Skip to main content

Class Introduction: HDR

Lesson 1 from: Specialty Lessons in Adobe Lightroom Classic

Jared Platt

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction: HDR

Next Lesson: Panorama

Lesson Info

Class Introduction: HDR

one of the tools that you're gonna find inside of light room, classic and even enlightened desktop. The new version of Light Room these days is the HDR tool, and also the panoramic tools. HDR and the panoramic tools are actually kind of hidden. They're not in the develop module because they kind of deal with more than one image. And so they actually air inside of the library module here. But they are a little hidden Jim that's super super helpful, especially when you're out taking landscape photos or street photographs. But even when you're doing portrait's and other things, you can use them as well. I use them all the time, architecturally, when I'm doing those kind of photographs, Um, but a lot when I'm doing travel, um, so the issue is that you find yourself in a position that if you're going to get the sky, which looks really beautiful and has, like this nice sunset to it, you can't really good get a good shot of the actual mountain itself. And if you get a good exposure of the mou...

ntain itself, then you're not going to get a very good exposure of, um, of the sky and so you're not going to get the clouds and all of that. So the challenge is to get it all. And that's when we do hdr now my HDR. I don't usually set up my camera and do HDR in the same way that maybe most people do. Most people will sit down and put their camera on a tripod and really freeze it and, you know, put a sandbag on it and really lock it down and then take a series of photos the way I do. HDR is very quick. I simply turn it into the HDR mode, which will record a Siris of over and under images. And it will record one J peg. It'll put them all together into one J peg. That's the HDR mode inside of both the Canon five D Mark four and the EU s are, but most cameras have a mode. Something like that. The key is to make sure that that camera is providing the original raw images in addition to the J peg so that you the J peg, is just there to show you what it might look like if you were to actually run it through a computer program because the camera does a decent job, but it doesn't do is go to job is light room can do. And so I just put it in that mode and turn it on the highest possible speed to shoot so that I can actually hand hold it. Just make sure that I'm, you know, got a handheld, uh, high, uh, shutter speed so that that I'm not getting camera shake and stuff like that. Or sometimes I'll lean up against something or put it on a rock or whatever, and then I just burst through them. Better them just take 10 or three shots or whatever the HDR bracket is, and you can usually set it up. It's always an odd number So the first thing is to get all the data, and in this case, I actually got data on quite a few. So I I just did a huge, huge range of information all the way from super dark to super light so that I've got everything I could possibly need in this photograph. Um, and now I'm just going to run it through the HDR processor. So, in order to do that. You just highlight the images that you want to process and right click thumb. And then you're going to go down to the, uh, merge photo merge option and click on HDR, and it's going to bring up a dialog box. Oh, uh, these air missing. That's all right. Um, that's a good ah, good reason for us to have done those. Anyway. Notice that these air a smart preview. So a smart preview is a very small raw file. And if you don't have the original files, it's not really worth doing in HDR on those files. So we're gonna actually goto one that we have the original photos. So this one's in Venice. Same thing. I've got a really bright sky. Um, I want to get the information inside of, like, you know, these canals here and the shadows of the canals. And then I've got a normal shot here, and then I've got a darker shot to give me more information on the bright white buildings in the boat and then also up in the sky. So I've got lots of information here between the three shots, but I want you to notice something about them. There's actually movement. So that boat over here is moving as we go. So it's moving, moving, moving. So it's moving quite a bit and there's a little warping that you see happening. And that's because I actually finished this image right here. So this image is just the middle exposure, and I had finished it, and I used the lens correction tools to finish the image. But here's the important thing about HDR and panoramic imagery. If you're going to do the HDR, it doesn't actually matter what you do to it because it's gonna take the original raw and do what it does to its Not gonna. It's not gonna take your lens corrections and stuff like that and then create the HDR. It's actually gonna create the HDR, and then you do stuff to the HDR. So I'm going to go in and highlight all three of these images all these over unders, and I know that it will work this time because I have, um, the original image. And so I'm gonna right click it and I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna stab I'm sorry. I'm gonna go to photo merge and click HDR so it's going to give me a little preview. Now remember, there's something that's moving in there. There's a ship, a boat that's moving, and what it's doing is it's going to do what's called ghosting. So it's looking for ghosting to make sure that something's not moving and it's going to choose the appropriate one. And you can. You can ask it how much ghosting it wants to do. So if I do a low amount of ghosting, then it will choose to avoid any blur problems from that boat moving. And it does a really good job. In fact, I've actually seen this work where a person is running through a field. It was my son running through a field, and it chooses the appropriate item that's moving and says, I'm going to choose this item from Picture number two and then I'll, uh, I'll edit out the items from picture number one and three. It does a really good job at it, Um, and then this one was a moving a little bit as well. But it seems to have fix that, and I'm just kind of moving around to see how it did in the preview the preview looks pretty good. Um, and I'm gonna tell it to create a stack. So as soon as it's done merging all three of these images in tow one photo it's gonna create what's called a DMG a digital negative. And that digital negative is going to end up being on a stack. So there's gonna be three original rahs. And then there's gonna be a DMG on top of that stack. It's all one stack of images, and that stack is the D and G will be on top. And so you'll never actually see the other three images unless you open the stack. So I like that. I love the fact that it does that. By the way, if you click on this ghost show the ghost overlay, it will show you the areas that we're moving in the photograph, Um, so that you could, like, investigate it so you can zoom in CEO. That was what was moving during the photograph. These little areas were moving and that was moving. So now I know what it's what it's working on on the ghosting. And now I'm gonna hit merge Now you can also tell it toe auto do the auto settings but always find that it does a bad job on the auto settings anyway. So it's maybe it's not a bad job, but it's different than what I like. And Simon had just hit merge. So now it's creating the HDR. It's putting all three of these together, and then it's going to stack the DMG right on top of these three images so that we can play with the HDR and not worry about the other three images ever again. So once that finishes, it's just gonna pop right back in tow light room as though I had, like, gone out to photo shop and come back. Um, and we're going to have an HDR to play with. And the beauty of the HDR is that instead of you know, five stops either way on the exposure knobs, so I can either go five stops, right or left. I can go 10 stops either way, and there's just a lot more latitude, a lot more information in all these photographs for us to deal with, so we can then really open up the shadows without getting noise. Um, and by the way, on HDR images, not just for when you have no options. It's not just for when there's too much light and too much dark. If you taken HDR even in an area that you have plenty of latitude and it's not like it's too overexposed or under exposed, um, you will find that you have really, really clean files. So if you do ah, let's say you were doing a tabletop image and you wanted to get super clean images with almost no hint of, um, of noise in the image. If you do an HDR of that image, you will have really, really clean files. They look gorgeous, but it just it just takes a while to do it. So So now you can see that has created a DMG on top. So you see this little stack that little four means that there's a stack there, and if I click on it, it opens up the stack. So there are three original files and then an HDR file on top of it. So we're gonna take this HDR file, and I can really play with this thing now so you can see what amazing dot job it did with a moving object. So like it really did a great job with that. And let's go see how it did hear did fantastic with that. So it has the skills to toe automatically choose the right image on the right piece of an image to merge together. So now I have 10 stops of information this way and 10 stops of information. That way, it's it's just uncredible file. So I'm gonna take the exposure up just a little bit, and I'm gonna take the shadows up a little bit and then I mean, take the highlights way down and it's okay if you're doing all not getting an all done inside of the global adjustments, that's fine, because remember, the data is still there. You've got all the data in the world up in the sky, and so, like, you have that much data. So it's like I could I could do everything to this, But I could have a dark sky at night, um, off of this photo. So I'm just gonna do the most amount of work I can on this photo all by. It's like just on the on the on the virtue of the global adjustments And so once I'm done with what I can do globally, that gets me. All of these are correctly exposed. I like those. I'm gonna increase the vibrance quite a bit, and I'm gonna warm everything up just a little bit. There we go. Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start using my, um, local adjustments toe fix these areas here. So I'm just gonna take that and bring the exposure down. And maybe this shadows a little bit and some highlights at a little contrast in there and add a little bit of clarity. So those see all those clouds could get a little bit better. So I'm just gonna do that to the sky, and then I can come in with my hopes, and then I can come in with my brush settings inside. So you're in the HDR, you've got a Grady in, and then you have a brush inside the Grady int and we're going to click, erase, and it's gonna be on auto mask and then I can just come in here and start erasing out the tops of these buildings because the auto mask is finding the tops of the buildings and it's not allowing it to go into the sky hoops. Same thing over here. Just do the tops of the buildings. And the reason I'm only doing the tops of the buildings is because once I'm done with my auto masking on the tops of the buildings, um, and I'm gonna zoom in here and go to this area here, and I'm just gonna just doing the tops. Just the things that are close to the to the sky. There we go. And one last that little ball. Okay, so now that I've done all of that, you can see where the mask is. And now I could just turn off the auto mask and just glow. Just grab all that stuff and pull it off. I don't have to be really, you know, specific about that. Oh, gotta turn the auto mask back on and go right in here. There you go. It's important to understand. Ah, these tools up here. So all of your local adjustment tools are part of your tool set. So if you if you're doing something, don't think I have to get it done in all these global adjustments. Otherwise I'm lost, especially on an HD are you have the ability to do a lot more than just work inside of those, um, the global adjustments. So now that I've got that sky under control, I can just kind of play with this until I like the way things were looking. And then I could go in and and add new brushes wherever I like to paint in and out. So it's important to understand that that in HDR isn't about getting a amazing shot right off the bat because you have multiple exposures. That's not what in HD ours about an HDR is about having the data that allows you to go in and tweak everything in the shot to your heart's going, anything you want to do, you can do because you have all of that data. And that's what in HDR is all about. So that's that's how we create an HDR. It gives us a beautiful file like that, the file ISS so clean and so crisp and turn off the shadow warnings. Um, it's just super, super clean and super super crisp. In fact, I printed this file the other day, and I was just struck with how beautiful the image actually is. It's just so clean and so crisp because that HDR was employed

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workflow in Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom Mobile Cloud
Adobe Lightroom Image Pipeline System
Black & White Preset Collection
Color Art Pro Profiles