Multi-multiexposures. We, photographers, love Photoshopping

If someone has wondered why I use HDR the respond is – as I commented a few days ago with a photographer buddy through Facebook – maybe, ‘cos we are crazy and we love editing pictures.

In fact, he was telling that he had problems manual blending the lights and shadows of a metallic tower structure. I suggest him blending it automatically using Fusion Mode, for example, in Photomatix and later doing little changes with the exposures manually in PS.

But on the other hand, from a technical point of view, the use of multiexposures techniques is due to the limitation of cameras. The human eyes can see more tones than a camera sensor. And scenes like night-shots have extreme highlights in the bulbs, for example, and dark in the sky. So it is necessary to cover all dynamic range to use DRI or HDR.

And we can go far away, and do it more complex with something that we can call with a new ‘term’ as multi-multiexposures. I am going to explain it with some examples:

HDR/DRI Pamoramas or Vertoramas: a composition of several images horizontally or vertically overlapped between them, taken 3 or more exposures for each one. Processing them individually and merging them later with a panorama edit program. Someones prefer another workflow – as you wish – each one has its advantages and disadvantages. See Klaus Herrmann.

HDR/DRI Time lapse. It this case, we combine images at different time but focussing the same spacial elements, so we capture how some objects are moving in the scene, for example the clouds motion and how the light changes in the scene in the static elements, for example the ground.

Stars trails. A composition of trails generated at different time intervals. For example, each interval for a bit of curve generated from an exposure of around 30s with interval of 5 s with the following one. Later, all exposures can be stacked with a special program like StarStaX, in order to generate curves (stars lights trails).

Full control of DOF. To clarify the situation, the example can be marina shot with artificial lights at blue hour. The approach can be an HDR or DRI to cover the scene but the problem are the boats on the foreground. As a night-shot, to get more sharpness and less noise, it is usual to shot with a small aperture, around f11-f16, and low ISO, around 100-400. But then, the long exposure time does that the boats near the photographer are moved and as consequence we have objects with blur. Then, to get them with sharpness you can shot with a wider aperture or increase ISO. You should take a compromise between reducing DOF or increase noise in a little zone … just the boat. That depends on your camera. Changing aperture to change the focal plain. So if you combine these images, you have the same result as in macro photography when due to little distance to subject only a little zone of the photo is in focus and you can blend different shots with different focus zones to get the overall image in focus.See Daniel Cheong.

Digital Art. Another option can be multiexposures for photo montages when you want different images to do a composition or transparencies or matte-paintings (see Giuseppe Parisi).

>Still< :: HDR :: DRI

Puerto Deportivo, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 8s, ISO 100.
HDR/DRI from 6 exposures:1 @ f5 and 2 @ f11: -2..0..+2, to get the boats without movement and the sharpness all over the picture.

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Windows In The Sky

I come back to my blog with a revision of an old picture taken to Space Tower (Torre Espacio) at Cuatro Torres Business Area, Madrid. Just a little post-processing to reduce noise with Noiseware and add sharpening using High Pass filter technique.

Dedicated to my favourite group, U2.

Windows In The Sky :: HDR

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm + HiTech ND0.9 | f16, 13s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

Midnight Sunset At Oban Harbour

Due to the high latitude of Scotland, during summers the nights are so short and the day is so long. In fact, I think that it is a eternal blue hour after sunset, the darkness does not go to the sky.

After visiting the Isle Of Skye, we came back to the Highlands, taking a ferri in Armadale, and we finished spending our night in a hotel near Oban – the harbour in the picture.

Midnight Sunset At Oban Harbour

Oban Harbour, Scotland (UK)

Panasonic DMC-FX9 @ 5.8 mm | f2.8, 1/4s, ISO 80.

M-607 Highway #2

Another picture of the Colmenar Viejo highway with the 4 Towers on the background. You can see the first one with a square frame at ‘The Veins Of Madrid: M-607 Highway’ . This last one was taken from the west extreme of the footbridge that crosses the motorway. In order to get the light trails in all the roads, I took 2 sets of 3 exposures: +2 EV, 0 EV and -2 EV. I generated 2 tonemapped images with each set, with the same parameters in Photomatix, and later, I mixed them with layers in Photoshop. I also applied manual digital blending with the exposures to correct the ghosting effects due to the trails and to get a more realistic look in the image.

The Veins Of Madrid: M-607 Highway #2 :: HDR :: DRI

M-607 highway near Hospital Ramón y Cajal, and M-30, Madrid (Spain).

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 18 mm | f11, 10s, ISO 100. HDR from 2 x 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

Puente del Rey At Blue Hour

‘Puente del Rey’ – that can be translated as King’s Bridge – was built in 1816 by order of King Fernando VII. Its role was to link Madrid city, with parks and gardens at ‘Casa de Campo’, located on the right bank of the Manzanares river.

In the 60’s on the 20th century, it lost its original utility to be a cross as part of the ring highway M-30 , leading the traffic from the A-5 motorway to the Madrid centre.

In 2007, as consequence of the ‘Madrid Rio’ – Madrid River urban project to restore the Manzanares riverside, the bridge was converted in a footbridge that communicates the ‘Principe Pio’ roundabout (see right side of the image) and ‘Cuesta de San Vicente’ street with the ‘Huerta de la Partida’ orchard and the lake at ‘Casa de Campo’.

Puente del Rey At Blue Hour :: HDR:: DRI

Calle 30, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS @ 49 mm | f11, 10s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

The Chaos Of Pedestrians

A typical scenery of the Spanish capital. The pedestrians crossing the Alcalá Street in the intersection with the Seville Street.

During the blue hour, the lighting and details of the ‘Banco Español de Crédito’ and ‘BBVA’ building are dramatically highlighted.

The Chaos Of Pedestrians :: HDR

Calle de Alcalá, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 13s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]