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05-20-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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Expoblend: new Kipi-plugin en standalone

For a lot of people this will sound like old news as it was already published back in March on the digikam website with the release of the newest version of Kipi-plugins. For those who do not yet know the parent-program, DigiKam:

"digiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac-OSX.

The people who inspired digiKam's design are the photographers like you who want to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs under Linux systems."

I have only now downloaded "Expoblending" with a recent update of my PCLinuxOS system but as shown on the DigiKam website, it is also available on MacOS and Windows - free of course as it is OpenSource. Expoblending uses align_image_stack[b](http://sourceforge.net/...itle=Align_image_stack#What_is_align_image_stack.3F) to register hand-held exposuresand Enfuse(Enfuse - PanoTools.org Wiki) to fuse the exposures.

Expoblending can work with JPEGs, TIFFs and even directly off of RAW files (including PEF and DNG) , where a bitdepth of 16 is maintained). Except for selecting the files to be processed and checking off a few options when processing the final images, the whole thing is fully automated. I have given it a try on a few handheld shots of the cathedral in Brussels that I took this weekend I'm quite satisfied with the userfriendliness of the processing and with the end-result. You can be the judge.

These were the original exposures (normal, -2 en +2 stops):


Lets start Expoblending:


And add three jpeg files (the eventual result will be an 8-bit PNG file):

or of course the RAW files, Pentax PEFs in this case(the eventual result will be a 16-bit PNG file):


We can now choose to have the three hand-held shot automatically registered:

This does take some time, especially when processing RAWs:

After which we are ready for the next and final step:


A few parameters can be adjusted to taste for Enfuse, which is normally a command-line tool such as having the levels adjusted automatically. You can obviously leave the last step out to be executed to taste in an image-editing package, like the GIMP.


And the final result can be saved:


This is the endresult, after some USM:


All of the screenprints are on my Fotki page Expoblend album | Mike Bing | Fotki.com

I feel that with exposure-blending the result remains more natural looking than with any HDR process I used. On top of that, noise is kept to a minimul, different lighting sources are replicated more as I remember having seen them and the amount of detail is exquisite. Not to mention the fact that a tripod is no longer essential!

05-20-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Looks like that worked wonders! You should rotate that photo a bit, though.

I take it this runs on gnome as well as KDE? If so, I'll give it a whirl!

Adam
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05-20-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Looks like that worked wonders! You should rotate that photo a bit, though.

I take it this runs on gnome as well as KDE? If so, I'll give it a whirl!
Although it is part of Digikam and probably needs a few KDE-related libraries (QT and kdelibs f.i.) there should be no reason it wouldn't run on Gnome.
05-20-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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Here is another link to see what you can do with align_image_stack:

A Free and Easy to Use Image Stacking System

And, yes, Adam, any KDE/QT app will run in gnome as long as the QT dependencies are pulled in which will happen with any modern linux distro when you install it.

Jack

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