HDR photography and noise

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HDR photography and noise

Postby jamesfc on Thu May 07, 2009 3:07 pm

One of the problems I first noticed with my HDR images is increased noise in the shadow areas of the image. At first I thought this was just a by-product of the process, or possibly the software (I use Photomatix Pro). However, I've since learned that this is not the case and in fact, noise can be handled very easily!

The secret to reduced noise in HDR images is to make sure you have covered the dynamic range of the captured scene. You may not be able to do it with just 3 exposures and it may take as many as 5 or 6. Since my 5D MK II doesn't do more that 3 bracketed exposures at a time, it is necessary to use a combination of bracketing and exposure compensation to cover the range. It is also best to use AEB of 2EV in order to provide enough overlap and to ensure enough coverage of the scene you are capturing. This is really important for sunrises and sunsets (especially if the sun is in the shot).

By covering a broader range of exposures, Photomatix is better able to produce an image with far less noise!
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Re: HDR photography and noise

Postby aprillove20 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:42 pm

so that's the solution of my best friends problem. i will tell him to visit your site and read this important matter about you have stated. im pretty sure his going to love your site.
Los Angeles Camera Rentals here http://www.losangelescamerarentals.com
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Re: HDR photography and noise

Postby jamesfc on Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:55 am

aprillove20 wrote:so that's the solution of my best friends problem. i will tell him to visit your site and read this important matter about you have stated. im pretty sure his going to love your site.


Thanks! Also tell him about our podcast at http://www.thefotobug.com We are having an HDR 'shootout' right now comparing Photoshop CS5, Photomatix, HDR Expose and HDR Efex. I also have interviews with HDR guru Trey Ratcliff and Rick Sammon who just released a new HDR book. Best of all - the podcast is free!!
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Re: HDR photography and noise

Postby rogerjackkson on Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:46 pm

It is necessary to use a combination of exposure compensation and bracketing to cover the area. It is also preferable to use AEB by 2EV to provide sufficient overlap and to ensure adequate coverage of the scene you capture.
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Re: HDR photography and noise

Postby jamesfc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:48 pm

rogerjackkson wrote:It is necessary to use a combination of exposure compensation and bracketing to cover the area. It is also preferable to use AEB by 2EV to provide sufficient overlap and to ensure adequate coverage of the scene you capture.


Absolutely - check your lightest and darkest images to make sure you captured detail in the shadows and highlight areas. The histogram can be helpful to determine proper exposure range as well.
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