ImageFuser is a MacOSX program that fuses multiple exposures of one scene into an image with greater detail and well balanced exposure by using the well exposed areas of the original multi-exposure images. ImageFuser is a graphical frontend for the open source command line tools Enfuse and Align_Image_Stack. Next to these tools Phil Harvey's ExifTool is used to copy exif, jfif, tiff, iptc, gps, icc profile data etc. to the new images.
ImageFuser is multi-lingual. Currently with English, Dutch and German, and partly French, German and Italian. It can be easily translated in any language. See the manual: Appendix B.
ImageFuser is GPL Open Source software. It's free to use for as long as you wish and 100% functional, but if you like it and continue to use it, a donation is appreciated.
ImageFuser is written in AppleScript Studio as a Universal application. It should work on any Mac running Tiger or newer.
Bracketing and dynamic range of digital camera's.
If you use a digital camera you will probably mostly use it on automatic exposure mode. In this mode, the camera tries to estimate an overall average exposure for the picture. If you are in a situation with great contrast and lighting differences, like a dark church with light windows, or bright sun with deep shadows, this will mostly result in overexposed light areas, loosing details, and underexposed dark areas, again loosing details. This due to the (limited) dynamic range of digital cameras (see middle picture in table below).
To compensate for this you can also make an under-exposed and over-exposed picture of the same scene. The underexposed picture "will take care" of the details in the light sections, which were overblown in the original (see left picture in table below). The overexposed picture will now properly register the details in the darker sections. You can merge these pictures into one final picture using the relevant information from all pictures and creating the best possible optimum. Making a "normal" exposure picture, one or more underexposed pictures, and one or more overexposed pictures is known as bracketing. Most camera's today have an automatic exposure bracketing function. Almost all cameras have a manual exposure compensation of -2 or -3 EV and +2 or +3 EV.
See more examples here.
There are two techniques of creating these pictures and ImageFuser (or actually Enfuse) is using the exposure blending (exposure fusion) technique, as Enfuse is based on this algorithm. It is best to use a tripod (and a steady subject) to shoot your bracketed series. In case you don't have a tripod (with you), and sometimes even in cases with a tripod, your images might not be correctly aligned (see simplified example). This will result in a smudged, unsharp final picture. To compensate for this we need align_image_stack. Align_image_stack will analyse your pictures and align them correctly on top of each other based on equal points in these pictures. Enfuse now can merge these "pretreated" pictures.
ImageFuser uses both command line tools Enfuse and Align_Image_Stack and gives you a user friendly access to all options and settings of both tools. Every change in enfuse setting is immediately reflected in the preview window.
This is a universal application for MacOSX and can be used on MacOSX 10.4 and newer.