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.
Vertorama / tiltorama (see comments for details) simply stands for a vertical panorama and it’s one of the best ways to capture interiors. If you are not familiar with panoramic photography, please read my previous post on Equirectangular Panorama to get yourself familiar with the stitching process.
I had an idea recently and was wondering what would happen if I stacked several long exposures in Photoshop. The result can be seen below. This picture was stacked from 20 exposures and I have to say it looks really good. So, what are you waiting for? Take several long exposures, capturing car lights or other moving light sources, open all of them in Photoshop and then stack all the layers together. Unfortunately, you will have to blend the layers individually, working on two images at a time. Select one image and then place another on top of it. Then, select the layer you want to blend in the ‘Layers Tab’ on the left, right-click on it, go to ‘Blending Options’, select ‘Lighten’ from the ‘Blending Mode’ menu and voila! Just continue stacking the layers until you get the desired effect. If you are completely new to long exposure photography please read my post on Long Exposure Photography – Capturing Car Lights.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.
Please read the ‘About’ section for copyright information.