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Adjusting Your HDR Image

Lesson 5 from: Making and Editing Natural Looking HDR Images: Lightroom CC

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

5. Adjusting Your HDR Image

Lesson Info

Adjusting Your HDR Image

What I do is I start by bringing the shadows up. Keep the exposure where it is. Keep contrast. Where is usually I end up bringing the shadows up quite a bit. The highlights down quite a bit. Counter act, the shadows coming up. And then that's about where I sit and say, Okay, now what does it look like now? I want to start adding in shadows and contrast on things like that. So I'm gonna take my clarity up because clarity is contrast in mid tones. So we want a lot of that contrast. Rather than adding contrast to the a lot of contrast to the bottom and the top of the exposure. I want to add the contrast in the mid tones because that's where all the detail is. That's where the grass is. That's where the clouds are. All that's in the middle part of the exposure. That's where I want to play. So I'm gonna take the clarity up quite a bit and you can see let me fill the screen here and get rid of those you can see then, as we're working on this file, that as I go up with the clarity see how the...

grass starts to pop. If I go down like this, or if I take the contrast down and the clarity down and I take it up, then you start to see, like, this weird HD arness. Um and so I'm gonna take the contrast up a little bit and add a little bit contrast. So them getting dark areas here in the barn and over here inside of the mountains and in some of the shadows here. But then I'm taking the clarity up in order to get the shadows in the mid tones, like between each blade of grass on between the mountains here and also up in the clouds like that. Okay, so now let me zoom back out. There we go. OK, so there's the full image, and that, I think looks pretty good. Um, but because I have all of that information in there, I have 32 bits worth of data. I can do anything I want with this file. So now I can go up into my Grady int and I can choose to do a what I call a blue sky burn. And then I just grabbed down, up, up the top and dragged down, and you can see how deep in those clouds and made the whole sky a little bit bluer. Now, that effect is a little too over the top. So I hit the option key, and that gives me that little sideways arrow. When I click on it and I drag it to the left, it it pulls away some of that effect. If I drag it to the right, it increases the effect. So I'm just going to drag it back to the left a little bit, so that's just not quite so crazy. But now you can see that I've got a nicer, thicker set of clouds. Um, it's a little bluer up there, so it seems a little bit more like a stormy cloud situation. Um, and so but I've got all of that data there because I didn't blow out the sky. So now I'm gonna also I like this son, and you see how it's got a natural warmth to the sun. Sun is naturally warm, and then these clouds air naturally blue. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take the, um, radial filter. And at this point, I'm just going to double click the effect right here. So if you double click that, it's actually just going to reset it, and then I'm just gonna increase the warmth of it. And I'm gonna make a little radial right there. See how it made the whole scene warm. That's because I didn't invert the mask. So every time you do something with the radio filter doesn't outside the circle. But if you invert the mask, it does it inside the circle. So now I can take this. Yeah, I could move that warm spot anywhere. Well, I'm gonna put it right there over the sun. I'm gonna tilt it a little bit like this. I'm gonna increase the entire, um, the entire circle just a little bit. And then I'm gonna come over here to the feather, take the feather, and if I really, really, really feather it So if I do this, you can see how it's got the circle and it's a hard edge, But I really feather it By the time it hits the edge, it's doing nothing. And so now I'm just gonna put it over the top of the sun and I'm gonna take down the temperature just a little bit there. See how it's starting to feel like only turn it on and off so you can see the difference. So there it is without and there it is with it just warms that sun up. Maybe I should do it just a little bit more there. Try it on and off again, see if you can see it. Do you see it? It's just warming up the sun just a little bit. And by giving that son a little bit of warmth now it is setting itself off against the coolest guy. And then I can take the ST Once I've got this thing set, I can click new. It makes a whole new radio filter and then I congrats another one. And remember, I need to make sure that my mask is inverted will make my feather all the way up. And then I want this to be a long, skinny one like this. See that? Because I want to warm up that area of the sky right there, and I'm gonna tilt it a little bit like that. I'm gonna expand it out like that. So see outs coming down from over there and warming up that portion of the sky and then I could do another one click new, and I can warm up this whole area right here, right around the barn. Right. So see it now, I can just manufacture anything I want and make the story because I got so much data, I can even zoom into the barn here and grab my brush. And once I've got my brush grabbed my pen tool, and I've got all of this information, so I'm gonna double click this. I'm just going to dio what I call a smart Dodge. So I'm just going to do a smart dodge and the smart dodges going to brighten things up, but keep the black things black. So, like, that window's gonna be black still. And I'm just gonna gonna brighten this thing up a little bit. Let me see if I can increase my density just a little bit my flow so that you see it faster. So I'm just gonna brighten this little place up over here and I'm gonna brighten this one up a bit here. So now once I've painted that, I just take the exposure up a little bit. See how I can change the way that stuff looks and then see how if I if I really overspill it, See, I spilled over the side of that. That's okay, because what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go from here. I'm gonna go into the brush itself in a race, and I'm gonna turn the flow to 100%. And then I'm gonna take my brush down, and I'm just gonna grab right here, and I'm just gonna erase the edge right there around so that it's just it's just going to get right at the edge. And it's not gonna really It's having a little bit of a problem finding that edge simply because the barn looks a little bit like the the background, but it's still pretty good. It's just getting to the edge of it. And then I come down here and do the same thing, and every time you click, you're registering like a new piece of green or a new piece of yellow or something like that. And what? Oh, I wasn't an auto mask. That's why we're getting I was getting such bad results. Okay, watch what happens when I go into auto mask. So now, as I click, it registers the result of that grass and see how it doesn't go into the barn. It just stops at the edge of the barn and then here it stops at the edge of the house. And then over here, it's going to stop at the top of the barn. There we go. I thought for sure my auto mask wasn't doing very well, but it waas so then, once I've got that, I can also go back into the A brush again, and I can go back and paint into the roof that effect again, and it's going to stop at the edge of the roof right there at the edge of the roof, right there at the edge of the roof. Okay, now, obviously, I was painting way too bright in there, but now if I just kind of brighten it up a little bit, then when I zoom back out, see how those pop out a little bit better. So now I can just turn on and off and you'll see the difference been before and after. And then if I take that up in temperature, then it looks like that son is actually hitting them. See that? So I'm just gonna add a little bit of sun kissed to them, and now I've got a much better shot than I had before. So once you merged your HDR, then it's just a regular photograph with a lot of death. So now I can brighten things up, darkened things down and the beauty of that photo that situation is. Then when I zoom in and I look at that, I mean, I've brighten these up and there's just they're smooth. Iskan be there. Just There's nowhere on this photograph that has any noise, and yet I've done a lot of work on it. Brought highlights down, shadows up. I've brightened things with the brushes. It's just, it's almost It's really hard once you have a 32 bit raw file to find noise anywhere because you can just brighten things up top then and degree, and there's still no noise because you've got more data even below that. So before when you were working on your tiff file after you add merged them into HDR, you were then working with a pixel file, so it wasn't raw, and so it was really easy to start seeing noise. Start be created. And you see a lot of that crunchiness in people's HD ours today as well. That's because they're working in HD ours that aren't raw. They're working on HDR. Is that air pixel based? So they they deteriorate as you work on them. Okay, so now, once you have that concept, master, I want you to see I'm not gonna go through the process of making it, cause we already did. But I'm going to show you the settings. So now I want you to see this shot right here. Here's the dark, lighter lighter. Do you see the two kids? Lighter, lighter, lighter. They're moving around, right? Well, if you go into your HDR merge right click. You go into a photo merged HDR. When you do that, this ghosting option is what gets rid of the kids that are moving. So it sees that you have something back there that's moving. So it's going to find one of those objects, and it's going to dismiss the rest, and it's gonna fill in all the gaps. And so, in order to do that, if there's a lot of movement, then you could do ah, high ghosting amount. And if there's not a lot of movement, you can do a low, and you can trigger back and forth between them until you find the appropriate amount of of masking. So right now you can see that the mask is on just the kids, and you can also see that in the center of her back. It doesn't have to do any work because that didn't move that the center of vaccine to stay in the same place. Or at least that's the area. That was always the same tone, right? And if I thought there was mawr to be had, then I would go to medium or high. But there isn't more to be had, so I'm just gonna leave it at Low and then I'm gonna hit merge. But I've already done the merge for you and here is the Merge. So it's an HDR shot and I had fully moving running, kids running down, jumping over something, and yet that's what I've got. I've got a beautiful HDR 32 bit file with a merge that happened while someone was running did the same thing inside of. So this is the Charles Bridge. Ah, in, um in Prague. So you can see if I look through these that there's people in the background here to see the people back there. There's, like, just random people in there moving around, and it's a long shutter speed, so they're kind of blurry, Um, And so I've got to do submerging in HDR here to get this bridge. And when I do, I'm going to get this, and I and I made several different HDR so that you could see the difference. So I'm gonna zoom into this one, and you can see that this was a small amount of ghosting. So it just did a little bit of ghosting and look what it does here. See, it freaks out on those because it's trying to merge these and get like the tones, right? I don't know why it tries to try to do it here, too. So occasionally you get something like that. But that's okay, because when you get into a situation like that, if you go into the develop module and you zoom into that area and you need that thing, this thing to not look like a weird black hole. All you have to do is grab your spot and you're gonna go to that. The one that works correctly like this. So you just have to goto, like right about there. Grab it. Oh, sorry. Holden gonna move this 12 here. You know this one? Two Here. You see, I'm putting that light back in there, so I'm just putting that in the center, and then I'm putting this in the center of that, and then I'm going to increase the size of this, which will increase the size of that. So you just play with that. And now we're getting that thing back back to normal. So you just work on it that way and then re repeat the process wherever you get those types of issues. So now that light is no longer funky. Um, or I could work on a little bit more, but you get the idea. Um, but then if I go to this next one here, which is an HDR, and I zoom in, um, you can see See this weird stuff that's going on right there. That data, that's that's the noise that is from a bad, uh, ghosting issue. And so it's the same shot. It's just a medium ghosting instead of a small. And so when you let the ghost and go further than it's supposed to, or than it needs to, you start getting areas like this. So if you ever zoom in and you see an HDR that has these kind of things right here, that's just this weird data looking stuff. Let me brighten it out. See that weird data? If you ever see that it should look like this so clean that wall is. But then it's looking like this because your ghosting was too high. Pull it back and you get to know what the right amount of ghosting is. But you can see the difference between that and this one where it didn't take those people right. It changed. It made different decisions. See how they're kind of disappeared there. So it made different decisions based on what you chose as a ghost, so you can see that this one doesn't have any data in it either. So just choose the correct ghosting and you'll avoid. Those were data, things

Ratings and Reviews

JIll C.

Though I've already been using Lightroom for HDR's and Panos for a while, I gained some useful insight into techniques and workflow from this course. Jared teaches you what you need to know to make good images without getting too technical. He even showed examples of HDR portraiture, which I would never have attempted.

Shelly Fields

Attended a workshop with Jared through AZPPA many years ago. Loved him then, but even more so now. He is a thorough, articulate speaker. I highly recommend him.


Having never used HDR or Panoramic techniques before, this was a great class for me. Jared made the concepts and steps very understandable. I need to get out and try some!!

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