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Learn how to create HDR Images in Photoshop CS3 without the use of additional software. By Yanik's Photo School.
Tags:How to Create HDR Images in Photoshop,HDR,hdr images in photoshop cs3,how to create hdr images in photoshop cs3,photography,yanik chauvin,yaniks photo school
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Hello everybody, Yanik here for Yanik’s Photo School.
And today we’re going to be doing a little tutorial on HDR and how to create HDR images. HDR stands for high dynamic range and basically what this means is that it’s going to go get the details out of the high lights and out of the shadows of your image. Now to do that, you need to take multiple images, you need to take multiple photos of the same scene, at different exposures.
Now what I suggest you do, just to basically start off is to take three exposures. One that’s 2 stops under, one properly exposed, and one that’s 2 stops over. And that way you’ll have a nice range of exposure and it’ll create a fairly decent HDR. Of course, if you want to be really, really neat picky, you can go and take 5 or 7 images at increments of 1 stop under etc. But you need a minimum of three to be able to do and HDR image, all right. So, let’s start off. I’ve taken my three RAW files of this cathedral in Iowa, and I’ve imported them in the camera RAW. And basically, what I’m going to do now is just click on this button here called select all, and it’ll select our three images that we’ve imported into Adobe camera, and I will do, we wont’ tweak anything here, we’re just going to click open image. And those three images will be opened as RAW files in Photoshop. Now I’m using CS3 here, so CS4 should be about the same. This merged HDR that I’ll be showing you, I think was introduced in CS2. I might be wrong, but if you have an older version, check it out.
All right, we got our three images in, we see our over exposed image. And then we have the other two in the back. Now the next step is to go to file, automate, and second to last down, merge to HDR. And this dialogue box will appear. Now we want to use the file, and what’s great there’s a little button option here that says “add open file” just click and it’ll add the open files in Photoshop. And what you can do is also click this button here called “attempt to automatically align source images.” Just in case they might be a little bit off, if you weren’t using a remote trigger and your finger moved the camera while you’re pressing the shutter button, your images might be just a tad off, and this will align them properly. All you need to do after that is click Ok and then it’ll create your HDR image, all right. This will take awhile and I’ll just edit it right after so you don’t get all the waiting time.
All right, once it’s done, depending on the size of the files that you have and the speed of your computer, it can take a few minutes. So once you have that done, this dialogue box appears and basically this is where you’re going to be converting your HDR image; you can see the different exposures here and here is my image right in the middle here. Now you can select a white point if you find the image slightly over exposed, you can bring it down a little bit. And what’s important now before we click on Ok, is to select 16 bits because 13 bits is just way too much, all right. So you want to create a 16 bit image so that it can be converted after that into a jpeg or whatever other format, all right. Let’s click on Ok. And what’s great about that, once you selected the 16 bit another dialogue box will appear in Photoshop so that we can actually adjust our HDR image. Boom! There you go. And there’s the dialogue box called HDR conversion.
Now if I click on a, if your toning curve and histogram isn’t up, just click on this little arrow here and it’ll show it. Now as you can see I can’t edit this right now. You’re probably wondering “Well what’s the point?” Well what we need to do is go into the method dialogue box and select local adaptations. The last one down, and your image will change a little bit in the background, now let me just move that to the side a little bit, so we could see what we’re doing. All ready, just like this, we can see the details coming back into the stained glass, we get the details into the shadow areas, we can see all those gold spots on the ceiling which we weren’t seeing before, but now what we can do is tweak it. Now what we need to do, if you look at the histogram here, it’s not bad. Sometimes when you’re going to be taking nature shots and you’re going to have a very, very blown out sky, and you won’t have any information in this area here. So you’ll have to tweak that. And I’m missing some information here, so I’m going to drive my shadow point up to the beginning of the histogram and I would do that for the white, the high light point as well, but we already have all the details here, you can see. So I won’t even touch that one there.
Now you can play a little bit with this threshold, I like to keep it at around 1. If you remove it, it kind of makes the image a lot flatter. If you bring it all the way, there it gives it a lot of detail. Now, actually a little too much for my taste, it’s starting to look a little bit too cartoony for this image. I like it around 1 and 1.5, you get the details but it doesn’t look fake. And all you need to do is click Ok, or you can actually go and play with the curve inside as well, and lightening it up or darkening it up, as you view fit, yes that’s it, click Ok! All right, that took few seconds but that’s not so bad, and we have our final HDR image right here. Now, we can see that we got some details in the shadow areas up here, the stained glass detail is all there, the glass isn’t blown out white. So, I’m pretty happy with this.
Now, what we can do is go tweak it some more with curves or any other option. I can do duplicate layer and take that duplicate layer and put it in the soft light mode, and then play with the opacity a little bit, get a before and after punch to it. Or we can simply go into image adjustment curves or control M. And then tweak a little bit, like that, a little darker to get more of a moody feeling. I think there’s a little bit too much red in there for me, so I’m going to my red channel and bring that down, bring some blues back in there. Some cyan, they are like this, like that. And there you go. We got our cathedral inside, we can see all the details, if we look at this HDR image and this properly exposed image, you can see that it’s lacking a lot of details, even a little too dark, and this came up and cleared it right up.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to create and HDR image in Photoshop without using any other software like Photomatics. All right we’ll see you soon. Bye-bye.