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Author Topic: Exposure Blending Techniques: Which Do You Prefer?  (Read 6966 times)
bretedge
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 09:10:24 PM »
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Good points, Benny. You provided the only valuable contribution so far. Others are just peddlers of Instagram "culture."

To the OP: the best technique is to stay away from any technique.

I disagree.  I'm not interested in a push-button do it all, Instagram solution.  I don't mind spending time processing images if the outcome meets my expectations.  I prefer not to spend hours at my desk doing tedious work if there is another way to accomplish the same result with less effort.  I didn't get into outdoor photography because I adore sitting at a desk staring at a computer.  Working at the computer is a necessity in this digital age but certainly there are ways to minimize the amount of time spent in post-production. 

With regard to your advice to "stay away from any technique", I find the statement hopelessly flawed.  What's wrong with technique?  Technique is defined as "a way of carrying out a particular task, esp. the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure."  So, how is using a technique to blend exposures (or any other necessary task) a bad thing?  Seems an awfully elitist statement to me. 
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bretedge
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2013, 09:12:00 PM »
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Excellent series of tutorials by Sean Bagashaw

http://www.outdoorexposurephoto.com/video-tutorials/

I have not review 'Basics', but the other 3 do a great job of building knowledge on blending techniques.

I've got Sean's video tutorials and they are excellent.  Thus far I'm getting my best results using his techniques.  I'm always interested in learning what other people are doing, though.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2013, 03:24:05 AM »
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I have yet to find an exposure blending technique that produces consistent results.  I prefer not to use one that requires you to "paint" with a brush the areas that you want to blend because I find it too tedious and time consuming.  That leaves luminosity mask blends and I've yet to master that technique.  

What techniques are you using to blend multiple exposures?  Please feel free to reference any tutorials, free or otherwise.

Hi Bret,

I like to avoid too much manual intervention, because it is too slow, and that hinders my creativity. I usually know where I want to have the image end-up, but the tedious steps of getting there take too much time.

That, and a huge dislike of halo defects and other distractions, and a huge preference for natural looking lighting, nudged me towards SNS-HDR Pro over the years of trying different things (including Enfuse, which is a great step in the right direction). It allows to solve virtually impossible lighting scenarios, including natural looking High Dynamic Range scenes. I love natural light, but it doesn't always make rendering it easy. I now rarely need to do local adjustments anymore.

It's a Windows only program, but apparently it runs fine under Parallels, or similar, on a Mac.

There hasn't been much recent development released, not that it would need much but some is already announced (ghosting control, noise control, speedups by using the GPUs more, memory management), but that is apparently also caused by a delay that the programmer inflicted upon himself. He tried to make it a Multi Platform application, but that proved more difficult than he initially thought. Next update (Version 2.0) is expected in the October/November timeframe, and is supposed to be free for existing users).

The great benefit of the program is its resistance to halos and posterization (if brackets are not too wide), but even on single exposure images it can do magic. The virtually instant screen updates makes working with the sliders a joy, and really helps creativity.

Cheers,
Bart
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