Jump to content

Bracketing and HDR for Landscape

Recommended Posts

Recently I have been auto-bracketing my landscape shots, then converting to HDR in Lightroom. I have generally been pleased with the results, but I'm curious about thoughts on the pros and cons of using this method.





Link to post
Share on other sites

With HDR you can, broadly speaking, follow one of two approaches once you have combined the source files together (this is relatively software-independant, as long as they get the job done):


- you can "develop" the 32bit file with an HDR software (selecting the option for the "automatic tone" in the Lightroom screen when you join the files, or using an external editor like Photoshop or Photomatix).

99% of the time you'll get the HDR look or at the very least the digital look (digital look = almost no shadows, low contrast, high saturation, "crunchy" details everywhere)


- you can "develop" the 32bit file in Lightroom (without first selection the option for the "automatic tone" in Lightroom when you join the source files)

This is not technically an HDR, but an exposure fusion. You'll still get the benefits of a vastly extended dynamic range, but the results will look way more natural.


It comes down to your personal taste. As for me, I despise the HDR look, it literally makes my eyes hurt. So I use always the second approach.


The only time when I use other software other than Lightroom, and then only to join the source files, is when Lightroom for some reason does a botched job aligning the images or removing ghosts. For this either Photomatix (I repeat, only for joining the pictures in a 32 bit file) or the donation-ware LREnfuse plugin come to the rescue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@addicted2light: Thanks for the reply. I agree with you. I'm using your method 2 and I like the subtle improvement over any of the individual images without getting the almost unnatural HDR that comes with some of the HDR-specific apps.  I haven't had time to post-process the HDRs from Lightroom, but that should really bring out the quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw, I often use hdr (in the sense we talked about) even when there is no need in terms of dynamic range.


As long as there aren't issues with movements of your subject (leaves or blades of grass in the wind etc) you get IMO much better colors.


Not (only) in terms of saturation, but in terms of deepness of the tint, of numbers of nuances. And for the same reason the colors are as well less prone to fall apart (banding, blown out reds etc) if you decide to push the saturation or the vibrance sliders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do the same quite often.  Generally when a landscape renders a histogram too wide to expose properly (One area is black and the other blown out).  I bracket and then use HDR in Lightroom which generally produces a rather dull (HDR looking) image.  That is no shadows at all - producing a rather fake look.  I then use various sliders to bring back the shadows and make the image appear as I remember seeing it.


I find this works quite well when it is needed.  When I can I prefer to use just one image, but there are times when exposure problems make it impossible to get a good image.  That is when HDR produces a more realistic photo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • I was laying in bed and heard a hooting outside my window and was able to get a shot of this guy.  The conditions were terrible, 1am, overcast and starting to rain so it was extremally dark.  400mm, ISO 12800, f5.6 SS 1.5s and heavily processed.  All I could make out was a dark shadow in the branches once my eyes adjusted.  The wind was also picking up so I couldn't lower the shutter speed anymore to drop the ISO.   I had to use manual focus and kept firing off shots slowing adjusting the focus each time time until it seemed in focus.  The photo is is obviously horrible but it's fun finally having some reach and very cool this owl showed up just after getting the lens.  I think I'm going to have to build some owl boxes and put them up around the property. I also need to learn to navigate through the settings in the dark.    

      Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

      Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

    • Have you done all of these: - Set the Drive dial on top of the camera to Bracketing (BKT) - In the Shooting Menu => Drive Setting => Bkt Setting => Choose the three film simulations you want to use and (most important) - In the Shooting Menu => Drive Setting => Bkt Setting => Bkt Select : Choose Film Simulation  
    • You have Clarity in the Image Quality menu set to something other than zero
    • I use back button focusing on X-T5 but only lock AF using Switch option. I have set both AF ON and AEL buttons to AF ON because I kept pressing the wrong button accidentally and I let the camera take care of AE Lock when shutter half-pressed. BTW I think Fujifilm could do also do a better job of locating the other Fn buttons particularly the one next to the shutter button as it is really difficult to get to. I;d prefer them all in a vertical line on the front so can easily feel which one I'm pressing!
    • Can anyone provide me with the answer. I am new to fujifilm camera.  I am using the XT4 and in single shot mode, everytime, I take a shot, the Lcd screen will display "storing" and I have to wait for the message to disappear before I can take the next shot! Is there a way to turn this off.  
  • Create New...