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Frame Averaging Case Study: Patriarch Grove Pre-Dawn

This case study in the nascent frame averaging section of Making Sharp Images shows the benefits of frame averaging, comparing a single frame to 2, 4, 9, 12 frames in an extreme dynamic range situation in which a maximum shadow boost and other contrast control measures were needed.

For this image, I wished to preserve all the detail in the very bright sky and have reasonable detail in the very dark shadowed areas, at least in terms of dynamic range. I have never before been able to make an image of this kind with this high a quality in terms of dynamic range—the foreground was nearly black.

Making Sharp Images: Frame Averaging Case Study: Patriarch Grove Sunrise

This study applies to any kind of digital camera of any brand. Includes images up to 60 megapixels, plus crops.

f8 @ 0.3 sec electronic shutter frame averaging 12, ISO 100; 2019-10-25 06:43:31
Sony A7R IV + Sigma FE 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art @ 14mm
ENV: Patriarch Grove, altitude 11600 ft / 3536 m, 33°F / 0°C
RAW: LACA corrected, push 1.5 stops, +100 Shadows, -69 Highlights, +40 Whites, Chroma NR {10,50,50}, USM {10,50,0}, push 1.8 stops

[low-res image for bot]
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