The Sky HDR app for your Sony a7 Series camera has presets for recording time-lapses. Not only can you use these presets, you can customize them so you can take the HDR that you want. In this movie, author Richard Harrington demonstrates how to adjust your settings, adjust the position and defocus of boundary.
- In this case, I'd really like to bring out the blue sky as we get a little bit cooler in the evening. I'd like this to look rich and really vibrant. This is difficult to do in the middle of the day. Either you need to capture it early in the morning, or like we're going now just before sunset. I'll navigate to Blue Sky and press the center button to engage it. This brings up my basic settings. You can now use the front wheel or the aperture control on your camera to dial in the aperture settings that you want.
Pressing to the right lets you set the ISO settings for the camera. This is for the land. You can dial in the type of ISO that you want. Let's try 400. And that looks decent. If I press to the left, I can also utilize exposure compensation to push it a little bit further. Turning that dial you see you can step through. And looking at my histogram there is really quite helpful.
What I want to do is get a good exposure towards the middle. Not crushing the blacks and the shadows but making sure that the building reads pretty well. And I like that. But you'll notice that the sky has gone completely white, devoid of all color. Well that's okay. That's the purpose of HDR. We're setting the first shot here. So I'll simply press the Enter button to store the settings for the land. Now I can switch over to the sky. Pressing the trashcan icon brings up my settings.
Because I chose Blue Sky, you'll see that it's dialed in a custom white balance for the sky. In this case, 4000 degrees kelvin, which is really cooling things down quite a bit. You can dial that in or look at different presets. For example, any of the options like cloudy or automatic white balance, or the ability to match the sky to the the ground. That's fine if you want to go ahead with something pretty straight forward. But in my case, I'd like to really bring out that blue sky. So I'll go back to the degrees kelvin, and I can even engage that there, and I like that, it looks pretty good.
Now we can step over and adjust the exposure. This allows me to compensate. I can set the ISO for just the sky. In this case I'm shooting at ISO 100. This way I'm using a lower ISO for the sky, which will put less noise up there and darkens down that part of the photo. Additionally, I can use exposure compensation. And as I pull that to the left, you see the second histogram shows you the underexposed areas.
Now this little spike on the left is the buildings. I'm not worried about that, but the sky looks nice and rich, with the bulk of it's information capture in the left third. I'll press the center button to store those settings. And let's press it once more. And now I can switch to focusing on the transition. You'll notice for example that you can adjust the blurring of the transition. If you set this to a value of one, you'll see that there's a very hard line there.
Essentially no blend between the sky exposure and the ground. What we want here is a nice gradual blend. And how much it blends is really up do you. I'm gonna go with a pretty heavy blur there. The maximum value of 30. And I can adjust the position as well. Let's set that closer to the peak. That looks good. And I'll press return.
Remember, if needed you can still make other small adjustments but all in all that's looking pretty good. The sky seems right to me. I'll press the menu key to go back. The land looks about right. So let's press the shutter button. Now, I've set up a two second delay. It takes the first shot, then the second shot, and seamlessly blends the two together. That's looking pretty good.
Let's make one small adjustment. We'll adjust the ISO for the building, just a little brighter cause it's gotten a bit darker as we've been shooting. That looks good. And I'll trigger the shot. It first exposes for the sky, then the building, and creates a seamless composite. You'll see that when we expose for the sky properly the building essentially disappears. Expose for the building, and the sky becomes blown out and boring.
But when we blend the two together we get a really attractive image. We've got all the RAW files saved as well. Inside the application settings I chose to save all of the images as well as setting what type of files to capture. In this case, RAW plus JPEG. Remember, the blended file is gonna be a JPEG. So make sure you adjust the quality settings there. Alright, we've captured both JPEG and RAW files here. Remember the JPEG is gonna contain the blended image. Let's head back into the studio where we can evaluate how these images turned out.
In this course, Rich Harrington takes you on a tour of the Sony app ecosystem, highlighting some of the best a7 apps and showing how to get the most out of them. The course is geared toward the a7 models, but its basic concepts apply to any Sony Alpha-series camera that is supported by Sony's PlayMemories store.
- Keeping your firmware up to date
- Purchasing and installing apps from PlayMemories Camera Apps
- Using your smartphone as a remote
- Syncing to your smartphone
- Creating time-lapse videos with the a7
- Shooting multiple-exposure images
- Correcting lens distortion
- Creating stop-motion animation
- Stylizing photos in the a7
- Painting with light
- Photographing star trails
- Shooting long exposures
- Creating light shafts