Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) HDR software & hardware (Public) topic #7431
View in linear mode

Subject: "HDR Workflow" Previous topic | Next topic
dgs2 Registered since 30th Sep 2004Wed 24-Oct-12 07:46 PM
710 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"HDR Workflow"


San Francisco, US
          

I haven't done much with HDR until recently. I returned from a trip to Tetons/Yellowstone and took quite a few brackets on a tripod. I have Nik HDR Efex in both the Photoshop version and the plug-in for Aperture/Lightroom. My current workflow has been to convert the NEF files in NX 2, apply a little capture sharpening to each image, and then save as 16-bit TIFF. I then open the TIFFs in HDR Efex and work on them. I have also tried working directly with the plug-in, but mostly use the TIFF approach. Can anyone suggest a more efficient workflow? I don't worry about storage, as I have several external hard drives. But I'm pretty sure there is probably a better way to do this.

dgs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
Wingman Silver Member
24th Oct 2012
1
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
dgs2
24th Oct 2012
2
     Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
Wingman Silver Member
24th Oct 2012
3
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
Antero52 Silver Member
25th Oct 2012
4
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
dgs2
25th Oct 2012
5
     Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
Antero52 Silver Member
26th Oct 2012
6
          Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
dgs2
30th Oct 2012
7
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
cchoc Moderator
31st Oct 2012
8
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
ndtking Gold Member
31st Oct 2012
9
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
mnbuilder49 Moderator
31st Oct 2012
10
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
JonK Moderator
31st Oct 2012
11
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
dgs2
01st Nov 2012
12
Reply message RE: HDR Workflow
cchoc Moderator
10th Nov 2012
13

Wingman Silver Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002Wed 24-Oct-12 09:03 PM
1142 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#1. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


Kimberley, CA
          

I am fairly new to HDR, and have not used NIK. I have a question, though. Why convert to TIFF before importing into software? Using both CS5 and my new copy of Oloneo Photoengine I have just been importing NEF files into the software and letting the software do the conversions. Is there an advantage to converting to TIFF and then importing?

Thanks

Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
dgs2 Registered since 30th Sep 2004Wed 24-Oct-12 11:31 PM
710 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 1


San Francisco, US
          

No, it's probably not a good idea. I guess it's force of habit. Even though I have not done much with HDR, I started working with it before I upgraded to CS 5. I had CS 3 or something like that. Adobe did not support reading NEFs from my D7000. (One of the irritating things I found out about Adobe's way they do things.)So now I have CS 5, and it reads my NEFs, but I guess I trust NX 2 to do a better job of rendering the NEF. I would say there are few who would agree that this is worth the effort. I may try a comparison tonight and see if there in any difference.

dgs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Wingman Silver Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002Wed 24-Oct-12 11:59 PM
1142 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 2


Kimberley, CA
          

Please do -- it would be an interesting comparison.Do you ever get edge artifacts such as I posted here:

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=302&topic_id=7423&mesg_id=7423&page=

Neal

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Thu 25-Oct-12 06:40 AM
2495 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


Vantaa, FI
          

> “Can anyone suggest a more efficient workflow?”

Define “efficient”, please.

If efficiency is a measure of the key/mouse actions needed to have a bracket series processed, assuming you already manage the photos in Lightroom, you can’t beat a plug-in to HDR software like Photomatix.

But if efficiency is a measure of the time needed to try various conversion to see which is best, either in itself or as material for further post-processing, then I suggest an extra step in the process. And more so if there are deghosting issues. It takes a while for the HDR software to align the bracketed images and perform deghosting. And it takes time for you to do manual deghosting, in which you outline the affected areas and select the best single image as the source for deghosting. You don’t want these steps to be repeated for each tonemapping experiment. This is why it makes sense to create a 32-bit HDR file, store it, and use the same HDR file for all several tonemapping experiments. Photomatix, which I use most, lets you save the HDR file if you check the “show intermediary 32-bit image” or thereabouts (I don’t remember the exact legend).

As the HDR format, I understand OpenEXR (file extension .EXR) is best for general-purpose photography. Its absolute luminosity range is not as extreme as in some other formats but on the other hand the step size (for a 1-bit change) is small, which reduces the risk of banding. The dynamic range of OpenEXR is about 10 orders of magnitude = about 33 EV values. Assuming your raw file captures a range of 13 EV values, you need 20 additional photos with 1 EV spacing, or 10 photos with 2 EV spacing, to exceed that dynamic range.

Regards, Antero

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
dgs2 Registered since 30th Sep 2004Thu 25-Oct-12 07:41 PM
710 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 4


San Francisco, US
          

Antero,

WOW! Thanks for the response. You are clearly light years (or lightrooms) ahead of me. I had never heard of .EXR and I didn't know you could save an image as 32-bit. Clearly I have some learning to do.Do you have any recommendations for a source for this type of information?

dgs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Fri 26-Oct-12 06:53 AM
2495 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 5
Fri 26-Oct-12 06:58 AM by Antero52

Vantaa, FI
          

Thank your for you very generous comments. I have three books dedicated to HDR. One is from the "for Dummies" series, not very useful. The useful ones are by Trey Ratcliff (more exiting examples than workflow discussions) and David Nightingale (better at workflow discussions and comparisons between the various HDR engines on the market).

But I don't think any of these books discusses the act of saving the intermediary HDR file, at least not in any detail. I believe the recommendation to create the 32-bit HDR file and work on it before tone-mapping to LDR was from Martin Evening in his CS5/CS6 books, in which he showed how it is possible to use different exposure adjustments and layer masks to perform the tonemapping yourself and not entrust it to the more or less automatic and rigid decisions of the HDR software.

As regards the question of whether to feed the HDR program with raw images or TIFFs created with your normal raw converter, the Nightingale book showed with examples that the noise reduction in Lightroom is much better than the corresponding function in HDR programs. Thus it makes sense to create the TIFFs in Lightroom.

Also, I know from experience that in difficult alignment cases in which there is significant deghosting to be done, like lots of leaves, waves or whatever blowing in the wind, it is best to align the layers in Photoshop, and use layer masks to temporarily hide the areas that shouldn't be used for aligning. The aligned layer stack is then exported from Photoshop as TIFFs or JPGs.

Regards, Antero

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
dgs2 Registered since 30th Sep 2004Tue 30-Oct-12 10:57 PM
710 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 6


San Francisco, US
          

Thanks, very helpful. I have Martin Evenings' book on CS 5 so I will check it out.

dgs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter MemberWed 31-Oct-12 03:05 PM
4515 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#8. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


Marietta, US
          

I import my photos into LR4, select the exposures I want, go into develop mode and apply sharpening, WB changes, etc to one of the images, sync the changes to the other images and then export to either HDR Efex 2 or Photomatix using their plugins. The plugins essentially create temporary TIFFs for import and then delete them after the blended image is created.

The process sounds a lot more complicated written down then it is in practice.

Charlie...
stalking light

Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

ndtking Gold Member Nikonian since 16th Jun 2008Wed 31-Oct-12 04:43 PM
213 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


Kitchener, CA
          

I also start with the Raw files in LR, and it's nothing for me to shoot several hundred exposures in a day. Typically, here's my process:

I import the raw files into LR, and group them into groups of 3,5 or 7 depending the number of exposures. From there I can right click on a group and send them directly to "Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop". From there I do the tonemapping, then save back to LR as a TIFF (this part is seamless between LR and PS). Back in LR, I do the post processing on the merged TIFF. This may include exposure/white balance, cropping, perspective control, noise reduction, etc.

If I'm doing outdoor shots with a large dynamic range, I may do a couple of runs through the HDR process. For instance, I don't like to put too much detail into foliage, it doesn't look right to me, but I do like to put detail into rocks and bridges, so if I have a scene with both I'll run two instances of the HDR TIFF and use layers and masking to combine them.

You could also combine the raw data files into PS and save as a 32-bit file, then run that through the Nik software.

Gerry King
Ontarian Nikonian
Flickr Gallery:www.flickr.com/photos/ndtking

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

mnbuilder49 Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, especially in Interiors Architecture, Landscape and HDR Photography Nikonian since 18th Apr 2006Wed 31-Oct-12 08:38 PM
3430 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


Lakeville, US
          

I would recommend that you don't sharpen the images prior to the hdr processing. It is best to not sharpen the image until you have determined the final size. I keep an hdr folder and a processed folder so that I always have an unsharpened copy of the file.

Also in answer to the question about why converting to tiff before the hdr processing. If there are any white balance issues at all they need to be addressed before the hdr processing. For my own use if the white balance is correct, I hdr process the raw images directly.

Larry
http://www.larryandersonphotography.com
http://www.andersonmasterbuilders.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Wed 31-Oct-12 10:58 PM
4450 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0


New York, US
          

To build on Larry's comments: preparing files for HDR is an exception to capture-sharpening theory. HDR effects are almost always contrast enhancements — a sharpening effect — so you don't want any sharpening on the way in to the HDR pipeline.

I find that most of my HDR processing yields images that require no additional sharpening.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
dgs2 Registered since 30th Sep 2004Thu 01-Nov-12 08:19 PM
710 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#12. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 11


San Francisco, US
          

Thanks to all who responded. I did not know about the advantage to not sharpening images before HDR processing. I also learned a lot from all the other information. To respond to one of the posts - I have seen no advantage to converting to TIFFs. I tried an HDR directly from the RAW files and it turned out as good or better than the others that were first converted to TIFFs. I know everyone is very busy and I appreciate all of you taking the time to answer.

dgs

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter MemberSat 10-Nov-12 12:57 PM
4515 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#13. "RE: HDR Workflow"
In response to Reply # 11


Marietta, US
          

Larry and Jon, I have found by experimentation that I get much better results (at least with Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro 2) when I sharpen prior to HDR rather than after. I do use a sharpening mask, though.

I used to do a lot of HDR when I shot with my D200 and this was consistently the case, I don't do much HDR any more with my D700 and D3s since I find I don't need too very often.

Charlie...
stalking light

Nikonians Team Member

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) HDR software & hardware (Public) topic #7431 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.