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Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
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Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)


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Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

with Ben Long

Video: Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)

Any scene that you look at has a dynamic range; that is, it has a range of brightness. One of the things that complicates the photographic process is that your eye can perceive a much wider dynamic range than your camera can. That is, it can see a much greater range of dark to light. So while your eye might be able to see details in bright highlights, and dark shadows within your scene, your camera will only be able to see detail in one or the other. In high dynamic range imaging, or HDR, you shoot multiple frames, each exposed to capture a different part of the dynamic range, and then you use special software to combine these multiple images into a single final image that has detail across all of its highlights and shadows.
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  1. 10m 29s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 28s
    3. A note for 5D Mark II users
      50s
    4. Using this course
      1m 55s
  2. 35m 44s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      5m 28s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      4m 3s
    3. Examining batteries and media cards
      8m 35s
    4. Powering up
      1m 49s
    5. Exploring the menu system
      2m 53s
    6. Clearing all settings
      2m 5s
    7. Setting the date and time
      1m 55s
    8. Setting the language
      1m 42s
    9. Formatting the media card
      3m 4s
    10. Holding the camera
      4m 10s
  3. 25m 6s
    1. Setting Scene Intelligent Auto mode
      1m 28s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      5m 51s
    3. Touring the LCD screen and the status display
      2m 22s
    4. Exploring the top-mounted control buttons
      1m 42s
    5. Autofocus basics
      5m 7s
    6. Metering basics
      1m 42s
    7. Reviewing images
      2m 59s
    8. Working with image playback
      3m 55s
  4. 39m 32s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      41s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      5m 2s
    3. Using the lock switch
      1m 21s
    4. Revisiting metering
      1m 43s
    5. Changing the ISO
      2m 14s
    6. Looking at ISO speed settings
      4m 36s
    7. Exploring long exposure noise reduction
      2m 53s
    8. Exploring high ISO noise reduction
      1m 40s
    9. Using program shift
      2m 11s
    10. Exploring image format and size
      3m 59s
    11. Using the Info button
      2m 4s
    12. Examining level and grid display
      3m 45s
    13. Using the Quick Control screen
      1m 35s
    14. Setting the color space
      1m 25s
    15. Configuring multiple media cards
      3m 24s
    16. Using the feature guide
      59s
  5. 23m 15s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 25s
    2. Selecting autofocus areas
      3m 54s
    3. Exploring other autofocus options
      3m 44s
    4. Customizing servo auto focus
      4m 49s
    5. Exploring autofocus custom functions
      4m 50s
    6. Using manual focus
      3m 33s
  6. 10m 31s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 48s
    2. Exploring white balance presets
      3m 7s
    3. Using manual white balance
      5m 36s
  7. 10m 47s
    1. Exploring Drive mode
      4m 52s
    2. Using the self-timer
      3m 38s
    3. Using remote controls
      2m 17s
  8. 52m 26s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 26s
    2. Using exposure lock
      1m 22s
    3. Working with focus points and metering
      3m 47s
    4. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 0s
    5. Using the depth of field preview button
      2m 40s
    6. Using Shutter Priority mode
      3m 26s
    7. Using Manual mode
      3m 27s
    8. Using auto exposure bracketing
      6m 3s
    9. Exploring Bulb mode
      2m 34s
    10. Working with the Auto Lighting Optimizer
      1m 40s
    11. Correcting lens aberration
      2m 46s
    12. Exploring Highlight Tone Priority
      2m 25s
    13. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      7m 5s
    14. Creating multiple exposures
      6m 25s
    15. Using the mirror lockup feature
      2m 20s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Modifying LCD brightness
      3m 27s
    2. Rotating images
      2m 36s
    3. Using the playback grid
      42s
    4. Enabling AF point display
      1m 18s
    5. Rating images
      3m 4s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 40s
    7. Using Quick Control during playback
      1m 17s
    8. Exploring file numbering options
      2m 43s
    9. Creating folders
      1m 10s
    10. Changing file names
      3m 12s
    11. Adding copyright information
      3m 29s
  10. 7m 57s
    1. Defining picture styles
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring predefined picture styles
      2m 1s
    3. Adjusting predefined picture styles
      1m 56s
    4. Working with the monochromatic picture style
      2m 0s
  11. 22m 28s
    1. Activating Live View
      7m 16s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 32s
    3. Focus manually in Live View
      1m 25s
    4. Working with aspect ratio
      2m 33s
    5. Exploring other Live View options
      3m 36s
    6. Reviewing the drawbacks to using Live View
      2m 6s
  12. 12m 16s
    1. Shooting video in Auto and Program modes
      6m 39s
    2. Shooting video in Priority or Manual modes
      3m 35s
    3. Exploring movie playback
      2m 2s
  13. 13m 0s
    1. Exploring custom modes
      5m 38s
    2. Using the custom menu
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring custom controls
      4m 26s
  14. 8m 57s
    1. What are custom functions?
      35s
    2. Working with exposure level increments
      1m 34s
    3. Bracketing auto cancel
      53s
    4. Changing the number of bracketed shots
      1m 5s
    5. Changing ISO speed setting increments
      1m 34s
    6. Exploring the Live View shooting area display
      40s
    7. Enabling safety shift
      2m 6s
    8. Clearing all custom functions
      30s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      3m 12s
    2. Using the Battery Info command
      1m 45s
    3. Looking at operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 3s
    4. Getting firmware updates
      1m 16s
  16. 15m 10s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      5m 31s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      5m 11s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      4m 28s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
5h 23m Beginner Nov 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, photographer and author Ben Long details the features, controls, and options in the Canon 5D Mark III digital SLR. The course begins with an overview of what a digital SLR is and takes a tour of the basic camera components. Ben then discusses the basic camera operation: changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in automatic mode, reviewing and managing photos on the LCD screen, and transferring photos to a computer.

Next, the course introduces more advanced exposure options: program mode, exposure compensation, ISO adjustments, and more. After Ben briefly defines each option, he shows how to adjust it using the camera controls.

Ben also discusses white balance options, advanced metering and autofocus controls, flash, live view, and video shooting. The course ends with a chapter on maintenance, including sensor- and camera-cleaning and care tips.

Topics include:
  • What is a DSLR?
  • Attaching lenses
  • Powering up and down
  • Formatting the media card
  • Holding the camera
  • Shooting in the Auto and Program modes
  • Changing the ISO
  • Controlling autofocus and white balance
  • Using a self-timer
  • Working with the exposure control options
  • Activating Live View
  • Shooting video
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear
Software:
5D Mark III
Author:
Ben Long

Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)

Any scene that you look at has a dynamic range; that is, it has a range of brightness. One of the things that complicates the photographic process is that your eye can perceive a much wider dynamic range than your camera can. That is, it can see a much greater range of dark to light. So while your eye might be able to see details in bright highlights, and dark shadows within your scene, your camera will only be able to see detail in one or the other. In high dynamic range imaging, or HDR, you shoot multiple frames, each exposed to capture a different part of the dynamic range, and then you use special software to combine these multiple images into a single final image that has detail across all of its highlights and shadows.

Your camera has the ability to shoot and merge HDR images automatically in camera. I've got a scene with a good amount of dynamic range here. I've got a dark projector over there. I've got those bright flowers back there. Watch what happens if I just take a shot. I am in Program mode, autofocus, evaluative metering. I am just going to take a quick shot, and if I go into playback mode here, you can see that I've got okay detail on the projector over here. As I stand here looking at it with my eye, I can see tremendous detail; much more than I can see in there.

Over here, the flowers are well exposed. I can see detail on them. This is actually what the meter has decided to do is protect the flowers at the expense of the projector. So, though my eye can see detail in both, my camera has to choose between one or the other, and it's chosen to protect the flowers. Now, I could tell it to do something different. I could meter, and then dial in one stop of overexposure on my exposure compensation. Now when I take the shot, I get nice detail on my projector. Look at all this stuff that's opened up in here. That's actually a little brighter than I can see with my eye. But whoa; the flowers have gone out to complete white.

That's just not going to work at all; they're completely overexposed. This is where HDR comes in. I am going to turn my exposure compensation back down to 0, before I forget, and then go into my shooting menu, because in here, over here on the third page, at the very bottom, you will find something called HDR Mode. It's defaulting to Disabled, obviously. Here is where I can turn on an HDR process. This is going to shoot three different images, and combine them to create one image that will have detail in both the shadows and the highlights.

So the first thing I need to do is to turn it on. I do that by changing this Adjust dynamic range option from Disabled to one of these settings. These are simply going to govern how much exposure differential there is between each shot. I can put it on Auto, and the camera will try and calculate the differential itself, or I can specify 1 EV, 2 EV, 3 EV; EV is exposure value. It's roughly the same as a stop. I am going to just put it on put on Auto. The Auto dynamic range option does a very good job of figuring out how much exposure space to put between each shot.

Next they have this thing called Effect. So I'm going to end up with one shot that's underexposed to bring in more detail on the flowers, a shot that's overexposed to bring in more detail in the shadow areas on my projector, and a shot that's exposed normally to pick up all the midtones. Those three images are then going to be combined. How they are combined is controlled by my Effect setting. Natural is really the best way to go. As I go up from here, I am going to start seeing an image that looks really processed. I am probably going to see halos around really bright areas.

I typically find that these are pretty useless, actually. So you're going to be best served by just leaving this on Natural. Continuous HDR lets me control whether the HDR process stops after this shot that I am going to take -- and by shot, I mean three shots that are combined into one HDR -- or if that continues until I explicitly turn it off. Basically, they're saying, we are going to turn HDR off, so that you don't forget that it's on, and screw up your next shot, or they're saying, we're going to leave it on, so that you can continue to work this scene in an HDR mode. I'm going to leave on 1 shot only.

I can also do this shooting handheld, and the camera will try to align the images. I still need work to hold the images very stable, and I want to be sure that Auto Image Align is turned on. Since I'm on a tripod, I am going to set this to Disable. If you leave it enabled, there is a chance your image might get cropped a little bit. Finally, the camera is shooting three images, and then combining them into a fourth image. If I want, I can tell it to save both the three original images, and the merged image, or the HDR image only.

The reason I might choose to save all of them is that if I don't like the camera's results, I can take those original images back home, and merge them on my computer using Photoshop, or special HDR software. For the sake of easy review here, I'm going to switch this to HDR image only. I don't need the original images, and this is going to make it easier for us to do comparisons of the HDR image against the images that I have already shot. So with that all configured, I'm ready to go. So I just frame my shot, which I have already done. I have got autofocus turned on, so I don't need to look through the viewfinder.

I am just going to press the button once, and it shoots all three images, and then merges them, and then shows me the results. Let's go into playback mode here. And I want to issue a very strong caveat here. We have the screen brightness turned up all the way here, so that you can better see the images onscreen through our video cameras, so what you're seeing is actually a little bit different than the actual results I am getting. Unfortunately, the results are looking worse. With the screen brighter, you're seeing these maybe as a little washed out, and you're not seeing detail here that's as good.

But still, I want to show you the difference between this image, and the overexposed image that I shot before, and the original image that I shot. So this image compared to the overexposed. Yes, I've got better detail here in the overexposed image, but here I've got much better detail in my highlights. Then compare it to the original, where I've got very little detail here, compared with what I get in HDR. Again, I'm probably seeing more detail on my screen here than you're seeing on your screen.

I want to look at the histogram to give you a better idea of what I've captured. You can see that though these might look blown out, they're actually not, and I've got a nice range of data across my entire histogram. In the overexposed one, I was blatantly overexposed, and in the original, I actually had a lot of detail in the highlights; not a lot of detail down here. In my HDR, I've got a little more midtone data down here. So when you're going to want to use HDR are those occasions where you want to preserve detail in your shadows, detail in your highlights.

That said, I can guarantee you you're always going to get better HDR results doing the merge yourself on your computer than letting the camera do it for you. If you would like to know more about HDR, you can check out my Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Images course. It will walk you through the entire process of shooting and processing images on your computer.

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