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6-Methods-to-Create-an-HDR-Image--post-banner

6 Methods to Create an HDR Image

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Over the years, different software solutions for creating an HDR image from a set of source exposures have emerged. First, it was Photomatix and other dedicated software tools that where mainly used. In parallel, people always used to do manual blending for more subtle results. Then HDR was added to Photoshop and with Lightroom CC/6, it was finally possible to merge your source exposures directly in Lightroom. In this article, you will get an overview of the most commonly used methods and techniques. They are quite diverse and can be used to achieve different types of results, ranging from a classical colorful, detail-rich HDR look to very subtle and natural looking images.
The Parliament (HDR) - six exposures - photomatix and photoshop

The Parliament (HDR)

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This is a 6-exposure HDR image of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest, Hungary. Before I went on that trip, I did my usual Internet scouting on the entire city of Budapest, and sure enough, I came across a ton of images of this Parliament building. So, I was prepared! But when I arrived there and set up my tripod just across the river (Danube), something strange happened.
HDR Making-of - The Parliament (HDR)  - featured - 01

HDR Making-of: The Parliament (HDR)

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This is the Making-of video for 'The Parliament (HDR)'. Watch how this image evolves through all the post-processing stages and stop at any position to inspect the parameter settings (see remarks below). This video shows the entire post-processing work starting with the HDR merging and the tone-mapping all the way through to the finishing touches. Each major step is indicated by a subtitle. Watch it in full HD mode (1080p) full-screen and pause at any point to inspect the parameters I choose for the different tools involved in the post-processing.
HDR Before and After: The Parliament

HDR Before and After: The Parliament

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This is the before-and-after comparison of "The Parliament (HDR)". At the top, you see the three original source images straight out of the camera. This image is based on a 6-shot exposure series with shutter speeds between 0.6s and 15s. At the lower left, you see the result of merging those shots into a 32-bit HDR and subsequent tone-mapping using the Details Enhancer option of Photomatix Pro 4.2. And finally, at the lower right, you see the final image after a number of post-processing steps executed in Photoshop CS6.
Light my Way (HDR Vertorama)

Light my Way (HDR Vertorama)

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This is a 12-shot HDR Vertorama taken at the St. Micheal’s Cathedral in Toronto, Canada. See all the processing details and the before-and-after.
Before and After comparison of the 12-exposure HDR Vertorama 'Light my Way'. Created with Photoshop and Photomatix

HDR Before and After: Light my Way (HDR Vertorama)

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This is the HDR before and after comparison of "Light my Way (HDR Vertorama)". The final image was created from 4x3 TIFF files (4 series of 3 autobracketed RAW images, +2, 0, -2EV that were converted to TIFFs using Abobe Camera RAW). You can see the 12 source images in the left three columns. These images were merged into 4 32-bit HDRs and tone-mapped with Photomatix Pro 4.2 (Details Enhancer option) using the same settings for each image. The resulting 4 16-bit TIF images where then stitched using Photoshop CS5. The result of the stitching, perspective correction, cropping, and retouching can be seen in the middle column. In the right column, you see the final image after a number of post-processing steps executed in Photoshop CS6.
Hands-on Photo Tips - How to remove halos in your HDR images -  featured - 01

Hands-on Photo Tips: How to remove halos in your HDR images

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Are you getting halos in your HDR images? Sometimes, you find the perfect setting in your HDR software, but right at that setting, halos start showing up and ruin your image. These ugly bright fringes around high-contrast edges are a well-known and common problem in HDR photography. In this video, I will first go over some tips to avoid halos in the first place. Then I will show you how to get rid of them in Photoshop by darkening those halo regions selectively.