Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Field Report on Auto Focus/Exposure Stacking

Although I was confident I'd proved out my ML Lua Auto Bracketing Script at home, tonight was my first chance to explore this new in-camera tool in the field. 

We are lucky to have a lovely church a mile from us and with the help of an App it was easy to see when the Golden Hour would occur. Of course the App doesn't provide any real time info on the weather. 

Because I knew I would be focus and exposure stacking, the dominant weather variable was wind: I needed still conditions. The other weather variable for a great sunset is the right cloud cover. Last night the wind was near zero, but the clouds dissipated towards the horizon and I had a clear sky, so the the sky would be a little featureless. 

I used my Sigma 12-24mm at 12mm and the following shooting workflow:
  • Switch on LV and select an exposure to compose by;
  • Compose the scene;
  • Move the ML Raw Spotmeter to the shadow region where I wish to see detail and set the base exposure;
  • Move the lens focus ring all the way to macro end, as I wished to grab a full focus stack;
  • Run the script.
I processed the resultant images in Lightroom HDR, processed the resultant exposure stacks in Helicon Focus via a round trip from LR, and finished off in Photoshop. Here are a couple of the test images, where I also explored different post processing looks.

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