Multiple Exposure Blending vs High Dynamic Range
Unlike the more consumer-oriented EOS bodies, the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and its predecessors do not offer an in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature. As a result, the solution I worked towards in order to capture the high dynamic range found in stained glass windows was Multiple Exposure Blending (MEB).
Which ever process is used, a final image is created from a series of bracketed photographs (bracketing referring to taking a set of photographs in which one setting in the exposure triangle (ISO – Aperture – Shutter Speed) is changed. For each window I photograph, 20 images are captured each with a fixed ISO (50), fixed aperture (f/8.0) and varying shutter speeds (at 1/3rd stop increments).
It is possible to have HDR Software apply an algorithm to blend portions of the mages together through tonal mapping, but I much prefer the manual approach of MEB. By using layers in post production, I am able to select the optimum appearance of each glass element within the stained glass window and merge them together into one ‘optimum’ image. While this method is both time-consuming and skill-intensive, it achieves the most accurate results:
One of twenty bracketed images, unedited.
The final image after Multiple Exposure Blending.