X100 does HDR… and how!

Yesterday, a visitor to this website asked me how, exactly, I handle shooting High Dynamic Range photography with the X100, particularly when the dynamic range of light on the scene exceeds what a normal five-shot bracket set (+2, +1, 0, -1 and -2) would be able to cover.  More specifically, the reader wanted to know if it was possible to shoot a seven-shot braket set of photos (+3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -3 and -3) with the X100.  Answer:  Yes, absolutely.  In brief, you’ll use the following steps (listed under today’s photo) to do this, and I’ve included a short video tutorial under today’s photograph to walk you through this.  Let me know if this is useful.

1.  Set X100 to Aperture Priority

2.  Make sure EV dial is set to 0 and take one shot at 0 EV

3.  Then, set Drive button on dial of X100 to AE BKT and choose 1 stop increments (as opposed to 1/3 or 2/3)

4.  Now go to the top of the camera and dial the EV down two stops from 0 to -2.

5.  Press the shutter release (this now gives you three exposures (-3, -2 and -1 EV).

6.  Now go to the top of the camera and dial the EV up four stops from -2 to +2.

7.  Press the shutter release (this now give you three exposures (+1, +2 and +3).

8.  Once you’ve done the above, you will have a total of 7 brackets (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 and +3).

Satellite Down

Just a 100 meters or so from the paintball battlefields, we spotted this downed Satellite (of the Plymouth variety), which reminded me of the of the movie ‘Terminator’.  Unfortunately, we were outgunned because we didn’t find a heavy paintball machine gun mounted up on this ride (hmm, I wonder if that’s possible).  If you look at the “Before” photo further down the page, you’ll find a few notes of things I believe key to making a tonemapped image look right.  And as an added bit of interest, the third photo down shows a zoomed in view of some of the detail you can find while working your images.

AFTER - The way I envision the shot


BEFORE - Straight out of Photomatx Pro. Needs some work!

It's fun to explore the little details

Tutorial – Shooting Panoramas with the X100 at Bear Mtn Ranch

I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent posts that I’m really enjoying my Fuji X100, and I think I dig it even more now that I’ve played around a bit with its cool panorama shooting mode.  Since others out there might be interested in seeing how this function works on the X100, I threw together a short video tutorial on using it.  You can find the finished photograph that came out of that early morning shoot at Bear Mtn Ranch further down on this post.


I’m pretty happy with the way it came out, though I noticed, in post processing, that there were a couple of blurred spots (you can see it in the sign above the gate) because I shot this at 1/60th of a second and was panning a bit too quickly.

Pull Up! Pull Up!!

I guess I really have nothing to say today, other than to note that I went out to shoot some brackets and video (with the built in HD Video facility of the Leica D-Lux 5) for a few upcoming tutorials on shooting with specialty lenses, including the Lensbaby Composer (which I used for today’s post), the Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 PC-E (a Tilt-Shift lens) and the Nikkor 16mm f2.8 fisheye.  I’ll most likely post those videos in three separate releases, and will include some info on color correction using both the X-Rite Color Checker Passport and the Expodisk from ExpoImaging, since I own both and had them both with me for the tutorial shoot.  I hope to get the first video tutorial, on shooting tilt-shift,posted within the week, real life permitting!

You can’t just leave me…

I really do love to experiment with my shooting and post-processing.  For this particular scene, I knew that I wanted to focus most of the attention on the cool looking couch, and the best way to isolate was to use my tilt-shift lens wide open at f/3.5, and tilted almost completely in the opposite direction of the couch.  At the same time, I also knew that I wanted to get the bricks in the ceiling on the left side of the frame in good focus.  I know…can’t do that with a tilt/shift.  Ahh, but you can.  All you have to do is take one set of brackets with the focus on the chair, then refocus on the ceiling and blast of another set of brackets.  Once I ran both sets of brackets through Photomatix Pro, I opened both resulting tonemapped images in Photoshop, one layered on top of the other.  Finally, I used my Wacom table and a layer mask to paint the sharp parts I wanted of one image into the blurred out areas of my main image (main image being the one with the sharply focused couch), et voilà!

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