Once you have your camera and your gear assembled to take an HDR panoramic image, it is now time to set the bracketing method and dynamic range you will be using. How do you determine both? In this movie, author Ron Pepper will demonstrate how to determine the dynamic range and set the bracketing method you will use to shoot an HDR panoramic image.
- OK, we're ready to choose our settings in order to capture the full dynamic range of this space. So the first thing I always recommend to do is to meter with your spot meter in the camera for the highlights, and then meter separately for the shadows in the scene. So what that means is, the first thing that I'll do is go over to this window, which is the brightest part of the scene, and I'll have my camera set to spot meter, and I'm just going to use the light meter in the camera to determine the shutter speed, and even take a test shot, usually.
And with the test shot, I can look at the LCD screen and just get a quick visual check to make sure that I've captured the highlights properly. To do that, I just check the histogram that nothing is pushed up against the right side of the histogram. I'll do the same things for the shadows. So I'm just going to choose a dark corner, such as this one, and again just use the spot meter in the camera. It's telling me it's about two seconds exposure. Since I don't care about camera shake, I'm just going to take my test shot, hand-held. And again, do a quick visual check to make sure that that looks good, and it does.
I don't see any dark shadows that are lost there. So now I know that I can capture the entire scene from two seconds exposure to 1/25 of a second exposure. Now all I need to do is set my camera in order to capture that using auto-exposure bracketing. There's a few ways to do that. The first way I recommend to determine the bracketing sequence is a way that anybody can do on their camera right here, just using what we have. And that's counting the stops using the dial. So I have it set to the longest shutter speed, two seconds, and I can count single stops by using my dial on this camera.
Almost all cameras are the same where it's three clicks for one stop. So I'm just going to count and start from two seconds and I promise to show you a little more elegant way to do this coming up. Two seconds, so I just rotate it until I get to 1/25 of a second. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine stops. So from two seconds to 1/25 of a second is nine stops. Now I can set this camera, in particular it requires that I set the middle exposure and then I set to capture nine at a time, so I just count right back.
Nine, to the middle one will be five, so eight, seven, six, five. It also gives me 1/8 of a second. So I'm ready to go as soon as I turn on bracketing, nine shots, all set. OK, that manual method of choosing your bracketing sequence is great, and it's the way I've done it for a long time, but it's not always needed. For one thing, after some time, it's going to become second nature and it's going to become very easy. But there's also a new tool out that will calculate exactly the brackets needed and it'll even tell you the center exposure which most cameras need in order to use the auto-exposure bracketing in them.
So I'm using this right now on my phone. It's not an app yet, it's currently on the HDRsoft web page and it's a really great little tool, where I can put in those shutter speeds that we just figured. So I'm going to go ahead and put in the two seconds for the shadows, and the 1/25 of a second for the highlights and this part is where I tell the capabilities of my camera. So if my camera is capable of nine bracket frames, with an EV spacing of one.
Now I tap, get exposures, and down below it lists each of the exposures needed, it even tells me my center exposure, so I know I need to set it at 1/8 of a second. So capturing the entire dynamic range is the real key here. A lot of people just take a general reading and then set their camera to take over- and under-stops. But using this method is going to guarantee that you really cover the dynamic range, and tools like this are really great to help you do that.
- Uses for 360-degree images
- Creating spherical, cylindrical, and cubical projections
- Shooting 360-degree images with different types of cameras and lenses
- Choosing a tripod
- Controlling the camera remotely
- Positioning the camera on the tripod head
- Setting up the camera
- Shooting 360-degree images
- Using a helicopter or drone
- Stacking photos
- Developing panoramic images in Camera Raw and Photoshop
- Developing spherical panoramic images with Lightroom
- Processing panoramic images with PTGui and Photomatix
- Viewing and sharing interactive panoramas