Reader Steve in comments on the article Shooting Architectural Interiors reminded me that there are times we need to have speed and efficiency on our side. Or we just want to get through the boring part of processing images…that forever wait of watching progress bars on our screen.
So in those cases one of our options may be batch processing. I thought I would give a quick run through of batch processing images in Photomatix Pro 4.1
It’s a pretty simple process, IF you have your Ducks ( or exposures ) in a Row. This process will only work if all the images you have in your folder are in a series of shots, Say 3 Exposure auto Bracketed or 5 exposure.You have to make sure you don’t have any stray single images or messed up sequences. So once you have your folder in order you can proceed with the batching.
In the Photomatix Panel, Click on Batch Bracketed Photos and the new window will pop up.
The nice thing is we an make a choice here. Do we want to just merge the images and have our 32Bit image done with which we can Tone Map them separately at a later time. Or do we want the full process done and when it is all done we have a fully Merged and Tone Mapped image waiting in our folder when we get back from the run to Starbucks?
If you have a bunch of bracketed images that are of the same subject and conditions, you may be able batch including using Tone Mapping settings that you can set before you begin the process. But if you have a batch of images that are all over the place you may want to just have the images merged to the 32 bit file and then tone map each image separately. Believe me if you have a lot of images to work on. Even Merging all the files ahead of time is nice. Not that is saves any time. But you can go off and do something else while they are merging instead of sitting there while you do them one by one.
So we can see by the screen. That we have a bunch of choice and selections to make.
Click to enlarge in a new window
First off we choose If we want to Merge the files and then if we want to apply any Tone Mapping to them. We can choose any of the Tone mapping styles and also set the setting within them.
Next up in order is the number of images in the sequence, If we simply have say all 3 image sequences, we can choose that. But suppose we did some 3 image sequences and then also some 5 image sequences? Clicking on the advanced button will bring up a new window that allows us to have the software detect the sequences and it does so on a on time between shots process, If it detects an amount of time that is adjustable but say 4 seconds between, it assumes that you have started a new sequence. You can even choose to only merge 3 out of 5 exposure shot if you so choose in this panel.
Next down, You can choose the folder you want to process or the individual files you want to process, I like getting things arrange in the folder like I said earlier and just choosing that.
And then finally you can choose the destination that you want the final images to end up in. What type of file you want the Tone Mapped and the 32 Bit image to be saved as and also if you choose tone mapping do you want the 32 Bit image to be removed once the tone mapping is done.
It’s a pretty smooth and painless process with plenty of options.
I may not always use it for what I shoot since even if I shoot 300 images in an evening I may only choose to do 3 – 6 HDRs from the whole shoot. But other times or in cases like shooting Interiors for HDR you may want to use batching to speed along the process or at least allow you to get other things done while it’s all working.
Hope that helps,