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Hdr magic


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A quick walk-through some of the ways one can use HDR Imaging tools to enhance their photographic imagery. HDR is a tool, not an end-all solution, and requires fundamental photographic skills in order …

A quick walk-through some of the ways one can use HDR Imaging tools to enhance their photographic imagery. HDR is a tool, not an end-all solution, and requires fundamental photographic skills in order to leverage this technique to your advantage.

Published in: Art & Photos

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  • If you want to make an HDR Imaging picture of your imagination, you need to be equipped with some specialized application like Photoshop and HDR Darkroom and so forth firstly. Read more
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  • 1. SunRidge Photo
    HDR MAGIC!...
    Racing Toward The Future
  • 2.
  • 3. The winds of change are strong; the water turbulent; and the landlubbers,… watching to see what happens.
  • 4. HDRi: High Dynamic Range imaging is NOT a gimmick!
    It is… SCIENCE!
  • 5. Raw Capture Is What The Sensor Sees….
  • 6. HDR Is The Scene!... And BEYOND!
  • 7. Black & White Work Comes… ALIVE!!
  • 8. What can HDR be used for?
  • 9. Landscape & Scenic
     ”It’s not about showing all the light in a scene. It’s about gaining control over all the light in a scene.”
    ~ Gavin Seim
  • 10. Panoramic Views
    The Road Less Traveled!
    © 2010 SunRidge Photo
    6 sections; 5 frames/section at 1-EV apart per frame; HDR file created in PS4; HDR segments stitched in PS4; HDR file (stitched) tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro; Camera: Nikon D3; Tokina 19-37mm f/3.5-5.6 lens; ISO 100 @ f/16; WB: Auto
  • 11. Lifestyle/Destination
    3-Frame HDRi Capture
    Photomatix Pro for tone mapping and 15 seconds in PS for final tweak and POP!
    Metered (Middle) Frame
  • 12. Character Studies
    HDR images crafted from single frame capture. Minor PSCS4 post work to craft sepia-toned B&W image of this gentleman.
  • 13. Modeling Work
    Single File HDR Conversion From RAW (NEF) & Tone-mapped via Tone Compressor in PM Pro
    JPEG from RAW – Zero Edit
  • 14. Architecture
  • 15. Pacific Gold!
  • 16. Incomparable Interiors
    5th Frame of 5 Frame Capture
    HDR Image
    EV @ -.7, Fuji S5 Pro on Tripod, Aperture Priority, f11, 5 frame auto bracketing mode set at 1 f-stop apart per frame. Cable release. Processed in Photomatix and some minor Photoshop/CS4 work (lens corrections [e.g., tilt & shift] and my reflection removed from dresser mirror). 100% natural lighting!
  • 17. A Little Nature…Birds of a Feather and all that stuff
    Single file conversion to HDR and tone-mapping using Photomatix Pro Detail Enhancer Application. Minor – very minor – finish work in PS/CS4.
    As captured at the scene (raw)
  • 18. Fun At The Track
  • 19. Full Throttle Shooting!
    © 2008 SunRidge Photo
    Images captured at Larry Miller Race Park, Utah, June 2008 for Redline Time Attack Series; Temp: 115o; Camera: Fuji S5 Pro; Nikor f2.8 400mm with Hoya 52mm circular polarizing filter installed; ISO 400; Shutter priority @1/250 sec; original shot as 300dpi, 27mb, JPEG. Converted 3 jpgs to HDR file in Photomatix @ 2 EV separation. Tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro’s Details Enhancer (two times) and saved as 16 bit TIFF. Converted to 920X562, 300dpi JPEG for presentation.
  • 20. Macro Is Game
    JPEG from NEF – no editing
    Camera: Nikon D700
    © 2009 by Tarrah Lashbrook
    Used with permission
    JPEG from Photomatix HDR tone-mapped to 16bit TIFF. Some PS4 work.
    © 2009 by Tarrah Lashbrook
    Used with permission
  • 21. “Fine Art”
    JPEG from NEF – no editing
    Camera: Nikon D700
    © 2009 by Tarrah Lashbrook
    Used with permission
    JPEG from Photomatix HDR tone-mapped to 16bit TIFF. Some minor PS4 work.
    © 2009 by Tarrah Lashbrook
    Used with permission
  • 22. The Journey…
    View output differently.
    A few tools of the trade.
    Some great software.
    Willing to experiment
    Time to have some FUN!
    Understand the Real Benefits of HDRi
    I.E., Where the rubber meets the road!
  • 24. The Physical Stuff
    • Camera capable of raw file capture preferred
    • 25. Lens of your choice
    • 26. Lens cleaning cloth
    • 27. Polarizing filter (optional)
    • 28. Stable tripod
    • 29. Cable release
    • 30. Memory cards
    • 31. Spare batteries
    • 32. Flashlight for light painting
    • 33. Fill flash (optional)
    • 34. HDR software (Photomatix Pro® preferred)
    • 35. Computer (for post)
    • 36. Card reader or USB tethering cable
    • 37. Processing software (e.g., Photoshop, PS Elements, etc.)
    • 38. Desire to experiment
    • 39. Something to photograph
  • Software Available
    Photomatix Pro (The Best) for Mac or Win - $99
    Nik’s NEW HDR EFEX Pro ($179)
    Hydra (up to 4 frames) aprox: $79
    Dynamic Photo HDR (some “cool” effects) - $55 ($75 with PS4 plugins added for 8bit RGB editing)
    Photoshpere (Mac only – freeware)
    Many more can be found at:
  • 40. Camera Settings
    Set to raw capture
    Color Space (default setting) @ sRGB.
    Turn off enhancements (I.e., no sharpening)
    Establish a “set” white balance (I prefer Auto)
    On manual/auto bracketing: Set for TV/Speed (shutter speed changes and not aperture)
    Experience & Testing Reveal: Set EV to -.3 (default),
    Auto bracket: 3 to 9 depending on camera @ 1 EV stop apart min.
  • 41. Camera Settings
    Typical AB is 5 frames at 1 EV apart per (Nikon)
    On most Canon (some Nikon) set for max of 3 frames @ 2 EV apart.
    ISO set as low as possible (I prefer ISO 100 or lower if camera has ability).
    Workflow: Most underexposed to most overexposed (if possible). Your choice!
    Lock Focus (When possible & plausible, use manual focus.)
    For landscape - f-8 or higher is recommended. I like f/11 or f/16.
  • 42. Next Steps
  • 43. Working The Image
    Download the image to your HD/External HD
    For today, the Desktop is the perfect location
    Open up your image browser (Bridge is great)
    Three ways to load files in Photomatix
    Drag & drop from Bridge
    Use the Lightroom 2.0 plug-in (sends them as TIFF files)
    Automate (batch processing)
    Generating the HDR (Radiance [.hdr])file.
  • 44. The Photomatix Pro Interface
    Click on “Generate HDR Image”
  • 45. Now… Click On Browse
    After the files are loaded, click on OK.
    The next screen shows the dialog box which appears after clicking OK.
  • 46. Set your parameters:
    • If working from 1 file, Align source images is not necessary.
    • 47. Use “matching features” as it also does rotational correction.
    • 48. I do not always use the “Attempt to reduce ghosting artifacts.” It depends on what I am after. However, it is good to leave it checked by default and remove the check mark if not needed.
    • 49. Make adjustments to white balance if needed.
    • 50. My color space is set for Adobe RGB (1998)
    • 51. Click on OK
  • Your Next Window is an HDR Viewer
    1) Before starting the Tone Mapping sequence, click on: File/Save As/.hdr should be in the dialog box/Save.
    2) Now click on “Tone Mapping”
  • 52. The Photomatix Pro Workspace
  • 53. Detail Enhancer Settings
    • Strength: Controls the strength of the contrast enhancements; locally and globally.
    • 54. Color Saturation: Controls the saturation from grayscale to pure color in the image.
    • 55. Luminosity: Controls the compression of the tonal range, thereby affecting the global luminosity range. The higher the setting, the brighter the mid-tones and shadows – adds contrast as well.
    • 56. Light Smoothing: Controls the smoothing of light variations (two methods: slider or light mode).
  • Detail Enhancer Settings
    • Microcontrast: Sets the amount local details are accentuated.
    • 57. White & Black Points: Controls the clipping points of the shoulder and toe of the tonal curve.
    • 58. Gamma: Adjusts the midtone of the image.
    • 59. Temperature: To the left is cooler; to the right, warmer.
    • 60. Saturation Highlights & Shadows: Enhances the primary saturation control allowing fine tuning.
  • Detail Enhancer Settings
    • Micro-smoothing: Used to smooth local details enhancements.
    • 61. Highlights Smoothing: Use to keep highlights from turning gray or to reduce halos around objects.
    • 62. Shadows Smoothing: Reduces contrast enhancements in the darker areas of the image.
    • 63. Shadows Clipping: Controls the shadow clipping and is handy for reducing noise in dark areas of an image taken in low light.
  • After Tone Mapping… Process The Image
    Click on “Process” after Tone Mapping your image
  • 64. Processing the Tone Mapped Image
    The Magic is in the Tone Mapping!!
    When Photomatix completes the processing phase, it will provide a preview image in the window. You are now able to tone map the image again if you so desire.
    If you like what you see… File/Save As/TIFF (16 bit). There is a check box on the Save As window to “Open in Image Viewer” and I keep this checked with PS4 as the default program.
  • 65. Adobe Photoshop™
    Use Photoshop to generate an HDR file
    It’s great – wonderful in fact – at combining files accurately
    It STINKS – and I’m being very nice – at tone-mapping
    To generate an HDR image file in PS…
    Go to Bridge
    Tools/Photoshop/Generate HDR (see next slide)
  • 66. A Little About Photoshop™
  • 67. HDR Previewer in PS
    Click on OK
  • 68. Let PS Do Its Thing…
  • 69. Save As Radiance (.hdr)
  • 70. What Now?
    Open the Radiance (.hdr) file in Photomatix Pro and, you guessed it… Tone Map the image anyway you like it.
  • 71. Questions?
    More Importantly…