HDR in Photoshop: Beyond the Basics

Lesson 1 of 4

HDR: Tone Mapping and Working with 32 Bit Files

 

HDR in Photoshop: Beyond the Basics

Lesson 1 of 4

HDR: Tone Mapping and Working with 32 Bit Files

 

Lesson Info

HDR: Tone Mapping and Working with 32 Bit Files

All right, so today we're going to be doing hdr beyond the basics and what does that mean? What is beyond the basics means because everybody has a different interpretation of what is advanced and what isn't and basically something advanced to something you don't know yet and everything else if you already know it, you're not going to think it's about no but really what it is up get a lot of material and there's a lot that can be done on hd era and I was here, I think with last year and I did a full day on hdr, so I'm not going to go back and cover you know, the basic shooting and what is hd are you know, that really basic stuff if you want to do that is a good video on their own creative life full day where we really get into it, we talk about dynamic range and f stops and you know how much dynamic range the human eye can see versus the camera and all that kind of stuff? And I think I even made a little table in a little formula and all that kind of stuff, so I'm not huge on tables and...

stuff like that, but I did make one we'll get into that in a little bit like a floater it's really ugly, but I think I think you'll find it useful so anyway so what I'm going to do is I'm just going to start, but I just we're just going to jump right? And we're going to do an image to get started so essentially what we're going to be focusing on is tone mapping so when you've done hdr like essentially I guess my pictures not back there anymore doesn't really matter but once you bracketed your shots and once you've taken them that's where we're going to go from here so what we're going to be doing is looking at the creative side of hdr so we're going to be looking at tone mapping and finishing the images so you know, how do we take those ones we've shot and make them look good how do we make them look like pieces of art now is a lot of different philosophies as faras hdr goes you know, this some misunderstandings of hdr and this, um you know, some false, some falsities out there so I'm just gonna start by one false and I just want to kill this myth right now uh is single image hdr anyone ever heard the term single image hdr okay, now that is single syria, a single speaking syria essentially there's no such thing as single image hdr because hdr in itself stands for high dynamic arrangements means you have to have an extended dynamic range to create a you know, an hdr image which has more essentially it's about having detail in the shadows and having detail in the highlight simultaneously so one of the things that's being taught and I know I probably I thought I was really smart about ten years ago when I knew very little about age dear and I started teaching it and I thought was so cool to take one rule file on we've seen this right who's ever seen that you take one row file and you're like, I know if I process this is ralph out three different ways and then put it together I'm going to get hdr you know I actually haven't image them I've got here right now that I think really describes what this is so let me just pull it up here um here we go so this is what it is here it's an epic fail so it doesn't work it doesn't do anything and I mean and you know the question here I shouldn't say this but who's the real jackass in this picture not the one in the year so anyway, because essentially what you're doing when you do there is your just taking the same image and in your person see exactly the same dynamic range three times you know, actually getting any more dynamic range out of the shot so in order to get more dynamic granger have to bracket the photograph so anyway I just thought I should have fun now the other thing that we are going to be talking about two is who has ever seen anything like this is very big brown from from new zealand we have this thing how many people can you jam into a mini so this is why we're going to be doing thirty two because people wonder what is thirty two bit well thirty two bit is avoiding that or avoiding doing things like this so basically what happens is when you shoot so many photographs you've got a lot of information you've got a lot of pixels and they just don't comfortably fit within a sixteen bit or in a bit space so that's kind of why I used the goofy human here for that and of course it does you know, one more example here now that was too small in this one here we get so apparently that's a real photograph of overload all right? So we're going to be discussing the terms we're going to be looking at and we're not going to get too deep in technical so don't worry we're gonna be looking at thirty two but space and then essentially what we're going to be doing is we're going to be looking at four different ways of working with those and getting them into a usable space so when we've got the thirty two bit space it's a working space because we've got all these pixels and we want to put them together and do stuff to them, then when we're done doing stuff, then we need to get it out of the thirty two bit space because we can't use that we can only print we can only sharing aware but whatever on an eight or sixteen file, so essentially we've got all that information, and we need to jam all that information together and squeeze it back into that small space and that's what the process is called tone mapping now, tone mapping is when you grab those pixels and you decide which one's gonna throw away, which one you going to keep and that craft the final image no there's being different philosophies when it comes to tone mapping. So we've got stuff that could be considered very realistic and him of good stuff that could be considered stylistic that was just used these terms so here's one maybe it's a little bit more stylistic here. So this is one in times square where I actually use it till shift lands and m bracketed the three shots and put it together, it's a little brighter, it's a little bit more, you know, surreal it's, not what you would normally see. However, to me I kind of felt like that told the story of the craziness in the busy nous which is times square in new york so you know, it kind of fits the story and then you've got a more realistic way, which is what we're mainly going to be focusing on today is going from or realism with hdr I kind of feel like I like the illustrative thing and it kind of works for architectural and stuff like that but it's kind of a little played out now it's kind of you know, that was ten years ago you know, it was like, wow, that's really cool what effect did you do on there? You know? And then once everyone's done it's like, ok kind of bullet I've seen that now we're actually going to the real stuff with hdr and it's like let's do what h dia was designed for in the first place and has to reproduce what we saw on me but there have you ever gone to death valley or you go to the beach and you watch this just amazing scene right? You've got, you know, the sun just coming down bursting across the water, it's sparkling it's hitting little bits on the sand and and it's just you're just like, wow, this is awesome, you know, in the shadows stopped moving and you get home and you look at the back of the camera and you're like, man, this is not what I saw, you know it's not there and that's because the information wasn't captured on a regular photograph it's not possible so now each year is mature to that place now where we're reproducing what it was that we saw at that time and sometimes it might be a little strong for other people's tastes other times it might not, but that was what was there at that scene and that's, what you're reproducing is what you had in your mind. So what I love about technology as technology advances invention is going to get out of the way, and we can finally get what's in our imagination out because that's, what it is is a creative person it's like you have this qu'est it's like you're you know I'm not a tortured artist, I'm actually quite quite good at not being tortured, but there are a lot of my friends who are tormented, tortured artists and it's like you have this thing in your head and your trying to get it out, you're trying to get it into photoshopped trying to print it I mean and that's the whole purpose of, you know, image making, and we're so lucky to live in the day that we live in today because we can almost reproduce what we see in our mind now, when we've never been noted that in history, all right, enough writing, let's, just bassem finish off stuff, so we're going to start here, and what I'm going to do is I'm just going to start really basic, and I'm going to show you this simple way of doing the justice system, one of mission grabbing the right pictures, because I'm going to grab these three here, so I'm gonna be doing noticed I'm in light room right now, so I'll do some from light room, and I'll do some from bridge, you can do it directly and photo shop in all honesty, you know, anyone who's doing it, using library, more or bridge at this point, I mean, pretty much every photograph I shoot when I'm not shooting people, I bracket when I see people, I don't most the time because they stare, looks horrible on people most of the time, we'll move on, so I'm just gonna choose it, and I've selected three images here, and I'm going emerge to hd, a pro in photo shop, and he would essentially do the same way in bridge, and we're going to do exactly the same thing in bridge in a minute on another one, so he would be, oh, and this is a kind of a time to see me process too, because, you know, we're you know, push up has to think really hard for doing this, so they'll be pauses and when we do some, they're going to take longer will be a great time to do questions and I just all right, so I'm just going to maximize photo shops that fits so you can see in the middle of the zero e v means that this is a regular exposure, plus two means it's over exposed by two stops and minus two means it's under exposed, so here we go, the less shadow detail he would get a highlight detail, why should the other way around? Sorry, the highlight details showing detail in the highlights here, showing detail in the shadows here and that's a regular photo. So what we're going to do is you get emergent to get it, so what I'm going to do is I'm just going to get out of here, and we're just going to do the basic bare bones tone mapping right now. So bare bones time mapping is when we get these three images and in what they're in a little thirty two bit holding space right now, but we're going to just use the tools here inside of photo shop. And then that's it so we can simply go down here and said, hey, you know what? I'd like some more detail and the highlights that we can pull back our highlights recovered some detail there do we want to open up more in the shadows there really need to it's looking pretty good there and, you know, the gamma what that does is it changes the flavor, so if we goes to the left actually goes more realistic, and if we go to the right, it goes into that we had territory of, you know, what we used to dio I'll just be nice and said that way, so so most of the time, you know, you can keep it around the middle to the left for realistic to the right for stylistic and in the details life you want to look very scharping crisp, eager that way brings out the details, get to the lift and it just makes it look soft, so I'm gonna push it up a little bit. Why don't we have a little fun with this? And then the other really adjustment, you'll see the radius and strength up here. Typically the strength will control the strength of the effect and you can see here we've got halos around here if you don't know anything about hdr, all you need to know his halos abad if you see halos you know good you don't want them it's a sure sign of like dude, this is my first hdr I've ever done in my whole life and I'm really proud of it ok? So we're gonna keep the strength low and radius always keep this low because when you turned radio stuff it looks see that horrible just creates big blocks around here it's not good so I tend to keep these sittings pretty low just enough to bring out a little detail here and the other thing that I might do a lot is I go the opposite of most people I know a lot of people do h there and they get for the saturated thing like this personally, I like to reduce the saturation and the reason for that is because you've got so much going on in the detail if you've got a lot going on in detail and you've got a lot going on in color at the same time it's a sensory overload it's too much so if you're gonna answer me it's kind of like baking, you know if you're gonna add something somewhere you gotta take something else a way somewhere else otherwise it just becomes this you know, middle poop is probably the bits like so so you know, just think about that, you know, simplicity, you know what you were trying to do is you I do want your view to look at it and know what the photograph supposed to be so here we go just get the saturation low and I'm just going to click ok and this is like just bare bones time mapping is basic as simple as it gets because what's happening is here this is whenever you're going to see the thirty two bit file photo shop is a literally going to emerge this right now and it's just going toe when it's done here is just going toe bake the photograph and there we go right now you can see uh still thinking and we goes converting it and then we get we've done so now we have a sixteen bit file right there I just I feel like the bottoms getting cut off my screen I just get him there we go that's much better and I'm just gonna reset my work space here really quick so let me just get a column minimum as you can see I don't use a lot of panels s oh there we go that's it that's a sixteen bit fire we could have just easily done there's an april file and you know you could do other post processing if you want and you would now work on it like any other photograph that is like the most simple basic way of working with a stare it let's step it up a notch so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to go in and we'll go back to light room and why don't we just do this same images for now so we're just going to go move back to hdr prone photo shop and we're going to step it up a notch because I'll tell you honestly I very very rarely will ever do what I just did there that's all the steps but that's a very simplistic way of doing it because what you're doing is you're not really having any time to edit work with the thirty two bit file and as you can see here if I wanted thirty two but I've got to get back and I have to remove this all over again which is what I'm doing here so here we go we get the three images and now I'm going to change from sixteen to thirty two bit and I always do this I don't even care what it looks like right now a relevant I'm just going to click ok and we're just gonna wait for this to merge but here's the beautiful thing about doing it this way when I do it this way what I'm going to do is I'm going to save the thirty two bit file and then if I want to come back and I want to reinterpret this and that's actually and is an interchangeable term you know the term tone mapping you can interchange of interpret because that's how I like to think of it is how am I interpreting this image because it's it's a floating point images a lot more information than you can see even on your screen at once so you've got this creative freedom of interpreting it how you want the viewer to see it so what I'll do is I'll go here and I'll just choose files save as and then we'll just drop in on a desktop or whatever and I you know I give them names which I'm not going to do right now but what I always do is do underscore this is just my thing thirty two so I always know I've got a thirty two bit file because it's going to score thirty two agencies is a turf you can say that it appears a d or an opening it's our I'll mention opening weeks are now and I won't have to bring it up again because sometimes other people use thirty two bit files typically photographers, donors and into change kind of thing but for people that are doing film in three d and stuff like that so you know with three d the thirty two but files used a texture map and used for lighting different things like that like some of the films you see this city too but hd her lighting so films like benjamin button's, for example aa lot of the cg was actually lit using thirty two bit as as a lighting map so you can also use the protection that so there would be an opening idiots are so if you're doing that save it is an open mics are and you're done with the class favorite else let's keep going so I'll say this is a thirty two bit file and then I'll just usually just doing a photo shoot but actually I'm going cuba is a tiff and I'll tell you why I used to do it is a photoshopped file the reason I do it is a tiff now is because I can use it and leverage light room khun do hdr but you have to say there's a tip if you save it is appears d like room can't do it so can I read that tiffin only so we're going to hit here we're gonna hit save and all blah, blah, blah we're about it. So what I've done now is essentially have said this is a thirty two bit file, so if I ever want to do anything with it, I can just open this file later and I can reinterpret this in different ways and I have a whole library thirty two bit files and in fact, if you're inside of light room, you can actually filter you know when you hit the filter bar german would filter bar and you go in here you've got different ways of filtering your images a cz you probably are aware of I'm not going to get too indifferent because you've had the light room classes but you can actually fill two by thirty two if you go into the death and you can actually pull up all those inside light room so if you want to find the ones that are thirty two bit that's the easy way to do that so anyway going back here so what have we done here? We've essentially say this is a tinny too big a file and you'll notice this little slider the bottom here that was never there this is that slider that normally has that message you know, the message if you haven't changed a default some photo shop it goes options available only in thirty two bit mode and now all of a sudden miraculously working this because we have a thirty two bit file so the slider will only ever work in a thirty two bit files so I can move the slider babes and forwards and you can see how much dynamic range look at this we're barely moving that slider and we've gone from black delight so you know all that information is contained inside this little area when I'm moving this slider I'm not actually adjusting a photograph what I'm doing is I'm viewing the photograph because I don't have a thirty two bit monitor I can't see all the information at once, so by moving that slider across, you can examine the photograph that's essentially all you're doing is just reviewing and I know that once you move it out, you get really messed up and it's like where does their belongs? It is a tip you definitely want this tip. What we're going to do is go under our view menu and under the view menu there's a thing called thirty two, but preview options if we turn that on and we said our exposure for zero gamma for one that will give you an actual display, so if anything ever gets freaked out on you, this is your home base, so you're going to go into thirty two bit view options exposure gamma zero and one and if you do that, what you're looking at now is accurate because when you start using pleasures and things like that, it will shift a lot and so you don't know am I really looking at what I should be looking at now we know exactly what we should be looking at because we've zeroed out the display, so to speak okay, so we haven't really done anything exciting year exit from concluded two thirty two but so what we can do now is weakened due uh two things I'm going to go here and we just get it do the same thing we did before except doing it from the thirty two bit file what we're going to do is we're just going to change the mode now so I'm just going to go into image mode and we can change this to the eight or the sixteen bit option and when we do that I knew that sitting was there you know let me put a preference back because it was something exciting I'm saving for later and I'm just going to go here because this is what you're going tohave by default the case we're going to get back here image mode and now we can choose eight of sixteen but it doesn't really matter and in huh hdr tony what we have here exactly the same sliders that we had before remember when we skipped the thirty two but step what we've done it doing executive same thing except with added one step and at one step is the neighborhoods to say the thirty two bit found so we never have to get back you check it so I know this is kind of like some of this is maybe kind of fundamental but we get we're gonna move quickly I thank you okay, so we recover a shadow we recovered highlights opened up as shelters all that good stuff just like we did before so here's the thing you could do twos you could say that is a preset so if I say that is a priest's it I could just load that president like that's the one I just say that is a precinct and we'll call it, uh, see all for creative life. All right, there we go. So we've got a and any time we could just get back here there's ones that ship with it, but frankly, all of them are horrible. Um, so we go down here and we'll so like that one, I mean, I'm not trying to be mean that, you know, how often the factory presets look at otherwise people wouldn't so percent packs with a so, you know, so anybody so you can create your own pre sit here, and it looks good on day, and you don't have to keep looking for that all the time, and what I'll do is a lot of times I'll create a bunch of presets, and I'll use them is start off places like, no pre civil ever work on two images ever, and I don't care if it's an action or whatever you do appreciate it will get you a good starting place, and then you go to tweak it because every photograph is different, I mean, unless, of course, you know, I've got a, you know, I've got christine in here and I shoot like fifty photographs of her with different poses and exactly the same lighting and sittings then that proves it will work for all the photographs because at the same but as soon as I move one light everything changes all right? So anyway so you can do that and then essentially you just click ok and we get back and we've just done essentially the same thing now sixteen bit files so I'm gonna back off a second and I'm going to show you what I was doing in those preferences so there is a preference weaken do here if we go into photo shop and we go underwear preferences here and then we go under the file handling and you saw down here use camera roared to convert documents so if I click ok now what happens is when I convert this from thirty two bits of sixteen or a pit I don't have to use the hdr tony anything anymore so if you don't know what that is, you know not familiar those controls that's fine use what you know and now if I go image and I choose mode, I'm going to convert this and while r o camera or that you know and love except it's on steroids because notice look at all that dynamic range that's not normally there in camera roy normally get about their you get about their right so this is beautiful because we've got all the information from those three photographs all stay together in a road like a little slice show and now we can go down and we can do all the things we want to do we could recover our highlights we can you know, open up as shadows of whatever we can play around for exposure weaken dual all the stuff that we want to do that we used to doing instead of camera rolled right here you know, we could do the clarity if we wanted pullback situation of vibrance you know, in all the controls were just like normal and this is working on an hd high remains right now so camera rule works really, really well on a thirty two bit image and every single option is available which just like it would on your regular photos so that's great. That means that you can take what you already know and you can use it for processing hdr images so if we click ok, this will apply it. Look now it's a sixteen bit file I mean, I could donate that file that's ready to go so that's essentially two methods of tone mapping right there we're using the pro and we're using um a cr camera right now each diaper must be good because it's got permanence name right? So anything with printer name makes your professional um, so now, if I was working in light room, as you know, light room works identical to camera roar, so I could be doing exactly the same adjustments in time mapping and stuff inside of library. All right, so let's look at some other things, though, but one of the things I do want to mention, though, why were why were on this is camera brought is amazing because you can create very, very realistic looking tone maps in here. You know, if a lot of the time mapping tools, you know, like, like the hdr pro it's, hard to get a real attempts to want to go so really wants to look pretty. It wants to have those halos that wants toe look, you know, like, you know, words I won't use on air and light room just makes it easier to keep the photograph looking natural to make it look like a really photograph because, you know, it's photographers that I did nice hdr oh, nice time mapping. And then you show you images to a non for target for what do they do? They look at your photos and they look at your best work and, uh oh, I like that one because it doesn't look photoshopped. Right, so non photographers don't want the photos to look like photo shop. They want them to look like good photographed, like I like that, because it looks like a photograph you like. But you don't understand all the technology and the years of learning I did to make it look like this. They don't care, you know, frankly, they don't mean you. So anyway, moving along, and I'm and I just want, I just want to be clear here. I'm not putting down stylistic hdr because that is a very valid form of work is, well, so I'm not against that, just so, you know, because it might sound like I am a little bit. I mean, sometimes I do them like this here. Stylistic, you know, sometimes there's a place for it, but just not all the time. And also, when you do it, you know, you have to be tasteful.

Class Description

Have you ever shot a scene only to be disappointed when you uploaded the images later? High Dynamic Range (HDR) can ensure all the detail and colors you witnessed in the field aren’t lost after your shoot.

In HDR in Photoshop, Colin Smith will teach you new ways of working with HDR. You’ll learn how to take capture data and turn it into breathtakingly beautiful images. Colin will show you how to create HDR images so realistic that you feel like you can reach out and touch them.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2

Lessons

  1. HDR: Tone Mapping and Working with 32 Bit Files
  2. HDR: Merging Files and Color Adjustments

    Colin explains how many images it takes to make an image HDR and shows you how to stitch one together.

  3. HDR: Plugins and Presets
  4. HDR: Photomatix and Compositing

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