HDr with a Canon 30D and CS1
November 25, 2006 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I have a Canon 30D, Photoshop CS1, and a couple of photogenic cars available. I would like to experiment with HDR. There's a little

I havent used a Canon 30D since my 2nd year of university, and now owning one I realised how little I know about it - and about photography. I'm not even sure hot to turn on auto-bracket steps on the camera :(

I'd like to know how (in simple steps) I could photograph and produce for HDR (remember, I only have CS1).

Help me oh hive mind!
posted by lemonfridge to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
attempting to use HDR in CS1
Taking the photos is easy. Fix the aperture and shutter to what the meter says. Then drop / increase your shutter speed until all the highlights and shadows have been exposed properly. (Use a tripod, and a static background, so that everything will merge everything)
Actually processing the HDR image in CS1 is not something I've tried.
posted by defcom1 at 11:11 AM on November 25, 2006

Take a series of shots keeping the aperture constant and varying the exposure time. You want to range the images from mostly blown out to mostly under exposed.
There are several programs for creating HDRs (HDRShop, Photomatix). Unfortunately CS1 will not handle any of the 32 bit formats like CS2, so you'll have to do the 32 bit to 16 or 8 bit conversion in whatever HDR program you've selected.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:14 AM on November 25, 2006

[wasn't the 30d just released this year?]

(Use a tripod, and a static background, so that everything will merge everything)

Also, to avoid camera shake, you may want to use the self timer on the longer exposures. On the 30d you can set Custom Function (C.FN) 12 from 0 to 1 and that will change the self timer from 10 seconds to 2 seconds, which makes it easier to use.

You could also get a wired or wireless remote to do the same thing, but I can't see any reason to spend money when you don't need to.
posted by quin at 11:29 AM on November 25, 2006

To "fake" HDR on CS1, what you'll need to do is stack the photos, lightest on bottom to darkest on top. Then create masks for each layer except the bottom one - the mask for the top layer will be the second-from-top layer the second-from-top layer's mask is the third-from-top, etc.

To make the masks, select the layer that you want to make the mask of. Control-a, control-c to select all and copy to clipboard. click on the the layer for whom the mask will be, and click on the little icon below the layer list that looks like a circle in a rectangle. THis creates the mask, which will show up as a white box next to the layer thumbnail. Alt-click on the mask to isolate it, then control-p to paste.

Masks are single-channel only, so it will be in b/w. While the mask is still isolated, filter->blur->gaussian blur, about 80 pixels. THis will allow the transitions to be smoother. Create masks for all the successive layers in a similar fashion.

If this still looks a little fakey, change the opacities of the layers - I like to blend using 100% of the bottom, 50% of the next-to-bottom, 33% for the next up, 25%, 20%...etc (1/layer number, expressed as a percent).

Using this method, I just knocked out a pretty realistic-looking shot from a slot canyon in five minutes.
posted by notsnot at 12:40 PM on November 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

One way to handle the multiple exposures needed is to take one well-balanced exposure in RAW mode, and then use your RAW processing program to output differently exposed versions using the exposure adjustments. (I know, this sounds like it wouldn't work, but it's your only option for motion/people scenes and it's not bad at all for stills/landscapes) Then process the differently-exposed images in your HDR program.

The awesome thing about this method is that you can go back to older images (as long as you have RAW versions) and create HDRs out of them.

That said, HDR is currently being widely abused by amateur photographers. People like the surreal colors, but I think it's often used as a completely unoriginal magic trick and most people usually output poor images (more surrealistic than aesthetically pleasing) from their HDR programs. Just because you can make the nighttime sky purple and the ground neon green doesn't mean you should. It's like using guitar distortion to make a song when you have no idea how to play a guitar. The best usages of HDR have been images where a lot of natural colors and detail (especially in the highlights and shadows) are given new clarity and richness. Aim for that and you'll do well.
posted by brianvan at 12:50 PM on November 25, 2006

Response by poster: Eek, I meant the 350D.
posted by lemonfridge at 4:54 PM on November 25, 2006

Eek, I meant the 350D.

In that case, my comment about using C.FN 12 are probably not going to be that useful (though it could be the same, I haven't played with a 350DD). But according to dpreview there is some way to set it to have a 2 second self timer using mirror lockup.

The reason this is useful becomes obvious if you have ever set your camera on a tripod, and used the 10 second self timer to avoid the camera wobble that can happen when your finger hits the shutter. 10 seconds is a really loooong time when you are waiting to take a picture. You never know if the scene or the lighting is going to change. Switching it over to 2 seconds makes life a lot easier. It still gives you time to get your hand away from the camera, but not so long that it's likely that you are going to miss your shot.
posted by quin at 5:49 PM on November 25, 2006

If you can put a polarizing filter on it (or close enough to the lens to work) between shots without disturbing the camera, you could use the HID to include the interior of the car, with the filter (hopefully) reducing reflections and glare from the glass>
posted by -harlequin- at 8:56 PM on November 25, 2006

-harlequin-: nice. I bet instead of screwing the filter in, you could take the polarizer and put a strip of electric tape halfway around it is circumference, if you were to really carefully place it over the end of the lens, the tape should hold it in place by friction. It shouldn't move the camera at all and you could easily get your polarized shots.

It might take a bit of practice but I bet it would work.

/develops sudden interest in HDR photography...
posted by quin at 9:27 PM on November 25, 2006

More specifically, you could attach the tape to the lens thusly, and then lay it on the camera like this. My extremely quick test suggests that this could work pretty well.
posted by quin at 9:59 PM on November 25, 2006

Or you could just hold the filter in front of the lense being careful not to expose your fingers. I've done this quite a bit with film in order to fake 50/50 neutral density or polarized filter with an appropriate square gel.
posted by Mitheral at 1:48 AM on October 28, 2007

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