User talk:Diliff

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Copyright status: File:Salisbury Cathedral North Transept, Wiltshire, UK - Diliff.jpg[edit]

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Thanks for uploading File:Salisbury Cathedral North Transept, Wiltshire, UK - Diliff.jpg. I notice that the file page either doesn't contain enough information about the license or it contains contradictory information about the license, so the copyright status is unclear.

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Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 01:37, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Chester Cathedral Choir, Cheshire, UK - Diliff.jpg
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File:Corpus Christi College New Court, Cambridge, UK - Diliff.jpg[edit]

Hi David,

with how many single shots did you made this stitching? Best regards --Wladyslaw (talk) 20:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Wladyslaw, it was 15 shots (3 x 5) and then cropped and downsampled a bit. Diliff (talk) 20:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral West Window, Liverpool, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 13:01, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Coventry Cathedral Interior, West Midlands, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 21:01, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Corpus Christi College New Court, Cambridge, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 05:01, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Quality Image Promotion[edit]

Nigel Farage MEP 1, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg
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Wikimania[edit]

Hey David, You are based in London, aren't you? I was wondering if you will be dropping by for Wikimania the coming week. There will be a Commons:Photowikimeetup_in_London_during_Wikimania_2014 on Friday evening (7:30pm at the Barbican). It would be super cool to have you there (especially since all the example pictures on that meetup page were taken by you! :-). --Dschwen (talk) 17:10, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Hey Dschwen. Yes I am! I haven't actually decided if I'm going to be at Wikimania as the cost kind of puts me off, and I'm not sure how much I would get out of it as I'm really mostly a basic article editor but mostly a photography uploader. Hardly a Wikimaniac. ;-) But I'm still considering going at the last minute if someone convinces me it would be worth it! But I'm happy to join up with the Photography meet. I've already mentioned (here) but I can see that there's a new page now. Wow, it's going to be busy... Not many of the locations suggested are going to support 30+ photographers + tripods, but it will be fun to meet everyone. Diliff (talk) 17:23, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Great, see you in a week then! --Dschwen (talk) 17:30, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

St Paul's Cathedral High Altar, London, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 05:02, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

St Paul's Cathedral Nave, London, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 05:03, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 21:01, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Worcester Cathedral Cloister, Worcestershire, UK - Diliff.jpg
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Number of pictures for bracketing[edit]

Just as example: I have made this image with 3 x 4 single segments, and each segment with a series of 3 differente exposures, all togehter 3x4x3=36 single shots and I think we have a strong difference between the bright illuminated tower and the deeply dark garaden around it.

Hi David,

I have noticed that you use to make 5 single shots if you make bracketing for further tonemapping or HDR processing and I'm asking why you do so.

I'm making HDR/fusion images now for several years and have tried different attitudes. My experience is: the HDR/fusion/tonemapping result doesn't depend on the numer of images but on the chosen duration of exposure respectively the range that the algorithm get's. I never detected a significant difference when I gave the programm 3,5 or even 7 images to process. Even 2 images (for maximum and minimum exposure) delivers good results. The 3rd image I make nevertheless to have a backup-picture.

But maybe I have missed s.th. in my explorations and you have a good reason why 5 images are rising quality or options. Best Regards --Wladyslaw (talk) 08:21, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Well, the main reason I use 5 brackets is because in many interior situations, the dynamic range of the scene is much too large for just 2 or 3 images. Also, I could be wrong, but I have found that when the brackets are less than 3EV difference, there is better tonality and less noise in some details. Think about it, if you only have +3EV and -3EV, then the difference between exposures is 6EV. Most digital cameras have about 12 stops of dynamic range (OK, the D800 has 14 stops but it is special!). To get the correct exposures of an object in the scene, you could reduce the brightness of the +3EV image, but you couldn't increase the brightness of the -3EV image, because you would get extra by doing this. But what if the object you want to be brighter is already very dark even in the +3EV image? You cannot recover this detail without noise being a problem. That's why I take 5 bracketed images, because it guarantees (almost) that I will have the correct exposures for every detail, including the darkest shadows (there are a lot of dark hidden corners in cathedrals) and the brightest highlights (there is a lot of stained glass windows in cathedrals). Maybe you never got any benefit from 5 or 7 brackets because there wasn't enough dynamic range in the scene to worry about. Diliff (talk) 10:07, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. Maybe I have no problem with the dynamic range because in situations with very high differences of light conditions I often adjust the exposure manually and use not the bracketing-function, so I have more freedom of variation. If you use the BKT-function you're right. Images from church-interior I have made also but not that professionell like you do. A few time ago I have photographed all (!) over 100 churches in the administrative district Category:Churches in Landkreis Lörrach I live. So I have some practise but with the nodal-adapter I have much more options for good images. Thanks for your explanation so far. --Wladyslaw (talk) 11:16, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
No problem. I have no choice, I need to use the bracket function for panoramas because if I don't, PTGui won't recognise that they are part of a bracket set and will try to stitch the photos over each other instead of combine them into HDR. Also, it's much faster to use a bracket instead of set the exposures manually. I still set the middle exposure of the bracket manually, and I tell the camera what the bracket range should be, but I let it select the shutter speeds of the other images in the bracket. I'll have a look at your church photography. :-) Diliff (talk) 11:41, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I had a quick look at your church photography and I can see that you really only captured the exteriors and not the interiors? Also, I have to say, there is a strong halo effect in the sky around the churches from the HDR processing. It's not too bad, but it's obvious in the thumbnails. Diliff (talk) 11:43, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Those churches that where closed I have only made exterior pictures. E.g. here a church with interior images Category:Interior of Pfarrkirche St. Johannes dem Täufer (Todtnau). The halos are s.th. (not always) and I don't know exactly how to avoid them. --Wladyslaw (talk) 12:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Here's a tip... You haven't really mentioned what tools you use for HDR work, but I found that Lightroom actually functions indirectly as the best way to process HDR images. It cannot combine images into an HDR file directly (Yet! But I heard there is talk of this in the next version), so you still need to use Photomatix or similar to combine them... BUT... instead of using Photomatix to do the tone mapping, you only use it to combine the bracketed images (and remove ghosts if you need). Then, you cancel the tone mapping and 'save as', and select a 32 bit TIF and save it. Then you import the 32 bit TIF into Lightroom and process it there using the regular slider tools. It is often just as simple as draging the shadows and highlight sliders to bring back details as you would with a normal RAW image, except it acts like a 'super RAW'. :-) And of course you can also use the adjustment brush, graduated filter, etc, which Photomatix cannot do. Give that a try, it should avoid the halo effect, give you a more natural result and much more flexibility in your processing. Diliff (talk) 12:11, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Wladyslaw, if you don't have Photomatix then Photoshop is another tool that can be used to combine frames into 32-bit HDR tiff. The "Merge to HDR Pro" menu option is used to combine the images and then select 32-bit output rather than a tonemapped result. The disadvantage to using Lightroom to process 32-bit tiffs is that they can be very large, especially if from a stitched image. -- Colin (talk) 19:23, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

My used equipment you can find here. For HDR/image fusion I use the very spartan (controlled by a command shell) programm tufuse. Photomatix I tried as trial version and found the outputs very unnatural, but maybe I was to silly to use it correct, I don't know. Normally I am very satisfied with the results of tufuse. --Wladyslaw (talk) 14:50, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Well Wladyslaw, if you do have access to Lightroom and Photoshop/Photomatix, I suggest you try them for HDR images as I suggested above, as I think you will get superior results when compared to Tufuse. I used to use Tufuse many years ago (around 2006-2008?) and it did deliver very realistic results compared to what Photomatix and other tone mappers typically produced at that time, but I have since moved on to more modern products that create a more realistic looking HDR image without such a strong halo effect that seems to be common in some of your outdoor images. I haven't compared the results of Tufuse with Photomatix directly, but Photomatix has exposure blending options that I believe are pretty similar to what Tufuse does (but also has a lot of other tone mapping options). But as I said above, I think the best solution is to use Photomatix, Photoshop or PTGui to create the 32bit TIF file, and then let Lightroom process it. Diliff (talk) 18:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

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Copyright status: File:St John the Baptist Cathedral Tower, Norwich, Norfolk, UK - Diliff.jpg[edit]

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Thanks for uploading File:St John the Baptist Cathedral Tower, Norwich, Norfolk, UK - Diliff.jpg. I notice that the file page either doesn't contain enough information about the license or it contains contradictory information about the license, so the copyright status is unclear.

If you created this file yourself, then you must provide a valid copyright tag. For example, you can tag it with {{self|GFDL|cc-by-sa-all}} to release it under the multi-license GFDL plus Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike All-version license or you can tag it with {{PD-self}} to release it into the public domain. (See Commons:Copyright tags for the full list of license tags that you can use.)

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No required license templates were detected at this file page. Please correct it, or if you have any questions please contact me on my talk page. Yours sincerely, Jarekt (talk) 05:43, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

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Ely Cathedral Octagon Lantern 3, Cambridgeshire, UK - Diliff.jpg
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Norwich Cathedral from Cloisters, Norfolk, UK - Diliff.jpg
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Question regarding raw files used for stitching panoramas in PTGui[edit]

Hi Diliff,

I am working on a 2x6 panorama of a landscape based on three bracketed exposures taken with my Canon EOS 600D and my Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II kit lens. I have the raw files (taken at fixed focal length using a rugged tripod) and I have PTGui, which I intend to use for the stitching and HDR tonemapping (which is new for me, I have only tried the exposure fusion option previously). Anyway I am in doubt how to best prepare my raws for import into PTGui?

Prior to importing the raws in PTGui I use Digital Photo Professional, the program that comes along with the camera for editing raw files, and I use it to correct for various lens effects (CA, color blur and distortion) on each raw file. But I am in doubt about the white balance and picture style settings. These have by default 'Auto' seetings, but I am wondering if that actually means that there are differences in the settings from image to image making it not so optimal for stitching? The photos are taken shortly before sunset with clear blue sky, and I am wondering what is the best manual white balance to set it to under these conditions? If I switch to 'daylight' the photos get a more yellow and color saturated taint as compared to 'auto'.

Also, regarding the 'Picture style', I have tried to change that to 'Landscape', which gives the images an even more saturated look. As I understand, this style effective boosts the green and blue colors. I am wondering if it would be better to set the 'Picture Style' to 'Neutral' or 'Faithful', which makes the pics look less vivid, and then do the final color adjustment in the HDR tone mapping step instead?

If you have any input or experience to share, I would be grateful for some directions. I have an old PC 32-bit PC with limited RAM, so the time involved in the processing the 2x12x3 raws is substantial (hours), and I am trying not to make too many bad decisions along the way, which I have to redo Smile. --Slaunger (talk) 19:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Actually, I never import raw files into PTGui directly. I always export the images as JPG or 16 bit TIF from Lightroom (any RAW processor will do though) and then import them into PTGui. That way all the images have the corrections applied prior to stitching. I know PTGui can handle raw files but I've never investigated going down that route because as you said, you then have some confusion over the white balance settings and their accuracy across a whole image set. And I'm pretty sure that getting PTgui to process the raw files will be a much larger drain on the processor than JPG. Perhaps it might be time to upgrade your PC? Mid range PCs are so cheap these days, you would probably be able to reduce your stitching time from hours to just a few minutes. Most of my 3 x 5 x 5 images (75 images, similar to yours)take at most 1-2 minutes to process, and usually much less. TIF is better than JPG to export with, especially when you are dealing with sky, because it doesn't take much tone mapping for the sky to become posterised from JPG files, but they are much larger. 16 bit TIF files have much more fidelity though and can handle heavier processing before they start exhibiting artifacts. Also, regarding the 'picture style', I do all my processing in Lightroom so none of the 'in camera' settings like white balance or picture styles have any bearing on the images I output, because I overwrite them with my own Lightroom adjustments. But yes, you're right that it's probably better to keep the images as neutral as possible and then make all the adjustments after tone mapping. Hope that helps. Sorry, I know I didn't answer your question directly because the workflow you described is so different to mine, but hopefully it points you in the right direction. Diliff (talk) 19:52, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
    • You gave an excellent answer. Very helpful thanks! I think I will try convert to 16 bit tiff in the raw converter using as neutral setting as possible prior to importing in PTGui. Newer PC: Yes it might be about time for that:)
    • When I last upgraded my PC (a couple of years ago I think) my stitching time jumped from hours (go to bed, look at results next morning) to minutes (get a cup of tea, review some FPs) and that was with lots of frames. I've only got one with Intel graphics because I don't play games, but chose a motherboard with the appropriate connectors to drive my large 27" Dell monitor (high res) and my older Iiyama monitor in portrait mode. Modern integrated graphics are good enough to be used by Photoshop to speed up its work. So yes, it does make a huge difference. The other thing I strongly recommend is you to take advantage of the Photoshop+Lightroom offer by Adobe. I honestly don't know what all the negative publicity is about this rental model, because for £89 a year you can have two world-class photo tools on your desk, continually up-to-date with latest features, camera and lens support. It is even cheaper if you are in education or have a child in education (you get a couple of months free). I believe Lightroom will improve your photos far more than buying the latest camera would. And Photoshop is very handy for fixing issues with stitches (such as twins or bits of people). Lightroom's HDR support is excellent, though dealing with 32-bit floating point TIFFs requires a fair bit if disk space (which is cheap).
Another thing. You mentioned buying a new 40mm lens I think and I remember being surprised at the price of Canon's primes (Sony do lots of cheap primes for their crop cameras). But I forgot that Canon has a huge second hand market and for panoramas you don't even need autofocus. So perhaps that's an option to consider and buying a prime will also make a huge sharpness difference to your images. -- Colin (talk) 10:52, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Colin: My teenage son has a 2-3 year old Corei5, 64 bit gamer PC with a reasonably fast graphics card and 1 TB disk space, which he isn't using anymore, so I think I can buy that of him for a reasonable price, and I think that will help - a lot (my current Core Duo 2.2 GHz PC is approximately 7 years old). I had a look at the Photoshop+Lightroom offer yesterday (96£/year in Denmark, always more expensive in Denmark), and feel tempted, and at the same time a little overwhelmed at the mere thought of acquinting myself with an entirely new and large editing suite:) My fear of losing control with the process is the largest I think, or learning how to use it optimally. Is it possible to keep the "improvements" under control in those tools?
You are correct about the prime lens, but it will not help regarding the photos I have already taken. I have a keen eye on a the pan-cake lens, the Canon EF 40mm lens f/2.8, which I have tried out at the local photoshop. It appeared very crisp and I could hardly see any CA or other lens distortions anywhere. I think I could also use it for portraits. No IS, but when using a tripod or in daylight, who cares:) It has a quite reasonable price and soon and in a little over two months it is my birthday, so... :) --Slaunger (talk) 16:02, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
@Diliff:, @Colin:: Quick decision!: "Nicked" sons PC, up and running with two LCD monitors, of which my old one is good for reviewing pics. Purchased the Photoshop/Lightroom monthly subscription - instaling as we speak (It better be good!). Purchased newest upgrade to PTGui (a new version just came out, which looks good, and my old license key was too old, so had to buy an upgrade license). Now I just need new glass for the camera (I think)! Smile This already feel much better, even though I haven't started editing yet:) --Slaunger (talk) 20:14, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Good decision! Lightroom isn't too complex once you have things set up. Photoshop can be rather overwhelming but there are of course books you can buy and plenty tutorials online (one advantage of using an industry standard). The one book I think is essential to get the best out of raw processing with Lightroom is "The Digital Negative" by Jeff Schewe. It will make a real difference to your images and you'll also understand more about what is going on under the hood. Honestly, just buy it now and you'll be glad. However, that book isn't a manual or guide to the whole program. If you are looking for that, then I recommend Martin Evening's books on Lightroom and Photoshop. Scott Kelby's books are popular but I can't stand him -- to me he reads like an airhead saying "I've no idea why this makes good photos but if I do this then it looks good to me and if you do the same then your photos are bound to look good too". I prefer a more cerebral approach.
Once you get to know Lightroom, you'll be surprised how you can transform a photo and make it look great. Photoshop can wait a bit. You may need to buy another hard disk! -- Colin (talk) 08:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been away for a few days and wasn't able to respond. Wow, I didn't expect you to upgrade everything. :-) As Colin says, I don't think you'll regret it, as you now have the gold-standard tools for RAW processing, image editing and panorama stitching. And as Colin says, Lightroom is pretty easy to get your head around at first, as most of the controls you will need are simple sliders. But it is very powerful and I'm still learning new hidden features after using it since the first beta (2006). The best thing about Lightroom is the independent adjustment brushes and graduation filters. You can really do a lot with them. They become even more useful when you import an 32 bit TIF (which is just like an HDR RAW file) into Lightroom because you can selectively adjust the exposure of any area in the image with complete control and bring out the details with much more control than regular tone mapping software. This is what I was trying to explain to Wladyslaw in the previous conversation but I'm not sure if he's tried doing it yet. Diliff (talk) 07:33, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: I have ordered "The Digital Negative" per your recommendation (you will see it soon on your commision account)Clin. Settled a deal with son, such that the PC is no longer 'nicked'. Did a quick stitching test with the newest version of PTGui Pro, which as new thing also uses the GPU in the stitching process. It was minutes instead of hours! Still only making first steps in Lightroom, have watched some of the tutorials on adobe tv so far. Some of them are actually quite good. I realize it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the workflow to properly utilize Lightroom, beginning with how to properly import which files and maybe apply some presets in that process such as adding some standard author information in the metadata, perhaps apply lens corrections, etc. Historically, I have been shooting in both raw and jpeg. the jpegs were used to quickly identify good photos as the raws were very tedious and slow to manage with my previous tools. The feeling I have right now is that I should only import the raws, and that i should do the import such that i actually copy the files and in the process apply the presets, which will actually alter them. I am still not entriely clear on when to go from Lightroom to Photoshop, and what a good intermediate format is. There are these .dng files, but I still have not quite understood those. --Slaunger (talk) 19:05, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
@Diliff: a question about your workflow with PTGui: Do I understand correctly that it is really the hdr output from PTGui, which you continue working on in Lightroom? If so, which of the possible hdr formats available in PTGui Pro do you use? I tried to use psd format yesterday (a 3.5 GB file!), but that file could not be read by Photoshop, which says the file is incampatible with the newest version of Photoshop? --Slaunger (talk) 19:05, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I am now also looking for a decent color calibrated or calibrateable monitor with a reasonably high resolution (the graphics card supports up to 2560x1600) and a reasonable price. --Slaunger (talk) 19:05, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Dell UltraSharp U2713HM (27 LED, 2560x1440) could be a possibility... reasonably priced, good reviews. --Slaunger (talk) 19:29, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

(outdent)I haven't tended to apply anything in import but keep meaning to look at that again. I can see how doing that would be useful for pros shooting lots of images with identical setups. The lens profiles are definitely worth setting on any architectural picture or image you want to stitch. But I tend to not bother with landscapes and plants or portraits, since it isn't really necessary and can only make the image very, very slightly less sharp. I tend to leave the colour NR on the standard 25. The luminance NR required depends a lot on the image. The CA removal checkbox is definitely worth ticking and seems pretty harmless. I'm considering whether to change my colour profile from "Adobe Standard" to "Camera Standard" (i.e., matching Sony's standard profile in my case). See this link for Canon. The Adobe Standard calibration is probably the most faithful but not exciting and you may be disappointed when you compare raw vs JPG. This calibration is only the base starting point. Most camera manufacturer's JPG processing produces slightly more vivid and contrasty images as that is what pleases the eye.

I've only ever shot raw+JPG when I didn't have Lightroom support for my new camera. Lightroom can import the pair and recognise they are the same image. The other times I shoot JPG is if using one of my camera features like auto-HDR or panorama stitching. I tend to import from the camera (but I appreciate you have existing files). I think you can just move/copy the files where you want them to live and then tell Lightroom to import that folder -- it won't copy them and also won't alter them. Lightroom never changes the raw files (or JPG or TIFF). All "edits" are held in the database and only applied to the exported file you create. I haven't bothered converting my Sony raw files to DNG. Perhaps I should. DNG has one "feature" in that Lightroom can optionally save edit information inside the DNG rather than (or as well as) the database, but I can't imagine why anyone would do this in a system that has automatic backups -- each huge DNG would then be backed-up again after every little edit.

I think TIFF is a reasonable interchange format. I export 16-bit sRGB tiffs to Hugin and then re-import the stitched TIFF back. I haven't had success using other colourspaces (like ProPhoto RGB) with Hugin's tools as it seems to lose the colourspace info so I'm not sure I trust it is handling those properly). Diliff may have a different flow with PtGui. When I've created HDR files in Photoshop, I output 32-bit floating-point TIFF files and back into Lightroom (I tend to copy the output file into the same folder as my raw files to keep them together). Yes it is a huge file.

For stitching, the place where Photoshop is essential is dealing with stitching errors and moving objects and people. I can get Hugin to additionally export the warped patches that Smartblend stitches together. I can then use layers in Photoshop to overlay one of those patches on my full image and then use a mask to blend in just the bits I want. That way, I can eliminate people from one patch if they aren't present in another. Photoshop's cloning tools are excellent whereas the clone tool in Lightroom is really intended only for removing sensor dust and tiny birds in the sky and spots on people's faces. Another use for Photoshop is to extend the canvas when you haven't quite captured enough sky, say. It's content-aware fill is quite clever for this purpose. I will probably have another look at PTGui as Hugin can't handle the HDR stitching and can be frustrating to use at times.

TFT Central is a good place for reviews and news about high quality monitors. I have an older Dell 27" with same resolution. I've only recently bought a X-Rite i1 Display PRO calibrator. I think some of the new Dell monitors can work with this (or a similar) calibrator to actually set values in hardware on the monitor -- which is much preferable to just altering the 3x8-bit colour table in the OS (which is all I can do). See if there are any like that at an affordable price. But even without the extra expense of a calibrator, the Dell monitors come with factory-calibrated settings for either sRGB or AdobeRGB and those should be pretty accurate for our purposes. The main thing to look for is an IPS panel (or similar tech, but not TN) and some attempt by the manufacturer to actually calibrate it. If you can run with two monitors, that is even better (even if the second is a cheaper uncalibrated one). Lightroom can use the two screens. So you might have one screen showing the 100% mag and another fit-to-window. Or one screen showing the full selected image and the other showing the catalogue thumbnails.

And while you are splashing out on equipment, a pen tablet is very nice to have. I got a little Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch several years ago for my birthday. You don't need a big one. It makes using the brush tools much nicer and editing a mask easier as you have the added dimension of pressure-sensitivity that a mouse can't do, as well as the dexterity of a pen. I think Wacom's branding has changed since then so the small pad may have another name. -- Colin (talk) 09:49, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Colin Thanks for the extraordinary depth with which you continue to feed me with useful information, such as the blog post about having default import setting, which emulate the picture styles in my Canon camera, which is just different "views" of the raw luminance data in the raw file. Regarding a pen, thanks for the suggestion, but this is not for now for me at least, as i have never worked with brushes yet and such kinds of more advanced editing. Part of the deal with my son was a pro gamer mouse and pad, and I find it is very precise and responsive and perfectly suitable for my current needs. Although i felt tempted to push the buy button for the monitor yesterday, I have decided to restrain myself for now, albeit it looks like a very suitable compromise. Concerning Hugin vs PTGui: I used Hugin for several years 2007-2012 and was happy about it, but missed features for doing proper HDR panos. I then switched to PTGui, and the applications have very similar GUIs and support the same workflow more of less, so the transition is easy if you want to try it out. I find that PTGui is more polished, has better help and assistants, and has these more high end features. It is just a little nicer. I have not followed since how Hugin has developed in parallel, so how they compare nowadays I do not really know. --Slaunger (talk) 18:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I think the 27" monitors are the sweet spot for price-performance at the moment. I've got a 2560x1600 30" monitor and I'm very happy with it (and a 20" monitor with 1600x1200 res in portrait format next to it which aligns perfectly in both size and resolution), but a 27" monitor is significantly cheaper and not that much smaller. Having said that, I'm currently lusting over the Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q (32" and 3840 x 2160 res!) but I won't be getting one until the price comes down a bit! :-) As for the file format to save from PTGui, as Colin said, 32 bit TIF is what I use when stitching a HDR image, and JPG or 16 bit TIF when stitching a regular image. I've never tried exporting with a PSB file but I'm not sure if there is any real benefit in using it as it doesn't have compression (whereas TIF has LZW compression which is better than nothing I suppose), and I don't know if Lightroom supports PSB files anyway. Colin, I've never really investigated a tablet as I assume that it would be awkward to use, but the way you describe it sounds interesting. If I understand it correctly, the pointer/tool on the screen moves in real time (is there a reseponse delay?) and you look at the screen rather than on the pad? That's the main reason why I assumed it would be awkward, because of the sense of moving a pen that you're not looking at, and getting indirect feedback via the screen. But I suppose we do that every day with a mouse without a problem. I assume also that when the pen is near to but not touching the pad, you can see where it's moving? Does the entire screen correspond to the entire pad or does the pad essentially cover a small portion of the screen? Is it like a mouse, where, if you want to move the pointer a long way, you may have to move it from left to right, then take the pen away from the tablet and place it back at the left side again and repeat? I assume it couldn't function as a mouse does, where if you move it faster, it will be accelerated. It would only make sense for a pen's movement to be linear, since the pen's movement over the tablet should be consistent in order to have pen-like feedback. Anyway, it's just the uncertainty over this kind of indirect feedback and useability that concerns me. But I'll look into them further and see if they're affordable enough to justify splashing out on one. Diliff (talk) 10:57, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Diliff. Thanks for the answer. I have one additional question about your workflow (if you are not exhausted already from my relentless questions). I am a little bit in doubt about how much processing I shall apply to the raws in an HDR pano prior to developing into tiffs as input for PTgui Pro. Lens corrections are no-brainers I guess (you have much better glass than I, so probably not such a big issue for you), and white balance has to be set identical as well. Things I am more in doubt of is sharpness and noise reduction prior to stitching? Do you apply any, a little or more? I guess an option is to stitch almost neutral developed tiffs with no sharpening or NR applied, and then wait for the final 32 bit output from PTGui to apply the sharpening, NR, tonemapping, highlighting of shadows, contrast, vibrance, etc? --Slaunger (talk) 18:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Tablet[edit]

Wacom's consumer tablets used to be called Bamboo and their pro tables Intuos. They have rebranded Bamboo to be something else and all the pen tables are Intuos with the pro models having "pro" in the name! The big ones are I think really best only for people dedicated to using the tablet fulltime and my small one is plenty accurate enough and easy to tuck away when I don't need it. Also the dear ones have more pressure levels but I don't think you'd notice the difference with Photoshop (perhaps if you were drawing with artist software). The pros can detect pen angle too, which doesn't seem to be used by Photoshop. Mine is a wired table. You can get wireless (or a module for wireless) but I think battery life is a problem (see Amazon reviews). There's no delay at all (for wired anyway) -- just as interactive as a mouse and easier to hold in the hand for fine work. When you hover the nib above the surface, the cursor move like a mouse pointer unpressed and when you move with the nib on the surface, it is like moving with the button depressed. So (unlike a iPad) you get hover feedback just like a mouse. I don't have the computer in front of me just now but IIRC the driver software lets you choose between mouse (relative) movement and pen (absolute) movement control. Perhaps you'd use the former if this was a mouse replacement for repetitive strain injury, but like you say, you'd have to flick the pen several times to cross the screen though it could also adopt the mouse's acceleration (non-linear) approach too, in that mode. But I use the absolute position. You can also control whether the area covers your main monitor or both (I forget which I've got it set to - it is mostly used on the main window but I think it worked fine when stretched too, just can't remember just now).

I think the "Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small Graphics Tablet" is the equivalent to my model, though mine is black with buttons on the left rather than the top. The "touch" is a mode where you can use your fingers like a tablet PC but I've never bothered with that mode. I should give it a go now I have Windows8. The Medium size might give finer control at the expense of having to move your hand further and finding more desk space. Cut out a piece of cardboard the right size and see how it fits on your desk -- you need to find room for the keyboard, mouse and tablet. I tend to push the tablet out of the way when not using it but your layout may vary.

The pen is definitely easier to use than the mouse for drawing round shapes or painting a mask or, obviously, using the brush tools in Lightroom. It is just more natural and your fingers give finer control compared to your wrist with a mouse. But moving the cursor over the whole screen to select a menu is still easier with a mouse (but that might just reflect that I don't use the pen enough). If I used the pen all the time I'm sure it would be even easier.

Check out the reviews on Amazon. I'd be interested if you discover any differences between models that you think are important. Starting at £49.95 it isn't really difficult purchase. I think the Intuos Pen&Touch has an eraser on the top of the pen (like mine - I've never used it) as well as touch, which the cheaper one lacks. Some of the reviews say they prefer the smaller one but if you have loads of desk space then perhaps the medium one is a good choice (though dearer). The drawback to the medium size might be if it got in the way too much you'd end up not using it at all. -- Colin (talk) 12:51, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Desk space isn't much of an issue and I like the idea of a larger tablet to be honest as the smaller one seems undersized to accurately cover a 30" monitor's resolution in 'absolute mode', but it's significantly more expensive and the touch seems to me like it would be more of a hindrance than an advantage. I assume that if you're using the pen, the touch functionality is disabled, to stop you accidentally doing something with your wrist while using the pen. There doesn't seem to be a model that is larger but without the unnecessary touch features... Hmm. I'll think about it. The idea of the cheaper one is tempting, but as is often the case, I'll probably end up upgrading, wishing I got the better one (assuming I like working with the tablet) in the first place. Diliff (talk) 14:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Just pulled the trigger on the medium sized Wacom Intuos. This has been an expensive conversation for some of us. ;-) Diliff (talk) 16:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Good luck, big spender! --Slaunger (talk) 18:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Even the medium one has to be one of the cheaper photographic purchases you've made! Yes, the touch is something that is disabled -- I often rest my wrist / base of my hand on the tablet. I read that even the medium one isn't very large so if you have room... I've never noticed any resolution-related issues with my small one but then when I'm doing detailed work I magnify Lightroom/Photoshop -- the issue isn't with finger/pen resolution, but with my eyesight! Those pixels are pretty small. -- Colin (talk) 19:45, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

File:London Waterloo Interior Rush Hour 3, London, UK - Diliff.jpg[edit]

Hi. I love this photo. You should submit it to COM:QI. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:01, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Matt. I don't usually participate in QI (I'd like to think that most of my images would pass QI... It's sort of a base level standard as far as my photography is concerned!), but if you'd like to submit it to QI, you're welcome to! I'm kind of in the process of improving London's transportation images at the moment (one of many little projects) and I noticed from your images that you've taken quite a lot too. Diliff (talk) 14:04, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

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Yours sincerely, LGA talkedits 22:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Featured picture candidates/File:Harrow and Wealdstone station MMB 08 350121.jpg[edit]

FYI, I think you accidentally voted twice in the alternative section rather than once in each. -mattbuck (Talk) 10:48, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Sorry about that, I've fixed it. :-) Diliff (talk) 10:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

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Super RAW[edit]

Hi David, just want to thank you for this great tip! I´ve just try it on my own and it is really awesome! Till today I always had my problems to get a realistic result while using tone-mapping or fusion via photomatix. Today I´ve read your great tip and tried it at a actual picture of mine, and what should I say... Super-RAW is the best word for this great file! ;-) With this method it is so much easier for me to get a satisfying result. So thanks a lot again! Greetings mathias K 17:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

  • No problem! Glad I could help you improve your processing. I'm not sure if Wladyslaw ever tried what I suggested, he never told me. I'm quite surprised that it isn't more common knowledge. I guess it is a bit more complicated than simply using Photomatix (I wish there was an easier way of editing the 32 bit TIF in Lightroom without having to import it into the catalog) but the control over the final image is so much better. Photomatix's controls are difficult to understand and even more difficult to get a result that has the right detail in the right places. Lightroom handles highlights much better than Photomatix. Diliff (talk) 19:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • It's exactly like you wrote, the workflow is a bit more complicated but the result is more than worthy imo! I'm really amazed how powerfull this method is cause I've never worked with such a file. Feels like sorcery when you only worked with ordinary RAW and 16bit tifs before. The fact that, compared to Photomatix's controls, I know at least a bit what I'm doing in LR is of course also very helpful... ;-) --mathias K 20:59, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

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Commons:Featured picture candidates/File:Teatro Municipal de São Paulo 8.jpg[edit]

Best Regards,

I wanted to personally thank you for your comment on this application, regardless of the outcome, to receive comments from people with so much experience and contributors commons with high quality, this is really inspiring.

--Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 11:35, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

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Yours sincerely, Stefan4 (talk) 14:06, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I haven't been! I've been using the basic form. But it still requires you to use the dropdown menu to select the licence. I always do this (as I told you in the past, it won't let you upload without selecting a licence anyway), but even when I do this, occasionally it doesn't work. Not my fault. ;-) Diliff (talk) 15:54, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Software-Decision[edit]

Hi David (we have met each other in Straßburg), would you still highly recommend PTGui? Compared to Autopano Giga? Or Autopano Pro? Or any other possible solution? --Hubertl (talk) 08:44, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Hubertl. Did we? Sorry, I didn't manage to associate every person with their Wiki username in Strasbourg. :-) I would definitely recommend PTGui. I have used Autopano once or twice but I am not very familiar with it. I know it is also very good and could make great panoramas, but most people who are professionals use PTGui. However, Hugin is also excellent and free. Have you tried using it? Diliff (talk) 10:33, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, I tried Hugin, despite its a lot of work to set all the points (but this is not really problematic), but with the actual version, the final result is extremely undercontrasted and looks flat. Its a wellknown bug, but they don´t do anything to fix it. I think, I´ll buy PTGui. I tried it with Photoshop CC, but it does´nt work really well. You have to work for hours to fix the stitchingproblems. Look here, this ist made with PS and Lightroom. Thanks for your Information. I´m the Austrian guy from Vienna.--Hubertl (talk) 15:07, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Ah yes of course I remember you. :-) The guy with the huge 600mm lens! I'm not sure what you mean about the final result being extremely undercontrasted in Hugin. Are you talking about a HDR panroama or a 'normal' panorama? If it is not HDR, you should do all of the processing of the individual images before you stitch them. PTGui or Hugin should not affect the contrast. They makes some minor adjustments so that the blending is smooth, but they don't do any other manipulation. I think if the images it outputs are lacking in contrast, then you need to add the contrast to the images in Lightroom before stitching them. The stitching should be the last step in the process. If there really is a bug with the blending in Hugin, you can use another plugin called Smartblend which might bypass the bug? Diliff (talk) 15:19, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Just a thought: did you export TIFF (or worse, JPG) in ProPhoto colourspace? I don't think all of Hugin's toolchain is colourspace aware so best to stick with sRGB. -- Colin (talk) 15:33, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I used phosothop with really poor results, I spent about 72 hours trying to fix problems. I have uploaded the RAWs files if anyone is interested in this case study. I would be very grateful to yours recommendations --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 12:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy to have a go with the files if you need some help... But what exactly is the case study? I see that there are original RAW files on the page you linked to, but they are for Castillo San Carlos de la Barra, not Teatro Municipal de São Paulo... And could you be specific about what problems you are trying to fix? Diliff (talk) 12:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
✓ Done I am sorry, the commonsarchive link was wrong, now it is fixed. I would be honored your help and all the recommendations and reviews, please do not have pity on me. Stitching problems between luminosity and photos, specifically --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 13:01, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, I see the problems in the image now. I didn't notice some of them when it was first nominated on FPC... Were they introduced with newer updates of the file? Actually, to me, it looks like some of the stitching problems might be because there is a white balance difference between the images? The steps on the left and right have a very different colour. In any case, I should be able to resolve some, if not all of the problems. If I can fix it, do you want me to upload it over the top of the existing file or would you prefer me to upload it as a different derivative image? Diliff (talk) 13:17, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
You can do what you want. You are the master --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 13:26, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Wow, there are so many people on the steps... did you clone them all out? What a nightmare. :-) I see evidence of that in your image now... Duplicated patterns in the stone. Also, I see another problem. You didn't keep either the shutter speed or the aperture consistent between photos. It varies from f/9 to f/13 and 1.6 seconds to 3 seconds exposure... It's very important to lock the exposure - both aperture and shutter speed. The shutter speed difference can be worked around, but the aperture can be more troublesome, because the actual focus changes slightly with different apertures and things will not stitch properly when objects are sharp in one image and soft in another. It's probably best if I don't overwrite the image in that case. I can try to improve the stitching and leave the cloning for you, if that's ok? :-) Diliff (talk) 13:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I waited for 6 hours (over several days) and those people never removed from the front. I do not agree, you do everything you committed. (just kidding). Please you can. I feel some shame for my little experience, I will take note of all your recommendations. --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 13:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It sounds like an extremely difficult subject to shoot if there are always people sitting in front of the steps. I have the same problem with churches and cathedrals, there is always someone who wants to sit and pray. How annoying. ;-) OK, well I've managed to improve the stitching quality. Only reason I'm not doing the cloning is because it's a big job and will take hours! OK, basically, what I did is this... Open the images in Lightroom, set the white balance manually on all images, make basic adjustments (increase shadow detail, decrease highlights, increase contrast slightly), then export and stitch using PTGui. It still had some blending issues because of the different exposures. So I looked at which parts were brighter, darker or wrong white balance, and adjusted each image. Then I stitched again, made more adjustments, then stitched. I did this about 5-6 times until each image was adjusted correctly and the panorama did not show any major blending problems. I don't know why I needed to adjust the white balance between images, because that is not normal, but it seemed to need it this time. Because it's not a finished image, I didn't want to upload it directly to Comons, so here's the Dropbox link. Diliff (talk) 17:25, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The result is significantly better in terms of colors, light level and balance in general. Excellent !!, I really feel like an idiot. On the other hand, makes me feel better that other people understand what it means to stand for hours waiting for people to go in front of the main subject to take a picture. Another problem is that I have a remote trigger, sometimes I wait for 30 seconds (camera timer + exposure time) to take a picture that will become panorama with others images, however, someone cuts in front lens at the last moment. Then I start to make the 20 pictures again because the brightness of the atmosphere changed.. I consider it important to upload this version commons. I really appreciate your comments. Regarding the software to attach photos, I have only used hugin and photoshop, I'll try Ptgui. --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 17:54, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Hi, David, it was a Canon 400mm f 2.8. IS II +2x Converter... Not mine, it belongs to the technicpool of WMAT. My last panos I made with Photoshop, they were ok. Not really perfect. Today I tried the brandnew Hugin (V. 2014) - but I did´nt get the last stable Version. Even with 2 (sic!) pictures (tiff, 16Bit. sRGB) it fails, the same pictures I used with Photoshop. I tried the demo Version of PTGui -> perfekt and extremely fast. I think, I will buy the Pro Version. Thanks for your help!--Hubertl (talk) 12:58, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm surprised you had such problems with Hugin but I agree, PTGui is better and you won't be disappointed with it. The Pro version is only needed if you want to do HDR panoramas (And I would still use an external tone mapper such as Lightroom to process the HDR files, the tone mapper in PTGui is ok, but not the best). Diliff (talk) 13:17, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It look like a cheap amazing alternative. --Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H. (talk) 00:36, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

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File:Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn Interior During Service, Vilnius, Lithuania - Diliff.jpg[edit]

Hi Diliff,

I'm afraid you are wrong in categorisation: IMO, this is a "catholic" priest and chapel, and not an "orthodox" one. Could you check, please ? (Anyway ! what a picture ! We are really lucky to have you among us !)--Jebulon (talk) 10:10, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Jebulon, you're right, he is Catholic, not Orthodox, but I did not add the categorisation, it was Daniel Case. I'll make the change to correct this. Diliff (talk) 13:03, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Shame on the misbeliever ! Let's burn him (or crucify, if you prefer) ! :) --Jebulon (talk) 16:54, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

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Output file format of True HDR stitches from PTGui Pro[edit]

Hi Diliff,

You have written a few times that you do not use the tone-mapping features in PTGui Pro, but do the tonemapping afterwards in Lightroom based on a 32-bit 'super'-raw output from the stitching process. Two qustions:

  1. The only way you can enable HDR output as a possibility from PTGui is to enable HDR tone mapping in PTGui Pro. What do you do about the tone-mapping setting in PTGui? You just keep them at default, or is the 32-bit output really unaffected by the HDR tonemap settings in PTGui Pro?
  2. Exactly what HDR output file format do you choose in order to most optimally do the tonemapping in Lightroom after the stitching process? Do you use 32-bit TIFF, .psd, .psb layered or flattened?

-- Slaunger (talk) 21:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Slaunger. I think you're confusing the HDR processing in PTGui a little.
    1. Not quite. You don't need to enable HDR tone mapping in PTGui to output a HDR file. You need to enable 'True HDR' mode. On the 'create panorama' tab, this gives you the option to save the output as either a LDR tone mapped panorama, or an HDR panorama (or both). Tone mapping is only applied to the LDR file (because by definition, tone mapping is when you take a HDR file and convert it into a format that has a limited dynamic range (typically a JPG)). If you don't save a LDR file, you are not tone mapping. A 32 bit TIFF is absolutely unaffected by the tone mapping settings because it is not tone mapped, it is an HDR file containing the full dynamic range. The HDR file can then be tone mapped in Lightroom. PTGui does not tone map it at all.
  1. I always use 32 bit TIFF. I've never actually tried to export and process a 32bit .PSD file before, but in theory they should work exactly the same way was a 32 bit TIFF. I use TIFF mainly because it applies compression and the resulting file size is much smaller. I ran a quick test on a small panorama and the difference is significant. A TIFF file was 72mb and the .PSD was 546mb.
  • Hope that helps. :-) Diliff (talk) 23:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    • It helped a lot, thanks. I feel a little a little stupid having missed the point that PTGuis tonemapping only affects the LDR output;-) Anyway, I have tried it now on some night shorts of a building taken this evening, which also had neon light (not uploaded as I am not satisfied) . Taking six exposures at 30 , 8 , 2 , 1/2, 1/8, 1/30 s f/4, ISO 200 to fully cover the extremely High dynamic range of the scenary. The 32 bit tiff is cool to work with in LT, but I have not yet mastered to get what I want in Lightroom as compared to using the PTGui tonemapping. They have recently improved the tonemapping in PTGui, and I find for that particular case that the knobs there are more powerful. --Slaunger (talk) 23:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      • That's true, I did read that they improved the tone mapping in PTGui. It wasn't enough to convince me to use it though, mainly because Lightroom offers more flexibility (such the ability to use adjustment brushes and other stackable, non-destructive adjustments). If you find that PTGui works best for you, that's great, and I won't try to tell you it isn't! Maybe it's a bit better than I give it credit for. But even if PTGui's tone mapping controls were amazingly powerful, it couldn't offer the ability to make additional non-destructive adjustments to individual areas of the image, as I mentioned, because all the controls are global adjustments. Once an image is tone mapped, you lose the ability to use and dig into the full dynamic range of the scene. It's better, therefore, to do it in the tool that has the most fine tuned control, and (IMO) that's Lightroom. :-) In the example of the gravel pit, you did the adjustments (graduated filter, reducing highlights and contrast etc) prior to tone mapping. From my experience, for tone mapping to work best, it needs to be done from a file with linear tone curves (such as a RAW file or 32 bit TIFF). When you make the adjustments prior, you are contorting the tone curve quite a bit. Diliff (talk) 07:31, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
          • You are right. With the image I am working on now, it appears to me that even with global adjustment + two layers of adjustment brushes, I still cannot compress the image enough when working exclusively in LR from a 32-bit tiff generated in the True HDR mode of PTGui. I think I just need to practise a little more. Regarding the fidelity discussion between you and Colin, and the limitations of the 16-bit tiffs: There is no way I can use LR to export to 32-bit tiff, is there? It appears, that if this was the interim format used as source images in PTGui Pro, it would be more optimal? PT Gui Pro also allows to use raw files as input, and I thought this could be promising, until I realized they are really being pre-processed into 16-bit tiff using dcraw as front-end - in a process that do not use the metadata in a dng or the sidecar file in a raw. So this is a dead end, and probably not a real problem either if you have enough exposures (as is evident from your church panos ;-) ). --Slaunger (talk) 20:21, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
          • Not happy too about it, but uploaded it anyway. It is especially the neon light and the blue around it, which I find hard to control from the 32-bit TIFF. Here I have cut down to using four exposures in the tonemapping instead of six. With six, the neon sign is totally out of control;-). -- Slaunger (talk) 21:38, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
            • That does look like a very challenging scene to process... One of the biggest problems with HDR tone mapping is that because it takes the 'best bits' of the exposures, it tends to accentuate the blooms and flares created by the lens and I'm guessing that the 6 exposures only made that effect worse! Many flares would normally be so dark that it is almost invisible with normal exposures becomes very visible in the longest exposure of the bracket. This is really obvious in church interiors where there is no stained glass and the sun is directly in front of the viewpoint, such as here. There's no way to realistically fix this. You can increase contrast around the bloom but it has the effect of darkening the walls behind it. And as for the windows themselves, I could have bracketed to exposure for the windows properly, but white light through clear windows looks awful when underexposed. Anyway, as for your image, if you hit the limits of the 32 bit TIFF using the sliders, there are usually still things you can do. Exposure adjustment brushes can push the exposure beyond what the shadows and highlights slider can do, but unfortunately you can't use the adjustment brush to cumulatively push the shadow and highlights further. The brush sliders will move back and forth happily but they won't have any additional effect on the image. Trial and error. :-) Diliff (talk) 09:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

I found this test on HDR generation yesterday. The conclusions are that one can get even more DR out of bracketed photos by generating one or two pseudo-exposures below the actual lowest exposure using Lightroom, and exporting them as TIFFs along with the in-camera exposures. The confirms the idea that saving as a TIFF is losing information in the highlights that cannot be recovered. Since the 32-bit floating point HDR is linear, I guess the software needs to straighten out the curve in each tiff, then use the "best bits" of each exposure. It will only be on the darkest exposures that the software needs to use the top-end. It would be great if Lightroom had a built-in "merge to HDR" function as that could make use of the raw files. I see from HDRSoft that they can generate HDR from raw but admit their raw converter is poor and only recommend that option if one needs accuracy wrt lighting levels. HDRSoft's own "merge to HDR" add-in uses TIFF as an intermediate. -- Colin (talk) 08:49, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I've read some discussions/predictions about the upcoming next version of Lightroom and a lot of people are asking for/expecting built-in merge-to-HDR functionality. It makes sense, and would completely eliminate Photomatix/Photoshop from the process. It may not make much of a workflow difference for me though as I use PTGui to generate the HDR file and I use 5 bracketed exposures (-6, -3, 0, +3 and +6EV) which is usually more than enough. I can't imagine that RAW-to-HDR would be able to make up for the extra 6EV of dynamic range. After all, it might be possible to recover dynamic range in the shadows but (at least on a 5D Mk iii) the quality of the data is pretty poor. Shadow recovery is one thing that I'm particularly jealous about as the Sony/Nikon sensors are generations ahead of Canon in this regard. :-/ Diliff (talk) 09:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't understand your comment "I can't imagine that RAW-to-HDR would be able to make up for the extra 6EV of dynamic range." What options are you comparing? If you find the huge bracket you use is enough then generating pseudo exposures below won't be necessary, but some people don't have such a wide range their bracketing options (or would like to take less shots). I've suggested Poco gives this a try with his exposure-blending shots, where he doesn't bracket as much as you. Is there some place customers can request/vote on features for Lightroom? -- Colin (talk) 09:41, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
      • I realised after I'd saved that it wasn't as clear as it could be. I meant comparing 5 bracketed images merged to HDR via TIFF vs 3 bracketed images merged to HDR via RAW. I think 5 brackets would be better because the extra 6EV of good quality dynamic range would be more significant than eking out some scraps at the top and bottom ends of the RAW +3EV and -3EV exposures. I'm not sure if there's an official feature request form, but people do comment on Adobe's forums and Adobe staff do respond and take feedback on board. Diliff (talk) 09:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
        • The suggestion wasn't to replace 5 in-camera exposures with 3 in-camera exposures and two fake ones if one is able and happy to take that many exposures. It was more for the situation were one couldn't or didn't manage to exceed the DR of the scene in-camera -- this could provide a useful extension. For example, when reviewing an FP and the nominator only took three exposures. Btw, the test was for two additional darker exposures, not one above and one below. I don't know if adding one above would help shadow noise. -- Colin (talk) 11:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
          • Got it. Yeah, I can imagine it's only useful to recover extra highlights. Shadow detail is rarely of sufficient quality except in emergencies. I'd still rather bracket enough that I didn't need to worry about faffing with another fake one. I suppose there are situations where it's not possible though. Diliff (talk) 12:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Do you apply any noise reduction on the images before you export prior to stitching / HDR? Would there be any benefit in applying more NR to some shots (e.g. the brighter ones used for the shadows)? Lightroom by default applies a small amount of sharpening with no sharpening mask. I have found that moving the "masking" slider can reduce noise (e.g. in the sky) to the degree that NR was no longer (or less) required. Is there a benefit in doing that (or even setting amount to 0) before stitching / HDR and then applying the sharpening afterwards? -- Colin (talk) 11:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

  • No, I don't apply anything other than lens corrections and white balance. I don't know that there would be much benefit. HDR tone mapping in Lightroom seems to do a pretty good job of using the less noisy parts (exposed to the right, I guess) of the image given that there is enough overlap. Even when I'm using ISO 640 or 800, the noise is not unacceptable even in the deepest shadows, assuming I had a long enough exposure in the bracket. I guess there's always room for improvement but I've never felt the need to play with the noise reduction settings. I leave the colour noise correction on as per the defaults but I leave the luminance noise slider at 0. If I do want to apply noise reduction, I generally do it after feeding it through PTGui and creating the 32 bit TIFF, not before. Diliff (talk) 12:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
When you wrote "HDR tone mapping in Lightroom seems to do a pretty good job of using the less noisy parts" did you mean "PtGui HDR generation seems to to a pretty good job of using the less noisy parts"? I guess it favours the mid-high range of each exposure where it can, avoiding the very top unless it has to. -- Colin (talk) 12:49, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, I suppose you're right, it's PTGui selecting which data from which exposure to merge. I have noticed slight difference between PTGui and Photomatix in how they merge to HDR. Colours and tonality are often slightly different. As a general rule, I prefer PTGui's algorithm, which is handy I suppose, because incorporating Photomatix as an additional step in the middle is a pain. I do it when ghost-removal is necessary, but otherwise it's collecting dust! Diliff (talk) 14:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Kindness Barnstar Hires.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
For being ever helpful and instructive regarding the "Art of Panoramas". Especially, thanks for the gravel pit edit you made, and for, generally, walking an extra mile in order to push the limits of your work to new unprecedented heights. Slaunger (talk) 19:12, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

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New user template[edit]

Hello.

I've created a new template to describe yourself : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:User_info2

I've use it on my user page.

Regards. --ComputerHotline (talk) 07:59, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

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Your license[edit]

Hi,

I'm (very slightly) concerned that your license text at {{Diliff/Licensing}} is more restrictive than cc-by-sa-3.0. Specifically you state: "...you are required to release the image under the same license".

However, unported cc-by-sa-3.0 allows derivatives to be used under any (3.0 or later) variant of cc-by-sa. Its a slight inconsistency there, but could be significant in some cases (eg montages including your photos and by-sa-4.0 images)--Nilfanion (talk) 21:30, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I see what you mean. I only intended to re-write the license terms in language that would be easier for re-users to understand. By 'same license', I mean CC-BY-SA of any generation, but yes, it could be interpreted as meaning only that specific version of it. I'm happy to change the license text but I'm not exactly sure how I can make it less confusing to the re-user. Already I get enough re-use requests where people basically ask to confirm exactly what I've already said because they aren't confident enough that they're doing the right thing. The more complicated I make the wording, the less confident the re-users will be. Diliff (talk) 22:35, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

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/FPCBot (talk) 14:12, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

St Marylebone Parish Church Interior 1, London, UK - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 14:13, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

إليك وساما![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png وسام الاجتهاد
لقد حصلت على وسم مجتهد... مبرووووووووووك Linadlili (talk) 23:37, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Bixby Creek Bridge, California, USA - May 2013.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 22:01, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

FP Promotion[edit]

Polyommatus bellargus male, Aveyron, France - Diliff.jpg
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/FPCBot (talk) 22:02, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Visit Brazil someday![edit]

EDUARDO MURUCI - PRAIA DO CACHORRO.jpg
Morro Dois Irmãos - Fernando de Noronha.jpg
Tambaba W-9167 03.jpg
Brasilia Congresso Nacional 05 2007 221.jpg
Phoenicopterus ruber in São Paulo Zoo.jpg
Rio Panorama.jpg
Amanhecer no Hercules --.jpg

Hello, Diliff! I recommend you visit Brazil. This vast country is home to unique natural life. It is abundant in splendid landscapes. Visit Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília and many other cities! Visit Brazil someday! 😄 ArionEstar 😜 (talk) 12:08, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi ArionEstar, I would love to! Unfortunately it takes time and money to travel so far, but I'm sure I will visit one day. :-) Diliff (talk) 14:39, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Currently, you are traveling through Europe? 😄 ArionEstar 😜 (talk) 20:49, 27 December 2014 (UTC)