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Old Nov 24, 2005, 1:12 AM   #1
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Sorry, the title should have been GRADUATED neutral density. It's a little late over here.

Anyway...

Am I able to take 1 RAW file, save it with + or - exposure and blend them in photoshop to bring out detail in shadows and maintain highlights with an even exposure across the entire picture?

What's the best method for this? Is it better to take 1 RAW shot or 2 or 3 bracketed shots as you would with jpg? Can anyone provide a walkthrough?

Thanks.

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Old Nov 24, 2005, 6:07 AM   #2
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This is becoming almost a subject in itself. Try searching the forums for 'High Dynamic Range' to see some discussions. I have seen a couple over at DpReview, as well.

The quick answer is yes, you can do it by processing one shot different ways, but the results are not always satisfactory, and the editing software won't create the HDR image automatically, unless from different exposures, usually requiring diff shutter speeds.

I have been playing with this in Photoimpact for a little over a year now, off and on, and have found best results from manually bracketing at least two full stops. Getting the images to register with thismethod can be a bit trickier because of the time required to change speeds. I really want a camera that can bracket wider than +- 1 stop.

brian
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Old Nov 24, 2005, 8:18 AM   #3
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If you have CS or higher you can just use the Shadow/Highlight to even out the exposure.

The old method works for most editors with some modification and is called "contrast masking". You basically make a B&W negative of the image and merge it with the image. It doesn't take any special advantage of raw however.

In Photoshop:
Layer>Duplicate Layer>OK
Image>Adjustments>Desaturate
Image>Adjustments>Invert
In the layers palette select "Overlay" as your blending method.
Filter>Blur>Gausian Blur. Find a blur that gives you the best result.

I sometimes still combine contrast masking with Shadow/Highlight in CS, using smaller amounts of each.

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Old Nov 24, 2005, 12:23 PM   #4
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As posted quite a while back by gmitchell (sp?), click the "Blended Images Revisited" link on this page:

http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/tutorials-pdf.htm

Lou
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Old Nov 24, 2005, 4:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, all. Very good info.


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