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CarrotMan

Easiest way to deal with a less than ideal exposure?

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I have a series of 3 bracketed shots (-1, 0, +1 EV) taken some years ago in a church. I should really have got a darker exposure for exposing a stained glass window in the scene (I am better at the camera stuff nowadays!). I can get a good version of the interior of the church using just the -1EV shot in 32 bit HDR, or I can use all 3 shots in normal Affinity HDR, but either way the window is a bit too bright. I can also get an acceptable rendering of the stained glass window by reducing the exposure of the -1EV shot a bit. I can use the selection tool to try to select the glass without selecting the tracery (which I don’t want to darken too much), and combine the results using layers, but it is rather fiddly. But what I’m really wondering is if there is an easier way to work with this, maybe by using the Blend Ranges function or something else to combine my HDR file with the darker version of the -1EV shot in a more straightforward way than by using selection tools?

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Hi CarrotMan :)

Without seeing the images for myself it's a little hard to say - have you tried using a Shadows and Highlights adjustment to reduce the brightness of the window? Although this cannot work miracles, it's certainly a useful tool if you want to adjust the bright section of the image only without creating selections etc!

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16 hours ago, CarrotMan said:

wondering is if there is an easier way to work with this, maybe by using the Blend Ranges function or something else to combine my HDR file with the darker version of the -1EV shot in a more straightforward way than by using selection tools? 

Don't you get that result if you combine the 3 bracketed images with your 4th image, "the darker version of the -1EV shot", by loading them all into the HRD merge? Or, alternatively, replace the initial -1 EV image by its dark version when importing the files?


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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If you create a HDR from bracketed shots, or if your -1EV shot already has full range of tonality, you can just use normal image processing tools to set right values to chosen areas. HDR is right tool if highlights are totally blown or if there are no detail in dark areas (i.e. dynamic range of the subject is too high). Technically it might be possible that HDR would removes noise (by overlaying several images) but I do not know how AP handles that.

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Thank you for your suggestions. I have tried them but not yet really got a result as good as I got using DxO Nik HDR Efex, though I do find that I have to dial back the saturation quite a lot in that program. I generally prefer Affinity HDR for that reason.

What I did find in Affinity was that I can “Select tonal range” to select the highlights. If I could use that to target just the highlights in the window, to make a selection, then maybe I could erase the areas within the window tracery to leave my “good” window exposure showing through from the layer below? I can’t really work globally on the selected highlights because some areas e.g. on the whitewashed walls, I don’t want to lose. 

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You could make a selection of the window and surrounding areas, then create a Shadows and Highlights adjustment with the area active, as this will mask the adjustment outside of the selection, meaning your whitewashed walls aren't affected! :)

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