Eliminating Ghosting in HDR Images

Final HDR Imae using -2EV as Ghost Reference Image
Final HDR Image using -2EV as Ghost Reference Image
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This photograph shows Harvey Rice School with Saint Luke’s Manor in the background. It is a part of my project chronicling the historic renovation of Cleveland’s Saint Luke’s Hospital, and its transformation to Saint Luke’s Manor. The hospital moved from downtown Cleveland to this beautiful building in 1927, and closed in 1999. The main section and the west wing have been repurposed for affordable senior living. The east wing is nearing completion as the new home of one of Cleveland’s leading charter schools and office space for non-profit organizations. The school stands on the site once occupied by the Saint Luke’s Training School for Nurses, built in 1946 and demolished in 2000.
I had been waiting for an interesting sky, and yesterday was promising. Unfortunately, there was a great deal of wind, and wind causes ghosting when combining 3 to 5 exposures as an HDR image. I use NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to combine the bracketed exposures into a single High Dynamic Range image. This enhances the final image by pulling detail out of deep shadows and burned out highlights, resulting in an image that compares most closely to that which is seen by the human eye. The post was inspired by a recent one by SpeedDemon2 Photography
HDR Image using the Default Ghost Reference Image (0EV)
HDR Image using the Default Ghost Reference Image (0EV)

This image gives a good idea of how windy it was. Ghosting is obvious in the flag and flag poll, and in the tree branches on the right side of the image.

Single-Image HDR Image
Single Exposure HDR Image

HDR Efex Pro 2 can extend the dynamic range of a single image through complex algorithms, but the final result is superior when using multiple, bracketed exposures. I prefer the result that I obtained (the first image in this post) using five images, and experimenting with the the selection of the Ghost Reference Image. I only wish the flag was blowing from left to right! The image is now ready for final touch-up.

2 thoughts on “Eliminating Ghosting in HDR Images”

  1. Sometimes all it takes is trying a different reference image when merging the bracket set to get NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to render a better solution to ghosting; flags and people are two areas where ghosting can be problematic.

    I still prefer multiple images to single frames to create HDR images. As you can see from your examples the combined images have a broader tonality than the single frame image does. Nice work with this image and thanks for sharing your results with us.

  2. Thanks, Nick. This post was inspired by Sunday Evening Strollers. I do agree with your preference for multiple exposure images. There is no question about the broader tonality. Thanks for stopping by!


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