I have created 9 image 1/3 stop bracket series for HDR processing in Lightroom. The most unexposed images have PLENTY of detail in the highlights. MOST of the time, MOST of that detail is missing completely and not recoverable once Lightroom processes the images. SHADOW detail is fine, but highlight regularly is missing. The .dng usually has little -highlight in the slider left. adding the rest does not recover significant highlights. Adjustment brushes still do not recover the detail. Trying to understand if it was there in a few of the series, why it is not there at the end of the processing.
You should use far fewer images to create the HDR. You probably only need to use the images from your sequence at every stop or two stops. 1/3 stop brackets are way overkill. So probably only three of the 9 you shot. The HDR assembler in Lightroom gets confused with too many images and tends to do what you describe. I don't know if this will solve it for this sequence but it is something I ran into.
A couple of things
First one has little to do with Lightroom specifically, but post processing of bracketed images for HDR ir tone mapping.
Why 1/3 stops? What is your cameras dynamic range. Instead of 9 frames at 1/3 stop, for , what, 3 stops total, go for 3 or even 2 frames at 1-1/2 to 2 stops (one ir the other)
A bit of art and science goes into most efficient number of frames and how many stops of separation.
I see I was composing while another member was answering the same.
Yes, ignore some of your frames, first evaluate the most over and most under, in your case probably not an issue, but is one all or near all black? One all white? A ignore those.
If not keep the end two, and perhaps the middle one, that's what, 1-1/2 stop separation, 3 frames, try that, make Lightroom do less work.
it happens the same to me. i bracketed 7 photos on a lumix gh5. already tried to use 3 of them (the center one and the extremes), but still not retaining details on highlihts (in the photo secuence its plenty of details in the highlights)
First of all, you have added this to a three years old thread. That is never a good idea, because it is unlikely that this is the same problem, if only because you probably won't be using the same version of Lightroom. You need to give more information. What did you try after you merged the images? Merge to HDR only creates the new HDR image and (if you checked the 'Auto' box) gives you a starting point for your edits. You do have to make edits yourself, however. So what did you do to try to get more detail in the highlights? And did you check that the darkest image you used in the merge has enough detail in the highlights to begin with?
i merged 7 pics shot with tripod. +/- 3 stops. merge them in LR with "auto" option. darkest exposed photo have higlights / windows perfectly exposed. Brightest photo / Shadows are perfectly detailed. But when i merge them, i cant recover the higlights to the level of the individual photo, its kind of blown out, yet there is a perfectly exposed highlight picture in the 7 stack / HDR.
I´ve find solution in old threads before, several times.
i prefered to "revive" them, as many times i also found my self looking to solve particular issues like this, in the right thread, but not finding answers because the thread its too old /:
Thank you Johan for your time.
Can you post the assembled dng somewhere together with the brightest image? dropbox or somesuch? This might help chase down the problem. The HDR assembler in Lightroom is definitely not perfect but usually it does fairly well on the highlights part. It tends to not do the shadows well and use the underexposed images and introduce too much noise there. I've seen highlights go bad when the highlights are clouds that move between frames.
Why not post all the brackets?