 5 images from -2EV to +2EV, so have plenty of blown highlights, do you work on the highlights of each image which are just below being blown out, so therefore have full detail on the highlights in the lowest exposure only? Or did I get the wrong end of a very long stick?  :)

Thanks

Chris
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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2018, 12:17:57 PM »

cayenne

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2018, 01:18:15 PM »
Hi

Only done a limited amount of HDR, but have used Affinity Photo.  Created an HDR Panorama from 18 images.  Each of the 6 slices was created from 3 raw files, no raw processing except selecting specific areas from one of the input files where I wanted a certain image to be used in the HDR output.
When merging into a panorama, there seemed to be some slight exposure differences, but Affinity took care of that and I could then process the final image.
If you want to see the process there are tutorial videos available on the Affinity forum website
https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/10119-official-affinity-photo-desktop-video-tutorials-200/
Look under the HDR section for HDR panoramas.  That’s how I learnt to use the tool features.

Chris

I too have Affinity Photo too...and plan to experiment with HDR on it, however, at this time, I'm working with One1 RAW to see if it is my breakaway app from Lightroom.

Since LR went "rental only", I'm wanting to get away from it...and so far, On1 RAW seems to be fitting the bill.

The HDR I've done with it on this last go around for images of my car I'm selling, seem to have done an excellent job!!

zim

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2018, 06:47:16 PM »
Don't do hdr but a lot of panos, always process RAWS in dxo first with lens correction etc then stitch in affinity photo, very happy with results. If I did do hdr I'd definitely use the same approach.

jaell

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 07:24:58 PM »
Hi Ken

Just a quick question on your workflow.  If you shoot 5 images from -2EV to +2EV, so have plenty of blown highlights, do you work on the highlights of each image which are just below being blown out, so therefore have full detail on the highlights in the lowest exposure only? Or did I get the wrong end of a very long stick?  :)

Thanks

Chris

I know you addressed this to someone else, but I can answer. Good HDR software, when you load your images, knows which ones are under/over exposed (and/or you can input EV for images in your 'stack'), and it detects the blown highlights from your base image, as well as your underexposed areas, and it uses the appropriate correctly-exposed chunks from your other images. That's the big point of HDR software--it does all the heavy lifting of fixing your blown highlights and underexposed shadows for you, so you don't have to mess with masking and layers and all that jazz in Photoshop.

Most of the time, unless my darkest image has blown highlights, my HDR merged image has no areas that are completely black or completely white, but there are settings (and sliders) that allow you to set your white point and black point so you have a lot of flexibility in how your image turns out.

HDRSoft gives free trials on Photomatix, by the way. So you can try it for free to see how it works.
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Woodwideweb

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2018, 05:57:05 AM »
Hi jaell

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I very much rely on the software being better than I am at this time, and the benefit of this type of forum is that all of the experience of the members means that the knowledge I gain allows me to better use the software.

I have attached a link to a thread I started last year to get some feedback on an early attempt.  This used Affinity Photo.  I’ve not used other software for HDR, so would be interested to understand the differences.

Does photomatix do the panorama as well or just the HDR?

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33283.msg682529#msg682529

Thanks

Chris
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ken

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2018, 06:20:01 PM »
Hi Ken

Just a quick question on your workflow.  If you shoot 5 images from -2EV to +2EV, so have plenty of blown highlights, do you work on the highlights of each image which are just below being blown out, so therefore have full detail on the highlights in the lowest exposure only? Or did I get the wrong end of a very long stick?  :)

Thanks

Chris

Usually just the images with extreme blown out highlights, which might be +1EV and +2EV only (ex: Swimming pool lights at night, for a back of house shot), but sometimes 0EV (interior daytime shot, window on sunny day).
 
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cayenne

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2018, 02:43:43 PM »
Just to update the thread.

I've been reading and working some with HDR with On1 RAW software.

I haven't nailed it down as full fact yet, HOWEVER, from some blurbs I've been reading, you do your tone mapping within On1 RAW.....and make your HDR image....however, it appears that it keeps all the RAW info associated with that HDR image, and when you are then doing your normal RAW image workflow on that HDR image, it is indeed using RAW phone image info somehow.....so, if that is the case, then it is quite interesting.

I'm curious to see if this is true, if it also is true when working on PANO type shots......

cayenne

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Re: HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2018, 02:43:43 PM »