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Thread: process or not to process

  1. #1

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    process or not to process

    A quick question, do any of you process pictures before you put them into HDR? if so, what do you do to the pictures before the HDR process begins?

  2. #2
    James G's Avatar
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    Re: process or not to process

    Depends on what you consider processing.
    I usually open each of the set in ACR and then remove any noise and colour artefacts using Luminance and Color sliders in the detail panel.
    I also adjust clarity and vibrance at this stage using the sliders on the basic panel.

    I save the changes in ACR and then return to Bridge and use Merge to HDR to generate the 32 image in CS4 which I save as using the OPEN EXR format.

    I then one map this 32 bit image in Photomatix Pro saving the output as a 16bit LDR file which I then put back trough ACR to remove any new noise and colour aretfacts before I process for print/display in CS4
    Hope this helps, cheers, James

  3. #3

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    Re: process or not to process

    Thanks James, i'll try out your method. So far all i've done is take 3 pictures and send them to photomatix, seems i missed a few steps!! oop's.

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    Re: process or not to process

    Quote Originally Posted by mrrod View Post
    A quick question, do any of you process pictures before you put them into HDR?
    If you can feed them into the HDR software as RAW captures then it'll give you the best outcome - so - "no" is the ideal answer.

  5. #5

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    Re: process or not to process

    That's what i've been doing Colin, thought there might be something i might not be doing.

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    Re: process or not to process

    I use Lightroom 2.6, with the (free) plugin for sending photos to Photomatix for HDR processing.

    Select your photos in Lr, export to Photomatix via the plugin, process in Photomatix using tone mapping, returns a tiff file (or other choice as you wish) to Lr which can then be processed in usual, normal ways in Lightroom if necessary.

    Process works seamlessly without any preprocessing required.

  7. #7
    James G's Avatar
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    Re: process or not to process

    As previous contributors have indicated processing directly into Photoshop or CS4 does work seamlessly without other processing.

    It is worth pointing out though that noise when tonemapped can have an impact on the quality of the final image. Noise in your source images has a tendancy to be compounded by the tonemapping process.

    Camera technique such as lowest ISO where possible when shooting can minimise the resultant noise as well, but I have found that treating any remaining noise before processing to 32 bit results in less going forward to the tone mapping stage.
    I'd suggest you try processing using both techniques to determine which works best for you in terms of preferred final effect.

    Cheers, James

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