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Processing HDR Photography

Lesson 2 of 7

Exposure Comp & Bracketing

 

Processing HDR Photography

Lesson 2 of 7

Exposure Comp & Bracketing

 

Lesson Info

Exposure Comp & Bracketing

We gotta talk about how to be able to capture the sandwich, right? So to do that I'm going to use a camera. So I'm gonna bring a camera out, and I'll show a little bit about the process by which we would do this. So we're gonna talk a little basics about photography and how we work with it. So I am using the Nikon D850 for this, right? Because it's 45 megapixels, and because it's delicious, and I'm just gonna go ahead and just spin this over, so that we can go see this, so we can all see this here. Now, before, okay I'm gonna put that there. The first thing I'm gonna want to be able to show you for this is something that people don't necessarily talk about in photography, but I think it bears mentioning. When you work with your camera, when you work with taking a picture, you shoot in a specific mode, right? And you'll point that camera out to a specific scene, and you'll go, "Okay, great, "there's the scene, it is in front of me." Your camera looks at it and goes, "Okay, uh, I think t...

hat this scene is a 60th at five six "based on the exposure that you have set up right now." That's pretty good, right, as a general idea, and it goes, "This is what I think it is." And it'll generate a middle of the road exposure for that. Alright? However, middle of the road doesn't necessarily mean great when you're working with your cameras, right? So you'll take a picture, and I don't know about you guys, but sometimes you'll take a picture and you'll see that the picture, it looks like this, right? Like, my middle of the road exposure would probably be something like this. It's not serving anybody any good, right? This looks blah, this looks blah, that doesn't do anything. So people will go down the rabbit hole of "you gotta switch "it to manual, and you gotta do this, "and you gotta change this stuff." And I'm like, dude, why? Like, there's no reason for that. You'll notice that at the top of every camera there's almost always this one button right here, and that button, it's usually a plus and a minus button. Alright? That button, plus or minus, is exposure compensation. And what that does is it says, "Hey, I know what you think this metering is." I'm just gonna press this halfway, just to see if it gives me something. So you see how you have one second and F 16, right? So what I can do, is I can turn around and say you know what, I don't know if I want that. Right? I disagree, your picture sucks, right? The camera decided to meter a specific scene, and you're going, (clicks tongue) I'm gonna override you. And what I want you to do, is I want you to go to the left, right? Think of yourself on a canoe on a river, and you wanna go somewhere, the best picture is over there, but the camera's kind of taking you this way, and you're like "No, no, no, no, I need you to turn "left a little bit, I need you to go this way. "No, no, no, no, I need you to go this way." That's all you really need to know when you're starting photography. Set yourself on a mode, forget about every other dial, forget about every other setting, and go back over here and press this button. When you press this button, what you're doing is you're saying hey camera, take that exposure, and move that exposure, I'm gonna go ahead and move it over here. And look, minus .5. So take that recipe that you had there, and make it a half a stop darker. If you look, the aperture dial's changed, and now it's 1.5 at 16. Know what, I'm gonna grab this again, and I'm gonna make this one stop darker. Notice that number's changed. Noticed if I grab this and make it three stops darker now we're at an eighth of a second. So basically what happened is it turned around and goes, "alright, this is what I think I'm going to expose." But then you said "No I want it to be a little bit darker." It goes, "Alright, I'll take whatever I thought it was "and I'll make the math, and I'll do "all of the stuff, this is what it is" And you go "No, no, no, I want it to be a little darker still." (sighs) (slamming) Okay, fine. Make the calculation, make the calculation, and that's fine. Alright, now, on the opposite side of the fence, if I grab this button and I press this down, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna press this, and I'm gonna go in the opposite direction. And I'm gonna go to plus two. So what I've said is, I know what you think that scene is supposed to meter, can you make it two stops brighter, please? Now it's four seconds. So camera goes, "Alright, lemme take that calculation, "let me put that calculation into the mix, "and I say that it's four seconds." Alright? But what if you're just very indecisive about what it is that you want, right? Exposure compensation will help you with everything. So I'm gonna grab this, and I'm gonna move this over, and we'll move this back to zero. Now, let's take a step back, come with me to a world of automatic cameras that were still done in film. (audience murmurs) (RC clears throat) When you shot in film at one point or another, imagine you see, like we see Kenna, and she's looking beautiful, and everything's great, and I'm like it's right there, right there, or a waterfall, and you're looking at it, and you're like "It's right there, it's right there." She and I are having a moment right now. She doesn't know it, but we're having a moment, right? And I'm looking at her and I'm like this is perfect, I think she looks like a 60th at five six, and then bam, and I'm shooting in film, I'd have to then go, God, I hope that was right, you know? I'll tell you in two weeks when it comes back. (chuckles) You know, so we sit there and I'm like alright, so a 60th five six, so I'd have to remember two weeks from now, when everything comes back, and I look at the picture and I'm like this sucks, it's not you it's me. (laughs) But what would happen is I'd have to write notes, I'd have to think of the time, I'd have to think about what the scene looked like, I'd have to remember all of these kinds of things, and I don't have that time, like I can't go back. That happened already, right? If it's, you know, a momentous event you can't return to it. So I don't wanna miss that, right? So what you could do on a camera, is you could turn around and go look, how about the moment that I'm sitting here and I'm looking at this frame, what if I tell the camera, hey camera, give me some insurance. Take the picture that we wanna take, but then also take a picture that's a stop darker. Or a stop brighter. I don't care if I spend the extra film, provided that when it comes back I get three pictures, and one of these things is going to be good. So now, pap pap pap, I take three pictures, it looks great, it gets sent out, it comes back, and I'm like nope, the middle, the one that I said was right, I was wrong, throw it out, look at this one. The one where it's a little underexposed, underexposing saturates colors, right? And gives us a little bit more mood. Overexposing brings up a lot of shadows. I can make a creative decision as to what it is that I want from there, and I don't have to worry about it. So bracketing was not a button that was created for HDR, bracketing was a button that was created for insurance. And more often than not, I still use it as insurance. Like, I'll go outside somewhere, and you'll hear pop, pop, pop, and people are like, oh you're making an HDR, and I'm like no, I'm just shootin' with insurance. (audience laughing) Right? So I'll shoot a whole bunch of stuff, and people will turn around and be like "Why do you have to shoot so many pictures?" And I'm like, why do you care? (audience laughs) Alright, they're like "You should just get it right in once." And I'm like, dude, there's no reason for me, like there is no, you win no award for following some sort of obscure rule in your photography. Your job as a photographer is, by hook or by crook, to get the voices in your head to stop, right? I look at pictures and I walk around, like I'm a huge Hans Zimmer man, like, I love Hanz Zimmer, so I have it in my headphones, and I walk around like Batman. I'm always lookin' at everything, and I'm always just like, this is a cool feel, this is a cool find, this is a cool feel. I just want that stuff to stop, right? So every time that I'm making a picture, I'm just taking the idea that's here out. I don't care what tool I use. If I'm trying to do that as an art form, we can go ahead and we can do that. Now, we have to set the camera up in order for us to be able to do that. So, to do that what I'm going to do is I'm gonna come over here, and most cameras will have a bracket setting. Alright, so I'll press the button over here there's a bracket setting button, I'm gonna show you what that looks like in that one area. The moment that I press that down, look. There is five F and one. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring this down, and bring that to zero and one. Now what does that mean? That means that right now I am shooting no frames. I am shooting just straight, no bracketing, alright? Your cameras will be different. Canons will be Canons, Sony's will be Sony's, this is on the Nikon, so, but there will be a button. I'm gonna press this down, and now over here, if I move my back button to the right, notice it's saying that I can take three shots. Now, at one stop of exposure. So that is saying, take those three shots, I'm gonna come back to this in a second, but it's saying take three shots, take one shot that's underexposed by a stop, take another shot that's evenly exposed, and take another shot that is overexposed by one stop. Good? Now, if I come back over here, I'm gonna press and hold this down, right? I'm gonna move this to five, move this to seven, move this to nine. So what I usually tell people is subtract one, divide by two. Alright? So you subtract one, that's eight, divide by two, that's four, so you have four stops of exposure in every direction. If you're in seven, subtract one that's six, divide by two, that's three, so now you have three stops of underexposure, minus three, minus two, minus one, zero, one, two, three, stops of exposure. How many of these do you use? Right, when you're working with this. Now, notice that you have a 1.0 here, right? You could take this, and use my front dial, and have it be only half stops. Or, you can have it be two stops or three stops of exposure. I'm gonna set it to one stop, and I'm gonna let this go here. We're gonna come back to this one more time. But for the most part your cameras can be set to shoot a specific amount of ranges, or a specific number of cameras, or shots, at a specific exposure stop. How many do you use will largely depend on two things. Number one, it'll depend on the type of camera that you have. Some cameras will only allow you to shoot three, so that's all you got, but you might be able to shoot two stops of exposure, so go with that. So the camera will be the technical limiter. The second thing is I tend to vary how much I shoot correlative to how far I live from the place. (audience laughing) Alright, I tend to not look at things very technical, and you'll see that. Like, if I live around the corner, I might shoot three. Right? If I'm shooting a scene in Dubai I'm gonna shoot the snot out of it, right? I'm not gonna, people are like "Why did they shoot seven shots?" I'm like, dude, is it your hard drive? No. (audience laughs) I'm makin' pictures. So I'll shoot, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, you know? This isn't, this isn't a game, this is my art. So I'm gonna take whatever precautions I can take to be able to make it better. If I don't need it then I won't use it. Now, in this case the other thing that I would tell you, so I took nine for this one, you can see it right here on the bottom, it says nine photos. Once you have that, though, you want to be very careful not to overshoot, because then what'll happen is this, like, you'll go out on a workshop, or you'll see a scene, you'll set everything up, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna set this up right here. I'm gonna grab this guy, and I'm gonna grab that scene, and I'll just let it fire to the sky. But I'm gonna grab this here, and I'm just gonna move this to, oh it's all set on the timer already, and I'm just gonna, just for giggles I'm just gonna increase the ISO a lot so that we can hear it do something. Five shots.

Class Description

Have you ever taken a shot of an extraordinary scene but were disappointed by how the pictures turned out? Welcome to the club! Oftentimes, our cameras simply can’t capture the glorious range of light and shadow that we see in real life. Fortunately, we have High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography to fix that. HDR is a post-processing technique that allows you to combine two or more photos taken at different levels of exposure to achieve a single image with stunning luminosity and richer shadows. While it’s commonly used to correct washed-out or overly dark photos, it can also be used to create wonderfully artistic, impressionistic scenes. RC Concepcion, author of the bestselling “The HDR Book,” will go over camera capture techniques, processing tips and tricks, and how to use software to create amazing images.


SOFTWARE USED:
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Reviews

Mark Koller
 

RC is a great teacher and story teller. There'r not a lot of value and little to be learned however RC makes it fun and for that the class is worth the cost.