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What is the correct F-Stop for HDRI?
While re-educating myself on HDRI, I came across a blurb from Professor Kirt Witte at Savannah College of Design (SCAD). He is a certified Maya instructor, a passionate panoramic photographer, a close affiliate of HDRLabs, and overall a really cool guy. His students learn everything about shooting HDRIs, applying them as lighting in Maya, rendering with mental ray. In short, his courses really get you ready for production, and his students regularly get hired at prestigious VFX houses like ILM.
Generally f8 or f11 are the sharpest overall areas within a lens. Please notice I did not say that you would get more in focus!? Yes, F22 or F32 will give you more depth of field, but the "middle" f-stops are generally the sharpest overall. I use f8 or f11 for almost all of my HDRs.
To tell the truth, I have been all over the board with my f-stops. F/16 to F/22 for night shots and for closer less static subjects f/5 to f/8 or I just cheat and switch to auto and take the suggestions of the camera.
I just reshot the bike here at work testing Kirt's theory and will post the outcome later when I get home. I only question his theory when it comes to shooting HDRI of flowers for close to realism images where I want to blow out the chaotic background. It was David Ward that said, "All good photographs are distillations of a scene in which the photographer assiduously chooses which elements of the scene to include or exclude." How is that possible at f/11?
Tell me what you think HDRI fans
Time Travel in HDRI
Wondering if any of my watchers that are HDRI fans have taken a trip with Mr. Wizard? No, not the 60's kinda trip but the time lapsed kind. I was checking out some old stuff on the Outdoor Photographer Magazine website and came across Chad Richard's page Time Traveler: A journey through time, one frame at a time. One page that rock my world and well I have to give this a go is: How to make an HDR time-lapse [link]
Create a very high resolution, high dynamic range time-lapse movie. Using HDR software to blend bracketed exposures of the same shot you can create an image that better resembles what the eye sees compared to traditional photography techniques.
A very simple "How To" for the "DIY" HDRI photographer. I have seen some work here on DA similar to Chad's but it is older work. Chad will break it all down for you and give you the best practices to make your work great. Chad's does overlook a few things in this article but make sure you read the comments/faqs which should answer for you.
Send me a link of your work in a note, if you have posted any Time Lapsed or if you give it a try.
My Reading List
The HDRI Handbook: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists +DVD by Christian Bloch
Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography by Ferrell McCollough
Landscape Beyond: A Journey into Photography by David Ward and Joe Cornish
- Everything you need to know about HDRI a page by Christian Bloch author of The HDRI Handbook: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists[link]
- The makers of Photomatix Pro (the only HDR Utility I will use)[link]
- Adobe TV yes Adobe has videos to help you learn their gateway drug product and all the other products in their arsenal.