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Thread: How to take HDR photos of people.

  1. #1

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    How to take HDR photos of people.

    I understand that you're supposed to take 1 under exposed, 1 normal, and 1 over exposed and combine them with post processing software.

    I've seen many beautiful pictures of people posing with this kind of HRD effect. How are you able to take 3 pictures of that person without moving?

    Or do you just take 1 photo and darken, lighten them to create 3 copies and than compress? I'm so lost.

  2. #2
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Mike Bareham

    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    If you shoot in RAW you can create the three or more copies of any photograph with the required under or over exposure in your processing software. Much easier!!

  3. #3

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    Alan Pezzulich

    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    Movement in HDR photography is a problem. If you have people you want in the picture here are two ways of doing it.

    1. Take a HDR sequence (3 or more shots required) and take a seperate photo of the person or persons and combine them in post processing.

    2. Take the HDR sequence with the people included and hope that the deghosting operation in your software can remove the ghosts. I have done this with CS5 and it works most of the time.

    Alan

  4. #4
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    In photos with movement, I usually take only one shot, compensated by one stop down to keep the highlights. Then I create 3 pictures from the original with ajusted exposure in ACR.

    I use Photomatix to create the HDR and NIK Dfine for noise reduction.

    it works fine to me.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    You can use AEB, or..the other way what ppl often use is (fe.in Cs) - Image>adjustments>shadows and highlights... It's big different between hdr Effect and real HDR.

  6. #6
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    And use a tripod if you are using exposure bracketing, the slightest movement by you will be evident if you are handholding the camera.

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    I think my camera can manage up to 6.5 raw frames a second. So now I only take 3 frames and if the people are a fair distance away and slow moving it sometimes works.

    Another way would be to load so much black glass in front of the lens that the exposure takes minutes rather than fractions of a second; actually that will cause the people to disappear. I've not done it but it just seems logical, unless they are sitting, forget that last suggestion, it is nutty.

  8. #8

    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    If you shoot in RAW you can create the three or more copies of any photograph with the required under or over exposure in your processing software. Much easier!!
    Forgive me if I am missing something here ... but if you have the RAW why would you need to make three versions from a single RAW image and use HDR software to combine the three again, albeit adjusted. Why not use the RAW directly in Aperture or Lightroom and select the highlights and shadow detail you want to create the dynamic range you desire?

  9. #9

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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    If you're adept at making selections, take one properly exposed image with the people>take 3 more for
    your HDR image and process those into HDR>insert the people into that HDR image. Are you that good?

  10. #10
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    I'm getting confused reading this. If you want to create a proper HDR you need to capture multiple images (3 or 5 or 7 etc) at different exposure levels because in that way the camera will capture a higher dynamic range across the whole shot when combined. Doing it from a single RAW seems to work, but you will get much better results with multiple RAW.

    Movement of the subjects is therefore a no-no. But! I have hand-held for multiple HDR exposures of a non-moving subject, and you can then align the shots in Photoshop when you do the HDR (not sure about other HDR software).

    I think you may be referring to images you have seen which have an HDR 'effect' which is done with 'tone-mapping' a process they may be done after the images have been HDR merged. A sort of cartoonish/gritty look?

    Have a look at this - he explains how to do proper HDR very well.


  11. #11

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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalclips View Post
    Forgive me if I am missing something here ... but if you have the RAW why would you need to make three versions from a single RAW image and use HDR software to combine the three again, albeit adjusted. Why not use the RAW directly in Aperture or Lightroom and select the highlights and shadow detail you want to create the dynamic range you desire?
    Using multiple copies from a single Raw image with different conversion settings isn't true HDR it is only 'stretching what you have to make it go further'. However, yes, I regularly do it when I need to stretch the available range and there was subject movement which prevented multiple bracketed exposures.

    Making as much use of Raw editing as possible tends to provide a 'smoother stretch' and better overall result than attempting to 'force' just one conversion using other software.

    And one additional benefit if you have the correct Raw editing software is to create the first Raw conversion as a Smart Object. You can then make copies of that object (right click menu) and 'return' those copies to ACR for re-editing (2x click) so you can keep making changes to your original Raw file as required until you end up with that desired perfect result.

    This gives a little bit more overall control than simply creating 3, or more, straight copies with fixed editing at the time of conversion or editing a single conversion with other software.

    Sometimes, I do make a little bit of selective editing tweaks to those resulting Raw file layers using adjustment layers and editing a mask. But you need to combine the adjustment layer with the Raw layer before finally merging the Raw layers.

    With regard to using HDR merging software. I have tried several different software options but have never been totally happy with the result; so I always do 'Hand Made HDR Merges' now, by using masks which I can edit to get everything exactly as I personally want it.

    But, I am working with layers and masks to create an overall image. This doesn't work if your software won't support layers.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 14th January 2015 at 06:34 PM.

  12. #12
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: How to take HDR photos of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalclips View Post
    Forgive me if I am missing something here ... but if you have the RAW why would you need to make three versions from a single RAW image and use HDR software to combine the three again, albeit adjusted. Why not use the RAW directly in Aperture or Lightroom and select the highlights and shadow detail you want to create the dynamic range you desire?
    The main purpose of HDR is to bring up the shadow detail without increasing the noise in these areas and also to avoid highlight clipping. If you have only one image, using the shadows slider will increase the noise and if the highlights are clipped you may not be able to recover them with the highlights slider. However converting the single image into three using the exposure slider will also bring up the noise in the shadows and may not be able to recover the highlights. So yes IMO there is no advantage in the one into three approach. This approach does mean though that you are using HDR software which does a lot of things automatically and also offers the tone mapping features to which Rob refers. However you can usually tone map a single image with most HDR software anyway.

    Dave

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