HDR Process…

Themed 365 Project

I asked Tammy if she wanted me to do some work to her Alone posting of a few days ago, I love the shot and think that proper HDR processing would improve the shot significantly. Tammy obtained some good processing from Photomatix but needs to add some refining touches to the shot.

My goal for this shot was to continue Tammy’s processing and bring out the main subject in the shot,  the ornamental display. I will do my best to explain my HDR workflow in hopes of helping everyone with HDR processing.

Imported single jpeg into Lightroom and increased the color temperature.

Exported jpeg to Photomatix and tonemapped with the following settings: strength- 100, color sat- 60, luminosity- 3.0, micro-contrast- 3.0, smoothing(light mode)- high, white point- 132, blk point- .250, gamma- .7, micro-smoothing- 2.5, and highlights smoothing- 60.

Imported back into Lightroom and created a virtual copy which I decreased exposure by 1 stop. Then exported both copies to Elements.

In Elements, layered both copies with the lighter version on the bottom layer, created a mask and masked in brighter version of the display.

Finished with high pass sharpening and imported back into Lightroom, cropped and applied a post crop vignette.

I like how the display is bright, the shadows are retained but the details still show in the metal railings.

Hope this helps and fire away with the questions………


16 thoughts on “HDR Process…

  1. Question #1
    Why Mike, is your camera on the fritz, go out and take your own shots, don’t start stealing other peoples thunder, especially a WoW Syster, do you know what your tangling with Buddy, and if she said okay in private your in deep Doo Doo buddy, that is how the Systerhood functions.

  2. (Sorry if this is a duplicate comment – the first seemed to disappear into thin air!)

    That was really nice of you to have a go at Tammy’s photo. I like how your processing brings out the colors of the Chihuly sculpture but gives a more natural looks to the stonework and tones down the colors in the foreground.

    When I originally mentioned your name on Tammy’s post, I was really thinking that the exposure range in this scene was probably too great to do with a single exposure. Did you have enough detail in the highlights of the single exposure to get what you wanted there? I wonder what kind of result you could have achieved if you’d had actual multiple exposures to work with?

    1. Julie, as I look at the original I noticed that there were not any details in the highlights that were interesting enough to recover. The details in the mid-tones(the walls) and in the shadows(railings and sculpture) were what I was interested in. The hdr process allowed some recovery of those details, although not as much as possible with a rawcapture, ultimately resulting in a shot with better details in those shadows..

  3. Mike, you did wonderful for what you had to work with….and Julie, I do think this could have been stunning w/ the multiple exposures…I have it on my list to go back and retake the image w/ a tripod and the multiple exposures…when you do this Mike, do you usually set the exposures at +2,-2? I am going to try to play w/ your tutorial tonite so I am sure I will be back with more questions…a HUGE thanks to you!

    1. Tammy,
      I don’t believe that the dynamic range is that severe that you would even need 3 different exposures, BUT it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. A single raw, provided that the lighting doesn’t change, may be enough. You may also want to try to expose to the right just to maintain the details in the shadows and use the recovery tool in Lightroom to bring back the details in the highlights. Ultimately I think there are several ways to skin this cat.

  4. Something must be working with Mike’s pass at the photo… it’s the first time that I see the person with the vacuum in the photo, thus whyy you chose it for “alone.” !!! Of course, now I can see the person in all 3 photos.

    Let us know how you make out with the tutorial instructions…

  5. WoooHoooo! What a difference and now the focus is where it should be. I am not a fan of much of the HDR but this is subtle and wonderful.

  6. Thanks for all the comments, the learning curve for hdr is steeper than I anticipated but worth the effort in the long run.

  7. Mike, Did you try Topaz Adjust on the photo to see what you could get? I see you have that software also.

    Great shot Tammy. Great post processing Mike.

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