Use "High Dynamic Range" mode to create a series of bracketed images with different shutter speeds. These multiple images may later be combined, using many standard image editing programs, to create a more realistic image with well defined shadows and highlight areas.
Creating a High Dynamic Range image from series of bracketed images requires an optional third party software program. Many software applications are available to create High Dynamic Range images in manual or batch modes. See High Dynamic Range Software Applications section for more information.
Promote Control automatically calculates High Dynamic Range (or HDR) image sequences for you depending on a number of easy to use settings. Promote Control varies the camera shutter speed to achieve different exposures on each image taken. The aperture always remains the same because this is important in obtaining the correct HDR image sequences. This procedure is also known as "exposure bracketing". The Promote Control allows you to completely and remotely control exposure bracketing parameters without manually operating the camera controls.
By default, the Promote Control takes a "middle" shutter speed as a start, and then takes the requested number of pictures with the shutter speed stepped under and over the "middle" exposure, thereby creating an increasingly brighter sequence of images. You can optionally choose to build the sequence starting from the longest or shortest exposure, allowing for better shadow or highlight control respectively. Refer to HDR Start Point Setup setting description for more details.
1.Switch your Promote Control to the "High Dynamic Range" mode.
2.Mount your camera on a tripod to avoid camera movement or shake between or during image capture.
3.Make sure your camera is connected and set up.
4.Disable automatic focus on your camera.
5.If your camera has "Automatic" setting for ISO control, make sure to disable it and set your camera ISO to a fixed setting. Failure to do so will allow camera to compensate for bracketing changes introduced by Promote Control, and this will negate the effect of bracketing.
6.Use your camera exposure metering, or other exposure metering methods, to determine start exposure parameters. Normally this will be a shutter speed/aperture/ISO speed combination that yields a well exposed image. As a rule of thumb, set the exposure compensation to zero and pick automatically metered exposure parameters from your camera exposure meter. You will be able to easily change it later if required.
Alternatively, you may set your camera to "Manual" exposure mode, and manually adjust exposure settings until the exposure compensation indicator shows zero. Consult your camera manual for the details of exposure metering in "Manual" exposure mode.
7.After measuring the exposure set your camera to Manual exposure mode unless it's already set.
8.Enter the exposure from the step 3 using the "Mid" setting. This setting can also read "Lo Exposure" or "Hi Exposure", depending on the choice for the HDR Start Point in the Setup Menu. In those cases please do not use the average scene metering from step 3, and instead set the exposure value as appropriate for scene shadows or scene highlights respectively.
9.Set the "Step" setting on the Promote Control to 1.0EV for general HDR photography. You may want to use a smaller "Step" value for a fine-grained tonal control.
10.Begin with a "Total Exposures" setting set to "05" or "07", depending on the subject contrast and tonal range to be covered. The more contrast the subject exhibits, the more steps or total exposures will be needed to sufficiently cover the subject tonal range. For example, setting this value to "07" with a step of "1.0EV" will result in 7 images taken as follows:
-3 EV steps from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
-2 EV steps from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
-1 EV step from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
The "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
+1 EV step from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
+2 EV steps from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
+3 EV steps from the "Mid Exposure" shutter speed
With "Shadows" chosen for the "HDR Start Point" and the same set of exposure values, the following 7 images will be taken:
The "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+1 EV step from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+2 EV steps from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+3 EV steps from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+4 EV steps from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+5 EV steps from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
+6 EV steps from the "Lo Exposure" shutter speed
Similarly, with "Highlights" chosen for the "HDR Start Point" and the same set of exposure values, the following 7 images will be taken:
-6 EV steps from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
-5 EV steps from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
-4 EV steps from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
-3 EV steps from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
-2 EV steps from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
-1 EV step from the "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
The "Hi Exposure" shutter speed
Generally choosing more steps is better, because you are then able to select the images you need from the resulting sequence. However, taking more than 11 total exposures with a step of 1.0EV or higher is rarely useful, and should only be used for very high contrast scenery, or when there is no time to reliably measure a start exposure.
NOTE: You may want to reverse the High Dynamic Range bracketing order, so that the longest exposures are taken first. See "HDR Exposure Order" Setup setting for more information.
11.Preview the resulting bracketing sequence displayed by the Promote Control in the bottom of the screen. If the entered parameters result in a bracketing sequence that is out of available exposure range, Promote Control will display an "[Invalid Settings]" message.
12.Press "Start" button on the Promote Control to take a series of images.
Setting the camera to manual focus is important because otherwise the camera attempts to refocus before taking each picture. Obtaining focus may take time depending on the subject, lighting conditions, type of the lens currently used, as well as a number of other considerations. Additional and unexpected automatic camera focusing activity interferes with the exposure sequence and may prevent some images from being taken.
When the current image sequence is finished, review the resulting images on your camera screen. To get the best looking High Dynamic Range images, make sure the darkest image of the sequence has a good definition of highlights, and the brightest image of the sequence contains all the shadows. You may want to use the image histogram display of your camera to get a better idea on the tonal range of every image.
If the darkest image does not have well defined highlights, but the brightest image has more than enough shadows, decrease the starting exposure by one or two steps, and press the "Start" button to take another sequence. Similarly, if the darkest image has enough well defined highlights, but the brightest image has some lost shadows, increase the starting exposure setting and press the "Start" button to take another sequence. In some cases you may find that neither the darkest nor the brightest image have well defined highlights or shadows. In this case try increasing the "Total Exposures" setting until you get a well defined tonal range across the resulting image sequence. Overall, a combination of 1.0EV step with 7 total exposures works well for most situations.
If a High Dynamic Range sequence requires an exposure longer than 30 seconds, the optional shutter cable will be required to complete the exposure sequence. If no shutter cable is available, try increasing your camera ISO
speed and/or use a larger aperture, and set a proportionally faster shutter speed until it is shorter than 30 seconds. See Connections section for more information about the shutter cable.
With shutter cable and exposures longer than 30 seconds your Promote Control will use Bulb exposure to complete the sequence. Subject to camera support, Promote Control will attempt to enable Bulb mode automatically. With other cameras, including Canon 5D Mark III, 6D and 60D, the Promote Control will prompt you to manually engage the Bulb mode on your camera before continuing with the image sequence. Note that with these camera models, Manual and Bulb exposure modes may each have a different aperture setting. When switching to Bulb manually and back, make sure your aperture remained the same, and adjust it if required.
High Dynamic Range mode can be optionally used to create High Dynamic Range Time-Lapse sequences. This mode will take several images instead of at each Time-Lapse interval. See High Dynamic Range Time-Lapse section for more information.
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