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HDR, Panoramas and Tone Mapping Merging several different exposures into a single image

Dealing with reflections in a mirror finish

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Old 12-22-2011, 06:32 PM
Elrond Elrond is offline
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Dealing with reflections in a mirror finish

I am not sure this is the proper forum for this question so if not, please direct me to the proper one. I have been asked by my former employer to try to make a usable image of a piece of industrial equipment. The equipment has a mirror finish and has to be shot in the factory environment so the factory light are reflected in the surface as well as the general surroundings. The main objection is the reflection from the overhead lights. I have nine images bracketed at two-thirds intervals in RAW. Is there a way to composite these images so as to minimized the reflections? I am using Photoshop CS5 extended.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

Elrond
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:30 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Dealing with reflections in a mirror finish

Elrond, normally the optimum bracket step is 1ev but if your shots were taken in a factory environment then 9 shots @ 2/3 ev each should be sufficient to have captured the entire range. If you have somewhere I can download the RAW files I will be glad to run them through on of my numerous HDR tools and let you know if there are any particular challenges. If you prefer to evaluate it yourself you will need HDR software which will merge and tone-map a series of bracketed photos. If you used a tripod to take the photos the probability of excellent results is high.
Regards, Murray

Last edited by mistermonday; 12-22-2011 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:22 AM
Elrond Elrond is offline
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Re: Dealing with reflections in a mirror finish

Thank you for your quick reply. I do not have the images at hand. It will most likely be after the holidays before I can get the raw files. A former colleague was the photographer. I know he has top of the line equipment so the images should be of excellent quality and they were shot using a tripod. The step between exposures was his choice as he has never done any HDR photography. I will pass along the recommended 1 step increase information.

I am using Photoshop CS5 Extended and there is the option from bridge to merge to HDR Pro. Is this suitable for what I want to do? I have never attempted HDR so it is all new to me.

The image files are raw files. Should I convert them before attempting the HDR or process them as raw files? I assume I should make no corrections to individual files before merging.

Thanks again for your help.

Elrond
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:54 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Dealing with reflections in a mirror finish

Elrond, of all the many programs that do HDR, CS5 is the worst for HDR work. The top programs out there are Photoengine or HDR Engine from Oloneo, Photomatix from HDRSoft, and HDR Efex Pro from Nik. For the results that you are looking for, I would recommend either Photoengine or HDR Engine from Oloneo. HDREngine is a less featured version of Photoengine much like PS Elements is a less featured version of PSCS. The Oloneo products are superb for achieving realistic results with no color distorion. Of course, you can also use them to create the over-cooked. grungy, or over-saturated looks if you want to.
Definitely feed the RAW files directly into the HDR s/w. Do NOT process them first for a number of reasons. The only time I would recommend processing the RAW files before hand is if they suffer from strong Chromatic Aberration, which is probably not the case if your friend used a quality lens. Regards, Murray
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