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Thread: Photomatix HDR Photography

  1. #1

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    Photomatix HDR Photography

    Could anyone please give me some information on how best to obtain high quality HDR images using Photomatix Pro. I shoot using NEF 12 bit raw files and use my auto bracketing feature say for example +1 Normal and -1 three bracketed shots. What am I best doing next, do I process them in my raw editing software to bring out the details but keep the exposure on all three images at their original exposure setting and then load them up into Photomatix or do I load them up as they come out of the camera in their pure raw state? Or do I process the raw files as said and convert to 16 bit tiff files and then load them into my HDR software.
    If anyone could help me get the best from my HDR software I would be very grateful!!

    Kind regards
    Gary wannabe photographer

  2. #2
    Momo's Avatar
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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Well, here's one tip: It is my understanding that Photomatix does not process RAW images very well. Try exporting to the highest quality JPEG first before combining them in Photomatix. Even the engineers at Photomatix will tell you this little tidbit.

  3. #3

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Gary: here is what I do, you should use a stop of greater than +/- 1 for HDR work in future. Load the images in your raw program, adjust all for lens distortion, now I take the base or 0 image and adjust it to how I like it, WB, curves, colours, the whole thing but do not touch exposure then go to select all, synchronize, Ok, then, done. Now as all the changes have been applied to all the images you want to use except as the software need that difference to work load them into you program and then run. Once it has run you can save the result any way that you want.

    Cheers

    Allan

  4. #4
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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Hi Gary, I shoot -2, 0, and +2 EV unless there is a really dramatic contrast range in which I also add a -4 and +4 EV for five shots total.

    Because you can get a better RAW to Jpeg conversion in Lightroom than Photomatix, I convert the images to Jpeg in Lightroom.

    In Photomatix Pro, I open the 3 (or 5) images, process, and save the adjusted tonemapped image.

    Back in Photoshop, I open all the images in layers and blend back into the tonemapped image skin tones, overly dark sky, overly green vegetation from the original images, and correct for any halos that the tonermap process may have created, particularly at the horizon to sky borders.

  5. #5

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Hi Gary, I assume that you use an SLR camera and you state NEF files it's a Nikon
    If so then I would suggest bracketing 7 or 9 shots because at the end of the day it is costing nothing to do so, you may not require all 7 or 9 shots but if you don't have you can't use them and you may not get back to the location and even if you do the light may not be the same. Also do a search on youtube for HDR tutorials also take a look at OnOne software University http://www.youtube.com/user/onOneUniversity the guy on there is like an HDR fanatic (Brian Matiash )
    Russ

  6. #6

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Polar one: "Now as all the changes have been applied to all the images..." Do you do the same changes, curves, WB etc., to all the images or just to the base, or 0 EV image?

  7. #7

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Rambler4466 sorry to take so long to get back to your comment. I select the say 3 images, open all 3 in RAW from bridge, you will know that all three are open as they will appear on the left hand side of the screen. select the one at you call 0 ev, do all your raw changes on that one but DO NOT CHANGE exposure as the HDR program needs those settings. Once you are happy with the look of that image, go to the left hand side of the screen and click on Select ALL, then click on Synchronize, a pop up screen will appear, (it lists all the setting that are to be synchronize) clik Ok or yes (I forgot which it is), now go the the lower right hand side of the screen and click on DONE. This will now close you out of the RAW screen. Now load raw files into your HDR program and run. As to saving the resulting HDR, pick the file format you want now Photomatix saves as a Tiff, you can alway resave it as a PSD or what ever you want.

    Cheers;

    Allan

  8. #8

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Thanks for that Darren much appreciated!

  9. #9

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    I would like to thank you all for your help, much appreciated
    Gary

  10. #10

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Hi Allan,
    I don't have a synchronize button on my Nikon Capture raw editor so not sure what software you are referring to my guess is Photoshop, I have a facility called batch processing would this be the equivalent of Adobe's version?
    regards
    Gary

  11. #11

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    A)
    Answering which brackets can't be done. It would be the same as answering which shutter speed should I use.
    Number of bracket shots and space between depends on the span of light you wan't to catch. Same as the shutter speed (combined with aperature and iso) depends on the amount of light.

    B
    Do not convert raw to jpg before merging into a hdr. If you do not like the Photomatix raw convert, then you should convert into 16-bit tiff that you in turn merge to your hdr. The logic is that you should wait to the very last step to cut out imagedata from your process.

  12. #12
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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Getting HDR photography from one RAW file as described in this Forum is not a „true” technique but when you have fast moving object in a cadre it is the only possibility to produce a tonemapped picture. It is also the case if you do not have high quality, stable camera tripod.
    I used this method (one RAW file “developed” with 2 o 3 different brightness adjustment) and results are quite good. One of the examples I post in Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/640910...7644272425780/).
    By
    Romas

  13. #13
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Roman - yes this is one way of addressing the issue; I've certainly played with the technique, however, given the lighting in the scene, I don't quite understand why you decided to try this technique. I would hardly look at this as a high dynamic range image.

  14. #14
    GrahamS's Avatar
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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography


  15. #15

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    First take the "normal exposure and process that in lightroom to give best image, then apply the same settings to the bracket images.
    Using Nik HDR I can export directly to it for processing, with Photomatrix you have to export jpegs and then put them into the programme - not used lately as NIK gives me results I prefer.

  16. #16

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Hi, Trouble with HDR is that people don't really no how to use it or when to use it, they go around and everything has got to be shot for HDR and although it seems to have kind of leveled off now some images where horrendous. If you wish to get realistic images from HDR choose your subject wisely and don't shoot 7 or 9 images just because your camera can do that, in many cases 3 images will do the job for you.
    Although you state you have Photomatix do a search for other HDR software some are easier to use for a beginner and some a little more advanced but try before you buy.
    I am way far from being an expert on the subject of HDR and still trying to get that natural look to any HDR images I shoot. I am attaching an image here from a hotel lobby that I took last Friday and to me it looks OK to others maybe not so but that is the other side of photography 'If you like it then it is good if you don't then use the delete key and try another image'.
    Russ
    Photomatix HDR Photography
    Photomatix HDR Photography

  17. #17

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    Hi, Trouble with HDR is that people don't really no how to use it or when to use it, they go around and everything has got to be shot for HDR and although it seems to have kind of leveled off now some images where horrendous. If you wish to get realistic images from HDR choose your subject wisely and don't shoot 7 or 9 images just because your camera can do that, in many cases 3 images will do the job for you.
    Although you state you have Photomatix do a search for other HDR software some are easier to use for a beginner and some a little more advanced but try before you buy.
    I am way far from being an expert on the subject of HDR and still trying to get that natural look to any HDR images I shoot. I am attaching an image here from a hotel lobby that I took last Friday and to me it looks OK to others maybe not so but that is the other side of photography 'If you like it then it is good if you don't then use the delete key and try another image'.
    Russ
    Photomatix HDR Photography
    Photomatix HDR Photography
    Looks good to me Russ - good job!

  18. #18

    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    I use Photomatix as a plug in for Aperture on a new Mac Pro a great deal and always work from RAW directly without any problems. If you convert to JPEG you already threw out most of the data!

  19. #19

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    Re: Photomatix HDR Photography

    Watch this:


    I personally prefer working with Photoshop, to combine the different exposures to a 32-bit TIFF file, as he shows at the end of the presentation, though I have tried Photomatix Pro using the technique he teaches, and it worked very well.

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