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Panorama Stitching + HDR ?

16 Jul 2012 7:38PM
I'm still using a Canon 10D with a 6MP sensor and I like taking both shots to stitch together to make a panorama and multiple exposures for HDR work.

The problem is that I take -2, -1 , 0 exposures for the HDR work, and photoshop has a real problem stitching together -2 and some -1 images.

Can anyone suggestion a method or piece of software which can stitch together dark images for this purpose.


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sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2012 10:41PM
I should open by stressing I have never tried this, but what the heck. If I were to give it a go I'd probably do the HDR first - perhaps setting a preset for each of the tone mapped images to ensure image consistency. Once I have my tone mapped images I'd use PS to combine them and finish the processing.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
16 Jul 2012 11:13PM
17 Jul 2012 9:04AM
PT GUI - Thanks, dark image, first time, no fuss and blindingly fast Grin
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
17 Jul 2012 9:27AM
there's a "Merge bracketed photos" option in there - its very clever Smile
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
17 Jul 2012 10:16AM
I have produced several HDR panoramas over the years. While there are several ways of tackling this, I recommend that you HDR process the multiple exposures then stitch the HDR images to form the panorma. While you are advised to use manual exposure for panoramas to avoid steps in the exposure, this is less important when HDR is involved as the scenes tend to be equalised by the HDR process. I was not sure why you are taking -2, -1, 0 which I presume refers to EV and is dependent on what you conside to be 0. Is this Raw or JPEG?

I would normally take 3 exposures -2, 0 , +2 EV Raw files for landscapes and -4, -2, 0, +2, +4 EV Raw files for particularly high dynamic range scenes. If you are taking JPEG then you do probably need to capture at 1 stop intervals but will need more exposures than required for Raw. It is not necessary to have symmetry to these exposures but important to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene. I use Oloneo for the HDR and PS for the stitching.

17 Jul 2012 9:25PM
-2, 0 and +2 EV works for me in JPEG. I seldom use RAW as my S3 Pro's buffer fills up quickly and I hate having to wait for it to clear. Sad I'm not sure if I showed this here before? 108 frames processed as HDR (in threes) then stitched in batches. Smile I can't remember now whether I shot in two horizontal rows or three.
17 Jul 2012 10:57PM
nice image. Think I will need to take a bunch of photos specific for this purpose, and try all methods suggested here, and see what I feel works best for me.

Thank you all.
MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
18 Jul 2012 12:39AM

Quote:Nice image. Think I will need to take a bunch of photos specific for this purpose, and try all methods suggested here, and see what I feel works best for me.

Thank you all.

What works best for you isn't probably best for the image

What works best for the image may differ from image to image, depending upon the circumstances
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
18 Jul 2012 9:41AM
Nothing wrong with experimenting as I frequently do this to discover information myself. However, HDR is now well documented in books and for panoramas there are only three possibilities:

Merge>Tone Map>Stitch
Merge>Stitch>Tone Map
Stitch>Merge>Tone Map

The first method is what I use and is straightforward. The second method can also provide good results but you do need stitching software which can stitch 32 bit images. The third method has several problems as you have discovered. It may be difficult to stitch the extreme exposures through lack of detail so auto-alignment fails. If you follow normal good guidance for creating HDR sets and follow good guidance for creating panoramas, you should be fine with method 1. Ensure that you have sufficient exposures at the right interval (up to 2 stops interval for Raw and 1 stop interval for JPEG) to cover the dynamic range of the scene. Either estimate from knowledge of the type of scene or measure with a spot meter. If you are seeing noise in your HDR images you have not captured enough or the right exposures. For panoramas allow a minimim of 20% overlap and manual exposure is usually preferred (this is not as important for method 1 as the HDR tends to equalise differences).

You do not have to use special HDR software now if you have LR4.1 If you can create a 32 bit file from your HDR sets, these can be manually edited (rather than tone mapped) in LR4.1 which now edits 32 bit files. The effect is very impressive and produces results almost as good as the best HDR software and better than some. However, this does require manual editing skills and time.


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