Help needed on HDR Sony a580 Please.

Started Nov 7, 2012 | Questions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Lad? I'm good with that. LOL

bokofinn wrote:

i already have photomatix pro, Photoshop, light room , cs6.

don't know why u assumed i had`nt got these things Craig.

again lad, no hard feelings, i welcome all info.

LOL Michael. What's with the lad? I love it. I'm in my 60s and am a grandladdie and suppose I'm also rather proud to showoff my grandkids as you will eventually see if you stick around the forums for long. I don't mind sticking a picture or two of them in any of my posts.

My assumption as to you maybe not having good editing software is based on some of your questions, and that really isn't an issue, Michael.  If you own CS6 and Photomatics, one might assume you know the answers to some of these rather simple questions. My fault, obviously.

I think you should play around with the bracketing. I don't think you're understanding it either. I have little doubt that it's capable of shooting three shots at -2, 0, 2. If your camera doesn't have a dedicated bracketing button, tell the function button to turn on bracketing. Turn on bracketing and then use the command dial and see what it says. -2 would be the choice and 3 Frames would be the other choice maybe. That 7 might mean up to 7 frames at up to plus and minus 3 stops per frame. Play with it and shoot in Aperture Priority mode. You want all exposure differences to be shutter speed. Make sure auto ISO is NOT enabled or it might compensate for your change in exposure. All you want is shutter speed to change.

If you let aperture change, you are likely to get three or more images with different depth of fields and you do not want that for sure. Manual mode may or may not work on a Sony. I don't know, but in A mode, set your camera to high speed burst rate. You want to press the button and hold it down until the 3 or more images are captured. I prefer RAW files for the latitude. You should use a tripod and a cable or remote release and mirror up if you can. Put a dark cloth over the viewfinder so light doesn't come in from there or use the little black plastic thingie that came with it to cover the viewfinder. Most lose this fast. More expensive cameras have a blind operated by a lever.

One rule I use is to always take the same number of shots each time. For example three at -2 0 2 or seven shots at  -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3. That way when you get home, you can count up groups of different shots easily. Imagine not remembering and grouping shots from differeent sets. If you entirely change the subject, you could change the counts, but I'd write it down. If you anchient mind is older than mine you might have memory issues. I do. LOL

I drag and drop up to nine RAW files to the window that opens in Photomatics when you click on Add Bracketed Images.

Here's another trick for you. After Photomatics works for a moment, it often pops a window that says the shots aren't the same EV spacing or two have the same exposure value. It's generally wrong but gives you the opportunity to adjust things. You might have the whole thing skewed too bright or too dark. example: Let's say you have -2, 0, 2. Let's say -2 and 0 are way too dark but 2 looks like about one stop over exposed, not 2. You can change the EV to be something like -4, -2, 1 and Photomatics will combine them with that bias. You can really repair an HDR problem before it happens. Try it. Don't accept the defaults automatically. You don't have to have a 0.

Another thing is that you can open them in your RAW converter using sometimes better algorithms than Photomatix's build in converter. You can adjust the exposure spread a little better that way and same them as very high Rez Jpegs or TIFFs. Then let Photomatix work on those. Before Photomatix, you can also correct for noise and despeckle in Photoshop. I would't adjust anything else up front like distortion. You want all images the same as far as content. Any adjustments like distortion, lens profiles, dodging or cropping is better left for after the tonemapping.

Removing noise, despeckling, and things like that are a good idea up front because tonemapping won't try to enhance those bad things. It can be tedious, but worth it in the long run. Besides the RAW converter or Adobe's can be way more robust than the more trivial converter in Photomatx which is more like "one size fits all."

Big warning. Remember to turn off bracketing when you're done or you will be bracking until you figure out what happened. You'll have an image properly exposed then the next will be underexposed of a different subject. You generally turn it off by pressing the bracket button and make it zero frames and zero EV compensation. Set it all back to default, in other words. Be careful not to accidently press that bracketing button or the function button if that's the button you assigned.

Good luck and make it fun.

 Grandlassie Riley. Now she's a cutie.

Serious little grandlassie Mary after a swim in the pool and visiting her Grandlad, Me. :-)

Christopher and Mary again. Got to love those grandchildren. Told you I'm proud. 

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Cheers, Craig
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