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What is the best way to shoot HDR in the gh3?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by cuervo.taylor, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    53
    May 20, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I'm an newb in photography and been reading a lot of books.

    I wanted to know when do you use to shoot HDR and how you do it?

    for example:

    Do you use the auto HDR only for JPEG in the GH3?

    Or you prefer to shoot HDR manually in RAW?

    Is there anyway to do it automatically in RAW?

    If I shoot HDR pictures I must have a tripod right?
     
  2. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    Few times I did HDR, I just shot a single exposure RAW and tossed it in HDR Efex Pro.

    If you shoot RAW by taking multiple bracketed exposures, its recommended to use a tripod unless you can hold your hand steady for a minimum of 3-5 consecutive shots.

    I did this by hand with a single exposure RAW.

    8939452421_8c7e0269f4_c.
    P1050624_HDR-Edit by tuanies, on Flickr

    Here's the standard version.

    8939451435_77024a4697_c.
    P1050624 by tuanies, on Flickr
     
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I wanted to know when do you use to shoot HDR and how you do it?

    HDR is for when a scene has a lot of dynamic range, a.k.a. lots of tonal range between the brightest highlights and darkest shadows. Our eyes can see more dynamic range than our cameras, so you use HDR to merge a range of under/overexposed images together and preserve highlights and shadows in the same photo. A good example might be a landscape with a very bright sky; if you expose for the sky, the ground will be very dark - but if you expose for the ground the sky will be blown out. So you merge a range of exposures in HDR to combine properly exposed areas of both in one image.

    Do you use the auto HDR only for JPEG in the GH3? - HDR mode in-camera is only available if you shoot JPG, it won't work with RAW photos.

    Or you prefer to shoot HDR manually in RAW? - I always prefer RAW, because it gives more latitude for processing later. You can always do more with the RAW than the JPG, so I'd rather have it and not need it than the reverse :smile:

    Is there anyway to do it automatically in RAW? - you would need to take bracketed exposures (it can be done with a single RAW file as in tuanies' example, but usually you want multiple files to get a greater dynamic range). Then the bracketed exposures - 3, 5, or 7 shots are common - would be combined in software like Photoshop, HDR Efex, Photomatix, etc. which merges the photos into a single HDR image.

    If I shoot HDR pictures I must have a tripod right? - you do not need a tripod, though one may make for better results. I've shot a lot of HDR and all of it was handheld. The merging software usually handles aligning and merging the photos so if you shoot the bracketed shots handheld it corrects for any slight movements. Obviously this requires a relatively still subject, and you shouldn't make any large movements between frames.
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Here are some HDR shots, all done with HDR Efex Pro on m4/3 and shooting handheld.

    7896863320_4e056886d5_c.
    Golden Grounds (B&W) - Grounds For Sculpture by jloden, on Flickr


    7861284822_07a9c61e7d_c.
    Resurrection Bay by jloden, on Flickr


    7861270880_5a5e44da7d_c.
    Mt. McKinley by jloden, on Flickr


    Here's an example where the highlights or shadows would have been clipped without HDR. In this case it's debatable whether it made for a "better" photo as the end result though :tongue:

    7896873224_a3bc08dbf2_c.
    Grounds For Sculpture by jloden, on Flickr


    And here's a more dramatic HDR, over-processed intentionally a little bit. The extra dynamic range also allows you to really emphasize structure, contrast, and textures so you can get a very dramatic or gritty feel to a photo using HDR as well.

    7896864914_f7e244df2d_c.
    Grounds For Sculpture by jloden, on Flickr
     
  5. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    53
    May 20, 2013
    Jloden

    Manythanks for the kind explanation and examples the Mt. Mckinley is a sublime photo!

    WHen you say the following:

    What does it mean is that a program in the gh3? or in the computer?
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    You're welcome :smile:


    HDR Efex Pro is software, a plugin/application for LightRoom made by Nik Sotware.

    The only HDR option built into the GH3 is the one mentioned earlier, where you must shoot in JPG mode and it's not really configurable.
     
  7. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    53
    May 20, 2013
    How many RAWs you shoot and how do you make the bracketing for example you start once the exposure meter says it is correct then over expose X stops up and under expose X stops down?

    (sorry if the question is not clear)
     
  8. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    53
    May 20, 2013
    so I'm trying to take HDR portraits of my girlfriend and eventhough I tell her not to move she moves a lil bit and the auto JPEG HDR doesn't align well I think this would be even worst trying to do it in RAW?
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    People aren't a very good subject for HDR, they move a lot :smile:

    You may or may not get better results in external software; a lot depends on how good it is at alignment and "ghost reduction" functions. However, if there's too much difference between frames it just isn't going to come out very well regardless. Try with some static subjects first to make it easier on yourself.

    People have different opinions on that. Some like as many as 7 shots, some people do 3 shots, and it can be anywhere from 1/3 of a stop increments to 2 stops, etc. You'll probably have to experiment to find what works for you (and your camera) best. A good starting point IMO is 3 exposures in 1 stop increments. Basically that's a normal shot, then 1 stop overexposed and 1 stop underexposed, so you have an extra full stop of exposure leeway in both directions.

    In case you don't already know this, it's an option in the GH3 to set exposure bracketing at various configurations in the menu. Then you can turn the drive mode wheel to the bracketing mode, and it will automatically adjust the exposure as you take the shots. All you have to do is hold down the shutter and it will take all 3/5/7 or whatever number of shots in a row with the exposure compensation automatically done.