taking a High dynamic range picture

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Steven L, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    I've made some HDR pictures before with a digital camera and photoshop (don't shoot me), but I think this can also be done with analogue camera's.
    My guess is that I use double exposure and divide the shutter time. For instance, let's say a single shot would have to have a 1/60 shutter time. I would divide this into 1/20 and 1/40. Making it a total exposure time of 1/60.
    Is that right or doesn't it work that way?
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    No. that would be over-exposed. to make up 1/60 you would need two exposures of 1/125 or four of 1/250 (or any other combination which keeps the shutter open for an equally long time).

    It won't alter the dynamic range though.


    Steve.
     
  3. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    Darn you're quick Steve :smile:

    I see the logic in 2 exposures of 1/125 or 4 of 1/250. I see what I did wrong. 1/20 + 1/40 isn't 1/60, it's about 1/13th of a second. 2x 1/125 = 1/62,5 (calculated a bit over exposed)

    What if I shoot ones 1/125 and twice 1/250? Same result as 1/60?

    Is it possible to make an uneven division of the two exposures to create a HDR picture? Or can HDR only be created after taking two seperate pictures?
     
  4. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    HDR can't be done in camera on one piece of film as you suggest. HDR selectively chooses pixels from multiple images and recombined them into one composite image. All you are doing with your suggestion is adding more exposure to all grains of the film. Additional exposure is not selective, so it won't achieve the effect you intend.

    Essentially what you want to do is compression or expansion so that the image you capture on film can be printed well. This has been done for years using the zone system. You can think of the zone system plus dodging, burning, bleaching, etc. As the analog version of HDR.


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    I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.961379,116.453818
     
  5. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    So basically what I can do with double exposure directly on film is something like this.
    Lunar-eclipse-2004.jpg
    With the technique Steve Smith has mentioned.
    I guess I just have to give it a try some time and experiment. Right now I only have a 35mm SLR without the ability to develope or print. All I do is bring the film to a photographer and have it developed and printed.
    I wonder what would be the outcome of a double exposure of the same scene, where one object is close and another object is far away. 2 exposures, 1 focussed on the close object, 1 focussed on the further object. I'm going to give that a try some time.

    Thank you all for your information. Any fun experiments with double exposure is welcome.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Something else which is fun to experiment with is a double exposure at two different apertures. One wide open and one closed down to give a large and narrow depth of field of the same image. It's a bit more complex though as you need to work out the correct shutter speed for each aperture value then use the next highest speed to give half the exposure for each.

    e.g. if your normal exposure is going to be f8 at 1/60 and you chose to make an exposure at f2.8 and f16, your shutter speeds would need to be 1/500 and 1/15 respectively.


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2012
  7. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    Well, negatives already hold a lot more dynamic range than you can produce in a print. Maybe that multiple contrast printing technique can help out a bit to drag out more of it. High contrast for the outlines and low contrast for the details. I'm sure if it was easy, everybody would have done it. Maybe scan your negatives at different scan black levels and then combine the multiple scans into a HDR photo--or a "more HDR" photo than a regular photo scan?
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Well with film you need to think a bit differently.

    Double exposure is only important if you want two sets of content.

    Adding more exposure adds more shadow detail, extends the range down. This is known as placing the shadows and relates directly to choosing exposure.

    The upper limit is a function of the film and/or development you choose. With negative films the scene brightness range you can get on film is naturally quite long, some films considerably longer than others.

    Even with normal exposure the scene brightness range on the negative may, and in fact probably, already be considerably longer than a strait print can show. To get at that info in the analogue world we do things like burn and dodge in an enlarger to get it onto the paper.

    The paper and screens are the limiting factors much more than the film. Paper and screens have short brightness ranges.

    Scans can get that info too and and PS type programs can be used to get that info into the printable range. Discussing those techniques here though is off topic.
     
  9. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Choose the right negative film and development, and you do not need HDR, you get it all in 1 exposure. Of course dark areas are darker than the bright areas, thus each local area is lower contrast, unless you mask it, to raise contrast in each area.
     
  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    You can also try graduated ND filters.
     
  11. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    With the prints I get from the photograph, I aslo get the negatives. I could try to do the "unmentionable" :wink:
    (I know Mark Barendt, x-nay on the igital-day)

    I mentioned HDR because I like the way it looks like a drawing or painting. It seems to be unreal and over-colorfull.

    I re-discovered analogue photography recently with my wife's old SLR. I've shot a 36 roll to get used to the manual setting. (written down every setting of every picture, for future refrence) I'm going to have this one developed and printed next week. The next roll will be an experimental one. Double exposure, out of focus, over exposure, under exposure. This thread gave me some idea's of what to do.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    This is super easy with b&w film. Just use POTA developer. 20 stops of range. No muss no fuss.
     
  13. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    So, as a starting developer, b&w is a good start? Mind you, right now I have no darkroom. I have a room that can be completely dark and it's got a decent size table. Is there some kind of 35mm developing starter kit?
     
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  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    OK you have 2 frames at different exposures how do you combine them to make an HDR image without resorting to digital techniques like scanning? If you use scanning and combining in photoshop I have found that I can do that with 1 single frame on color negative film. Just need to make 2 or more scan of the same negative at different exposure.
     
  16. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Yeah, get a patterson tank, some Kodak D76, some Ilford stop-bath, some Photograper's Formulary TF-5, some Kodak photo-flo.
    Take a local course at a community college, get a steve anchell book, or ansel, or ralph lambrecht, read everything you can, it's not too tough.

    That said, trying to replicate digital work with film is a fool's errand -in my opinion- and misses the essential qualities of film that people around here love so much.

     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes b&w is a very good place to start. It's very easy and you certainly don't need a darkroom. You might visit Freestyle Photo's website and look for a b&w starter kit- you probably find film and developer, stop, fix etc in one kit. If not then you can ask and they'll guide you through.


    POTA is a "special" developer but it's not at all complicated to use. You can get it from Photographer's Formulary. If you want lots of dynamic range then look for the extended range version of POTA.
     
  18. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Modern films can record a long luminance range without even resorting to special procedures. The attached example is Delta 100 processed in plain old D76 1+1. It might be difficult to see in this crap scan, but there is detail even within the black windows and transom, as well as in the lightbulb. This scene had a 13 stop range.

    For some reason when I tested this post, I needed to click on the attachment, and then click on it again after it opened. Strange. When it opens it is pixelated and then click it again and it looks fine. Apologies for the crap scan.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Film is high dynamic range, just as it is. You can't print it though, because the paper has a shorter range than film. If you want to experiment with the line drawing look, try whatever lith or microfilm emulsions are available. You might like solarisation, too.
     
  20. Steven L

    Steven L Member

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    Again, a lot of usefull information. About the DIY developing, I have to look into that and translate it into Dutch (and Dutch suppliers).

    At dasBlute, my intention was not to replicate a digital work. My thoughts were that HDR was originated in analogue photography. After all, all you digitally would have to do is put multiple images with different exposures. No elaborate digital filter or technique.

    Chan Tran has got a good question. How do you combine 2 negatives onto one print? Is it as easy as placing the two negatives on top of eachother?

    Would the outcome of an analogue version of the digital HDR technique give the same painted/unnatural look?
     
  21. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    You can most definitely print it. It just takes burning and dodging.
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes, you can do that. Just have a look at Jerry Uelsmann's work, you'll see that all manner of surreal things are possible.

    Well, the look from film is far more natural in general, two reasons being the inherent nonlinearity of the tone curve and the compensation that you can get in the developing process. On top of that is the nonlinearity of the paper's tone curve and all the chemical magic that permits us to tune the tones to suit the image. And all of this is done without pushing pixels or jumping from one bit or colour space into another, i.e. the methods are more global and less local.

    All that said, if you like the digi-HDR look, you can certainly produce similarly hideous results if you want to :wink: I have seen plenty of horrid film results, to be honest! We all start somewhere.

    Bottom line is that almost everything you can do with photoshop you can also do in a purely analogue way. I'm not going to say that it's as fast, easy, or convenient... some things are and some things aren't so easy for beginners. But the final results can be very impressive. remember that most of what you have in photoshop was inspired by what was already possible with film. E.g. although few people realize it, the terms "dodge and burn" and "unsharp mask" come from an old film techniques....
     
  23. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Steven, with all respect, you do not understand HDR. (Forgive me this digital digression, APUGers, but it is important here.) HDR takes *selected portions* of two digital images, chosen by a complex algorithm, and combines them into a single image. It does *not* just combine two images.

    HDR is not a digital version of an analog technique. HDR is a computationally intensive digital only process. Its purpose is to capture and *interpret* a very wide luminance (brightness) range using cameras and display technologies that do not naturally present such a range. This is complicated stuff in the digital world. But we're not in the digital world here, we're in the (sounds of angels singing) analog world.

    Analog has a leg up here. Film (except slide film) can capture quite a wide luminance range. With development "tricks" (different chemicals, different development times, and different ways of "sloshing" the film in the chemistry), one can achieve a number of effects that are now *simulated* with digital tools like Photoshop (contrast, accutance, curves, etc.).

    During the printing phase, other analog techniques come to play that are also now simulated in Photoshop (dodging and burning, and unsharp masking, for example).

    There are many, many techniques you can do in the analog world to add an artistic touch to your work. In addition to doing your own development, you might eventually want to explore alternative processes for printing (like platinum printing, which doesn't require a darkroom and produces stunning results).

    Good luck with your journey. Before trying to make analog "like digital", study a bit, and perhaps you will realize that those digital folks are still trying to catch up to the wonders of the analog world.
     
  24. MDR

    MDR Member

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    You can create a pseudo HDR image my creating three negs one for the mid tones one for the highlights and one for the darker tones and print them on a single paper. HDR is not new and has been used by the LF guys for quite some time in fact you can do it on a single neg. By shooting the image under different lighting conditions (multiple exposure) you get pretty much the same effect. Most HDR stuff I see in the digital realm is a misuse of it they übersharp images you see is not what HDR is about.

    Dominik
     
  25. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Dominik, you are right and I completely forgot about some interesting in camera techniques that are "HDR-like" (though really they are just multiple exposures) especially in the LF world. One in particular is done in architectural photography: shots of buildings in daylight, with beautifully glowing light coming from the lobby windows.

    (For the original poster's benefit: ) This is typically done (usually with a large format film camera with perspective movements) with two exposures: one at night, when the lights are on but the building is otherwise dark, and the other later, on the same sheet of film, in the morning light (golden hour light of course), to capture the building itself. This is a time consuming and delicate process, because the camera can't move between shots that may be several hours apart. (I've also seen the same technique done with electronic product shots in studio, using multiple exposure to capture the otherwise too dim LEDs.)

    A lot of the crazy HDR stuff can't be accomplished this way, and in fact I think the typical HDR software would not get this particular kind of shot right - and it would require pretty much the same effort, taking two widely separated shots in time under different lighting. It's actually easier in the film world with simple multiple exposure, than it would be to try this with the available digital HDR tools.
     
  26. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Not to beat a dead horse, but HDR is an attempt to make up for the poor latitde of digtal sensors by making muliple exposures and combining the results to get the same latitude you could get with any decent color negative film.

    I get really tired of current photography magazines being fixated on the HDR thing. Occasionally, I would notice that Popular Photography would have a few great shots taken on Velvia 50 or some other film in one issue. Rest assured that the next issue would be all about HDR after the advertisers came down on them about showing something that didn't push the latest wonder digicam. This is the main reason I dropped all those subscriptions and put that money towards APUG instead.

    I read an article once where the author showed that his current "pro" level Canon (Mark II something or other) DSLR could handle about 7 stops latitude while Ektar 100 in a 30 year old AE-1 did 14 with no problem. My K200D handles about the same latitude as garden variety Ektachrome 200 from the 1980s (it was my favorite film at the time) which is OK, but nothing to write home about.

    In the end, HDR, well not counting the hideous uses of it, is really all about making today's digital sensor try to do what film already does extremely well.

    I feel better having gotten that out. :smile: No need to go into any digital vs analog thing. But don't get me started about B/W grain plugins!

    Please go off and try any creative analog thing you want to try, this is all about creativity and fun anyway! Maybe you will figure out some really cool analog technique.