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Thread: Photoshop's Merge to HDR Panorama

  1. #1

    Default Photoshop's Merge to HDR Panorama

    I've been impressed recently by Photoshop's additions to the tools in ACR (will be in Lightroom too, if you are a Lightroom user). It now has the option to merge to HDR and a panorama... at the same time!

    Not only that, but the merge to HDR is a lot more sophisticated than it used to be and a lot more natural-looking. I was never a fan of HDR merges in the early days - made for some very weird, unnatural-looking results. But now, you would never know the sky was from one image, while the land was from a different one. And furthermore, registration is not a problem. In the early days, you would need to have the camera on a tripod and have nothing move while you took the shots. Now, you can hand-hold, be moving yourself, and have a moving subject, and still merge several images into one.

    I took 3 shots of our boat coming home on Loch Lomond in October. One at 0 EV, one at -1 EV and one at +1 EV. Andy on the motor moved between shots, I was bouncing up and down with the waves. The waves were moving all over the place, and the background was moving relative to the boat. You'd think that would be impossible to make a composite from without a lot of work. But no. I just fed the 3 different exposures to ACR and clicked on merge to HDR. There are low, medium and high settings for removing ghosting, and I reckoned it would probably want the high strength option, given all that movement, so I ticked that one. Here is the merge...


    No one would know, eh?

    When I was doing this, I noticed a new tool: Merge to HDR Panorama. Blimey! So, you need to shoot multiple exposures of one frame, then turn right, shoot another set of exposure, turn right and so on. So, you have several overlapping scenes to stitch a panorama from, and at the same time each scene has several different exposure levels to make an HDR blend from. Well, I had to have a go at that!

    I was out with the pheasant shooters on Saturday, and stopped to have a go at taking some shots for the 'double-merge'. I did a 3-wide by 3-'deep' set of 9 exposures. Just hand-held - who needs a tripod these days, eh? I took the precaution of fixing the focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO before taking the shots. (85 mm IS lens. All f6.3, ISO 100, with bracketing by shutter speed at 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 sec.) I then fed the 9 RAW files to ACR and let it get on with it. I played no further part in proceedings. I was impressed with how quickly ACR did the job - no need to go and put the kettle on while waiting. Here is the result, reduced to 2000 pixels wide (sorry, phone and tablet users, but a 27 inch monitor is going to give you a much better view of this )


    One thing I could have done better was use a wider exposure bracket. I just went with 0, -1 EV, +1 EV. The sky would have had more detail with a -2 EV exposure. Next time...

    Col
    Last edited by Cap'n Fishy; 28-11-2018 at 02:30 PM.
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Photoshop's Merge to HDR Panorama

    Awesome....

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