HDR Cookbook – The Making of “Suvarnabhumi International Airport – Bangkok, Thailand (HDR)”

View the final result on flickr: “Suvarnabhumi International Airport – Bangkok, Thailand (HDR)


This video is available in HD (1080p). Click the “YouTube” button to the lower right of the player above to go to the original video and watch it in HD. Important: You will have to switch the player to “1080p” to watch the HD version!

The video shows the entire process of creating a pseudo HDR image from a single RAW file. This includes pre-processing in Adobe Camera RAW, HDR creation and tone mapping in Photomatix, and the post processing work in Photoshop, including the application of Topaz Adjust and Topaz DeNoise for enhancing the image.

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16 replies
  1. Victor Marz
    Victor Marz says:

    Wow – what a great video. I just realise how little I know about Photoshop. Geez! Great work. Did not know how much work you put into this until i saw this video. how did you record it? If I might ask?

  2. Filip Farag
    Filip Farag says:

    Klaus I must admit, you’re getting better and better, your recent shots are really awesome. I loved the video, makes me grab my stuff and go out and shoot HDR! Thanks for your work, so inspiring!

  3. Max Webber
    Max Webber says:

    I’m really interested in this single exposure technique. The video goes by so fast. I have a couple questions. What format do you save out of ACR? I tried it with Tiff, but Photomatix 4, errored saying it did not have exposure info in the tiffs. IUt let me continue but with an EXTREMELY noisy result.

    Do you start off with any of the Topaz Adjust presets?

    Can you describe what sliders/setting you apply in Photomatix?

    This was an excellent HDR!!!


    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Hi Max,

      just a hint: If you watch the video in HD and stop at certain positions, you may be able to get some more detailed information from it.

      I save to TIFF from ACR. You can set fixed exposure intervals in Photomatix in the case that the source file do not contain ev info. Additionally, Photomatix will ask you to set the ev values manually if it is in doubt. It never exited in error on my computer. Strange! The noise probably comes from Photomatix using the darkest exposure and brightening it.

      I usually start in Topaz Adjust by clicking on “reset all”. Then I start from scratch. As for the sliders in Photomatix, I refer you to the video. If you watch it in HD, you can see all the sliders.

      Thanks for your feedback! I hope this answers your questions.


  4. Dan C
    Dan C says:

    Farbspiell … THANK YOU SO MUCH for you kindness in documenting and sharing your knowledge and passion for photography, specifically HDR.

    I read, re-read all of your stuff – all the time.

    With reference to your 14 tips, I wonder if you have another tip for me.

    I “sometimes”, for a potential great HDR, take more that three bracketed shots. I have set up my Canon 5D2 in the custom functions c1,c2,c3 to take 9 bracketed shots (2 of which are duplicates and have to be discarded).

    Specifically, I am referencing your Tip 2 Use a Monopod. I have one and almost never take it with me. From now on, it will be at my side.

    Question: How would i insure that while switching my custom function from c1 to c2 to c3 that I will not shake the camera “much” and more importantly get out of register?

    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      You are welcome, Dan! Great to hear that you have discovered some new ideas here.

      Your question is easy to answer, but I guess you won’t like the answer: You cannot fiddle with your camera between the shots unless you have a tripod or a similar camera support that keeps your camera in place. If you shoot handheld or with a monopod, it is inevitable that you will move the camera when you take your eye of the view finder to change the mode. You will move it so much that your software will not get the images aligned, even if you reposition the camera and think that the position is the same.

      That’s why I keep my fingers off those cameras with 9-shot AEB and only 1EV steps. 3 shots with 2EV spacing is what you want in these situations.


  5. Lee Crosbie
    Lee Crosbie says:

    Love your work..i’m sure you’ve heard it a million times..is there a way of slowing down your videos…i’m desperately trying to watch what is going on in particular your PS activities in relation to layer management.
    Your in anticipation

    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Thanks, Jane!

      I will make more of these. It’s just that they are quite time-consuming to produce. I need to find some time for this. Stay tuned!



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