Creating HDR Photos The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography

A simple 3-step formula for creating stunning HDR images
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If you create three different exposures from one single raw file, you are handling the same data.

What’s the Best HDR Software? Lightroom vs Photoshop vs Photomatix Pro

This causes all random noise to be located in the same position. By combining different files, random noise can be eliminated by HDR software. This will leave you with a cleaner image. There are many types of software on the market to help you combine HDR images. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here. This is a great update for landscape photographers. To start creating HDR images, hold down cmd or ctrl and select the exposure sequence.

You can also set a shortcut key for this. The control dialogue is extremely simple. You just need to enable or disable auto alignment, auto tone and ghost removal. After you have made your adjustments, click Merge. Lightroom will then create and generate a new. When the image is created, you can proceed to a normal Lightroom tuning process. Lightroom creates a raw file for your HDR file.

What exactly is HDR Photography?

This means that all data is being saved and you can use it like a normal raw image afterwards. This is the first software that I have come across that can do that. Everything has its downsides. Lightroom does not have a batch mode — you have to combine images one-by-one. For those who want to do HDR timelapse, this may not be the software you need. Photoshop gives me better image alignment and ghost removal. On the other hand, Lightroom sometimes creates blurry images, or more ghosts, after you enable ghost removal function.

You can have more flexibility and creative tools to retouch an image if you use Photoshop. You can also install different plug-ins to create different effects. The disadvantages of using Photoshop is that there is a steeper learning curve if you are a complete beginner. If you are an experienced retoucher, then Photoshop may be your cup of tea. Another method is to do it in Photoshop.

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You can then choose your sequence to merge. A checkbox on image alignment will appear on the right-hand side. In the tuning dialogue, you can choose to use 16 bit or 32 bit.

If you choose 16 bit, then you need to tune the image by different sliders like using Photomatix Pro. On the other hand, if you choose to merge to 32 bit, Photoshop will bring you to Adobe Camera Raw to tune the image. I find 32 bit is easier to use than 16 bit because there are more options to choose from in ACR. After you have finished basic toning, the image will open like a normal image in Photoshop. From this step, you can apply any retouches to your liking.

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Photomatix Pro used to be my favourite HDR software. It is easier to use, faster and has more presets for you to choose from. When you open up Photomatix, you can see its simple layout. Loading images into Photomatix is just as easy. When you have chosen the image files, click OK and Photomatix will bring up the control dialogue. You can enable or disable auto-alignment, de-ghost, noise reduction, chromatic aberrations and some simple raw settings.

You can choose manual or automatic mode. After you have finished de-ghosting, you will then get to the fun part, tone mapping the image. There are lots of presets for you to select. When you are happy with the result, just hit apply and save. Photomatix Pro also has batch mode. This is excellent if you want to create HDR timelapse.

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You just need to set it once and the program will do the rest for you — which is not possible in Lightroom and Photoshop. Click on Photo button in the top panel of Adobe Lightroom Develop module. Auto-align option will automatically align three images. Auto settings will apply Tonal and color adjustment for the merged HDR image. Check the Show Deghost Overlay checkbox. It will show the areas in an HDR image which are replaced as that of original images.

Apply Deghost Amount as Medium or High. Extension of merged HDR is. Note — Do not apply any crop, local or global corrections to the bracketed images. In the develop module, open the merged HDR image. You have already created this image in step 2. Shreyas S. Yadav is an engineer, wildlife and nature photographer from India. He is also a writer and lifelong adventure explorer. Through his writings, he teaches about digital post-processing and nature photography.

If you want to show an example with HDR, then go to place where you really need HDR to bring back shadows and highlights. What you have created is a waste of someones time and I got a headache of those out of the world blue sky. HDR is the Kardashian of photographic techniques.

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HDR is like throwing plastic in the ocean. HDR is a vaping smartass wearing a backwards ball cap and white sunglasses. Take 3 photos at different exposure levels.

Choose a good one and forget all this HDR nonsense. Adjust in Lightroom if you must.

All you accomplished is over-saturating it. Like, if you are trying to photograph a solar eclipse. Dunja Djudjic is a writer and photographer from Novi Sad, Serbia. You can see her work on Flickr , Behance and her Facebook page. John Aldred is based in Scotland and photographs animals in the studio and people in the wild.

You can find out more about John on his website and follow his adventures on YouTube and Facebook. JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. Tom Saimon is a fashion and editorial photographer based in Haifa, Israel. Submit A Story. In the Bracketing option Select the number of frames as three Select the exposure step as 0.

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Now with bracketing mode option ON — you will photograph three frames. One frame will have nominal exposure.