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Thread: HDR Panorama workflow

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    Member AnzacPride's Avatar
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    HDR Panorama workflow

    I've been taking a few bracketed panorama shots lately and was curious as to what the general consensus would be as to how to process them.
    So far I have been applying lens corrections to the entire set in LR 3.4. Once I have applied the lens correction I then export to Photomatix 4 each set of exposures. I then export the resulting tiffs from LR into CS5 for stitching using the default settings and then back to LR for cropping and any final adjustments.

    I was wondering what workflow you folks use or would recommend?
    The main change I'm thinking of making is to stitch each exposure(lens correction applied first as before) first and then process the resulting stitched tiffs in photmatix, Do any of you think this would result in a better final image? or have any other advantages?

    Cheers Dan
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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Dan, I think that using photomatix for 3 merged files might give you a lot of grief, particularly if each image requires small adjustments that can't be carried out by an action (CS5 has often missed bits of horizon or I've had to transform /warp the images a little)
    I think your original workflow is good, though I'm wondering why you would go back to LR for final editing when you've already used CS5 to photomerge? - I would have thought finishing it off in cS5 would give you more leeway for fine editing?
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    My current process is a bit complicated as I bounce through several apps - and it's not 100% fool proof either, doesn't always work for every shot and needs slight variations from time to time.

    1. Import to LR, tag, sort, stack
    2. Basic adjustements (ie. lens correction and white balance)
    3. Export one set to photomatix and tweak to get the right exposure balance, save as preset
    4. Run Photomatix in batch mode for all the photos required for the pano
    5. Take exported files into autopanogiga and stitch (sometimes I use photoshop instead). This effectively
    6. Take completed file back to lightroom and apply final adjustments - contrast, colour tweaks, sharpening, noise reduction if required.

    One thing I have tried and not had much luck with is doing it all directly in autopano - it will support stacked, bracketed shots and output a 32-bit HDR file which can then be processed in photomatix/photoshop. It detects the stacks and outputs a 32-bit HDR file but I haven't had much luck working with that file, perhaps due to a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to focus on perfecting it. This would simplify things quite a bit though as it would minimise the amount of jumping about to be done.

    Note that I don't use this workflow too often - I'm more inclined to try and make the shot without having to use HDR, opting instead to use filters and shoot to protect the highlights, under exposing slightly if need be. It's exceptional circumstances only that I use HDR.

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    Thanks for the feedback folks.
    From what you have both said, and read on the web I think I'll stick with what i am doing currently.
    DToh I guess I go back to LR just because I find it easier and does everything that I need to do at that point, Since getting LR I find I dont use photoshop to often.What adjustments would you say are better performed in photoshop that I may be missing?

    Cheers Dan

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