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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Snapseed Review – Banús Reflections Like Watercolors

I am not an Apple fanboy. In fact, I was a Microsoft fanboy because I have tried Windows beta and pre-releases since Windows 2000 to Windows 7. But I can admit, that I am happy with the last 2 apple products that I have bought:

-The Macbook Air was my option for a robust and light laptop and I am impressed with its performances running Photoshop.
-And my last acquisition, the iPhone 5 is giving me a lot of fun with its photography possibilities.

I am using iOS camera to shot directly HDR, that it was not for the noise problem for iPhone small camera, it would be very useful for a professional use.

But, what I love more is to spend time when I am on a bus, or traveling or a coffee break… editing with Snapseed.

I am not going to give a detailed description of its features here, you can check some good reviews for example at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/snapseed. I just go to explain how is my workflow with this app.

Firstly, clarify that this tool is developed by Nik Software. Whose PS plugins ( Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro) I use a lot. As the PS plugins, you have a simple version for its U-point technology on this app that permits to do some local image adjustments like color, brightness and saturation. But in any case, I use this apps to do some just quick, funny and general image adjustments to my iPhone camera images.

In opposition to my usual workflow, I begin adding some sharpness and micro-contrast (structure) with the ‘Details’ tool. Later, I do some colors adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation and ambience) with the ‘Tune Image’ tool. And finally you can add some blur with the ‘Focal Point’ or ‘Tilt-Shift’ tools.

The following images compares the different editions in Photoshop and Snapseed.

Photoshop Version:
Processing: Lightroom for catalog > Hue/Saturation + Color Efex Pro + Noiseware + High Pass filter Sharpening technique at Photoshop CS6.

Banús Reflections Like Watercolors Panorama

Snapseed Version:
Processing: Details > Structure + Sharpness > Tune Image > Contrast + Ambience + Saturation.

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

iPhone 5 @ 4.13 mm | f2.4, 1/270s, ISO 200.Picture with iOS Camera app using Panorama capture option.

3 Sunrays Sunset

What do you think that is the most wonderful light for a photographer ? The blue or rush hour after the sunset or before the sunrise, when the sky is blue in contrast with yellow-orange tones of the artificial lighting ? The magic or golden hour around dawn or twilight ? Or what is know as transient light ?

Just for me, I have it clear, the transient light. It is a light that you suddenly find for example, when some sunrays are appearing across the clouds and you see how the rays are crossing the sky and proyect their light temporarily in a determinate zone on the ground, that as consequence is the focal point of your composition, ‘cos human eye tend to look for hightlights.

The following image from Marbella is a clear example of this light and the luck for a photographer. Before I did the photo-session, I was walking to this site with some rainy intervals and seeing in the distance how the sunrays were appearing and disappearing between the clouds.

I recommend you to read a book about light quality by Ian Cameron.

3 Sunrays Sunset #1 :: HDR :: DRI

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f22, 1/6s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

Debod, Exposed By A Photographer

This is a thing that happens in localizations that are so photogenic, you have a lot of photographers within your frame. After waiting several minutes, I decided to use one of them as part of the composition, leaving the horizon line in a diagonal to have more dynamic sense of clouds motion in the sky.

Debod, Exposed By A Photographer :: HDR :: DRI

Templo de Debod, Parque del Oeste, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 8s, ISO 100.  HDR/DRI from 4 exposures @ [-4 EV .. -2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

The Fullmoon Mirror

During this shooting, I was stopped another time by security guards. This time was in a public park, and they said to me that it was not permitted to shot with tripod, saying that it is considered professional photography and then, I needed a permission from the city council. So I asked them if I could without tripod, so I shot long exposures using fixed surfaces. In this example, I use a support on the fence.

To process this picture, my French HDR photographer buddy Anto XIII suggested me to try Oloneo PhotoEngine HDR Software for blue hour and night shots and this is my 1st attempt. I am happy with the result because with other softwares, I had problems with the clouds motion in the different exposures and with Oloneo, I got what I wanted and later I could mix the HDR processed file with the 0EV exposure.

The Fullmoon Mirror :: HDR :: DRI
North Pond, Juan Carlos I Park , Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f4, 81s, ISO 100.  HDR/DRI from 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]