Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

A Preliminary Test Of HDR Expose 3.1 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

5 June 2014

We have a corner of the dining room where the orchids like to stretch their necks toward the sun and out from the shade of the wine rack. The background makes a nice contrast to the bright flowers. But we're never happy with the results we get there. Fortunately, consolation is easy to uncork.

So we put the Rebel XTi on the old tripod, which didn't quite get low enough for the composition we wanted, and took three shots a stop apart. We were just winging it.

Canon fans will be happy to learn that's a menu setting called AEB for Auto Exposure Bracketing. No, it isn't obvious. We had to go to the manual to find it, in fact.

But it works nicely. When you press the OK button, you can use the left or right arrows to adjust the difference in exposure between three shots. Just three on the XTi. You then take three shots and get standard, decreased and increased exposure.

For a High Dynamic Range image that will combine three shots at three different exposures, you can think of it as shooting for the midtones, highlights and shadows. And that's what we were thinking.

We used the new HDR Expose 3.1 to combine our three Raw shots in its 32-bit color space. It knew the three shots went together without our telling it. When it combined (and aligned) the three tripod images, we strolled through its preset values to find a color one we liked. And a black and white.

Then just for fun, we did the same thing with the correctly exposed middle image in Lightroom.

We cropped everything to fit (pasting just the crop setting) and exported the unoptimized images to the screen size you see above. Just for a fair comparison of starting points.

Then we went back to the Develop module and tweak each image. There was a lot of tweaking for the Lightroom-only image, of course, because it was a Raw file that deserved more than the default adjustment. But there was a tiny bit of tweaking to the HDR Expose images, too. Mainly Clarity.

The second set of images just above this is what those look like. What do you think?

If it matters (and it may not), the HDR Expose Contrast image has a more accurate orchid color than the Lightroom-manipulated Raw image.


Beautiful flowers you have. -- Lasse Jansson

Thank you! And they are patient about their portraits, too. -- Mike

BackBack to Photo Corners