Instead of babysitting lightroom for 48 minutes a day just waiting for progress bars to crawl from one side of the screen to the other, let me make better use of my time.
This seems like the least effort for the Lightroom team as well -- just add the ability to call the headless mode HDR system with a list of photos to merge, a table with the settings, and a callback that reports the resulting image.
This lets you initiate many merges -- dozens or hundreds -- and LR will process them one at a time. LR will show you the progress of the merges when you click the progress bar in the upper left corner:
To prepare a large batch of merges using the last-used merge settings:
1. Stack each set of photos to be merged.
2. Do Photo > Stacking > Collapse All Stacks.
3. Select each stack in turn and do Shift + Ctrl + H ("headless merge").
Unfortunately, you can't select all of the stacks and do Shift + Ctrl + H -- LR gives "An internal error has occurred". You have to select each in turn and start the merge.
Sigh, it seems like whoever designed this improvement didn't stop to actually think how it might be used. But overall, it's a considerable improvement for doing large batches of merges.
I have been doing a lot of HDR work recently, mostly interior photography for hostels. Is there a way I can tell Lightroom to HDR every 3 photos in a folder? A script or something? Rather than having to manually select every 3 photos and pressing Shift+Ctrl+H?
I'm using LR Classic for merging HDR DNGs from multiple RAW files (for commercial interior photography, landscape photography etc.) and current tools consume to much of my time for simple tasks. It's not a question of engine performance - it's a question of how it works. Let me explain in detail:
1) Auto Stack by Capture Time - does not work well because the total exposure time may vary greatly and "Time between stacks" isn't reliable for stacking because of it. It can take the camera 1 second or even less to capture all 5 frames in a 3EV bracketing (1/8000s + 1/1000s + 1/125s + 1/15s + 1/2s), or it can take 90 seconds and more when I do bracketing in low light, while shooting evening landscape or interior using low ISO. With current version of LR Classic I can't simply ask the app to "stack HDR exposures" and need to do it by myself, losing tons of time. I think a feature like "Auto Stack by time between captures" needs to be added and it has to use the time it took the camera to do the capture based on EXIF data. If the time was <1s (including exposure time in EXIF) than it means the photographer used HDR mode or continuous drive mode. I mean that if the 1st frame was taken on 18:55:01 (1/125s) next one on 18:55:01 (1/15s), next one on 18:55:02 (1/2s), next one on 18:55:03 (4s) and the last one on 18:56:07 (60s) they all need to stack together because it was one HDR 5x3EV capture. The LR engine has to include exposure time together with time between captures for stacking. This also definitely will help when stacking reportage photos when I used fast continuous drive mode like 10-20-30-60FPS on my Sony A7R3 and A9 or my Olympus EM-1 Mark II and there can be more improvements in future LR versions for reportage photographers to help them faster cull series.
2) HDR merging - I often use the Ctrl+Shift+H shortcut to merge a stack to HDR. The problem is that there is no delayed queue and the merging process starts immediately. This slows even my powerful desktop PC, and on my MacBook Pro results a great slowdown. Right now I do need to select every stack by myself and press the shortcut to start merging - when the CPU is overloaded with merging even the selection with the mouse works really slow, and I have to spend lot of time simply sitting with the computer and pressing, pressing and pressing the shortcut, waiting few seconds every time because the system is overloaded with calculations. My idea is that it would be great to have an option to add all merges to a queue and later execute it when I do not need my computer. Also an option "Merge all stacks to HDR" would be great. This also applies to panorama merging - batch/queue and sending all stacks to merging will improve photographers performance. For most of photographers merging a lot of work into a big batch, starting it and leaving a computer calculating for few hours is better then siting in front of the display with sluggish interface when the computer is overloaded with rendering.
P.S. Options like "Automatically create Smart Preview for merged photos" and "Automatically create 1:1 preview for merged photos" would be great too.
BTW, most things in LR could benefit from a batch/queue feature. If somebody in Adobe is interested in a feedback from users who use LR for working with hundreds of thousands of photos every month you can contact me for detailed explanation :-)
Lightrooms HDR is the best in the business, however it still remains a clunky and time consuming process to group effectively and execute in a time efficient fashion. For a long time now users have been asking for a way to Execute Multiple HDR groups in one go after firstly creating the bracket groups. Currently there are two ways to bulk batch HDR groups and both are frustrating and time inefficient. You either group your bracket shots followed by Shift+Cntrl+H each time you group. Or you go through an entire shoot grouping all the brackets together and then go back one by one and hit Shift+Cntrl+H on each group one by one. Either way is slow and clunky because the thumbnail bar at the bottom keeps annoyingly jumping each time you set off a hdr process. The only way to make this a time efficient and enjoyable process is to firstly create all your bracket groups and for each bracket group you tag for HDR Batch Execute much like rating a file. Once all your bracket groups are created and every shoot I often have 30 or more, the HDR Batch can be started for all groups that have been tagged for HDR Batch. At the end of the batch all HDR tags on grouped images would be cleared. Please seriously consider this function, it would save us a lot of time and frustration. Whilst the batch is in process, we can take a break and make coffee coming back to a job well done to continue editing the hdr's
Bulk HDR processing. There are times when I have a large series of landscape photos that I want to process as HDR. Doing them one set at a time is a drag. There are times when I will have 50+, and then I want to turn some of the sets into panoramas. Photomatix Pro has bulk processing but they end up as JPG or TIFF images, not DNGs.
All we'd have to do is make sure our source folder doesn't have any extra shots, and we'll be golden.
I just did some basic math.
I do 3 brackets for all our real estate listings. Every merge in ACR (okay, not LR, I know, but I love ACR so much, and I can merge with a single keystroke) takes about 31 seconds. I'll need to do anywhere from 70-120 merges per listing, with a median around 90 merges.
So if we multiply it all out, it comes to a total of just over TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS of my life I've spent over the last year and half's 107 listings just sitting waiting for that sweet, sweet, .dng file.
Batch processing would free up at least a full day of my time for each day of shooting. It boggles the mind that Adobe has not addressed this. Right now I can HDR process about 5 or 6 three photo stacks at a time. Takes about 10 minutes... I do this all day and play my guitar in between - lol
Please Please Please Adobe Please fix this problem it's ridiculous.
I also edit video on Premiere Pro - which has a program called Encore which will batch process video production into whatever format I want - I can stack as many video productions as I want into Encore and hit "start" and I'm off doing something else. It's great! We obviously need the same thing in LR!
Sorry for the rant.
I am making timelapses on a regular basis. Quite often HDR timelapses from day to night. They consist of around 800 hdr images, (800x3). So I have to select 3 images, click shift + ctrl + h to merge an hdr and repeat this 800 times in order to merge all the hdrs. Sometimes I have up to 100 operations in progress. It would be of great convenience if there was an option automerge HDR. I select the folder, click automerge HDR, then go to sleep and in the morning all of the images are merged, without the need to click 800 times. This will be a huge timesaver!