Affinity Photo, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

I’ll be the first to admit there’s a lot about colour I don’t know, so feel free to correct me if I misstep. I have a Sony A7RIII, Capture One Pro for Sony 20.1 and Affinity Photo 1.8.3.

NB: I can’t see what you’re seeing because your monitor is different. Also, these are sRGB .jpg screen captures of what I’m seeing. Still, there’s value in comparing them to each other.

Since Lightroom (Lr) 6.14 doesn’t work very well with my .arw files, I’ve been using Affinity Photo (AP) to combine my HDRs and panoramas. I’ve learned a few things. I took nine images made last October to play with. None of this is worth keeping, but it’s good to play with.

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An Unusual Lightroom Problem… And Solution

Hi Folks:

Last fall we were at Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads University and (among other works) I made some bracketed images for building HDR panoramas. Unfortunately, due to a technical error (the nut behind the camera) I violated one of the basic tenets of making panoramas: always use manual exposure. As such, for one of my panorama images (made from two bracketed sets of exposures), the right group of images came out visibly lighter than the left. Compare the large Douglas fir in both images:

In current versions of Lightroom one can make HDR panoramas in one step, but in my older version I have to do this in two steps. No matter. The challenge was that when I joined the two HDR composites together, it was easy to see where the join between them is:

What to do? Fortunately, Lightroom has a built-in solution, although it’s not well known. In the Library module one selects the group of images involved (two in this case) and moves to the Develop module. Under Settings, about ½ way down the menu, click on Match Total Exposures. We did a blog post on this back several years ago (Match Total Exposures in Lightroom) if you want to know more. Basically the tool works only with the Exposure slider, and – using the most selected image as a baseline – adjusts the exposure of the other selected image(s) to match. In this case it turned down the exposure on the image on the right by ¾ stop:

Comparing the above two images you can see that they’re much more in line with each other. This time when I combined the two into a panorama the results were much more even:

Finally, after setting the white balance and pushing the image around a bit we come to the final output:

Japanese Garden, Royal Roads University

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!


Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

This started out as an idea for a blog post, evolved into a one-hour presentation for our local camera group, and now I’ll try to compress that into a blog post. We’ll see how it goes.

There are several questions to begin with, the first of which is… why do this? The answer is to extend or expand the capabilities of your camera, no matter the camera. There are at least five different reasons that I know of to combine multiple exposures into one image. These are two of them. The second question is, why cell phones? This post doesn’t only involve cell phones, but cell phones are ubiquitous. Some people only make images with their phones, despite the technical challenges, but the bottom line is that it depends on how you’re planning to use your images.

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An HDR Comparison

Hi Folks:

When you mention the term HDR, many people’s thoughts automatically jump to tonemapping and the results that can produce. That’s not what this post is about. If you don’t understand what HDR is all about or why you might want to use it in your photography, I suggest starting here: Why Use HDR? I’ll wait…

Okay, welcome back. I recently acquired a Sony A7R III and one of the features of this camera is that it has a very wide dynamic range – 12 to 14 stops are claimed. To that end, HDR capture with this camera isn’t often necessary. However, a friend of mine and I were out at Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens last weekend and I wanted to try bracketing a few exposures just to see. Now, when it comes to the question of how many exposures to make and at what EV levels, there’s really only one answer: it depends. It depends on the scene and it also depends on the camera you’re using and what capabilities it has. For my experiment I decided to shoot 5 bracketed exposures at -4/-2/0/+2/+4 EV. Here’s an example of one of those combined images after having been pushed around a bit in Lr.

Water Dragon
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Photo of the Month – January

Hi Folks:

Well, my first photo of the month post for 2012, and also my first image posted here that was processed with Lightroom 4 Beta.  Marcia and I were ‘up island’ briefly in Campbell River this past month, and took the opportunity to go for a short walk along the shore at Willow Point.  The tide was out and some of the rocks that were revealed were incredible.  I liked this one in particular.  This is an HDR image, 3 exposures at -1/0/+1, shot hand-held and joined together with Autopano Pro then finished off in Lightroom.  I trust you like it!!

Rocky Shore

Now go out and make some photographs!


Photo of the Month – October

Hi Folks:

End of the month again, and while Hallowe’en is tomorrow, I’m not going to post pictures of zombies, ghouls, ghosts or other Hallowe’en characters.  I thought I’d mention something else entirely: serendipity.  Roughly defined as a ‘happy accident’, serendipity from a photographer’s perspective often comes about from having a camera at just the right moment, to capture something you might otherwise have missed.  Most of my photography is landscape work, and while I do go out on photographic expeditions, I usually have a camera with me wherever I go – even if it’s just the camera in my cell phone. Continue Reading →

Using the LR/Enfuse plugin for Lightroom

Hi Folks:

There was a question on Twitter today asking people about their favourite Lightroom plugin.  While I have a few that I use (including Jeffrey Friedl’s export plugin for Flickr), one of the plugins I use the most is the LR/Enfuse plugin from Timothy Armes.  In essence the LR/Enfuse plugin allows you to combine multiple exposures into one image, and I use it in three different ways: Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – Discoveries

Hi Folks:

April’s ‘Photo of the Month’ is a little late, but bear with me…  Although I do have a bus pass, I also walk around town – a lot – and in the process I’m always making new discoveries.  A couple of weeks ago I was walking around the Fairfield area when I saw a faded beauty partially protected by an overhang… looked to have been there a long time (30+ years, anyway).  It was something I’d never seen before, but a little research confirmed a 1952 Humber Super Snipe.  For all you non-biologist types, a snipe is a small woodland bird (its use for Quidditch was replaced by the golden snitch in Harry Potter fame but that’s another story). Continue Reading →

Photographing Moving Water – Revisited

Hi Folks:

Last month I did a blog post on a technique I’ve been playing with for ‘Photographing Moving Water‘.  I’m not going to reiterate that technique here so if you’d like to read that other post first, I’ll wait…

…welcome back!

Now, I’ve used this idea on several photos and it generally works pretty well, but I’d only used it on wave action down at the shore of the ocean.  I’d been wondering how well it would work on a stream, waterfall or other moving water, so I went out yesterday to make some more images.  This is my second ‘winter’ here on the island and I’m still not quite used to the idea of using ‘January’ and ‘spring’ in the same sentence, but the skunk cabbage leaves were already starting to unfurl when I was out…  Anyway, I digress. Continue Reading →

Why Use HDR?

Hi Folks:

I was at an informal gathering of photographers recently where we were sharing and discussing our work.  I displayed a sunset image that I had made (this one)

Seeing the Light

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