HDR MAGIC!... Racing Toward The Future SunRidge Photo Presents…

Hdr magic

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A quick walk-through some of the ways one can use HDR Imaging tools to enhance their photographic imagery. HDR is a tool, not an end-all solution, and requires fundamental photographic skills in order to leverage this technique to your advantage.

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HDR MAGIC!...Racing Toward The Future

SunRidge PhotoPresents…

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The winds of change are strong; the water turbulent; and the landlubbers,…

watching to see what happens.

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HDRi: High Dynamic

Range imaging is NOT a gimmick!


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Raw Capture Is What The Sensor Sees….

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HDR Is The Scene!... And BEYOND!

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Black & White Work Comes… ALIVE!!

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What can HDR be used for?

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Landscape & Scenic ”It’s not about showing all the light in a scene. It’s about gaining control over all the light in a scene.”

~ Gavin Seim

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6 sections; 5 frames/section at 1-EV apart per frame; HDR file created in PS4; HDR segments stitched in PS4; HDR file (stitched) tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro; Camera: Nikon D3; Tokina 19-

37mm f/3.5-5.6 lens; ISO 100 @ f/16; WB: Auto

© 2010 SunRidge Photo

Panoramic Views

The Road Less Traveled!

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Metered (Middle) Frame3-Frame HDRi Capture

Photomatix Pro for tone mapping and 15 seconds in PS

for final tweak and POP!

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Character Studies

HDR images crafted from single frame capture. Minor PSCS4 post work to craft sepia-toned B&W image of this gentleman.

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Modeling Work

JPEG from RAW – Zero Edit

Single File HDR Conversion From RAW (NEF) & Tone-

mapped via Tone Compressor in PM Pro

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Pacific Gold!

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Incomparable Interiors5th Frame of 5 Frame Capture HDR Image

EV @ -.7, Fuji S5 Pro on Tripod, Aperture Priority, f11, 5 frame auto bracketing mode set at 1 f-stop apart per frame. Cable release. Processed in Photomatix

and some minor Photoshop/CS4 work (lens corrections [e.g., tilt & shift] and my reflection removed from dresser mirror). 100% natural lighting!

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A Little Nature…Birds of a Feather and all that stuff

As captured at the scene (raw) Single file conversion to HDR and tone-mapping using Photomatix Pro Detail Enhancer Application. Minor – very

minor – finish work in PS/CS4.

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Fun At The Track

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Full Throttle Shooting!

Images captured at Larry Miller Race Park, Utah, June 2008 for Redline Time Attack Series; Temp: 115o; Camera: Fuji S5 Pro; Nikor f2.8 400mm with Hoya 52mm circular polarizing filter installed; ISO 400; Shutter priority @1/250 sec; original shot as 300dpi, 27mb, JPEG. Converted 3 jpgs to HDR file in Photomatix @ 2 EV separation. Tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro’s Details Enhancer (two times) and saved as 16 bit TIFF. Converted to 920X562, 300dpi JPEG for presentation.

© 2008 SunRidge Photo

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Macro Is Game

JPEG from NEF – no editingCamera: Nikon D700

© 2009 by Tarrah LashbrookUsed with permission

JPEG from Photomatix HDR tone-mapped to 16bit TIFF. Some PS4 work.

© 2009 by Tarrah LashbrookUsed with permission

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“Fine Art”

JPEG from NEF – no editingCamera: Nikon D700

© 2009 by Tarrah LashbrookUsed with permission

JPEG from Photomatix HDR tone-mapped to 16bit TIFF. Some minor PS4 work.

© 2009 by Tarrah LashbrookUsed with permission

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The Journey…

1. View output differently.2. A few tools of the trade.3. Some great software.4. Willing to experiment5. Time to have some FUN!6. Understand the Real Benefits of HDRi

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I.E., Where the rubber meets the road!

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The Physical Stuff

• Camera capable of raw file capture preferred

• Lens of your choice

• Lens cleaning cloth

• Polarizing filter (optional)

• Stable tripod

• Cable release

• Memory cards

• Spare batteries

• Flashlight for light painting

• Fill flash (optional)

• HDR software (Photomatix Pro® preferred)

• Computer (for post)

• Card reader or USB tethering cable

• Processing software (e.g., Photoshop, PS Elements, etc.)

• Desire to experiment

• Something to photograph

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Software Available

• Photomatix Pro (The Best) for Mac or Win - $99• Nik’s NEW HDR EFEX Pro ($179)• Hydra (up to 4 frames) aprox: $79• Dynamic Photo HDR (some “cool” effects) - $55 ($75

with PS4 plugins added for 8bit RGB editing)• Photoshpere (Mac only – freeware)• Many more can be found at:


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Camera Settings• Set to raw capture• Color Space (default setting) @ sRGB.• Turn off enhancements (I.e., no sharpening)• Establish a “set” white balance (I prefer Auto)• On manual/auto bracketing: Set for TV/Speed

(shutter speed changes and not aperture)• Experience & Testing Reveal: Set EV to -.3 (default),• Auto bracket: 3 to 9 depending on camera @ 1 EV

stop apart min.

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Camera Settings• Typical AB is 5 frames at 1 EV apart per (Nikon)• On most Canon (some Nikon) set for max of 3 frames

@ 2 EV apart.• ISO set as low as possible (I prefer ISO 100 or lower if

camera has ability).• Workflow: Most underexposed to most overexposed

(if possible). Your choice!• Lock Focus (When possible & plausible, use manual

focus.)• For landscape - f-8 or higher is recommended. I like

f/11 or f/16.

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Next Steps

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Working The Image1. Download the image to your HD/External HD2. For today, the Desktop is the perfect location3. Open up your image browser (Bridge is great)4. Three ways to load files in Photomatix

a. Drag & drop from Bridgeb. Use the Lightroom 2.0 plug-in (sends them as TIFF files)c. Automate (batch processing)

5. Generating the HDR (Radiance [.hdr])file.

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The Photomatix Pro Interface

Click on “Generate HDR Image”

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Now… Click On Browse

After the files are loaded, click on OK.The next screen shows the dialog box

which appears after clicking OK.

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Set your parameters:

• If working from 1 file, Align source images is not necessary.

• Use “matching features” as it also does rotational correction.

• I do not always use the “Attempt to reduce ghosting artifacts.” It depends on what I am after. However, it is good to leave it checked by default and remove the check mark if not needed.

• Make adjustments to white balance if needed.

• My color space is set for Adobe RGB (1998)

• Click on OK

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Your Next Window is an HDR Viewer

2) Now click on “Tone Mapping”

1) Before starting the Tone Mapping sequence, click on: File/Save As/.hdr should be in the dialog box/Save.

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The Photomatix Pro Workspace

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Detail Enhancer Settings

• Strength: Controls the strength of the contrast enhancements; locally and globally.

• Color Saturation: Controls the saturation from grayscale to pure color in the image.

• Luminosity: Controls the compression of the tonal range, thereby affecting the global luminosity range. The higher the setting, the brighter the mid-tones and shadows – adds contrast as well.

• Light Smoothing: Controls the smoothing of light variations (two methods: slider or light mode).

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Detail Enhancer Settings

• Microcontrast: Sets the amount local details are accentuated.

• White & Black Points: Controls the clipping points of the shoulder and toe of the tonal curve.

• Gamma: Adjusts the midtone of the image.

• Temperature: To the left is cooler; to the right, warmer.

• Saturation Highlights & Shadows: Enhances the primary saturation control allowing fine tuning.

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Detail Enhancer Settings

• Micro-smoothing: Used to smooth local details enhancements.

• Highlights Smoothing: Use to keep highlights from turning gray or to reduce halos around objects.

• Shadows Smoothing: Reduces contrast enhancements in the darker areas of the image.

• Shadows Clipping: Controls the shadow clipping and is handy for reducing noise in dark areas of an image taken in low light.

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After Tone Mapping… Process The Image

Click on “Process” after Tone Mapping your image

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Processing the Tone Mapped Image

The Magic is in the Tone Mapping!!

When Photomatix completes the processing phase, it will provide a preview image in the window. You are now able to tone map the image again if you so desire.

If you like what you see… File/Save As/TIFF (16 bit). There is a check box on the Save As window to “Open in Image Viewer” and I keep this checked with PS4 as the default program.

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Adobe Photoshop™• Use Photoshop to generate an HDR file• It’s great – wonderful in fact – at combining

files accurately• It STINKS – and I’m being very nice – at tone-

mapping• To generate an HDR image file in PS…– Go to Bridge– Tools/Photoshop/Generate HDR (see next slide)

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A Little About Photoshop™

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HDR Previewer in PS

Click on OK

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Let PS Do Its Thing…

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Save As Radiance (.hdr)

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What Now?

Open the Radiance (.hdr) file in Photomatix Pro and, you guessed it… Tone Map the image anyway you like it.

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