HDR: Do you process RAW images first before combining?

Woodwideweb

I'm New Here
Jan 7, 2017
21
0
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
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,037
167
Woodwideweb said:
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

EOR R
Oct 18, 2011
1,863
53
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

EOS M50
Mar 28, 2013
33
0
Woodwideweb said:
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.
 

Woodwideweb

I'm New Here
Jan 7, 2017
21
0
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
 

ken

Engineer, snapper of photos, player of banjos
Aug 8, 2016
81
65
Huntsville, AL
Woodwideweb said:
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).
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,037
167
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