Ever since I started developing a strong interest in panoramic photography, I also became interested in exploring HDR photography. One day these two finally came together and I decided to capture my first genuine HDR equirectangular panorama. It was not easy but I got there eventually and I’d like to share my thoughts with other panoramic and HDR photography enthusiasts. This post will guide you through the process of capturing a genuine HDR equirectangular panorama and will discuss the issues related to both the equipment as well as workflow. If you are not familiar with panoramic or HDR photography, please read my previous posts: Equirectangular Panorama and HDR from a single RAW
This week I’ve decided to experiment with the Peirce Quincuncial projection. In simple terms, this is a projection which is capable of projecting an equirectangular panorama onto a square. It’s similar to a stereographic projection as both of them represent a 360° field of view. The only difference between them is that a stereographic projection will produce a spherical image whereas Peirce Quincuncial will project the final image onto a square. If you are new to panoramic photography, please familiarise yourself with my previous posts on Equirectangular Panorama as you will need one to follow this step-by-step tutorial.
Ever since my taste for HDR photography started to develop, I’ve always used Photomatix Pro and thought that it’s all I will ever need to process my HDR images. Recently, however, I have started experimenting with Photoshop CS5 Merge to HDR plug-in and the results can be seen below.
Following my recent trip to the local museum, I’ve decided to write about the advantages of shooting HDR from a single RAW file using Photomatix Pro. If you are interested in this technique, please read my previous post ‘HDR from a single RAW‘.
First of all, shooting traditional HDR using your camera bracketing mode may prove extremely difficult, especially in low light situations as well as inside buildings. The picture below was shot with 1/25s, which is already a rather slow shutter speed for handheld photography. Creating brackets with your camera means that for overexposed brackets the shutter would have to be approximately 1/10s and that will definitely blur the image due to camera shake. Obviously, you can use a tripod for this kind of pictures but most places won’t allow you to use one for various reasons. Secondly, carrying and setting up your tripod every time you want to take a picture is also troublesome. Instead, you can capture one RAW file and then process it in Photomatix Pro. You don’t even have to create brackets yourself. Just open Photomatix, go to ‘File’ then select ‘Open’ and indicate your RAW image. Next, select the right settings and Photomatix will process the image and you still will be able to adjust the settings to get the desired effect. The results can be seen below.