Think Like a Photographer


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Photographing Panoramas and HDR

with a panorama when you scan across the scene the first thing I think about is I need my exposure to be consistent if my exposure is not consistent I'm gonna have a dark shot next to a bright shot and so on because if the sun is in one area of the frame it's going to change the exposure to try to make that look good if there's a shadow in another part of the frame it's going to change the exposure from that so I either need to be in manual mode so my exposure is consistent or if I'm an aperture priority which is what I'm typically in I press that little button on the back of my camera that looked like an ass tricks on some cameras it might say e l which means auto exposure lock so what I would do is pick the most important part of the panorama I would test the exposure there adjust my settings until I know it looks good for that portion and then I would press that button to lock the exposure the second thing I would do is switch my lens over to manual focus otherwise if there's a tree...

close to the camera and one shot and on ly a mountain far away and the next the focus would change between shots I needed to be consistent so I click over to manual focus some people turn on a button on the back of their camera on the back of my cameras a button that says a f on that means auto focus on it's a special feature on your camera you could make it so that when you press your shutter button halfway down it does not focus where's usually it would instead you have to push this button on the back to get it to focus at all and if you were in that mode which in your menu system you can set up then to do a panorama I just focus using that button and then not that one this one focus using that button and then it'll stay the same there's no need to switch over the legs then when you're doing a panorama you get your camera and put it on a tripod so I have my tripod here and let me go to a normal ball head camera goes up here all right when I'm shooting a panorama I need to do two things first I need to take the part of my ah set up that's going to rotate and you need that part to be level if it's not level you're going to end up with what I have on my screen right now which is an end result where the camera's either panning upward or downward as it is going across and so I usually have to adjust your tripod legs to get it to b level hopefully there'll be a bubble level on your tripod right there but if you have my setup where you have this little uh leveling head you can just loosen it up get your bubble level set and then tighten it and I love that for doing panoramas but that's not good enough because now your camera could be anywhere could be shooting like this it just means when I rotate it's gonna rotate around a flat spot so now I need a level this as well now modern cameras the newest ones often have it in elektronik level on the camera on my camera which is a cannon five d mark three on the back of the camera is a button that is labeled assuming it's right here labeled info and if I press it enough times it should turn on this auto level it's not ottawa elektronik level where I can move the camera left and right and when the line turns green it's level and if I don't need it anymore I hit the info button again it goes away if you have a different model camera it may or may not have this feature built in and you might have to use a different method of accessing it but on the cannon fire be mark three hit the info button uh a couple times you'll see it here so therefore I could level that and when that's level come on turn green I locked down my tripod you khun tilled up and down this way that's fine it's just side to side it needs to be level so if I've done those things I've gotten the base of my tripod where rotates level and I've gotten this leveled horizontally then I can pan across my scene I'm either going to be in manual mode or I've hit that little lock button on the back of my camera to lock the exposure and I've clicked my focus over to manual so it's not going very across this then I take one shot I pan my camera over and I need to overlap the previous shot at least one third if you're not very good at judging that then just overlap it half it's better to have too much overlap you know more than you need then have a shot that doesn't stitch because you don't have enough overlap so I take one shot take another shot take another shot take another shot and just keep going until I get up cross that entire scene so I had to with road there then we'll able to stitch those together is long as focuses on emanuel and the exposure with locked just get those two parts level when you're stitching a panorama or shooting a panorama I should say I usually start on the left side of whatever scene I'm trying to capture and I pan towards the right why is that that's because see if I can expand this out further no it went to it that's because when I view it here we go in bridge or in camera not came around light room or whatever program you used to view your pictures as thumbnails doesn't this panorama look visually like the object I was trying to shoot if I were to shoot this in the opposite direction where I start on the right side and I pan towards the left these would be in the opposite order this thing would be over there this one over here would be there this one would be here in when I look at this visually it's not going to visibly look like a panorama because they won't look like they relate to each other can you tell that to pain around by glancing at it I can't so if at all convenient I will start on the left side of my scene and I will pan towards the right when I'm capturing it and if that's not practical if I need to start on the other side I'll put my hand in front of the camera lens and I'll pointed in the direction of about japan and I'll take a frame with my hand and pointing that way and when I'm done with the pan around I'll take a picture of my fist so if I ever see in my eye catalogue of images a hand pointed in a direction and a fist I know that in between the two is a panorama even though it might not look like those images belong together that the other thing you need to think about is how large do you need to reproduce this panorama some people need to reproduce it huge if that's the case make sure the orientation your camera is vertical portrait orientation people call it if you look at the difference here is a panorama and if you look at how many shots this takes it takes one two three four five six seven shots that's because my camera was in a horizontal orientation if I do the same image with vertical shots let's count how many it takes to go across the same area one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven shots that's a lot more isn't it was the previous one eight there's three more shots that means we have more information being used and it's gonna have more pixels in it when you're done it's going to be able to be reproduced larger but most of time people don't need to reproduce them huge so don't even think about that sometimes they get to be too big I have ridiculously huge size pan around so I could print the size of like a building and I don't have a building to print it on so you know but if that's something you need to do just know if you do a verticals then you're going to be able to reproduce it larger youjust we'll have more information any questions about panorama is before I move on you know not specifically but we did have a question earlier from pro photographer wanting to know if you ever use exposure bracketing that's what this image is about all right s o I will aid ben will cover that remote but that's hilarious because that's exactly what this image is about uh all right sometime and twelve canyon this is antelope canyon yet great uh near page arizona uh it's shooting horizontal versus vertical shooting vertical doesn't give you a lot when they'd stitched together a lot more flexibility in cropping out some of the edges it depends how much you've zoomed your lens if you zoomed your lens in to get the same framing vertically it's not necessarily going to give you more flexibility if you didn't change zooming on your lens then you'd get more in the height but usually I'm zoomed up so I have approximately what I need on by the way I do add some padding to my panoramas I don't critically crop them in camera I try to leave the extra space because when you stitch a panorama it doesn't always come out of their perfect rectangles sometimes it's bulging in the middle or on the sides and have to crop into it so I try not to critically frame my panorama I leave a little bit of extra padding around it all right then sometimes I run into situations where we have an extreme brightness range where there's a extremely bright area one spot extremely dark area and another and I don't want to just show you one or the other like we did before I want to show you what's in both so this is an example this is antelope canyon near page arizona and I'm pointing straight up towards the sky antelope canyon is a slot canyon uh and it's where the walls of the king and you might have to go sideways to make it through there on occasion you could extend your arms out to touch the sides but they're really close together and so not much light makes it down to the bottom of the canyon in this case you're seeing the blue sky and the sun is only hitting one spot in the canyon and that's a near the upper right right here where the sun's hitting other than that everything else that's in here is in the shade just little bit of light bouncing around from that spot where the sun's heading tto light this other stuff and let's look at what it would look like if I pointed my camera at it first if I just did that with default settings uh let me just see if I can find the right ones doesn't tell you here I'm used to looking at this in light room which is I would tell you more stuff but it's going to give me something possibly like this if I just pull out my camera pointed it where I wanted to hit the button it looks at the scene and it says I'm going to make this an average brightness overall and it says well it's pretty darn dark in here so I'm gonna have to brighten it up quite a bit to make it an average brightness in boom this is what I get then I could change the exposure compensation setting on my camera which says hey let's not go with that default exposure let's go brighter or darker if I wanted to show you the detail down here I could take exposure compensation goto plus one plus two and keep going if I want to show you more I could get this if I wanted the detail down there but my camera have is a limit to the range it can capture and I might need to take all of these photos right here in order to be able to show you the full range of detail it's in the scene and doing so it's known as hdr it means high dynamic range high dynamic range just means a wide brightness range and your scene when I shoot hdr I turn on a setting in my camera that is known as auto bracketing in a cannon in the menu system it's called a b that stands for auto exposure bracketing and when I turn it on I get something like this on the back of my camera and when I move the wheels on my camera it makes the gap between these red lines either wider or skinnier to say how much of a difference do I wanted my exposure's this little zero here means the defaulter metered exposure it would capture a shot that bright and then not only would it capture that in this case it would take one that is two stops darker and then it would also take another one that's two stops brighter then it so I couldn't end up with three pictures won quite a bit darker one normal in one quite a bit brighter I can tell photo shops and not only take three of these not photoshopped my camera to take not only three of these but another setting is just the number of bracket and shots meaning how many pictures does it take I consent mind three five seven I can't remember if I go to nine or not but I consented to much higher numbers so instead of only having three marks here if I set it to five there would then be a mark out here at four and mark out here so it would take an even wider range on the top of my camera it's goingto show me that I have it set that way once I get out of the menu system of my camera by showing more than one mark on this and if you ever see a mark on the very end it's flashing it really means that this scale on lee goes to minus three and plus three but the actual mark would be beyond that is that plus four plus five or something off the scale and it's just blinking to say hey I'm out there beyond this edge um if it's over here blinking it means there's says there's one out there it's just not really what I'm showing you this it's further over so then I would turn on my camera would set it to brackett in I would press and hold the shutter and it should take more than one shot they would go click click click and take three shots then I would review those shots and here's what I'm looking for in the darkest picture I'm looking at the brightest portion of the picture and that's the only thing I care about I don't care about anything else the brightest part of the picture I'm seeing if I can see detail in the brightest part of the image the thing I don't care about those if there's something so bright that it would hurt my eyes to look at it noonday sun the headlights of a semi truck coming at me the bulb of a projector pointed this way that kind of stuff it's ok to not have detail in that but other than that if it wouldn't hurt my eyes to look at it I'm looking to see in the darkest shot dr detail if I don't I need to retake those shots I would take the exposure compensation dial on my camera and put it in the negative zone negative one negative to something like that and I'd retake him I'd again look at the darkest shot and say do I have highlight detail yet or not if I still don't have it I'm have to take exposure compensation and push it even further now instead of being at negative too it's that negative four on exposure compensation take another series of images click click click I review them the darkest shot and look at do I have highlight detail yet it's okay if I don't have it in something that would hurt my eyes to look at but otherwise I want to see highlight detail then the other shots that I captured there just to bring up the shadows to allow me to see what's in the dark part of the image so after I'm done reviewing the darkest image and I see that I do have highlight detail I no longer care about high highlight detail in the other images because I got it right there I've already captured it now I'm looking at the rest of the photograph where it's dark and I look at the other images and say can I see the detail there yet can I see the detail there yet can I see the detail there yet and I keep getting brighter and brighter and tell I can see detail in the dark part of the picture and with this particular image I had to go this far to do it because now I can see detail down here you see little hints of detail I went far enough but what I'm looking for when I shoot hdr is that the darkest shot has highlight detail that's the only thing I care about the darkest shot ninety eight point six percent of it could be black I don't care it's the highlights the bright parts did I get detail there then the rest of the shots I'm only looking to ct to get bright enough that I can see detail the shadows or not if it didn't get bright enough I should take more pictures even brighter ones take more pictures even brighter once until I can see what's in the shadows if I have that then I've successfully captured or nature tr image in most of the times when you're just shooting out under the noonday sun three shots two stops apart we'll handle most situations it'll go click click click you'll reveal my will be done on occasion you'll need to do exposure compensation a little bit because you didn't get your highlights and the darkest shots he'll say minus one or minus two take him again and you'll be done it's only when you get to an extreme situation like this one well you'll have to take more than three shots and you have to very carefully review them because it's extremely difficult to get that whole brightness range in one image when we talk about photo shop I'll show you how you combine those images together and be able to see this couple other things in your camera though when you do this the first thing is if you use bracketing you need to set your camera to continuous shooting so if you press and hold down the button it takes keeps taking pictures over and over in on a cannon that's a button on the top called dr and you want to look like three little rectangles that overlap sometimes when you go to that setting you'll find one has the letter h that means high speed not all cameras have that but if it does use it that means taking on his rapid of succession as he can on many night cons it's not on a button that's called dr instead it's around the wheel that's on the top of the camera where my on off button is on my camera um it would be here and he would find the letter c h for continuous high I think you find c l for continuous low and all that you wanted on ch to say take this many shots I can high speed all right but that isthe hdr any questions about that there's all sorts of questions usually about that but we're gonna get so much depth here because we're trying to cover so many things yeah and we did have have a couple but I think we'll be going down a rabbit hole and here creative life we do have some great hdr specific classes so yeah okay cool one thing I will ask people were asking about the free download on your website individual mastery sure you repeat again where they would go to find that sure if you go to digital uh digital mastery dot com what you want to do is look at I'm going to go there right now digital mastery dot com there should be a section it's actually a product section hope that's not it digital mastery dot com um but there's a product section and if you visit the products section there should be a product which is a light painting e book in that e book he is something you could usually purchase but with on within that page there's a free download of what it'll call sample pages in those sample pages are sufficient enough to give you the information you need to do your first light painting but digital mastery dot com go to the products section and look for a pdf e book on light painting when you get to that there will be a link that says download sample pages and that's what you want to go to to find it it will give you enough information to your first light painting if you like your first light pain you could get the book it's real cheap it's nine bucks or something and it would be a almost one hundred page long guide of how to do a whole bunch of things related to that

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.