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P/S Action for single image HDR from L/R to P/S and back?

russellsnr 13 198 England
7 Feb 2013 9:04PM
Hi, I no some or most people say that an image made from one base image with the exposure changed is not real HDR but as a over 50′s person forgive me if I am wrong.
If you take said image and change the exposure you can bring out a little bit more of H & S in the image and now with 32 bit available from L/R to P/S and back life gets a little easier. Would it be possible to make an Action in P/S so that you could send more than one image from L/R with different subjects, run the action to change exposure values on each image, merge to HDR and send back to L/R all in one go. I tried with virtual copies but the metadata stays the same in virtual copies as the original image I believe.

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Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
7 Feb 2013 10:29PM
If you capture a single exposure, you could potentially capture 11-12 stops of dynamic range with most DSLR's. There is no way that you can increase this by processing different versions of the same image. If however, you captured 3 images two stops apart, you have added 4 stops of dynamic range and thus could expect to benefit from that in the processing. You could use special HDR software which is probably the easiest and quickest way to extract this extra dynamic range but you could also use Photoshop to produce a 32 bit image from the 3 exposures. You can then edit the 32 bit image in LR4 to extract the full dynamic range.

The process of using a single frame with HDR software can have some value but it does not increase the dynamic range. Altering the exposure values in the EXIF data does not change the data in the file so will not help. However, some do take a single Raw file and alter the exposure setting in the Raw editor to produce 3 separate images at apparantly say =/- 2 stops for processing in HDR software. What many do not understand that they have added no additional data to what was present in the original Raw file. An alternative is to just open the single Raw file in the HDR software and tone map to get the best result. If you use the Basic adjustments well in LR4, it actually surprising just how much shadow and highlight detail can be extracted from a single Raw file.

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
7 Feb 2013 10:48PM
does tone mapping a single image have much the same effect as doing the above?

never tried either...
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
7 Feb 2013 11:03PM
There's far more info in 1 RAW in most modern dSLR's than there is in 3 JPEGS from the same camera (you throw away so much information when the image is downsized to 8 bit, the tone curve the camera applies also reduces the dynamic range). When you tonemap 1 RAW you can get a certain "look" thats difficult (not impossible) to get in PS. I can't understand why people make 3 (or more) images from one RAW, when all the info is in the one file to start with.

With some cameras the need for HDR is almost becoming redundant, there dynamic range is ca 4 to 5 stops more than 5 years ago. So when we used to all do +/- 2 stops, we still didn't cover the same dynamic rane we now get with 1 RAW (it also needs we don't need the same filter strength we once needed).
russellsnr 13 198 England
8 Feb 2013 8:25AM
Hi, Many thanks for the replies, I was trying to save some time in the processing of the one image ie 3 X copies +1, 0 -1, I see if you put the three copies into P/S HDR it will ask you to change the exposure values for at least two of the images and this was the process I was trying get in Lightroom first so I could make a preset and apply it to more than one photo at anytime -1, 0, +1 or even -2, 0, +2 whatever you made the preset to do but seems you cannot change the EXIF data in each copy. I am now thinking maybe it can be done in P/S as an action to batch process single images.
My reasoning for what I wanted to do was not so much for an HDR image but I notice if you combine more than one image it seems to bring out more detail from the S & H parts of the photo, I also believe that it can be done in P/S with layers, but felt that this way was a little more time consuming. I am nowhere near an expert when it comes to P/S infact I spend more time trying to learn Lightroom.
Thanks again
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
8 Feb 2013 7:33PM
But why make 3 conversions. All the information is in one RAW file, just tonemap that if you must - you can get the same result.
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
9 Feb 2013 9:18AM
Worth just adding to Nick's comments that the current version of Adobe Raw makes it even easier than in the past.

JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
9 Feb 2013 10:23AM

Quote:I spend more time trying to learn Lightroom.

If you have LR 4 then I suggest you persevere with it.

Adobe even reference the Basic panel in the Develop Module as tone mapping.
In fact they go even further and say it analyses an image for it's dynamic range / contrast and adjusts the algorithms before you even start making adjustments.

Quote:bring out more detail from the S & H parts of the photo

This is where LR 4 excels so much over previous versions and one can " rescue " all but the most severe examples of Highlight & Shadow contrast.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
9 Feb 2013 10:51AM
Just use exposure setting to get the brightness you want (forget h and s at this stage) then in highlights move slider to left to retreive (can rescue about 1 stop) shadows move to the right (you can retreive a minimum of 2.5 stops),

I don't bother much with black / white sliders, this seems just another way to alter contrast (curve tool is much better),

Forgot to say don't use default Adobe profile, I find it has too much contrast and blocks out detail (neutral is a far better starting point ).

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