Sugarloaf Lighthouse

Processing nightmare – if anyone has any good tips for making HDR panos, I am all ears – i usually either use PTGUI to stitch a HDR with blend planes etc (preferred) or HDR individual bracketed images then stitch (in PS with HDRefx) – however the latter is very limiting since the HDR does alot of the work and I prefer to manually blend my exposures..

It also does not help that I had to take it with a UWA, around 13mm, there is plenty of artifacts and I had to spend a overly onerous amount of time trying to fix things, the sun looks crap and the red just seems off aarrghh – oh well, next time..

43 thoughts on “Sugarloaf Lighthouse

  1. I think you've got it – PTGui for stitching and PS for processing. I have issues as well even with a fairly powerful PC. My main problem is handling 9GB+ files. Any filter I apply can take 30+ minutes and that's unacceptable. I even tried segmenting my panos and working on the sections and that still takes forever. There seems to be no immediate response from 3rd party filters or plugins when working on images that fall well under Photoshop's max size limit. Now I'm rambling… sorry… LOL So much to say about HDR panos!

  2. I tried that workflow for months +Gerard Blacklock and was never satisfied with it. My preferred workflow now is to stitch the pano with one or two exposures max,digitally blend in Ps and add tonemapping (if desired) in HDREfexPro (normally Deep 1) as a single image and then blend that layer for the final output to Lightroom. I've done this successfully with 58 files out of a Canon 7d on a MacMini.

  3. +Gerard Blacklock, first off, GREAT capture! The processing looks really nice. Second, I totally understand your pain. I've developed a workflow that works pretty well for me most of the time. I've detailed it in a 3 part article that starts here: (apologies up front as it's written for people who are new to HDR and panos). Hopefully there will be something in there that's useful to you!

    I'm using Photomatix Pro 5 to do the tone mapping, and Photoshop CC to stitch the tif's. The results can be hit or miss depending on how much overlap you have between frames and what kind of lines you have in your overall composition. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about it! Keep up the great work!

  4. +Gerard Blacklock, try +Hugin which claims to accept bracketed pano frames. Or, do HDR merges before stitching and hope the radiometric correction of your stitcher does a good job. I always manually normalize all pano frames in LR for brightness, etc. before stitching. Unlike most people, I let the camera vary its shutter speed for the frames (not manual mode).

  5. What happened to the 5 minute rule Gerry πŸ™‚

    Maybe ditch the left 20% or so to bail on the sun which is dragging me over there all the time (puts the lighthouse on the third too). The clouds on the right are pretty sweet with the side glow. For me I find most of the image fine except the lighthouse seems to stand out for me (sorta like it's pasted in if you know what I mean)

  6. +Shawn Hudson
    yeah i usually use PTGUI but sometimes it does not quite get the stitching right, hence the need to use PS or something else.
    I usually do the HDR stitch in PTGUI then manually blend in PS. In this case i merged the bracketed shots in HDRefx then stitched the merged images together, thus not giving me the desired ability to manually blend to what i wanted.

  7. +Dan Villeneuve
    great tutorial writeup there and what a perfect subject, one of my favorites πŸ™‚

    I have in the past merged in photomatix then stitched in PS and this seems to work OK and is quite automated way of doing it – photomatic does give probably the best control and results of all the software i have used. However, sometimes i like that ability to really control the blending process, particularly when there are scenes with water in them, often i bracket a particular image for the water flow and whilst it may have blown highlights i don't want the HDR process to discard that bit, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting, i appreciate it!

  8. thanks +Rodney Campbell
    still exists for some images, actually i have reduced the time for most and simply decided that its better to spend longer on producing fewer better images than a larger number of mediocre ones – that and i have less time.
    The sun does draw you away, but it was a crucial part of the frame – it could probably workwith the lighthouse on the left of the frame – the lighthouse does need some work, the rails and that gusset on the shadow side appear very dark which contributes to that 'pasted' in look.

  9. +Richard Creamer
    thanks – regarding the shutter priority mode for panos, that's a good idea and at the end of the day it is whatever works, if that works than I say use and stuff what everyone else is saying or doing πŸ™‚ I briefly looked at hugin some years ago.. but never realised it could do the bracketed stitching, i think that deserves a re-visit from me, thanks mate.

  10. Actually, +Gerard Blacklock, I keep the camera in aperture priority frame-to-frame and manually balance frames before stitching. Often, the sky needs different adjustments than the trees, foreground, etc. A bit more work, but this helps avoid over or under exposed frames when shooting in manual mode with constant aperture and shutter speed, especially with wide panoramas such as 180 degrees. For the few HDR panos I've done, I think I HDR-merged the individual frames before stitching.

  11. I tend to never merge the frames before stitching. Also tend to shoot way more brackets during suntime… (sometimes as much as a a 9shot bracket.. just to have the range for skies/backgrounds).

    I merge it in Photomatix (I loved HDR Efex 1.. really dont like 2), then merge in Photoshop. From there, mix back in some of the skies and originals into the file. Lastly, put them together in PS.

    Do you have the raw files up somewhere?


  12. +Gerard Blacklock, if you search Google+ for 'richard creamer panorama yosemite' you can see some of my first attempts at panoramas, some of which are 180 degrees or larger. I'm certainly not an expert, just getting started, really. (First year with good camera.) Keep sharing your great work! 90% of my photo learning comes from the impressive photos other photographers post on G+.

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