Reading
blue-triangle-element

Articles

PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles
blue-triangle-element

Latest

https://vimeo.com/445329947 Live Examples.... Project Delivery Pages Real Estate: show.tours/ItCnSgAgv3nHKTufNojhReal Estate: kc.tours/i2xMP5V4sutumSmy8feRMulti-Family: show.tours/hGsMGHju6oAyM2aikV5wSenior Living: show.tours/W3pDd2dPALkcLIEf9wLV Prope ...

COMMUNITY
blue-triangle-element

Forum

The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion
blue-triangle-element

Latest

View Now
Contest
blue-triangle-element

OVERVIEW

For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules
Conference
blue-triangle-element

Conference

PFRE’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas provides real estate and interior photographers from around the world an opportunity to meet on an annual basis, to learn, share best practices and make connections. Many of the leading names in our field are selected to speak on topics aimed at improving our craft and advancing our business. It’s a comfortable, relaxed environment that is fun, easy to get to, and affordable.
blue-triangle-element

Upcoming

PFRE 2020-16-9

PFRE Conference 2020

Registration not open yet
App Store
blue-triangle-element

Latest News

Reader Poll: Which Topics Should Be Covered at the 2020 PFRE Virtual Conference?

Planning is well underway for the 2020 PFRE Virtual Conference and we' ...

PFRE Conference 2020 Announcement

As many of you know, last year we hosted the first-ever PFRE Conferenc ...

Podcast
blue-triangle-element

Podcasts

The PFRE podcast is focused on having meaningful conversations with world-class photographers, business professionals and industry leaders, with the goal to inform and inspire.
All Podcasts

Coming Soon...

Resources
blue-triangle-element

Resources

PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.
blue-triangle-element

Directory

Coming Soon...

How to Stack Images Shot Without a Tripod

Published: 02/10/2007
By: larry

Darren over at digital-photography-school.com posted a tutorial that is if interest to RE photographers that are not using Photoshop CS3. The tutorial, called Stacking Images shot without a Tripod illustrated how to stack and align images using PTAssembler (shareware) or Hugin (free).

The problem is if you want to shoot several images so you can blend the sky from one image with the foreground of another image you need to have the two images perfectly registered (aligned pixel for pixel). There are several was to do this:

  1. You can shoot RAW and open the image twice once to get a properly exposed sky and a second time to get a foreground exposure. I know, there are many folks out there that choose not to shoot RAW.
  2. You can use a tripod and shoot bracketed images.
  3. You could use the PS CS3 auto align feature.
  4. You can use the technique described in the tutorial to align the images. The benefit of this technique is that it can be done with free software and no tripod.

Of all of these I still like 1. the best. With this technique you can extract multiple exposures many stops apart in exposure from one RAW image. When shooting panoramas when  this technique  is invaluable.

9 comments on “How to Stack Images Shot Without a Tripod”

  1. Can you explain why shooting RAW is better than shooting JPGs in option 1? I have learned so much from your blog, I think it is fantastic. I have been doing multiple exposures now for all my shots, and editing them in PhotoShop so you can see out windows and so on. I've been doing this with jpg's though and I'm not sure of the benefits of shooting RAW.
    Thanks again,
    Sara.

  2. Sara,
    I keep forgetting that the new versions of Photoshop/Lightroom work on JPGs to. You will probably be just fine exposure adjusting a JPG like you are doing.

    Technically you are supposed to get a higher quality result if you do it with a RAW file. I haven't done it both ways to see how the difference compares but here are a couple of references on the subject:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm
    http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/pix/rawvsjpg/

    You have a good point, I think I'll shoot an comparison for # 1 and see if these difference is worth the extra storage space it takes to store RAW files.

    In a real estate shooting situation shooting RAW may not be worth it because the final images are relatively small.

  3. Because the final output is relatively small, and used for fairly low-end applications (e.g. even the printed flyers aren't printed at very high quality), I shoot medium JPEGS, and it's fine.

    However, when I'm shooting something that I think will be tricky to post-process, or when I know I'll have to use Photoshop or Lightroom to dig out a really deep shadow, I'll switch to RAW.

    While it's true that CS2/3 and LR will "work" on JPEGS and TIFFs, the functionality is MUCH better on RAW files - especially in terms of suppressing noise and other artifacts from the processing.

    Excluding real estate work, I would never consider shooting anything other than RAW.

    Oh - one other point: if you think you are shooting something spectacular that will end up in your portfolio or that you'll want to keep long-term -- don't shoot JPEG, or at the least, convert it to a .dng or TIFF as soon as possible. JPEGs degrade over time, because of the compression algorithm that's applied each and every time it's saved.

  4. Well, I think it's very important to do it "right" the first time. (Of course we all have our "right" and "wrong" way of doing things!). For me the "right" way is to shoot RAW and use a tripod. If I do this I have many more options available to me at post production time. (In thinking further the following image would have worked had I used JPG rather than RAW).

    I just did this today: http://www.davidpalermo.com/hdrimage.jpg

    The image was created by combining the 6 images together.

    This is a very difficult room for me to shoot. (I am sure some of you can do it with ease but for some reason I am having a difficult time showing that it's a sunny day outside. The view outside was important to the Real Estate Agent.

    Would this image have turned out better had I used lots of strobes inside? I only have one and am pretty tight on money at the moment so I have to be careful. I do like the idea of having about 3 strobes. Currently I use a Canon 580ex and really like it. Any opinions on this image?

    The other problem was the way the wood floor looks. I used a Tilt-Shift lens so the verticals are all straight but the floor and the angle at which I took the shot makes the room look like it's slanting to the right! I am not sure how to correct that given that the agent wanted as much of the outside view as possible!

    Thanks!

    David

  5. For me, the biggest advantage to shooting in raw is for white balance. The difference in image quality is negligible. When jpegs are loaded in to Lightroom, the original kelvin values are gone and you get an arbitrary scale that starts at 0 based on what the WB setting was when the image was recorded. Raw images retain the standard kelvin scale. This way, I can copy and paste color settings to all of the images and set images at exactly the same WB. This can't be done with jpegs. For real estate shots, I went from raw to jpeg...and then back to raw for this reason.

  6. As a user of PTAssembler to stitch mosaics, I was intrigued to see it's application toward registering hand held images. Brilliant! PTA is similarly useful in 'verticalizing' and 'debarrelling' difficult images that resist transforming in Photoshop.

  7. I have only used jpegs only and have learned to control my interior lighting pretty well, but I'm switching to RAW for all my exteriors from this post on. Thanks Larry for this thought for getting more exposure without using hdr.

  8. david that image is beautiful, and I can immediately get a feel for the room with view. How did you PP to get the sky so blue? I don't see that color in any of your 6 images.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

magnifiercrossmenucross-circle