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Justin Case

Merge to HDR in Lightroom

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Interesting, I've occasionally used Merge to HDR in Lightroom for interiors when the windows are in the shot and the camera is on a tripod and it works very well, a pretty naturalistic result as he says and I've sometimes used it with landscapes, again with a tripod.

 

I hadn't realised that it was worth even trying the same with hand-held unaligned shots, maybe I'll give it a try. Slightly dubious over whether it would stand up to examination at 100% if, like in his example, the 'brightest' exposure was 2 seconds though.

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I have used Merge in LR many times and not very often with the camera mounted on a 

tripod.  Last year I had to photograph an entire company, over 200 people outside, quickly.

Had 10,000 watts of strobe setup and shot five frames, scanning horizontally with the camera

held vertically.  Left some room to merge and it was pretty simple.  The client made a 20 X 24 

print and used the image in print and on their web site.  I did not use HDR though.

 

Chuck

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guild-inn-renovated-historic-heritage-ho

 

I use photomerge handheld for panoramas in photoshop all the time. It is very powerful.

 

I use the in viewfinder level, to level the camera and make the back shoot straight ahead. Not tilted up or down. Make your first shot in the centre of the subject and then go on to the next shot with a 40% overlap. As Chuck says hold the camera vertical, use a wide angle lens, and leave lots of room to crop. In this handheld panorama, I used a wide enough lens to get the entire chimney included while shooting straight ahead to get the first floor windows centered in the image at the same time. No tilting up to get the chimney.


I then cropped out the foreground in this final merged image.
 

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19 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

I have used Merge in LR many times and not very often with the camera mounted on a 

tripod. 

 

1 hour ago, Bill Brooks said:

I use photomerge handheld for panoramas in photoshop all the time. It is very powerful.

 

Thanks for sharing your techniques with Photomerge to Panorama, I agree that it's good for handheld with care, especially with respect to holding the camera level. I often use a shift lens to remove the foreground in camera.

 

My reservations about the need for a tripod were about Merge to HDR as demonstrated in the linked video where the same dimly lit interior image is taken handheld at different exposures and then combined with Merge to HDR. The longest exposure was for 2 seconds which I suspect might have thrown up some pixel level softness that might not have shown up in the video, I ought to try it though.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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On ‎30‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 13:35, Bill Brooks said:

guild-inn-renovated-historic-heritage-ho

 

I use photomerge handheld for panoramas in photoshop all the time. It is very powerful.

 

I use the in viewfinder level, to level the camera and make the back shoot straight ahead. Not tilted up or down. Make your first shot in the centre of the subject and then go on to the next shot with a 40% overlap. As Chuck says hold the camera vertical, use a wide angle lens, and leave lots of room to crop. In this handheld panorama, I used a wide enough lens to get the entire chimney included while shooting straight ahead to get the first floor windows centered in the image at the same time. No tilting up to get the chimney.


I then cropped out the foreground in this final merged image.
 

Bill,

 

Your image has a lot of wide angle distortion, but no people.  When I am doing large groups I use less of a wide and do correction before I stitch the images together.

 

Chuck

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I use HDR Merge occasionally on some of my landscape shots. Using a Canon EOS 70D, I usually set the bracketed exposures to -1.5, 0 and +1.5 A tripod is essential, and care over choice of subject and weather conditions is necessary. For example, if there are trees in leaf in the shot, the slightest breeze will move the leaves and the result of three images combined is that it looks completely out of focus. Where there is something which is moving anyway though, such as a waterfall, that doesn't matter so much. It worked well on this one of Summerhill Force and Gibson's Cave. I usually end up carrying out some final tweaks after the HDR merge.

 

summerhill-force-waterfall-gibsons-cave-bowlees-teesdale-2A7D3KG.jpg

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On 29/12/2019 at 16:28, Harry Harrison said:

Interesting, I've occasionally used Merge to HDR in Lightroom for interiors when the windows are in the shot and the camera is on a tripod and it works very well, a pretty naturalistic result as he says and I've sometimes used it with landscapes, again with a tripod.

 

I hadn't realised that it was worth even trying the same with hand-held unaligned shots, maybe I'll give it a try. Slightly dubious over whether it would stand up to examination at 100% if, like in his example, the 'brightest' exposure was 2 seconds though.

Hi Harry,
yes, of course when using a tripod the result is much better.
If I analyse closer the hand held merged image, there is of course some softness. But the quality achieved is still surprising

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Justin Case said:

If I analyse closer the hand held merged image, there is of course some softness.

 

Thanks, that raises the spectre of a QC failure then, but I will give it a try. Hand-held merge to panorama is probably fine for QC but I imagine a lot will be cropped off top and bottom unless you're very careful. That can happen even with a tripod and you wouldn't want anything close to the camera otherwise I think there will be parallax effects as the lens is unlikely to be rotating around the nodal point. Distant views - fine.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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6 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

 

Thanks, that raises the spectre of a QC failure then, but I will give it a try. Hand-held merge to panorama is probably fine for QC but I imagine a lot will be cropped off top and bottom unless you're very careful. That can happen even with a tripod and you wouldn't want anything close to the camera otherwise I think there will be parallax effects as the lens is unlikely to be rotating around the nodal point. Distant views - fine.

 

All my merged panoramic landscapes are handheld and I haven't had any QC problems. Stitching the pictures gives loads of pixels, so downsizing can be used if there's any softness. I find lining up isn't usually a problem, but parallax can be, if there are items in the foreground, although it's amazing what can be fixed with a bit of cloning etc. I wish it was possible to select reference image for LR to use if doing perspective merge. I often end up using cylindrical or spherical merge but that can cause unwanted waviness of the horizon.

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:

All my merged panoramic landscapes are handheld and I haven't had any QC problems.

Good to know, I've done those proper tripod mounted panoramics around the nodal point. In fact I keep an Acratech Levelling head on the tripod all the time because I just like how much it speeds up setting up the tripod in any situation and it weighs next to nothing, I use a Kirk nodal slide to fix the parallax. However.....I haven't actually put any up on Alamy and I do wonder what sort of uses require such large file sizes, I would have to print them up to an extraordinary size to reveal all the detail. I'm much more likely to use a shift lens, left & right, these days much simpler and I really like the distortion free results, just making use of the full image circle of the lens. Lightroom is great for merging these, but it's much less work for it anyway.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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