Practical IBL Reference

I've been brushing up on HDR photography for IBL and rendering reference. Below are 2 sets of panoramas that should serve as good reference for lighting, exposure, color correction and tone-mapping. They were shot in [pretty much] the same locations at different times and processed for HDR identically. Final color temperature of 6000k and exposures set relative to 10 EVs.

Shooting full range HDR panos is more of an art than I expected it to be, especially when on a budget. Getting 8 or more bracketed shots to line up with moving clouds, changing lighting conditions, etc. can be tricky. I found Christian Block's The HDR Handbook and his site hdrlabs.com very helpful when working on this stuff, I highly recommend if you are looking into shooting your own IBL.

Rocky Mountain Lot - 3 Images :: Download Set

For the first two panos I shot a set of brackets with a neutral density filter to completely capture the sun. This worked pretty well, but there is a slight shift toward blue on the very high end of the sun spot, I believe this is because my filter was cheap and not exactly neutral. 

There were a few lens aberrations that I removed, but struggled with how much of the sun flare to paint out. Its hard to tell what is natural over-brightening of the sky, and what is from the lens so I erred on the side of more flare. Not sure what is the most correct thing to do, I need to look into this more.

If you plan on using these for IBL, it would be best to paint out the sun and use a directional light instead.

Hotel High Rise - 4 Images :: Download Set 

These turned out better than the previous set. I was really hoping for the sun to peak through the clouds long enough to shoot a pano, but no luck. On the flip side, the darks in the last shot don't have as much range as I would have hoped, but it is VERY dark near 0EVs, so probably not too useful anyway. 

EV Reference Image :: HTML Viewer :: Download

This is reference for relative brightness and color temperature across both sets. Check out the HTML HDR link or download the EXR (most accurate) to see different exposures.

All of these shots are provided for free, as long as they are used for awesome
and you tell me about it!