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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Overlaying Two Exposures

Tutorial: Overlaying Two Exposures

Thanks for putting this tutorial together, RogersDA!
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Old November 15th, 2007, 12:34 AM
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This is really cool. Is there a way to get 2 or more images out of one RAW image to use for this project? Is this the way HDR is done?
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Old November 15th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z06Nut View Post
This is really cool. Is there a way to get 2 or more images out of one RAW image to use for this project?
Glad you liked the tutorial. However, I am not quite sure what you mean by asking if there are more images out of one raw file. One raw image is one image.

Quote:
Is this the way HDR is done?
Not really. HDR is obtaining a series of images across a full dynamic range. Also, the scene being shot for HDR must have a significant dynamic range in order for the results from HDR to look correct. The above process only uses two images and accounts for about a 2-stop differential. Also, for HDR the images should be processed preferably at 32 bit using a HDR-specific mathematical routine (built in to some post-processing packages). Most people, however, edit photos at 8 bit thus loosing a lot of the dynamic range. Even at 16 bit there is still quite a loss of data.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogersDA View Post
Glad you liked the tutorial. However, I am not quite sure what you mean by asking if there are more images out of one raw file. One raw image is one image.

Not really. HDR is obtaining a series of images across a full dynamic range. Also, the scene being shot for HDR must have a significant dynamic range in order for the results from HDR to look correct. The above process only uses two images and accounts for about a 2-stop differential. Also, for HDR the images should be processed preferably at 32 bit using a HDR-specific mathematical routine (built in to some post-processing packages). Most people, however, edit photos at 8 bit thus loosing a lot of the dynamic range. Even at 16 bit there is still quite a loss of data.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. I hope this will clarify my questions well enough.
Would it be possible to make copies of one RAW image and change their exposures instead of taking multiple images? Could full dynamic range be obtained?
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Old November 15th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Z06Nut View Post
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. I hope this will clarify my questions well enough.
Would it be possible to make copies of one RAW image and change their exposures instead of taking multiple images? Could full dynamic range be obtained?
No, as far as I know. The one raw image only has the dynamic range of that one image.

For HDR you are essentially get the correct exposure for only a small portion of the overall dynamic range. That's why your take 6 or 7 shots (or more). With one image you may already have some blown sky (for example) which shows as white. By post-processing the image and dropping the exposure by one or two stops will not recover what the image does not have. Same for blacks. Increasing the exposure will not bring back more details that were lost due to clipping.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Y'all are right. This is the best I can do using a single raw image. I copied the image then adjusted the exposures.
http://z06nut.smugmug.com/gallery/10...227001180-A-LB
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Old November 29th, 2007, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Z06Nut View Post
Y'all are right. This is the best I can do using a single raw image. I copied the image then adjusted the exposures.
http://z06nut.smugmug.com/gallery/10...227001180-A-LB
HDR or not - that is still a nice piece o' photography.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Thank you. Your complement is greatly appreciated. I just wish I had more time to shoot.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Actually, you can get multiple images from one RAW image. If you have CS3, you can expose the RAW image for one exposure, open it as a smart object, copy that layer, then click on that new smart object copy which will open ACR again where you can change the exposure. When you click done, the new edit is on top of the old. Now it's a simple task of adding a layer mask and masking out the areas of the top layer to reveal the lower areas as desired to get a nice blend of two exposures. In fact, you can do this many times.

If you don't have CS3, you can still do it, but you won't be using smart layers and you have to actually open multiple images, then drag one image onto the other. Then, you can use the layer masks to blend as desired.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for the comments, ohenry. Your suggestion is essentially what the tutorial does (albeit without smart layers).

The problem with doing this with one raw file is that you can never recover what has been lost during the original shoot. Blown highlights and blacks can't recover the original details with simple adjustments in ACR/Lightroom.

Therefore, to get a dynamic range greater than 5 stops one should get two exposures to avoid the blown highlights and blacks.
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