Exposure Bracketing - how it works  

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tived
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by tived » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:37 pm

Klaus

You do great work!!! It looks excellent!

Hopefully Josef's head will be a little cheaper ;-)

Henrik

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by tived » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:39 pm

Hi Destiny,

Thats good your camera is set up ok, because it is a real PITA going back to what looked like really good images only to find that they were shot in JPEG and you now wanted to play with them but since they are JPEG (e.g.8-bit) you pull a bit here and push some there and the whole image slowly starts to fall apart (you will notice this when you look at your histogram in Photoshop.

30 degrees up and down may be fine, but it obviously depends on the lens you are using ;-) Have a look at this site here, http://www.hdrlabs.com/tools/panocalc.html ( You may also find this site interesting in some of your multimedia projects) there is a pano calculator, in which you can pick your camera, lens and how much over-lap you are wanting. With it you can work out how much over lap or how many shots you need to take to cover a particular angle of view default is 360Degrees.

Fisheye!! Well just set up your gear in the livingroom or kitchen and start shooting away, great little project with near objects where you can test for, good nodal point, do multiple exposures for HDR, it may not be your prefered subject but this is just to test and improve skills.

You got a new Nodal Ninja recently if I remember correctly? Did it come with a rotar? if so using the pano calc you can work out if you need to change the number of image you take to make a full 360.

Focus? changing? Hmmm ;-) If you are shooting with a fisheye lens, looking through the lens and rotate the camera looking through or use live-view or tethered through your computer and see if the most important objects are in focus, with a Fisheye lens almost everything will be in focus. I would select a good focus point provided that most important objects are within a similar range and then set the focus to manual.

Maybe a few things about setting up for pano

Camera. (add to the setting above)
fixed color balance (Daylight, Tungsten....or a specific Kalvin eg. 2850)
Exposure mode set to M for Master and not P for Professional ;-)
Select a suitable aperture e.g. f/8 :-) and then pull out your light meter and find the best shutter speed for your chosen ISO/ASA
this may change depending on if you are wanting to blur running water or freeze action in the pano - I am sure you know
Fix your focus of using a wide-angle lens - if it is a medium to long lens then maybe keep focusing on the subject as you move around.

I think this part here is very mechanical, once you have worked this part out, memorise it and. I use anywhere from 15-35% overlap depending on the lens. I am sure there are others here who will chip-in who does more 360's

Anyway, just keep playing and learning - but most importantly have fun doing it.

Henrik

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:44 pm

hermer-blr wrote:I am interested by what Tived wrote regarding color spaces.

I also shoot raw (nikon D60) and use and sRGB color space for the raw image storage. My question is:

As the files are in raw format, does that make any difference between selecting an RGB or an sRGB color space for image storage ? If there is a difference, the RGB stored files should be in theory a little bigger...

Interested to know the answer and/or have some links to explanations regarding that. The camera documentation are in general very sparse on the topic...

Hi!

sRGB is a vefry reduced color-space which allows browsers to display it - that´s a VERY brief description of a somewhat complex theme . . . :cool: When you take photographs ALWAYS use the biggest/best color-space your camera is able to provide - and stuck with this colorspace through your whole process. In the end - after doing ALL processing - you can reduce it to sRGB . . browsers can´t take more anyway.
But during the process of editing images it´s esential to keep all the information the camera provides - IF you don´t reduce it to sRGB right in the camera. Then an important part of the quality is irreversibly lost already in the beginning. The best way of shooting is to use RAW, process it to TIFF in a GOOD converter and use the TIFFs - preferably 16bit - throughout the process of stitching, editing and rendering. After rendering convert it to what you like.

best, Klaus
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by tived » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:45 pm

I knew that was going to come back and bite me... :-) haha :-)

Setting the color space to AdobeRGB only has influence on your LED display and should you accidently swap to JPEG, so you haven't completely screwed yourself by also be shooting in sRGB/JPEG :-)

Henrik

PS: I must be getting old :P
Last edited by tived on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by tived » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:52 pm

Hi Klaus,

the raw files does not have a color space, it is applied at the conversion stage.

However, one of the main reasons for mentioning that people set their cameras colorspace to aRGB is for them to get into the habbit of it. Obviously, this means nothing if your Photoshops color settings are set to sRGB and to ignore missing and mis-matching color spaces!!! ;-)

Henrik

PS: Safari and Firefox can be set to use color spaces other then sRGB

PPS: I wholehearted 2nd everything you just said Klaus

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:57 pm

tived wrote:Klaus

You do great work!!! It looks excellent!

Hopefully Josef's head will be a little cheaper ;-)

Henrik

Thx, Henrik! Yeah - i´m sure, Josef´s head will come at the most adequate price you can get such a device for . . . Of course it must be more expensive than a Merlin :cool:
Josef´s not a company - he doesn´t have to keep buildings and employees and all what makes and keeps a commercial company running. That´s why usually this devices cost so much money - you pay for many things not directly related to the product.

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:06 pm

tived wrote:Hi Klaus,

the raw files does not have a color space, it is applied at the conversion stage.

Right - but having as much values as possible it can generate a more or lesser wide colorspace when converted. That´s one of the good reasons always to use RAW - unless you´re definitely sure not to need the quality.
Nowadays JPG isn´t bad at all! But . . . ;)
I don´t know exactly how avarage cameras use sRGB internally - i only use it in the final stage for web or for prints in a copyshop.

best, Klaus
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by tived » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:15 pm

Sorry but JPEG has always been bad from a capture and Post processing point of view simply because of the 8 bit color. Its a great transport/sharing file format, in relative small size.

At least I think so ;-)

Henrik

PS: I kicked myself that I didn't use RAW the first 6 mounth when I had my first Digi-SLR (Canon D60) 2001 i think

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:17 pm

besides: setting up a camera with a fisheye for the NPP needs to be VERY precise! I realized visual differences at 2-3mm beneath the otimal point produce stitch-errors. After some trying-and-erroing i found a NPP-distance of 8cm instead of the usually stated 8,5mm for a 15mm Canon fe - measured from the camera-screw to the front of the lens. It´s said the NPP-Plane meets the engravings around the lens-shade with the 15mm Canon and with the 10,5mm Nikon it´s the golden ring (not shure here).
So the values given by the manufactorers always tell the whole story - they can differ individually and can depend of the aperture too.

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:20 pm

tived wrote:Sorry but JPEG has always been bad from a capture and Post processing point of view simply because of the 8 bit color. Its a great transport/sharing file format, in relative small size.

At least I think so ;-)

Definitely right - but you don´t always (!) need more than 8 bit. But of course it´s better to have more . . . :cool:

best, Klaus
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by hermer-blr » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:01 pm

Thanks to Klaus for his answer; that leaves me however unsatisfied. I really would like to understand what happens at raw file level in the camera when you make sRGB or adobe RGB choice:

- Is the raw file the same ?
- Or is the sRGB file a little smaller ?
- If the choice of sRGB is made at shooting, is it possible when processing the raw file to revert to adobe RGB (I mean with the same quality as if the file has been shot with adobe RGB) ?

Thanks
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by klausesser » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:22 pm

hermer-blr wrote:Thanks to Klaus for his answer; that leaves me however unsatisfied. I really would like to understand what happens at raw file level in the camera when you make sRGB or adobe RGB choice:

- Is the raw file the same ?
- Or is the sRGB file a little smaller ?
- If the choice of sRGB is made at shooting, is it possible when processing the raw file to revert to adobe RGB (I mean with the same quality as if the file has been shot with adobe RGB) ?

Thanks

A RAW file is like an original negative - it contains all possiblel information the camera is capable of recording. This information didn´t run through processing inside the camera.
sRGB means the informations are altered to the sRGB color space. This colorspace is smaller than most others. I don´t know whether the camera really converts it to sRGB and exports it this way - in that case you´re lost - or just adds a sRGB profile when exporting. I´m afraid it really reduces the colorspace to sRGB - but i´m not a specialist with that, never use sRGB related to shooting, but sometimes afterwards.

My suggestion: don´t use sRGB in the camera.

best, Klaus
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by hermer-blr » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:51 pm

An interesting link that might give us the answer. Furthermore, the recommendations of the writer are in accordance with yours : shoot raw and use Adobe RGB !!!

http://www.bythom.com/qadraw.htm
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by Destiny » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:23 am

No Klausie.. My not so handsome friend... I don't feel patronised.... YET... :P
Very nice pano.. I like it very much.... Its what I am aiming to achieve for sure... Thank you for the tips.. as soon as I can I will try it out... back to the pantry again!!... the most photographed pantry in the world...

John.. Very nice bw photo above... I would love to take more bw photos after I get my pano bkt working right... I need to make sure my settings are right.. all I seem to do is take the same old pano of my home... It was stitching well but something has gone wrong... Note really certain if my nadir point is set perfect.. I thought it was.... Does any one else have a NN4 with Nadir adaptor and D90 with 10.5 fisheye... It would be interesting to see if my settings match up to yours....

I really love my NN4.. its just great and works so well... my gear is all good, its just the operator that needs to work things out... i see some great pano's like Klausie made and feel what do I need to do to make them like this...

So, the plan is... my camera is set to RAW+JPG fine.. thats the highest it does.. I have it set the colour to Adobe RGB....

Now this is a question.... I set my camera to take a nice photo to what I think looks nice with the lighting.. its set on M but the white balance is set to auto.. i really do not want to set the WB to manual at this stage... when I become more experienced I will play with the WB.....

After I am happy with the photo I then set it to take the 3 bkt images and set the bracketing to wide open to +2 -2... In doors my f stop is often set to f8...

I will set my NN4 to take 6 round at 12% down.. plus a Nadir and a Zenith... Thats just for stitching the pano.. for my nadir patch.. I will move my tripod over and take a couple more for later use to patch my nadir... Sounds simple.. Let you know how I go.....

Destiny....
Last edited by Destiny on Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:14 pm

Destiny wrote:Now this is a question.... I set my camera to take a nice photo to what I think looks nice with the lighting.. its set on M but the white balance is set to auto.. i really do not want to set the WB to manual at this stage... when I become more experienced I will play with the WB.....

:cool:

Setting the WB to "Auto" might cause severe faults if you have, as example, a red wall or a big green painting somewhere . . the AWB will try to "correct" it . . and you most likely wouldn´t be able to get a color-consistent stitch!
It´s very easy using white-balance: If daylight has the biggest part in lighting the room: set the WB to "Daylight" or 5600°k, if the main-light comes from lamps in the room: take "Tungsten" or 3200°k. In between there are some others. You can eliminate problems with color-temperature by choosing RAW. Here you can set the WB when converting the RAWs.

BUT: you´ll most likely run into problems using AWB, because in one shot it takes "Daylight" in the next shot it may take "Tungsten" in a third shot it takes soemthing in between . . .
And even by using RAW you would have to compensate every single picture of the pano to the get the correct WB.

So it´s really very much easier to set EVERY setting in the camera to manual!

best, Klaus
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by gkaefer » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:36 pm

klausesser wrote:
Destiny wrote:Now this is a question.... I set my camera to take a nice photo to what I think looks nice with the lighting.. its set on M but the white balance is set to auto.. i really do not want to set the WB to manual at this stage... when I become more experienced I will play with the WB.....

:cool:

Setting the WB to "Auto" might cause severe faults if you have, as example, a red wall or a big green painting somewhere . . the AWB will try to "correct" it . . and you most likely wouldn´t be able to get a color-consistent stitch!
It´s very easy using white-balance: If daylight has the biggest part in lighting the room: set the WB to "Daylight" or 5600°k, if the main-light comes from lamps in the room: take "Tungsten" or 3200°k. In between there are some others. You can eliminate problems with color-temperature by choosing RAW. Here you can set the WB when converting the RAWs.

BUT: you´ll most likely run into problems using AWB, because in one shot it takes "Daylight" in the next shot it may take "Tungsten" in a third shot it takes soemthing in between . . .
And even by using RAW you would have to compensate every single picture of the pano to the get the correct WB.

So it´s really very much easier to set EVERY setting in the camera to manual!

best, Klaus

can subscribe this fulll....
once I did a non spherical pano with a 120mm (x1.6) a bracket of three set of finally 900 images... it took 1.5 hours. fully sunny shot around 1pm. result was horrible because of auto set AWB of my canon. you might correct this with raw images. but if you correct it for sky background and in forground a tree object than you've to decide which to prefer... if sky to correct that the neigbor images of the tree object may not fit...

Georg

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by tived » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:05 pm

I strongly believe that if you can nail the white-balance you will get much cleaner colors in your image be it one shot or hundreds
However, there are still those who believe that a Color-meter still or even more so have its marits in the digital age - one tool I personally is still missing in my tool box.

it can be changed and I sometimes will apply different color balances to different part of an image, but generally I will just apply one and most often I will preset it in my camera so on a sunny day here I would usually use 5000-5500k.

There is also a debate that the sun's color is different in the northern hemispher to the southern, i think its cooler here (Australia!) and warmer in Europa and the US (northern half! of the globe!)

Henrik

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by klausesser » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:48 pm

tived wrote:However, there are still those who believe that a Color-meter still or even more so have its marits in the digital age - one tool I personally is still missing in my tool box.

Forget it. I have a very expensive colormeter because i needed it for movie-camera work (you´re lost without it here). But when shooting digital as RAW it´s definitely obsolete. You anyway use fixed values when setting manual WB. Whatever it is - it´s fine-tuned afterwards when the RAWs are "developed".

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by hankkarl » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:45 pm

Destiny wrote:So, the plan is... my camera is set to RAW+JPG fine.. thats the highest it does.. I have it set the colour to Adobe RGB....
You may find that you spend a lot of time waiting for the buffer to write to the card. I just shoot RAW and then convert later.

Destiny wrote:Now this is a question.... I set my camera to take a nice photo to what I think looks nice with the lighting.. its set on M but the white balance is set to auto.. i really do not want to set the WB to manual at this stage... when I become more experienced I will play with the WB.....

AWB may be ok outdoors, but indoors forget it. You have several types of lighting:
1. Sunlight through windows - 5600 degrees K more or less
2. incandescents - 3200 degrees K, depending on the bulb
3. Fluorescents - anywhere from warm white ~3200K to daylight ~6500K, but some have major CRI issues.

CRI - color rendering index. Some fluorescent lights have a lot of green in them, and so have a low CRI. A "perfect" CRI is 100, and a plain incandescent bulb gives this.

Sometimes you have all three types in one room.

Another issue is commercial space where you may have metal halide or other lighting on 3 phases. If you shoot these lights at a fast speed (say 1000 or faster) you may see one light be a different color than another because the lights change colors as the voltage changes. So shoot at 1/60 or 1/50 depending on the frequency of the AC (or twice as slow...) if the color is of major importance to you.

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by Destiny » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:16 am

emm.. I though setting the WB was a matter of pointing my camera at something white and setting this way... I think my issues has to be the WB... I will play with that now... I think I will all come down to experience and skills leant as I go... I will have to keep a little not book on my settings, what they were and what worked well, to use as a starting point.... Thank you for all this info on WB..

Destiny...

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by DrSlony » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:12 pm

Pointing it at something neutral gray, not white!

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by hankkarl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:26 pm

Many white things are actually blue. Clothing that is washed with a detergent that claims to get your clothes "whiter than white" adds a bluing agent. This is because we tend to see a slight blue as being "whiter than white".

White walls, doors and ceilings may actually be a bit warm (ie they have a slight shade of tan added).

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by Destiny » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:30 am

Ok... I have finally had success in creating my first bracketed pano. The images are really nice. I am very pleased with the final colour tones, they look beautiful...

To be honest, I did it without apg.. I am really over this software.... It might be ok for basic image stitching and robotic type images but for me, I can never work it out... I take the images process them though the stitching with only one image and the results are ok'ish... Thats fine... but you cannot use the bracketed feature in apg, it simply does not work... and if it does its far too complicated and uncertain to bother with...

I put the same images into PTGui and I get Very Good... So I set my Nadir using PTGui.... Its still a tab out but I can fine tune that...

My workflow....

Set my camera to take a nice photo from what I can see on my view panel.. When I am happy with the f stop, shutter speed and WB, yes, I am now doing that manually too.. Very pleased I am now doing it... Thank you all for your help and advice on that....

I then set my bracketed shots to -2 +2.... I then capture my images as RAW+jpg fine... As many of you have said, RAW is best and you are not wrong.. Its great!!!

I then process the RAW making sure I am happy with the exposure etc.. Then batch save as tif's...

I then put them through Photomatix. I rather liked the results of Fusion Auto... So I left it at that...

The resulting images were beautiful... very happy with them... They look very natural and vibrantly clear...

I then put the tif's in PTGui to stitch them.. I did a check on the optimiser and it said Very Good.. So I stitched them.. The same images processed through apg turned out a DOGs Dinner jumbled up mess... No matter what I did.. Very disappointed.. I have spent hour and hours and days and weeks trying to do this using apg.. For me, it does't work!!

I then put the final pano image into ptp and it looks great..!! A little bit of stitching out on the cornice in one spot but I will work on that... My nadir point is still a touch out...

For colour tone its beautiful... very happy with that...best I have ever had... To be honest, apg should be able to cope much better than it did with this.. It should also be able to cope much better with bracketed shots. I have given apg a really good try out for months, but it just doesn't work for me... I will stick with ptp for tours but I will give apg a miss on my stitching until I can work out what is going wrong with my images... Perhaps its got to do with too much overlap as some have said or the way I take my pano images... I have tried other settings but they all end up the same...

Sorry I cannot show you my final pano since its our messy bedroom.... but I can tell you that the wooden furniture and wooden floor and fabrics all look beautiful.... Photomatix is a great program for sure... Now I need to practice more and make sure my Nadir Point is perfect... I now have a starting point that works...

Someone above I remember suggesting, without reading it all again.. to set my NN4 to 10 or 12 down....with 6 round but my NN4 will only do 15 degree increments.. I am not sure if it can be changed... I tried at 15 down with 6 round with a nadir and a zenith but apg did not like it at all... I did not try to stitch it in PTGui....

Destiny....
Last edited by Destiny on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Destiny » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:34 am

Well that makes sense.. When I did my Diploma Of Multimedia the video teacher told us to set the white balance using white card.. Oh, how wrong she was.... I checked it out on the internet when you told me... How stupid of her.... and we all thought it was odd since the colour of our movie was terrible... we always knew something was wrong....

Oh well.. we all live and learn... Thank you for putting right on that issue...

D...

DrSlony wrote:Pointing it at something neutral gray, not white!

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by mediavets » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:38 am

Destiny wrote:I then put the tif's in PTGui to stitch them.. I did a check on the optimiser and it said Very Good.. So I stitched them.. The same images processed through apg turned out a DOGs Dinner jumbled up mess... No matter what I did.. Very disappointed.. I have spent hour and hours and days and weeks trying to do this using apg.. For me, it does't work!!

I can't imagine why APG could not stitch such an image set.

Can you share a problem image set with us so I can have a go at stitching it? I'd be happy with JPEGs rather than huge 16-bit TIFFs.

Someone above I remember suggesting, without reading it all again.. to set my NN4 to 10 or 12 down....with 6 round but my NN4 will only do 15 degree increments.. I am not sure if it can be changed... I tried at 15 down with 6 round with a nadir and a zenith but apg did not like it at all... I did not try to stitch it in PTGui....

Destiny....

I have a first generation Nodal Ninja 5L. This doesn't have the 15-degree postive locks on the pitch axis of the later generation; and since having locks every 15-degrees would have been pretty much worthless for the lenses I regularly use I didn't bother with the upgrade.

I have to presume there's a way to set the upper arm at any pitch angle on your NN4, and not only at 15-degree intervals. It may have click-stops every 15, but surely there's away to clamp the arm at other angles?
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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