Lightroom Video – Helping You Manage Your HDR and Bracketed Photos

If you shoot a lot of HDR or bracketed photos (you know, multiple exposures), then you probably have a ton of hard drive space being taken up by photos that you’ll never do anything with. Well, depending on how many frames you shoot, you may also have images that you simply don’t need. This week I’ve got a great little tip for you to use a VERY little-used tool in Lightroom, for easily finding and deleting some of the ones you won’t use.


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  1. would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

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  2. I�d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also

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  3. Love the tip, Matt. Wish my Nikons would let me select 1.5 or 2 stop bracket increments though instead. Wonder if enough of us ask would Nikon (and other camera manufacturers) change this? Seems it couldn’t be more than a couple lines of code in the firmware that would need tweaking.

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  4. Thanks Matt for the tip and video.

    You may want to follow this up with an
    entry on stacking in LR as this goes hand-in-hand
    with the above.

    See you in Toronto !

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  5. Matt:

    I think it would be easier to shoot a lesser number of brackets. 5 should be more than enough. To me 9 is overkill. Usually, I am pretty happy with three.

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    • Unfortunately it’s not that cut and dry. Depends largely on the photo that you’re taking. I can tell you that an interior with lots of shadows and a window visible, 5 exposures (+2 and -2) won’t cut it. Again, it just depends on the photo which is why alot of people still shoot 7 or 9.

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  6. say to click on the painter icon, but I don’t get any options. Right click does nothing and a left click simply selects it. How do I tell it that any I “spray” are rejects?

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    • Bob,
      Do you see the paint icon? If so, click on it and to the right of the word “paint” you can choose which you want to “paint”. There’s a drop down arrow and you have a choice from keywords to target collection. Once you make your choice, click on the images to say add specific keywords. Your cursor is now the paint can.
      Hope that helps.

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  7. Got a question related to processing HDR images that are in a Collection. When I export the images via HDR Efex Pro 2 (or the LR plugin for Photomatrix), the finished image doesn’t reimport back into the Collection. It does import into the folder where the images are, but not into the Collection. Is that normal or to be expected?

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  8. Thank you Matt for the reminder … Great Tip. Just curious, if you use Bracket during the day, mixed with singles and brackets of 5, 7, and 9 during the shoot, how do you get them to line-up in your example. I haven’t figured this out yet unless I begin deleting a couple three here and there depending on the bracketed group I am working on at that time. Your suggestion(s) is appreciated. Thank you.

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  9. Hey Matt,

    Great tutorial and info! I got a great TNT tip from Brian Matiash on setting up a Canon for shooting bracketed shots, which I’m going to start doing. This will allow me to get 5 or 7 brackets, but you end up with two or three main exposures. This will allow me to get rid of the the main exposures I don’t need! Awesome!

    Thanks again!


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  10. Great little tip Matt. Thanks

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