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Any guides or tutorials for tasteful PS-based HDR ?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by lightmonkey, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    I'm experimenting with HDR to improve some dawn/dusk landscape photos.

    (1) I've pushed 2EV bracketed shots into CS6's built-in HDR module and fiddled around with the presets and parameters but they always end up looking candy-cane-gaudy.

    (2) I've also experimented pre-conditioning the shots by pushing up the highlights of underexposed image & pulling down shadows of the overexposed, to manually control the global end points of each photo, without touching the mid-tones to avoid tonal overlap.... and THEN feeding into CS6-HDR... and it still ends up too "sweet"

    So far I've just settled on stretching the mid-exposed photos and forgetting the exercise altogether. Though I've seen it used to GOOD effect... is there a guide out there?
  2. Tomlike

    Tomlike New to Mu-43

    Sep 18, 2013
    Have you tried exposure blending, rather than the built-in HDR module? Something along the lines of this. Personally I can't stand the fake looking outputs of HDR programs/plugins, and I'm a newbie to PS but exposure blending gives you a lot more control, especially for dawn/dusk scenes
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
  4. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I don't know if OnOne software is still giving away perfectlooks 8, but it might work for you. My copy works fine in LR but not in PSCC.
  5. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    answer was quite easy: after loading as HDR Merge in photoshop, DO NOT choose the presets, instead, use "custom", and then edit using masks/layers OR ACR OR save as TIFF and bring back to LR and "Develop" as normal.

  6. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    For those who already own photoshop this may not be all that useful. But those who are still searching should check out PaintShop Pro X6. Particularly the "Single Raw Photo" option in the HDR menu selection in the PSP organizer. Basically, it takes a single raw photo, allows you to set parameters and create 3 separate images from that single raw photo and then automatically merges them into an HDR photo. You can be as subtle or as "Over the Top" as you want. Below, is a photo I processed in this manner. After I created the image, I then straightened, cropped and tweaked a bit more (noise, mostly) in ACDSee pro 7.

    I could have edited it further in the editor portion of PSP, since the final product is a 16 bit tif file, but I like ACDSee's UI better. I also think this also helps put the myth that PSP is a poor raw developer to bed. While I still prefer ACDSee Pro for raw development. I know I can get excellent raw conversions from PSP when I need to.

    [​IMG]"500" height="375" alt="P5130006-j2"></a>[/IMG]
  7. I'm subscribed to the Adobe for Photographers service, so I have access to Lr5 and the most recent Photoshop CC software. I have been using the PS merge to HDR software without a hint of cartoonish "HDR Look" that one often gets. The trick is to just not go so heavy on the adjustment sliders. The PS basic merge is very natural looking, it's only when you pull the highlights down and the shadows way up that things start to freak out. If you avoid excessive adjustments you should be able to get "honest" results with a greatly improve dynamic range.

    If you follow Serge Ramelli (and I do, god love him, he's making a living what he is doing and I respect that) he's all about highlights down, shadows up and the results are, well... like Serge Ramelli images. If you don't want that, just cool it on the sliders and you'll do fine.
  8. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    Photomatix is worth a look - http://www.hdrsoft.com

    I've only used a trial so have no photos to show, but I've seen it used to produce some very natural looking HDR shots

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Nik HDR Efex Pro which is part of the Nik Collection. Definitely my HDR tool of choice.
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