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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Using HDR for a Single Image

I hate to ask this and really wanted to figure it out on my own but I can't.  So I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (4) and noticed that if I start HDR for a single image, I get better sharpness than if I use the sharpness in the tool palette.  What I do is crop the image first in the tool palette and then start the HDR and use the sharpness slides in HDR.  However, from what I understand of HDR, it is used for multiple images when each image has a different exposure such as when you take three shots using automatic exposure compensation.  My question is, how does HDR work on a single RAW image? 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,009
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image


@mjschocken wrote:

I hate to ask this and really wanted to figure it out on my own but I can't.  So I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (4) and noticed that if I start HDR for a single image, I get better sharpness than if I use the sharpness in the tool palette.  What I do is crop the image first in the tool palette and then start the HDR and use the sharpness slides in HDR.  However, from what I understand of HDR, it is used for multiple images when each image has a different exposure such as when you take three shots using automatic exposure compensation.  My question is, how does HDR work on a single RAW image? 


I'm a DPP4 user; but I've never used HDR, so I won't try to answer your question. But I would caution you against relying too heavily on after-the-fact sharpening, whatever tool you may use to produce it. A little goes a long way, and oversharpened images may look good when you're pixel-peeping through a sharpening tool but quite unnatural when viewed as a whole.

 

Don't quote me on this, but I believe I read somewhere that photo editors normally de-sharpen images slightly to avoid an oversharpened look. If that's so, what you may be seeing is that effect applied in the sharpening tool but not in the HDR tool. The presumed rationale would be that combining the images in HDR will produce a bit of de-sharpening anyway.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
VIP
Posts: 8,319
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image

[ Edited ]

"My question is, how does HDR work on a single RAW image?"

 

Good quesiton. 

 

Maybe it does what I have occasionaly done by hand.  Sometimes I wind up with a photo that had more dynamic range than what the camera could handle.  I might have a sky that is washed out, or shadows that are completely dark. 

 

So, I fudge it.  I will create multiple JPEGs of the image, but with different exposure compensation in settings.  I try not to center the exposures around 0 Ev of compensation.  For example, for a washed out sky I might create a series of JPEGs with the follwoing exposure settings: 1, 0, -1, -2, -3. 

 

Aside from lens correction and white balance, I don't make any additional changes.  I send those to the HDR batch process, and it happily churns its' way through, almost as if I had shot different exposures from a tripod.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 11,334
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image

"I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (4) and noticed that if I start HDR for a single image ..."

 

I don't use DPP4 very often, just long enough to see I still don't like it.  So I don't really know what it is doing but 'real' post editors like Lightroom, Photomatrix Pro, etc, will not process a single image with the HDR option.

 

If you like what it does, more power to you.  Keep dong it as that is all that is important.

 

DPP's best feature it, it is free.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 8,319
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (4) and noticed that if I start HDR for a single image ..."

 

I don't use DPP4 very often, just long enough to see I still don't like it.  So I don't really know what it is doing but 'real' post editors like Lightroom, Photomatrix Pro, etc, will not process a single image with the HDR option.

 

If you like what it does, more power to you.  Keep dong it as that is all that is important.

 

DPP's best feature it, it is free.


Actually  Photomatrix Pro allows you to create HDR images from a single RAW file.

 

PhotoMatrix_Pro.JPG

 

Who knows what exactly its' doing, but it claims that it can to do something with a single file.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,402
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image

RAW has 14 (or more!) bits of resolution. JPEG has 8. The HDR uses those extra bits to get an HDR image that squeezes all those bits into an 8 bit JPEG. Just like dolby dbx!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,009
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software (4) and noticed that if I start HDR for a single image ..."

 

I don't use DPP4 very often, just long enough to see I still don't like it.  So I don't really know what it is doing but 'real' post editors like Lightroom, Photomatrix Pro, etc, will not process a single image with the HDR option.

 

If you like what it does, more power to you.  Keep dong it as that is all that is important.

 

DPP's best feature it, it is free.


Actually, DPP's best feature is that is saves the image's (reversible) changes in the image file itself, eliminating the need for databases, "sidecar" files, or other clumsy workarounds. Ernie knows that; he just doesn't think it matters. If you don't think it matters either, then by all means take his advice.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,402
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

 

 

DPP's best feature it, it is free.


Actually, DPP's best feature is that is saves the image's (reversible) changes in the image file itself, eliminating the need for databases, "sidecar" files, or other clumsy workarounds. Ernie knows that; he just doesn't think it matters. If you don't think it matters either, then by all means take his advice.


At the expense of compatibility.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image

Bob,

 

Thanks for your comments.  I have to admit I like to see sharp edges in my wildlife photos although, as you say, not excessively.  When I use the HDR tool, I sharpen to a limited extent (~10% on the slider scale) but, to my eye, it improves the look.

 

 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Using HDR for a Single Image

Thanks for your comments.  Yes, I like the DPP-4 because I just started shooting raw and wanted to be sure I liked the RAW images and the processing involved before I purchased Lightroom or a similar software.  I expect to purchase something soon.

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