Lightroom: Smarter "Sync Settings" and "Previous" for photos shot with bracketing

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Why not make Sync Settings (Library)/Previous (Develop) actions when applied to photos within a bracketing sequence take into account Exposure Bias values from EXIF to automatically compensate for +/- EV? It would save the constant manual (but perfectly predictable given the EXIF value) exposure correction one has to apply to make all the photos look equally exposed.
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Boris Shapiro

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Posted 7 years ago

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Lee Jay

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It's already there - match total exposures.
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Boris Shapiro

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I'm talking about doing that automatically when copying setting from one photo in a series to the rest. Otherwise instead of doing in in one click (with "Previous") you have first to copy settings and then apply match total exposures. An option like "automatically match total exposures when copying settings" would be far more useful.
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Lee Jay

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You're basically talking about adding match total exposure to the sync/copy dialog, instead of making it its own command. With that, I agree.
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Boris Shapiro

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No, I suggest, if possible, a step further.

Let me explain how my workflow looks like: I often shoot with bracketing, and I prefer to develop my photos one by one. That is, I develop the first photo of a sequence and then go through the rest applying "Previous". So, as you can see, I do not use Sync Settings regularly, for my workflow that would have meant some three of four extra mouse clicks for each series.

That is why I suggest introducing automatic exposure matching as a general option (which I would readily leave on; others may choose otherwise) applicable to both Sync Setting and Previous commands instead of an extra click option within only the Sync Settings dialog.

Now, the real question is whether LR can reliably detect bracketing sequences on its own to apply this suggested auto exposure matching. As far as I know, there is no dedicated bracketing metadata in EXIF apart from Exposure Bias.

Do you think it would be feasible to make LT to try to guess cases of bracketing by comparing whether two or more photos have their EXIF values identical save for a telltale Exposure Bias variation? That is, if LR has no other, direct means of telling (nearly) identical contents.

I think there should be little false positives or false negatives with that. No one makes single shots with bracketing (save by forgetting to switch to continuous shooting), I believe. Theoretically, for continuous shooting we have minimum shots per second data for all the major cameras. So, if a photo is within a minimum shots per second time limit from the previous one and has all its setting identical to it save that the latter has a telltale non-zero Exposure Bias value we can more or less safely assume it is part of the same bracketing sequence. I think it is possible to teach LR to do the trick.
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Lee Jay

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I don't think this is directly viable. Previous doesn't bring up a dialog. Thus, it would have no way to know if you want to sync the total exposure of the setting of the exposure slider.

I think we'd need this FR first:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

If we had that and we had match moved to the sync dialog, then we'd have exactly what you want.
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Boris Shapiro

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If Previous is applied within a sequence, I do not see a single reason NOT to apply match total exposure when copying settings. Do you? The one you've just edited will already have its exposure set correctly - then all you need is to auto-adjust for exposure bias when copying the rest of the changes made to it. It is a matter of correctly detecting bracketing sequences, then, isn't it?
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Lee Jay

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"Do you?"

Yes - I shoot many sequences that aren't bracketed and that have changing exposures as I pan quickly.

How would LR know you're editing a bracketed sequence and not just random images tied together? You'd have to tell it somehow, and having that dialog available would enable that (you'd check match or exposure, but not both).
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Boris Shapiro

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I was speaking, of course, about applying auto match exposure to bracketed sequences only. But are you sure you manage to manually change exposures AND shoot your non-bracketed sequences at a speed comparable to built-in continuous shooting mode with bracketing on? If not, the longer delay between shots in your sequence is a pretty safe way to tell it from a real bracketed one.
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Lee Jay

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The bottom line is there's no way for the application to know you're shooting a bracketed sequence or not reliably unless you tell it.
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Boris Shapiro

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Wait a moment, please. There may be no way to KNOW, but there is a way to GUESS, and I've argued that this way is apparently error-free.

The argument stands until one gives me a genuine example of a fast (as fast as the camera's continuous shooting) non-bracketed sequence with, crucially, exposure bias.

You unfortunately have not answered by question about your pan sequences. I suppose, if you meant manual exposure changes while shooting such a sequence, you can not change your exposure and shoot your camera as fast as the camera itself can when shooting continuous bracketed sequences. So this case will not produce a false positive.

If you, however, meant that you camera can automatically evaluate and change exposition while continuously shooting a changing scene (panning, for example), such changes would not be written into EXIF as exposure bias but rather as a different main exposure value. Again, not a chance of mistaking it for a bracketed sequence.
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Lee Jay

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You're assuming that all bracketed sequences are shot quickly, and that all of them are done using exposure bias. Neither one is the case. Some are done manually, some automatically. Some automatic systems record that as exposure bias, some don't. Some people shoot them in burst, some slowly.
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Boris Shapiro

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Cameras that don't mark bracketing with exposure bias values is a shame. But then, if you have one of them, no one will force you to switch the option I request on!

And I really do not get why would anyone shoot manual bracketed sequences with long pauses in between. Unless the scene is absolutely dead still it makes little practical sense to me, because the scene will inevitably change.

Still, I suppose the overwhelming majority of photographers shoot bracketed sequences quickly and would appreciate the option I suggested.