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Reviewing HDR Images in Lightroom

Lesson 2 from: Making and Editing Natural Looking HDR Images: Lightroom CC

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

2. Reviewing HDR Images in Lightroom

Lesson Info

Reviewing HDR Images in Lightroom

you'll see on my screen right now, I am showing you an HDR image, and it is just It looks pretty much like a normal photograph. It doesn't look, you know, Super Bright doesn't look super dark. It doesn't look like it's crunch together. And like a painting, it just looks like a normal photograph. But this was a photograph that was five different photographs merged together so that you got the lowest dark shadows in those trees on the bottom left hand side. And then you have the shadows of the rocks, those air all nicely exposed so that we can see the the moss and stuff growing on the rocks. But then we also can see the sun barreling in on us, and that was really, really bright. So let me show you those photographs put together so that you can see that when we start with the photograph. That's what we've got. That's the exposure in order to get the sun. That's the exposure we have to get in order to see how the sun's cut started creep through now. But now we're getting the rays from the ...

sun. But the sun itself is starting to blow out the Rays air. Getting Mawr increased now, But now we're going to start losing pieces of the cloud. And then we're starting to lose the entire sky as the shadows from the rocks start to come in. And then as soon as we get the shadows on the rocks, we have no sky. And that's just the way hdr or that's the way photographs go. Um, now we can work on a photograph. I could take one kind of in the middle here, or maybe a little bit lower so I can get the sky. And if I were going to the develop module and work on this image itself and say, Take the shadows all the way up so that I could see this, you can see that I got the sky and they're pretty well. But the shadows they're going to be quite noisy on DSO photograph that's well placed on your hissed a gram. And if you look up here at our history Ram, you can see that I've got a pretty good set of information here. But that's the rocks and the trees. You can see that right towards the end. It's starting to drop down, but it looks like if I zoom in there, you can see that it's starting to go down before Eclipse. But you're gonna lose quite a bit of information there. But more importantly is this has to shift up. So I have to grab this whole set and move it up like that in order to get anything from those from those rocks. And when I do that and I go into those shadows and bring it up, it's just super full of noise. And there's like banding and especially in the trees. You start getting noise so those kind of situations air difficult when you're dealing with a file, even though I can kind of get the whole thing in. It's just not a super clean, beautiful file. If I have the ability to put it on a tripod or to shoot multiple shots, I'm going to do that because I want to get the best file possible. So in order to do that, I have to still read this hissed a gram and you'll you'll notice that as I go up, the hissed a graham. I'm giving myself a photograph where there's nothing blowing out on the right hand side. And then by the time I get to the top, I'm giving myself a photograph where there's nothing blowing out on the left hand side. I want to show that to you in a specific set of photos here, Um and I'm going to show you the what it looks like on the camera and also what it looks like on the screen. So I want you to pay close attention to the hissed a gram. So as I zoom in here, I'll try and give you. Okay, there's the hissed, a gram. You can see the instagram, and then you can kind of see what that photograph looks like here. So this is a very dark photograph. Got the son is the only thing is blowing out right in the centre. I'm gonna hit the Jakey, and that will turn on any highlight and shadow warnings. They make sure it's completely on. We're not in the develop module there. Okay, so in the develop module, when I hit the Jakey, you can see that I've got the sun blowing out, which is fine. I don't care about the sun blowing out because it's the sun. So but otherwise the rays from the sun or not. But you can see that I've got a lot of shadow here. I only have a little bit a shadow, actually clipping, but it's really quite deep. And so I want the best photo I can get. So I want to do in HDR of this And so as I as I work, walk through this with you. I also am going to walk through it on the camera and we're going to see what those what were what were what we would see on the camera at the same time that would we would see it on your raw image. The important thing to recognize about when you're looking in your camera at the hissed A grams here is that you're not actually looking at a raw image. You're looking at a J peg. So the history I was always different inside your camera than it is in the final raw image. So if I look at this hissed a gram here, there is quite a bit of clipping right on the right hand side and you can see in the value hissed a gram, it comes down and then it spikes up again right there, Quite a bit. Um, but that's not accurate. Not as accurate as it is over here, because this is raw. And this is actually reading the J peg that it created from the raw to in order to show it to you on the back of the camera, which is very useful to you. Because if the camera tells you something is clipping, then you know that you have a little bit of leniency on that report. It's like a four warning of a problem coming. So if you pay attention to your hissed a grams and also use the little blinky lights that basically it's a highlight warning system. If you allow those to blink on you, then you will see where those problems are. In our case, it would show you like you're seeing here on the screen. You're seeing the red blowing out inside of that son, So in order to turn on the blinking lights here, you're going to go into the play menu. So if you go to your play area and you go up to the top of in my cameras on the third play menu at the very top is the highlight alerts. If I turn them on than when I play, you can see the sun is blinking. That's what's blowing out. So it's very useful to know what's blowing out because these hissed a grams over on the right hand side are sometimes a little nebulous. You don't know exactly what's happening, but if you compare these with this, then you really know what is actually blowing out and you have a lot of good data. So then what you want to dio, and this is important for you to get to know your camera, always get to know your camera, especially if it's a brand new camera. Or if you've never done this before, I go out and take a series of exposures that go up in brightness and then take them back and look and see where the clipping occurs in camera and then what it looks like here. So we're gonna step up on both, so I'm gonna take the camera and go up one, and I'm gonna take the computer and go up one, and you can see that the camera started to blink a little bit. Mawr, then my computer did so it it's starting to see the exposure I'm gonna go with 2nd 1 up, 2nd 1 up. You can see that on the camera. It's blinking pretty severely over by the sun and on. My computer is not blinking so severely. So then I'm gonna go up again and again and you can see again that the sky is starting to blow out the whole entire area, but not necessarily here and again. That's because the Raw has more information in it, and the J peg is a compressed photograph. And so it's it's blowing out faster, and I'm just following it up and making sure that I understand what my camera is telling me in relationship to what my raw actually has. So I keep doing that, and I'm gonna go all the way to the brightest one, and you can see on the brightest one that I still actually have some data up here in the top right hand corner on my raw image. But when I go back to the camera, it's pretty non existent, so that gives you an idea of what can I actually recover? So probably I can recover that sky on the second brightest one, even though my camera shows that most of the sky is completely blown. If I go back to the computer and just grab the exposure nav and bring it down, you can see that I was able to recover everything up to that little quadrant. So I was able to get kind of the bracket around the frame around the sky. I got that. But you can see, see how it pops goes like this, and then I'll send It goes pop. That pop is it's just cause the Reds gone doesn't mean you have the sky. It just means that I can't do anymore. And so now it's going to just start adding gray to it. So soon as you get to that pop, pull it back to where you got the highlights because you don't want toe fake anything. All right, so that tells you what you can get back and what you can't get back on your on your raw information. When you're looking at your camera, you need to know what that data is telling you understand your hissed a gram and understand your highlight warnings and what it means for you later when you get into light rooms so that you know when you're on location based on those hissed a grams, whether or not you're getting your exposure. So in our case, because we were literally looking into the sun and we had some dark shadows here, we wanted to do a pretty wide exposure. So we wanted to do 123456 exposures that it's That's pretty why that's a lot of exposures.

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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