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Creating Your HDR in Lightroom

Lesson 4 from: Making and Editing Natural Looking HDR Images: Lightroom CC

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

4. Creating Your HDR in Lightroom

Lesson Info

Creating Your HDR in Lightroom

Now let's talk about making the HDR. So once we bring those images in tow light room the key to finding the images is not to cycle through them like this. This is gonna is gonna be horrible. If you're just doing this to select all urine and you're doing this, this is just annoying, right? So what you want to do is you want to go through and find if I'm trying to select between, say, these images of the Grand Tetons, I'm just gonna look for those middle exposures and I'm gonna click on a middle exposure, and then I'm gonna command click another middle exposure and then command click another middle exposure and then command click another middle exposure to see what I'm doing. I just want to compare my middle exposures, and then I'm gonna hit the n key to go into the survey. And now you see what I'm looking at is the middle just to get an idea of what's my frame? Which one do I wanna work on all that kind of stuff. So I'm just gonna kind of sail through these and goes, Well, I don't reall...

y like this one. All that much because the mountains are too far away. I like this one, but I really like having that little barn back there in the distance. I like that a lot. And I like this one here. That's kind of from a low angle with the grass is up there on. And then this one is my son and his friend running out into the field. So I think I like this one, this one here and this one here the most. So I'm gonna get rid of these. So now it's a question of which of these I want to do. And I'm going to do this one here so that we can look at something a little bit more landscape E. So I'm gonna highlight all of these shots. So let me first in the View menu in view options, Aiken, show the grid extras and expand the cells so that I can see because some of these have already been adjusted. And so I want to see all this extra stuff, and I want to see their names. Now, I want to show you something here that has been done already. I was able to take one of the middle exposures. See that one and do a pretty good job just from the middle exposure. So sometimes you'll you'll shoot your HDR. And then if you grab the middle exposure, you might actually be able to accomplish the entire thing inside of that H Because look, the hissed a gram falls all the way over there. But look, I've got a spike right over here, so I'm not getting as much out of that is I could have gotten with the HDR so that at that point, then even though I got a good approximation of what it would look like from this image, I'm simply going to go through and grab all of my images. So it's this one, this one, this one and this is an extra copy, so I could just delete that one. So these are all the images, and this one's actually a middle exposure. So this is what it actually looks like. So that's the That's the exposure set. This one, this one, that one. That one. Now I've already done a bunch of work on this one, but none of that counts because I'm going to make an HDR, and it's going to take him back to square one so that it can work on the originals. So if I were to run that HDR, it's just gonna disregard all of my brightness and black and white points and all that kind of just going to disregard that. But what? But what I want to do is I want to reset all of these to begin with just so that there's no stray weird things because there are some settings that light room will take into the HDR. So I just want to make sure that I reset all of this. I'm gonna turn on my auto sync, and I'm gonna reset all of these like that. So now there's no crops, there's no nothing on them and they're just as normal. And then I'm going to right click either the bottom or the top, not the middle, because that the one that you choose is going to be the one that becomes kind of the master. So then your HDR is going to place next to it, so I'm just gonna choose the brightest one, and then I'm gonna right click, and I'm going to go to photo merge HDR when I emerge in HDR, I have some options, and while it's doing this preview, I'll go through the options with you. The first option is auto align. You always want that on because it's going to try and merge all of those and put them together so that they're perfectly lined up. You don't want to have to do that manually. So auto align and the next one is auto tone, which should always stay off because auto tone isas good is your auto exposure on your flash is as good as your auto vacuum cleaner. Isas Good as everything. Auto in your life is making bad decisions. So turn that off because what will happen is it will try and automatically make the exposure. And you know what it will look like. Take a guess. It'll look like really bad hdr, right, cause it'll try and flatten everything out. And so then suddenly you'll be like, Oh, that's just bad as all the other HDR programs in the world. So the auto turn that off, you'll be able to do it on your own. Okay, so then the ghosting Do you see these little red areas right down here. Oops, Right there. Those our masks. See that show ghost overlay that is telling you where the ghosting is occurring? Ghosting is when something moves between the exposures. So what happens is light room has to then figure out which exposure has the best version of that thing that moved, and then it has to get rid of the others. So it does a really intricate process of figuring it out, and it doesn't really good job at it. In our case, we don't necessarily need to work on ghosting all that much, cause nothing's really moving all that much, but we'll leave it on low and hit merge. So right now, what's happening is light from is taking four exposures that are raw and it's making 1/5 exposure. That is a combination of all four that is also raw. So now, instead of a 16 or 14 bit raw, it's now a 32 bit raw, says Dash HDR. I don't usually allow it to do anything like a dash edit, because I don't want the client to see that I did any edit to an image I just wanted to look like came out of camera that way. But the HDR is good tohave there, and it's actually what it does on its own anyway. But it's nice to have it there because you can then search for it. So you confined your HDR because it says HDR at the end. That's fair, useful information. So I'm gonna go into the develop module. Once I'm in the develop module, you will see that instead of the exposure. Like if I go to this image here, that's not HDR. The exposure can take me up. 45 stops and down for five stops, right? It's That's as far as it goes. But if you go to an HDR image, it can go up 10 stops and down stops. So it's got a lot more leeway in everything. So see, now I have a lot more starbursts up there on the sun. I have. I can take that highlight down about two there before it just starts manufacturing something, Um, and then I can take the shadows up quite a ways so I can play with this image. So I take my exposure back up and take my highlights down there. That looks nice. And now look at that shadow, and I can play around with that shadow until I get the right amount of. And this is where you have to start to think m I going too far. I promise you that people will respond to your images better if they look like photographs because they will think, Wow, that really existed when you were there. If they see your images as that typical HDR, they will know that you were in photo shop hdr ing and they will think it's more of a painting and therefore they won't react the same way they'll say, Wow, what a wonderful piece of art you just created, as opposed to the thing that you really want them to dio Wow, you were there at the moment and you caught that. You know what I mean? Like, that's kind of what you want from people's response to a photograph. That's why photographs or so amazing, and that's why they we react. The way we do to him because we think of them is real. So we want to avoid that hdr look. So some of the things you can do to avoid the HDR look is toe. Add contrast back into your print because the HDR look comes from a lack of contrast. It comes from, really, you know, milky blacks and really low highlights. So it's all crunched in that center areas that there's not much difference between highlights and shadows.

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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