Editing HDR Images


Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® Plugins 101


Lesson Info

Editing HDR Images

So, um I'm a wedding photographer and I take pictures of people but apparently there's a couple people who love wildlife in the chat rooms and so I have pulled up every picture I have of ah of an animal. So this is a squirrel that I photographed well, portrait he he actually posed for me eating his little he's eating dog food so that's about as while the wildlife is like get I guess but it's awesome anyway so there's our and and this is the one we I think we used a pretty preset on this maybe or you know, I think it was a visco films on this earlier in the day in the week but we can we can see in the developed module what we've done to our squirrel so if we come down to the developed module the history what did we dio yeah, it was it this go is what we use nice. So we used this go on this guy but here's here's what he looks like on import so just the native capture and then we brought the exposure up a little bit at a little contrast little black point to get his fertile look good um a...

nd then and then we synchronized an adjustment which was just a vignette ing and then we played awesome graduated filters to kind of burn in this area here and bring your attention to mr squirrel and then of course added a visco effect to give us the film version of our squirrels so for those of you who are interested in wildlife that's about as wild as they get I just I'm just not a wildlife photographer although I did take you know, some pictures of a running horse so this is a colt in its mother on dwi would have the cowboys run the horses back and forth past me which is a little unnerve ing by the way coming engine I'm just kneeling down here in the field and I'm just like scare those horses towards may so these horses were just running past me so wow anyway but that's about as wild as they get so we have a holdover from yesterday way didn't get done with our last plug in that I wanted to talk about visual plug in any way and that was hdr because hdr is an interesting animal it can look really bad or it could be very useful um because we just don't have the latitude that our id does and so sometimes you're taking a picture and the sky is one exposure and the ground is another exposure and your I can see it but the film can't or the or the chip can't and uh this is nothing new I mean from the very beginning and photography we had hdr going on so in the very beginning when the photographer wanted to take a picture of a landscape. The film was two cents or was not sensitive enough and so in order for and it was too sensitive to blue light not sensitive enough to the rest of the light. And so what would happen is you would take a portrait of, like a landscape, and you'd have sky, but the sky is blue, light it's that ultraviolet light that's coming in so it would it would burn too much on the film, and so you'd get a white sky would be completely white and you get the ground or you could expose for the sky, and then you have nothing in the foreground. And that was the problem that in the eighteen hundreds that photographers will deal we're dealing with, and so their solution was any time they had a sky that was beautiful with lots of nice, puffy clouds, they would go out and photograph on ly skies, and they would have a bunch of glass plate negatives of skies in their archives. And then whenever they wanted to go photograph something they would photograph, you know, given scene and not worry about the sky, and then they would take that and sandwich it with all of the and they could choose they'd be like ok, this looks like such and such a day or these the clouds that were existing at that time so then they go and find some clouds that have the right lighting scenario and then they would just they would burn the print with the foreground and then they would burn the print with sky and that was hdr two different exposures put together in the dark room but it was just, you know, burning and dodging like this instead of an hdr program inside of photos show that sounds like voodoo yeah definitely do but but you can always tell there's always this line you know, you look at an old photograph that if you look at any photograph that was taken in the mid eighteen hundreds and it has a sky in it, you'll you'll definitely see a line at the the edge either either the barn that they or the house or the tree or whatever will get darker because they're burning in over the top of it or they'll miss it and you'll see the sky kind of fade into nothing before it hits the ground then that's the telltale sign of what they've been doing is that there's this gap either there's an overlap of burn or there's a gap where it turns white but you know I mean you do what you can do and so that's the beginning of photo manipulation is there inside of sky issue in the in the eighteen hundreds so so this is nothing new but now we just have tools that do a much better job at what we want to accomplish so for instance here I have a siri's of photographs when you when you want tio get rid of all the distractions on your screen all the different tabs on the left and the right he hit shift tab it will get rid of those for you so it's just a quick you know I want to look at all these images but you can see here on the right hand side you have a capture where if I get the sky in it gets a little dark under the eaves here and it's it's totally cia ble but it's it's pretty dark and then if I go over here and I brighten it up so I get the right exposure under the eaves and I get a better exposure of some of these you know shadows and stuff then I get no sky and so then if I come into an hdr solution then I get you know beautiful sky and I also get the um you know, the beautiful exposure and contrast that I want inside of the cabin and so this is the way I would prefer my image to look when I'm doing something that's very you know, uh intensive with a you know a bright sky and a darker shadow so there's several ways to deal with hdr and sometimes it's multiple exposures and sometimes it's a it's one exposure so like for instance if you're taking a picture of person it's difficult to take five pictures of them and have them in the same place and so you can't necessarily use although it's been ton if you haven't hold really still on fire those things really fast you could do an hdr of a person with multiple exposures but generally if someone's doing an hdr person what they're going to do is they're going to take one exposure and then they're going to enlighten room expose it different ways and then they will take all of that information and run it through an h dear process to kind of merge all those things together the absolute best way to do an hd ours is to get all of the exposures through different actual photographs so so that you actually because then you actually getting the very best information from each individual shot so I expose and the key to a hdr exposure is that you don't change the aperture you change the shutter speed because of changing capture than things that were in focus are now out of focus so you you set your aperture and you set your eyes so the way you want him and then you change the exposure time so you might do you know a sixteenth of a second one twenty fifth of a second to fiftieth of a second so now you have three stops of latitude so that you can see the shadows and you can see the highlights but it's all in the exposure but that also means you need to lock down your cameras so that it's stable so that everything stays in the same spot and you want to have as fast a shutter speed as possible so you don't get motion blur so if something's moving you don't want it you want to nail it really fast like trees kind of go like this and so you when you have trees you want them to quickly be exposed so that there's not this you want to go bam and then and fast you can which means the faster shutter speed is the faster you can accomplish all of your your your shots so I would far rather do in hdr four hundred eyes so because I can have a faster shutter speed then I would one hundred eyes so and have like it get into the thirtieth of a second realm or something like that although hd ours perfectly doable at slow shutter speeds for, you know, brick wall or for you know something that's not moving, but if there's trees in it, if there's you know any kind a chance of movement of some sort than you definitely want to speed up your shutter speed as quickly as you can without getting into like sixteen hundred aiso or something like that okay so that's just some good advice on how to accomplish that the photography of hdr so if you can't photograph three shots and in this case here I'll show you another example in this case we have this is the this is the final shot so you can see that we've got nice skies we've got a nice background here and we've got a nice foreground so everything is well exposed but these are the shots that it comes from so here's here's the shot for the foreground here's the shot for the sky and here's the shot for that little sunset so you're getting the three different shots and you got to shoot these really fast because the clouds are moving and so are those trees so you don't want to see any movement between them because then it has to somehow figure out the right you know which which which one is the you know do we use this part of the tree or this part of the tree and it becomes a little tricky but the final shot then merges all those together and you've got a pretty nice you know that's what the eye sees when you're when you're photographing s so that's an example of a shot that has taken with through with three different photographs so each photograph is a new photograph but they were all taken band and down as fast as I could take him. All right, so the question is then how do we do the hdr so that's enough discussion about how to take the hdr photos now we've got to talk about how you run them through the process and there's several different ways to deal with an hdr image on dh so what I want to do this is a great example, right care of two images that I've got you know this one's for this foreground this one's for the sky and I want to run it through my hdr process there's two different ways that you can do with it you can go to photo shop directly photoshopped has the ability to create its own hdr um so if you are in your grid module and you just right click the image and you go to edit in at the very bottom of the edit in menu is merge hdr pro in photo shop and if I do that if I click on a chair now now before we do this I have to go upto light room preferences into our our external editing remember we talked about this on monday are I mean the day one whenever that wass on dso on day one we talked about this you if you were going to do a lot of plug in stuff, you have to be a tiff document this is an interesting point even photo shop will not accept the psd if you're trying to do I mean light room itself will not accept a psd if you're trying to do hdr thirty two bit work even even photoshopping light room want a tiff they don't want so you can't use the psd for the process and about to do so you have to turn it to a tip it could be a pro photo rgb in it can be sixteen bit but it's got to be a tiff so just be aware of that you so it's probably better just turn all your work flow to a tiff if you're going to do a lot of tricky hdr are you going to do anything and plug ins because even photo shop and light room want a tiff for the hdr process okay so just keep that in mind so I right click these two files so I've got a brighter file and a darker file and in this case it's actually you know what this is hold on I need to go teo I need to go to the original files here because we want two different files not two of the same file because in this case I was just about to do one file and then eh eh the same file but had been adjusted differently it was a virtual copy and we don't want to do that for this example we want to see the example for an image like this and then an image like that see so we got there's there's the sky and there's a brighter image for the for the back are the foreground and these air two different photographs came so you have a photograph forty three and forty for those of the two images that we're going to work with so in the developed module before you ever do any kind of hdr stuff, the first thing you have to do is make sure that all of your if you're going to do any lens correction stuff do it now so if I'm going to go in and do some lens correction, we're going to turn on the auto sink on this and we're going to do any linds correction stuff that we want to do to this we're going to do it all right now so we go into the lens correction and if we're going to turn on some kind of an odd olin's corrections so enabled the profile corrections we do that now and it's going to do it to both of them equally so that when we go back and forth between the two there is no difference between them and if I'm going to do it even yet ing or if I'm going to do any anti vignette ing or anything like that, we've got to do it now, so that in the end, when we come back with its one of them's not different than the other, because if you do a little vignette ing on one and not on the other or a little contrast on one, and not on the other, you end up with very deep for files thie other thing that you want to do is go in and remove any chromatic aberration, because the hdr is going to intensify that dramatic aberration, so I'm going to click on that remove chromatic aberration. So any of those little, you know, spots where the where it turns magenta on the edge between light and dark, I want to get rid of that otherwise it's going to intensify that? Because now I'm gonna have this awesome hdr of traumatic aberration, so make sure you get rid of anything like that. So once we've done that, then we can go in, and we don't need to sweeten up the file like when you're doing hdr, your goal is not to make your original files look awesome. Your goal is to give you the most latitude possible, so if you're in here trying to add contrast to the images that you're going to send hdr you're actually going the wrong way, so don't try and make these things look awesome. What we're doing is we're just looking for the data, and then we're going to merge the data into one file that has lots and lots of data that we can then monkey with so here's and again, this is the one this is one method, there are two methods that we're going to discuss. The first method is just simply doing an hdr inside of light room, but we need photo shops assistance first, so I'm going to right click these and I'm in a edit in I'm going to go down to merge two hdr pro in photo shop and it's going to bring those images in there's, a little dialogue box that I have to go through, but basically it's going to open up these images and it's going to merge the two of them together, and then it's going to create a really hefty thirty two bit file, which remember we talked about eight versus sixteen bit, so sixteen is like lots and lots and lots of information, you know it's it's, the one foot of sand instead of the one inch of sand, right, so eight bit is one inch of sand thirty sixteen bit is one foot of sand when your sand painting thirty two bit is like a mile of sand like the beach it's exponentially adds beach it almost doesn't end so you know, like the curve goes up like that and so you have so much more information so you can see what's happened here is that we've got a file here and we've got a file here and they've been merged and it looks awful there's it doesn't look good at all it just sits there on dh you could, you know, grab this and and, you know, move it back and forth to see what kind of thing this is. This is just showing you what information exists in the file so that it the file is going to contain everything from that bright like I've got shadows that air like that in there and then I can see where the file information ends on the other end and I've got even that so you don't need to worry about where you place this this doesn't matter. All that matters is that you're going into thirty two bit mode that's the only thing that matters so I'm going to click on thirty I I wanted to make me a thirty two bit file and I'm not going to complete toning it in camera all I want is the thirty two bit file, so I'm using photo shops can hdr pro as a file creator that's all I'm using it for so once it creates this file were going to say that backto light room do you ever shoot five exposures as opposed to three? Yes, the question of whether or not you save whether you take three, five or seven exposures and depends on how drastic that light changes so if you're in a position where there really really bright light like say you're indoors and it's like a really dark you know room and there's outdoors is bright, bright phoenix sunlight and then indoors you have a an area here with a couch with total shadow on it and then you've got over here and it's just I mean, you've got like, thirteen, fourteen, twenty stops of stuff going on and you've got to somehow get it all in then you need to adm or exposures to it so that you can get there and get every tone in so the more you do, the better off you're hdr is going the more information you'll have. Um when I'm outside and I'm doing something with trees, moving then five is too many because by the time I get to the fifth one, the tree has definitely moved even if there's no wind right? And so three is a much better option because I could depend on them, you know? And then I might only need two of them, right? You know, so just the let the last photos you have in the closer they are together the less the trees are moving that was a question from net d thanks in that thanks in that ok, so now we have a thirty two bit to file inside of light room has to be a tip file tio lightning will not read a thirty two bit psd on ly a thirty two bit tough so we have this thirty two bit tiff inside of white room which now we can go into the developed module and we can use just like it's a normal file it just happens to be really big and now we can go in and adjust this file and do a lot to it because we have so much more data. So now when we look look how clean and beautiful that look at that it is absolutely and I am look at this I'm taking the shadows upto like, you know seventy or whether this is the point at which when you start bringing shadows up that high in a normal raw image you end up with a lot of like noise and rain going on and sometimes even some like banding lines and stuff yeah, but you're not getting that in this because it's a thirty two bit file it's a it's the ocean of sand you know so that there's almost no bottom to it so I have the ability to really work on this file and do a lot of work. So as I zoom out, you can see that I still have that sky in there, and I can darken it down so that I get the sky, I can come into the highlights and bring those down and bring the lights down a little bit and then aiken take the blacks down some so that we get those nice rich shadows, but then I can bring the hyatt the shadows up so the blacks are going down a little bit, the shadows going up. So I'm getting this beautiful file inside there there's only one problem that occurs, and that is when you get up to the top, you start to get a little bit of movement in the trees. You can see it happening right there. Let me I'm not the zoom in even further here you see what's going on right there, those little blue things that is the problem because what's happened is it's merge these two files and the blues where the tree used to be in one and not in the other got you ok, so hdr inside of light room I mean, when you're way out here, you don't really see it all that much. But you you will see some of this kind of stuff from a distance that fringing stuff that's happening you're going to see that from a distance eso it's not gonna look all that good the trees they're going to look a little odd there's just going to be like there's some more right there if you go right in here zoom in some more you can see some more right there see that s o that kind of stuff is a little gross to look at but look how nice this is ok? So if I were to try and use this method and I prefer this method because this method is easy all I have to do is send it to photo shop it builds a thirty two bit brings it back. But if I were trying to this method with trees I would try and take one picture that that captures all the data as close as possible, you know and get, you know, protect my highlights as much as I can and then make I would take one file like I've done here and I would make a duplicate of that file here and then I would work on both of them separately and I would so what you do is you take a file and you right click that file and you create a virtual copy from that file. Now you've got two versions of the file this one you overexpose here and this one you under expose like this and then create an hd are out of the two of those there's no movement in the tree and you're going to get close to the same that you won't get as good a file because it's not your your faking it so what you're doing is you're creating noise in the in the second file that you're brightening up so that then when you merge the two of them you're going to have a little bit of that noise so it's not going to be as clean but is still be nice and you won't get that weird tricky movement so when you're doing a person or you doing something with trees or a little bit of movement it's a good idea to take one good file that has all of your you know just it does not look good in the camera has to look good on the history graham you have to make sure that your history ram looks you've got all of your data in your in your your clouds and you got all your data down here as long as you just barely don't clip those edges then it's a good file then you make yourself hood a virtual copy change the exposure on both of one's bright ones dark send him the photo shop thirty two bit file and then they come back and you can work all day long in that because you got so much information, just like we've been working in this. And we can do so much with it. But if you do it from multiple exposures, then you start to have that movement issue because the hdr on photo shop doesn't do a great job at emerging moving targets.

Class Description

Want to know how to tailor Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® to make them even more powerful? Join creativeLIVE instructor Jared Platt for a three-day introduction to the plugins that will change the way you use Adobe’s seminal programs.

Jared will guide you through a wide variety of plugins as he explains why and how to use each one. You’ll learn about building a workflow that incorporates plugins, saving you time and money in the post-production process. Jared will also cover ways to synchronize and implement plugins on multiple computers. You’ll also explore the built-in tools in Lightroom® and Adobe® Photoshop® for creating and implementing your own plugins.

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to harness the power of plugins and take your image editing skills to new heights.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0, Adobe Lightroom 5