Went to Sound Bites Grill, my favorite restaurant, to see some of my favorite musicians play and was not disappointed on either case. Food was great and the entertainment of Miller, Martin and Ki was stellar as usual.

And also as usual, even though I wasn’t working I brought my Lumix GX8 with the 20mm f1.7 lens to the party to try to push some features. The table I was at had a very tough view of the stage as far as the camera goes. Deep shadows in the corner and Sunlit rocks out the window behind. I thought I’d try the HDR setting to see how it would do. There are menu choices of bracketing by one, two or three stops but there’s also an automatic setting. Now there’s an additional part of this challenge we have moving people. I made a number of exposures with a few distorting features until I realized I needed to bump up the ISO to get faster shutter times and watch for moments ‘between the movements’ of the performers.

musicians live on stage

Finished image. But, what I’d like you to do is compare the two images below to see the difference.

musicians photographed in HDR

Straight out of Camera – 20mm @1.7 ISO 1600 Aperture Priority with auto setting for HDR capture


SOOC – 20mm @ f1.8 400 ISO Aperture Priority

Call for some more experimentation but I think the camera HDR setting handled a very difficult scene extremely well. A little additional processing in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop could tweak the HDR image to be somewhat better in taming the saturation and working tones a bit but I’m happy.

“Wait a minute Bob I thought the HDR feature saves images as jpegs. How are you going to process the file in ACR??”

If you have the image highlighted in Adobe Bridge using CMD R (mac) or Ctrl R (pc) will open the jpeg image in Adobe Camera Raw allowing you to use those controls. Very handy!

I also captured some 4K video that I haven’t had time to process. That will have to wait for another post…

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob