Video – HDR Photo Organization Tip

If you’re into HDR photography and you’re like me, you’ve got a lot of HDR photos sitting around that you’ll never do anything with. Especially the in-between photos that are left from your bracketed series that you may not need to create your final HDR with. In this video tip, I’ll show you a quick way to help organize that chaos and make things easier to work with.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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20 Comments

  1. I also stack the remaining bracketed photos together. Then I take the generated HDR image and put on top of that stack. That way, I only see the final image but the original images are still there, behind it in the stack.

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  2. Hi Matt. I’m a big fan and have attended your workshops amd have your books..
    It seems that if you delete most of the bracketed photo’s most of the time, it would behoove you to just set your bracketing to 5 images in the first place. and keep all that clutter out of LR. Just my opinion. Keep up the good work and Thanks.

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    • Yep, that would be great Jeff. Except Nikon doesn’t give you the option to shoot 5 images and have them separated by 2 stops each. You’re stuck with a 1-stop change in exposures so to get to the point I want, I have to choose 9 shots and delete the unwanted ones.

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  3. Nice tip Matt.

    Question,

    are you still using Photomatix 4 or have you been using Nik HDR ?

    What are your Pro’s and Con’s on those?

    Ron

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  4. Great tip. Although I shoot Canon (3 stop brackets) I make it 5 stop by shooting one set with -2 Exposure comp and a second set with +2, then use 2 stop increments. That gives me doubles of the 0 (best) and a range of -4 to +4 with 5 images. Going in and killing the duplicate 0 was/is always a chore.

    The “line them up and kill the column” idea is great. So is the spray can.

    However, the reason I’m writing this is to ask you to do a tip that focuses on uses of the spray can. I’ve been using LR since 1.1, but never use and don’t really understand that tool’s purpose and benefits. Can you shed some light, please?

    Thanks

    Steve

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    • Hi Steve,

      I know Matt did a video tutorial way back on the use of the spray can. From what I understand, its used for tagging (star ratings, flags, ect) the same tag.

      I don’t use it much either, but I’m sure there are some good uses and the right time it would be handy to use. I agree that maybe Matt could do a more in depth video ( just a bit longer than his usual ) that would show the most common occasions the tool would come into play as a choice to use.

      If you have itunes you could always subscribe to this podcast and search the video tutorials for the one Matt did way back, another podcast by Terry White “The Creative Suite Podcast” is another resource as he also covered the tool as well.
      With Matt being busy during this time of year on the road, he may not have the time needed right now to do such an in depth Podcast. But then again, maybe one of his books or Scotts Lightroom book for Photographers would be good to get.

      Ron

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  5. Great tip Matt – love the use of Painter to simplify the selection process for deletion.

    Keep up the good work.

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  6. So why do you shoot 9 Frames when you delete 4 of them, couldn’t you just shoot 5?

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    • I guess I should read the other comments first (like your answer to Jeff)

      I’m a Canon shooter, so I didn’t know that you can’t change the stops…

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  7. great tip. it can also be used for pano shots. I tend to overshoot how many frames I need to stitch together for a pano shot. this would be helpful in deleting the unwanteds. I also group the pano shots into stacks with the final stitch on top.

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  8. Too bad you can’t ctrl-click the top image in a column, then alt+shift+click the last image in the column to get all images in that column selected.
    The way you show it, you can only delete as many pictures as rows are shown on your screen then have to paint+delete until you get them all.
    Is there a way?

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  9. Great tip! Thanks! I too would love to see a post on uses of the spray can.

    Lynn

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  10. Matt- Great tip on getting rid of extra brackets you don’t need. Do you have a tip on managing all the brackets you do keep, when doing HDR?

    Thanks

    Toni

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  11. Good tip. I also use the “auto stacking by capture time” feature of LR to group and stack the photos of each group of bracketed shots. I just select a capture time period that is around a second or couple of seconds and all of the photos that are taken within that capture time period get grouped together and stacked. You have to play with it a bit to get the proper time period.

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  12. Hey Matt,

    Another great tip! I really like the spray can tip. I’ve seen it, but never knew what it was for … very interesting! By the way, I took your class on sharpening yesterday. Excellent job!!! I really got a lot out of it even thought you didn’t cover Nik Sharpening Pro 3.:-) I know, you told me earlier I wouldn’t see anything … just kidding! I’ve never used Smart Sharpening, but now I will start looking into it.

    Take care, and thanks!

    Dennis

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  13. I agree with Steve..I’m new to LR and would appreciate tips on the painter tool, its purpose and creative ideals for its use. Nice tip for deleting multiple rejected photos.

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  14. Great tip Matt. I don’t shoot as many HDR series as you do, so the alignment trick wouldn’t work as well for me. In the grid view, I simply display the EV value in the upper right corner. Then it is easy to select the images to use for HDR processing and which images to discard. I also color code all HDR sets as “red” so I can find them all later and process them.

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  15. Nice tips, never thought how much easier it would be to group the amount of brackets in rows so its easier to delete the duplicate/unwanted exposures. I shoot Canon so I usually shoot -4,-2,0 and then 0,+2,+4 so I usually have an extra 0 exposure.

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  16. Hi Matt,

    Hey Great tip! I especially liked the spray can tip! This is my second try to leave a comment. For some reason I can’t leave a comment some times on your blog and on Kelby TV. I know I’m Italian, but I’m harmless! :-) Oh, I took your Sharpening Class on Wednesday and it was fantastic! Nicely done! I like the Smart Sharpening! I’ve never tried it until yesterday and I really like it. Do you have specific settings you use for say Portraits, Landscapes and Architecture?

    Again, another great tip!

    Dennis

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  17. I like to batch process my stacks of bracketed files. However, they are usually intermingled with plenty of non-bracketed single shots.

    Is there a way to view ONLY the stacks one has created? If there is I can not figure it out.

    Thank you,

    Kevin

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