Tripod Customization for HDR images

I don’t have much money but then I don’t want money because then I would have no time. I managed to get a digital SLR last year when I made myself work but now I’m broke.  I have found that you can get great images without spending much money.

My camera cost 499.99 and it came with two great lenses and now I can take as many photos as I want forever for nothing.

I have had some problems though.  How do you take an HDR image that looks really strange and different like the ones you see as examples in on the PhotomatixorArtizen web sites. I have the software to do the tonemapping but the results I have been getting, while stunning, are not nearly as good as they could be especially when using a camera that automatically shoots only three exposures not too far apart.  My camera that shot five gave pretty good results but its image quality wasn’t that good.  My camera changes the shutter speed to change the exposure when in manual mode. What it does in other modes I have no clue because I never use them. I have found that the trick is to manually move the shutter speed up and down a whole bunch and then take another set of three.  You need to get alot of exposure coverage to feed into the HDR software so you can really tweak it in the tone mapping.  You need a tripod or place it on the ground or your car when its not running so all the shots line up perfectly. You can use the aligning function in the programs but it hurts the image quality.  Since it requires the changing of the shutter speed you need to do more than push a button at least on my camera. I end up having to firmly smash the camera against the ground in order to keep it still enough when I move the dial to change the shutter speed.  That would probably not be a problem if I had one of those ridiculously expensive tripods but mine cost 19.95 or so at Best Buy(ugh).

In order to make my tripod keep my camera perfectly still when I turned that dial I did two things to my tripod.

this set up don't move y'all

this set up don't move y'all

First I added maybe five pounds of weight to the thing by duct taping two small barbells to the center shaft, then, since I found it too wobbly I wrapped a wire around it and used the ole visegrip to apply enough tension to make the tripod really stable.  Next post I’ll show you the results of all this strenuous work.

3 responses to “Tripod Customization for HDR images

  1. I have discovered that the camera must be really tight on the tripod, or mirror shake can still blur the shot. I have to look up how to lock the mirror up.

    I’m still working on an idea for a portable, pliable weight for holding the camera without a tripod. Duct tape may be involved.

  2. I was thinking of buying a big heavy workbench type vise and carrying it with me. I could put some rubber on either side of the camera and crank it down.

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