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Nikon exposure bracketing
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Apr 6, 2021 19:12:33   #
Alphabravo2020
 
I was playing around with HDR mode over the weekend in an attempt to deal with back-lit subjects in direct sunlight. I kind of gave up when I couldn't get the HDR function to enable on my D850 and also I read that this situation is better dealt with using bracketing.

So I'm testing out bracketing and I'm wondering if the intent is to be able to selectively stack the variously exposed images in post. Also, if I shoot in manual and get 3 frames of a scene at 0, +2, and +4, I presume this means that the ISO is adjusted and not aperture or shutter speed. Anyway, can I stack these in Photoshop somehow? I'd appreciate if anyone knows a good tutorial.

Related question. I imagine that if I want to use bracketing to deal with a back-lit subject such as a model in direct sunlight, that the success is somewhat dependent on the capture rate of the camera. At 7 or 9 fps for the D850, I'd guess that the subject and background should be pretty static for the stacking to work effectively in post.

Also, when setting up the shot, is there a way to tell how far underexposed, say the shadowed face of the subject is using the exposure meter in the viewfinder...to help decide what bracketing steps to use? Once you get past two steps the viewfinder no longer indicates how far the exposure is under/over. I guess I could count wheel clicks above a properly exposed background to get proper exposure on, say, the shadowed face of the subject.

TIA. I'm thinking I will buy Steve Perry's book and see if that helps.

Apr 6, 2021 19:17:24   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Why not just use fill flash? It has worked for a very long time in that situation.

Apr 6, 2021 19:27:21   #
larryepage
 
Alphabravo2020 wrote:
I was playing around with HDR mode over the weekend in an attempt to deal with back-lit subjects in direct sunlight. I kind of gave up when I couldn't get the HDR function to enable on my D850 and also I read that this situation is better dealt with using bracketing.

So I'm testing out bracketing and I'm wondering if the intent is to be able to selectively stack the variously exposed images in post. Also, if I shoot in manual and get 3 frames of a scene at 0, +2, and +4, I presume this means that the ISO is adjusted and not aperture or shutter speed. Anyway, can I stack these in Photoshop somehow? I'd appreciate if anyone knows a good tutorial.

Related question. I imagine that if I want to use bracketing to deal with a back-lit subject such as a model in direct sunlight, that the success is somewhat dependent on the capture rate of the camera. At 7 or 9 fps for the D850, I'd guess that the subject and background should be pretty static for the stacking to work effectively in post.

Also, when setting up the shot, is there a way to tell how far underexposed, say the shadowed face of the subject is using the exposure meter in the viewfinder...to help decide what bracketing steps to use? Once you get past two steps the viewfinder no longer indicates how far the exposure is under/over. I guess I could count wheel clicks above a properly exposed background to get proper exposure on, say, the shadowed face of the subject.

TIA. I'm thinking I will buy Steve Perry's book and see if that helps.
I was playing around with HDR mode over the weeken... (show quote)


Are you perhaps asking about Active D lighting? That works by adjusting the response curve within a single exposure, not via bracketing. I am unaware of an HDR function built in to the D850 (verified just now by an exhaustive memory search...both main and Live View). There is a Focus Stacking function, however.

As far as bracketing technique goes, bracketing will be accomplished using whatever exposure mode you have selected. Aperture Priority is preferred. If you use Manual, just adjust shutter speed to rebalance the meter for each exposure.

 
 
Apr 6, 2021 19:41:31   #
PAR4DCR Loc: A Sunny Place
 
HDR should be done in manual mode with ISO and aperture set so that the only thing that you change is the shutter speed. I usually do at least a 5 shot set. Tripods also come in handy. Try this and let me know how you make out.

Don

Apr 6, 2021 20:35:14   #
rgrenaderphoto Loc: Hollywood, CA
 
Alphabravo2020 wrote:
I was playing around with HDR mode over the weekend in an attempt to deal with back-lit subjects in direct sunlight. I kind of gave up when I couldn't get the HDR function to enable on my D850 and also I read that this situation is better dealt with using bracketing.

So I'm testing out bracketing and I'm wondering if the intent is to be able to selectively stack the variously exposed images in post. Also, if I shoot in manual and get 3 frames of a scene at 0, +2, and +4, I presume this means that the ISO is adjusted and not aperture or shutter speed. Anyway, can I stack these in Photoshop somehow? I'd appreciate if anyone knows a good tutorial.

Related question. I imagine that if I want to use bracketing to deal with a back-lit subject such as a model in direct sunlight, that the success is somewhat dependent on the capture rate of the camera. At 7 or 9 fps for the D850, I'd guess that the subject and background should be pretty static for the stacking to work effectively in post.

Also, when setting up the shot, is there a way to tell how far underexposed, say the shadowed face of the subject is using the exposure meter in the viewfinder...to help decide what bracketing steps to use? Once you get past two steps the viewfinder no longer indicates how far the exposure is under/over. I guess I could count wheel clicks above a properly exposed background to get proper exposure on, say, the shadowed face of the subject.

TIA. I'm thinking I will buy Steve Perry's book and see if that helps.
I was playing around with HDR mode over the weeken... (show quote)


Set the camera to bracketing mode, I use +-3 stops, 3 images and usually end up only using the 0 and -3 images.

To shoot, I put the D850 on Continuous High and set exposure and first image. Focus, hold down the shutter button for the 3 exposures. In good light, I do this handheld. If it is low light, a tripod is mandatory.

In Lightroom, select the sequence, do a right-click, Photo merge HDR. Process with your normal workflow to get the results you want.

Oh yeah, the most critical step is to TURN BRACKETING OFF. You ruin the next 3 exposures.

Apr 6, 2021 21:20:36   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
Most Nikon cameras include an in-camera hdr function. It only uses two images and only works with jpeg images. Maybe the D850 doesn’t have it. My Z6 and Z50 do. My D5600 had it too. Not sure about my D800.

Apr 6, 2021 21:35:03   #
Alphabravo2020
 
I'm testing out bracketing to see if I can solve the problem of a back-lit subject using natural light and without having to use all the extra flash gear. Also shooting at 58 or 85 or 105mm, the distance to subject makes the flash setup less practical when walking around shooting a model on-location in full sunlight.

I'm typically using an ND filter and/or CP but even so it doesn't seem like shutter speed will be an issue with bracketing. It seems like the main issue will be the frame capture speed which will result in movement between frames.

It may turn out that fill flash is still the best option overall. I'll just need to bring along a tripod for the flash and take more time setting up the shot. Maybe I can get by with a cable and hand held flash at 58mm but I think full body shots are going to need a more elaborate setup.

It sounds like HDR is just in-camera bracketing. I'd like to stay with raw images so I'll leave HDR as plan C.

Thanks all.

 
 
Apr 7, 2021 07:31:22   #
bbrown5154 Loc: Baltimore, MD
 
larryepage wrote:
Are you perhaps asking about Active D lighting? That works by adjusting the response curve within a single exposure, not via bracketing. I am unaware of an HDR function built in to the D850 (verified just now by an exhaustive memory search...both main and Live View). There is a Focus Stacking function, however.

As far as bracketing technique goes, bracketing will be accomplished using whatever exposure mode you have selected. Aperture Priority is preferred. If you use Manual, just adjust shutter speed to rebalance the meter for each exposure.
Are you perhaps asking about Active D lighting? Th... (show quote)


My D750 has built in HDR function but its Jpeg only.
I would be surprised if the D850 wasn't similar.

Apr 7, 2021 07:38:52   #
kymarto Loc: Portland OR and Milan Italy
 
In-camera HDR is anemic at best. Effective HDR needs bracketed exposures covering the dynamic range of the images, combined into a 32 bit image file and that then tonemapped by an HDR program such as that included in Photoshop, or Aurora or Photomatix. Combining bracketed images can result in ghosting if subject or elements in the background are moving between exposures. Most HDR programs have some sort of deghosting, the most powerful of which is selective deghosting in Photomatix Pro.

Apr 7, 2021 08:10:47   #
larryepage
 
How do you get to it? I've got about three different ways set up to get to Active D Lighting, but cannot find an HDR function.

Oops...wrong qoute. Meant to ask bbrown...

Apr 7, 2021 08:45:27   #
Thomas902 Loc: Washington DC
 
"...shooting a model on-location in full sunlight... ...I think full body shots are going to need a more elaborate setup..." Alphabravo2020 I would concur with your inference here... I do this regularly and use a lighting assistant who's recompense is included in my bid for the assignment.

Below is an example of a full body Prêt-à-Porter Fashion narrative... Illumination is with a cluster of four SB-910 in HHS through a 72" parabolic... Nikon D3x at 1/2500; f/3.2; ISO 400 with an AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 IF ED VRII.

Hope this helps Alphabravo2020
Wishing you all the best on your journey...


(Download)

 
 
Apr 7, 2021 08:54:25   #
redtooth
 
HDR will not function in RAW .

Apr 7, 2021 09:00:43   #
bbrown5154 Loc: Baltimore, MD
 
larryepage wrote:
How do you get to it? I've got about three different ways set up to get to Active D Lighting, but cannot find an HDR function.

Oops...wrong qoute. Meant to ask bbrown...



https://imaging.nikon.com/support/digitutor/df/functions/hdr.html
Note: You have to save it as a JPEG its not available if your saving it as a RAW file.

Apr 7, 2021 09:16:11   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Alphabravo2020 wrote:
.....I'm wondering if the intent is to be able to selectively stack the variously exposed images in post....


The images can be stacked and treated as layers, which gives the opportunity to use the best bits of each exposure - the highlights from the darkest exposure, the shadows from the brightest exposure etc. Alternatively you can use merging software to give you a tone-mapped image. That process may be referred to as HDR merging.

You are right about that procedure not being tolerant of movement. The funny thing is, if your merging software has anti-ghosting, large movements can be accommodated but slight movements won't be detected by the software and they can lead to softness in the final merge.

Be aware that there is a difference between in-camera HDR and exposure bracketing - which may be accessed in some cameras via an HDR menu option, and some people refer to exposure bracketing as HDR mode. If your quality option is to save as raw only, you may find that the in-camera HDR options are greyed out.

HDR merging results in data-rich files that can take a lot of pushing and pulling in PP. The best option is to have a good spread of exposures - +2, 0 and -2 is a common choice. Be aware that the brightest exposure (+2) may have been taken with quite a slow shutter speed (four times longer than the neutral exposure). If your priority was to give you good highlights to work with you'd only need the neutral and dark exposures, but in your case it sounds like you'd need the bright exposures as well for good shadow recovery.

Apr 7, 2021 09:23:29   #
gvarner Loc: Central Oregon Coast
 
Move the model to better lighting or use fill flash.

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