Instructables
Picture of FHDR Photography + Stitching
Hello there! This instructable will allow you to use your camera and create amazing looking landscapes that are usually achieved with expensive high-end cameras.

You will need :
1. A camera with RAW capture. (JPEGs are less effective, but still usable if you do not have RAW)
2. Photoshop CS5 and above, and a little bit of experience with the program
3. A nice scenery for you to do this project with.

To be more exact on the outcome, you will be creating a high-dynamic range image (HDRI) panorama using a series of photographs that are taken in quick succession.

As oppose to using a wide angle lens to take the usual panoramic shots, you will be using a normal or telephoto lens to create a more compressed field of view. This method, although more tedious (with more shots), is more effective in creating the sense-of-place; putting the viewer of the photograph into the scene.

It is highly recommended to use a focal length of 28-85mm for the purpose of this project.

This instructable is created with a 50mm normal lens and a Nikon D600 DSLR camera.
 
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Step 1: Taking the shots

Picture of Taking the shots
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The idea is to start from a corner of your desired panorama, taking each shot in a systematic fashion. With your camera, frame your scene in portrait when shooting your panorama. If you're doing this handheld, do use a high enough shutter speed (1/60s or more) to reduce motion blur. 

In this example, the first photo starts from the top left corner, and a second successive shot is taken with a 20% overlap with the first one. 12 photos were taken in order to fill up the entire panorama!

Repeat until the entire panorama is captured. 


*Camera Settings tip: Use the lowest ISO setting (etc. ISO 200) to get the best dynamic range achievable by your camera model. 

Step 2: Loading up your images

Picture of Loading up your images
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Transfer your photos to your computer, and boot up Adobe Bridge.

Navigate to your photo folder, select all the photos taken in the panorama, and double-click to boot up Photoshop Camera Raw. 

This will load up all the photos together inside Camera Raw. 
nodnodwinkwink10 months ago
I'm not familiar with photomerge but it looks like its prone to mistakes. I've been using a program called Hugin with great results. Theres a free version of the software available and its well worth a try.
trgz10 months ago
I've only got a Olympus EP-1, but I am curious as to why you didn't use the bracketing of the Nikon D600 and try for a real HDR panorama? I've not tried HDR stitched panorama's but I have tried the effects individually, but this has inspired me to give it a go and maybe find a free alternative to Photoshop's Adaptive Wide Filter at the same time.
dwarrenku10 months ago
If you don't have the $600 for Photoshop CS6 (and you shouldn't steal it) you can use Hugin.
It's an open source panorama stitching software that can stitch multiple exposures into a raw HDR tiff file for processing in HDR software or lightroom, or it can blend the exposures to a 16bit tiff file or jpg.

I made this image nearly 4 years ago using Hugin from 24 images of -2/0/+2 bracketed exposures.
https://secure.flickr.com/photos/dwarren/5060682773/
trgz dwarrenku10 months ago
Thanks
iconns10 months ago
Nice basic explanation. I feel it is missing a few important details.

RAM requirements. Jamming 12 RAW photos through this process is going to require at least 4 gigs of RAM with no background applications.

There should certainly be information (in the title) regarding the details of true HDR photography.

Nice end result though.

Maybe some more hyperlinks throughout the entire post, ei. to more detailed explanations of any of the details like basic composition or rule of thirds.

Love,
Alexgaynorphoto.com

avo4211 months ago
This is a good explanation thank you... but what i would do for real HDR and sticking is use two types of software one to create the HDR images and the other to stitch..

(this is just my opinion but this is how i do it)

1st - get photomatix pro (only £60.00) and create (minimum 3 images with different EV i.e -1 0 +1 or if you camera as HDR function use it) use this software and create the HDR image. (you will need to do this for all the shots of the panoramic image)

2nd - get hugin (free) this will stick all your HDR images or none HDR image to make a panoramic image..

Hope this helps anyone.. Have fun,
andrea biffi11 months ago
Thanks, that's very good explained! I also love the result very much!
I only have to debate about the HDR part ;-)

Real HDR technique requires you to take a serie of three or more pictures of the same area, each one with different exposure. Also HDR panoramas as your are possible, with a wide overlapping between pictures, but to do that you have to leave the camera on a semi-automatic or full-automatic mode, so that each area is exposed different in each picture.
It seems to me that you took your serie of photos in manual mode, so with fixed exposure. Photomerge in this case probably produces an fHDR image from the informations contained in RAW files.
Tell me if I could be right... 

Said that, I love fHDR (fake HDR) photos, because dynamic range contained in a good RAW file is usually enough to make a beautiful effect.

Typical montages require a fixed exposure across all images, and HDR requires bracketed exposures.
fruitjelly (author)  andrea biffi11 months ago
Hello there! Yes you are right, this is a fake HDR effect instructable and have corrected the introduction on the front. Thanks for the encouragement and feedback!
Hi, can you check the corrections? It seems nothing changed.. Thanks!
I'll look forward for more great photo instructables!

(I cleared the cache, so I think it's not a local problem...)
samalert11 months ago
I am stuck on Constraint Tool where do i find it. CS6 Version How does it even look as icon.
fruitjelly (author)  samalert11 months ago
I've added in an annotation in Step 7 to make it easier to find the Constraint tool! It's in the top left corner of the Adaptive Wide Angle filter panel.
kfong-110 months ago
Hey, thanks for the tutorial. The only thing that I want to point out is the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter is not available on CS5. Only CS6
Jan van Dijk11 months ago
Awesome! Can you please share the photo so I can use it as my wallpaper? Thanks a lot! Really nice photo!