Processing HDR in Adobe Camera Raw


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Processing HDR in Adobe Camera Raw

there are a few things we talked about when shooting earlier in the the day or yesterday when we talked about shooting strategies but some of those would require some additional processing and so let's see how some of that will be done first off one of the things we talked about it believe it was yesterday when we talked about shooting strategies is that sometimes you have to shoot hdr in the example I believe I gave you was this image which was taken in a slot canyon in a slot canyons very dark at the bottom of the canyon and the sky above is extremely bright and so to capture this I actually captured the following exposures this one was just to get the brightest part of the image and then after that I didn't care if that brightest area started lose detail because I've already captured it here I'm only starting to bring up the shadow detail with these additional shots usually two stops between exposures as faras the brightness difference is acceptable for most things but if you have s...

omething that's critical it's a commercial job or something where you absolutely have to nail it one stop between them can give you a slightly smoother and result on occasion most of time you wouldn't notice it but on occasion you could so if it's really critical situation I would do one stop between and with that when I exposed for them the darkest shot I just look to see if I had highlight detail and then I continue to create brighter and brighter and brighter shots until I could see what's in the dark part of the picture so at this stage I can see what's in there so let's look at how would I merge those together into a usable image so what I'm going to do is click on the first image hold down the shift key and I'll click on the last image to get them all selected I'm here in bridge in a few own photo shop you also own bridge it gets installed automatically when you install photo shop I'm going to go to the tools menu I'll choose photo shop and there's a choice here called merge to fdr pro I should also mention if you used adobe light room instead you could select the same images and light room and all you have to do is at the top of your screen there's a menu I believe it's called photo you choose the photo menu there'd be another choice called ed it in and then you would find merge to hdr pro what I choose this it's going to start combining those images together into a single file and then it's going to present me with dialogue box where thinks I want to optimize the picture just have to take a while because those air raw files so it'll be a while while we're waiting for it so we describe a few things first off before I merge these images usually I just them I limit myself in what I'm adjusting but there are certain things that get exaggerated when you create an hd our file one of them is chromatic aberrations if you've ever seen on the edges of objects but just a little hint of purplish or greenish a reddish kind of halo around the edge of objects and I can show you this later on those things will be exaggerated when you process something as an hd are so in camera raw I get rid of chromatic aberrations from my image I'll show you how to do that later on I also adjust the white balance of the pictures so if the images are overly yellow overly blue or anything like that it's better to adjust them before they get emerged instead of waiting until it's after other thing that I do before I merged my images as hdr is I do not sharpen them the default settings and camera will sharpen your picture so when you're in camera I take these sharpened slaughter and turn it down to zero because anything you do with hdr would exaggerate it and I'd rather start with nothing okay I was only telling you all those things because waiting for this to happen and I didn't want dead air but now it just brought it up so let's take a look at what we have I believe with default settings this would have come in with a setting changed in the upper right I'll change it right now when usually look about like this when you're merging in hd our image down the bottom of your screen you're going to see each of the exposures that you're combining together and it will tell you which one is the metered exposure you could think of it is the default exposure that's the one that zero at the bottom and then there's tell you that this one was one stop brighter or is this one over here is just over a stop darker and so on there are little check boxes next to each one of the images if you were to turn off the check box it would ignore that particular picture sometimes when you have an extreme brightness strange like what we have here you can occasionally run into some oddities in your picture where suddenly there'll be a weird color shift in just one area I don't have it here that I could see offhand but if I did I would turn off these check boxes one at a time turn off see if the problem went away turn it back on go to the next one turned off turn it back on see which one of these if any will cause the problem to go away because on occasion when you have a bunch of these exposures there's one of them that will mess up the look of the image usually will end up causing just odd color showing up somewhere that's why you have the check boxes so you could test to see if you need to use them all but most the time you just leave all the check boxes on the top right of my screen is a checkbox called remove ghosts that's if there's any movement in the image so if there is water moving if there's trees and it's windy so they're moving around there if there's a person walking through the scene where you're taking them then you'll need to turn on that check box we don't have that in this particular situation but if you turn it on watch what happens at the bottom of my screen where those little thumbnail images are when I turn this on one of those images he's gonna have a green border around it you see it down here cream border innit thinks of that is the master image where it compares that image tow all the others and if it sees something that's moved from this position to somewhere else it's going to try to eliminate it in the other pictures so you can click on one of these images to tell it which images the master one that it should compare all the others too so let's say there's a person walking through your scene well wherever you like the position of the person in the frame you click on that particular frame to say this is the version of the person I want to keep try to eliminate it from the other frames but on lee turn on the remove ghost check box if you know you have movement because it doesn't always improve your picture then right now photoshopped thinks that I want to optimize the image right here and that's why it's presenting me with a large number of sliders on the right side of my screen I don't find this to be the best area to optimize in hd our picture what happened is an older versions of photoshopped the technology that was built in for doing hdr was really bad and because it was really bad and didn't produce great looking results ah whole industry of other choices sprung up for software you could use the process hdr image is the most common software was one called photo matics also nick software which is now part of google had hdr affects pro and there were dozens of others and that's mainly because what was built in the photo shop was really bad but now they've improved what's in photoshopped dramatically and so now it's my favorite way of processing hdr images but it's not in this dialog box this dialog boxes still necessary for merging the images together into a single uh image but then there's a different place where we can process it and let me show you how to do that to do this alternative processing you're going to need to have either photo shop c s six or higher or newer I should say so that means photoshopped cs six or photoshopped cc what you need to do is write up here there's a setting called mode in whatever this is set to one of the bottom two choices the processing will be done right here in this dialog box if you want to do the processing with any other product you need to set it to thirty two bit which is what I'm going to do right now if you look at the image when I choose thirty two bit it's gonna look bad that's because it hasn't been processed yet it needs to be processed in order to really optimized the image and so don't really even judge at all what the image looks like when you have it set to thirty two bit now let's figure out how to process it was something else if you have a version of photo shop called photoshopped cc the newest version that is then there'll be a check box right here and all you need to do is turn on that check box and click okay and it would automatically send it you into adobe camera which is where I like to process these images if on the other hand you don't have photoshopped cc instead you have photoshopped see essex that check box wouldn't exist so I'm going to turn it off to show you what would be necessary if I had cia six I'm gonna click the ok button just remember that I had this menu up here set to thirty two bit that's the important part that means don't process it here I'm gonna process it with something else and I'll click okay once this is done creating I file I need to save it on my hard drive all I'm going to do is save it in tiff file format and when the tiff file format comes up and asks me for settings I'm going to stick with the default ones so when this is done I'm just going to go to the file menu to save as say tiff file format and then just press return to say use those default settings once I've done that then this will be a very special tiff file that I can look at from within adobe bridge in if I open it in camera I can process it with the same processing sliders that were used to using when processing raw files so I'll go to the file menu but you save as and I'm just going to save the sun might ask trump remember you have to use tiff file format and I'm just going to click save it'll ask me for options I don't care about the options because I'm using defaults and then close it now let's go process it so remember we started out here and to do this whole process I went to the tools menu chose photo shop and shows merge to hdr pro that was the first thing we did when we were in the resulting dialog box it came up all he did was set up to thirty two bit and clicked ok and I have sent saved the resulting file is a tiff I'll go to my desktop in that's where I saved it right here I'll go to the file menu and bridge and choose opening camera and now I can process it here now if I have photoshopped cc there'd be a lot fewer steps because when I was in that dialogue box were emerging the images together there was one little check box that said watch do you want to process this with camera raw and if I had it on and I clicked ok it would have sent me right to this immediately there would be no need to save the tiff file uh or do any other weird stuff now still doesn't look very good that's because I haven't moved any of these sliders so let's see what we can do I can go over here in first if I wanted to just see what's in the file look what happens when I just move exposure look at what's in the dark part of the image you see the detail at the very bottom of my file but then if I go the other direction now we can look all the way into all the way down to the sky that's a ridiculous brightness range tohave in one picture and I can see it by moving this around well I don't want to change the entire picture that's what exposure does I wantto instead isolate the brighter dark areas right now the bright areas are way too bright the slider that usually controls that is highlights so I'm just going to take my highlights slider and move it to the left to say darken up the highlights and I'll do that until I can see the detail in my sky then the dark part of the picture it would be in the shadows so I'll grab the shadow slider I'll bring it up and I say now let me see the dark portion of the picture in after doing that if I think the image as a whole is to brighter too dark I could go back to exposure say well maybe I wanted a little brighter overall and I confined to in these sliders may you bring the highlights further down that kind of stuff I mean look at this I have the highlights is low as they can go in the shadows as high as they can go and so I have detail in both my highlights and most of my shadows I might be able to get a little bit more detail down and here and to do that there's a couple different things I can do I can try clarity because that brings out the textures and the image just see if it uh shows anymore in here or if I have my shadow slider maxed out as high as it can go I could instead click on this little thing tone curve and there you have additional sliders for highlights shadows lights and darks so if the others are maxed out already co here to get you know this is like turbo boost you know others already maxed out you could do even more so here I can say the darks or maybe it's the shadows that I need to think about there we go that might also be an area where if I really wanted to see the detail here I might end up finishing up all the way in a photo shop because there I can use adjustment layers and other things to bring out that detail but I come in here maybe adjust my vibrance if I wanted more colorful and other things but this is a heck of a lot nicer than any one of those individual exposures we started with if we end up looking at the difference what would you rather have that or any choice of thes are you ready for a couple questions sure on that process cool I got a couple myself actually okay um can you do those adjustments as a smart um thingamajig e yeah filter lens camera raw filter let me go to a different set of images one that won't take a year and a half to process meaning only three exposures okay I'm gonna come in here choose tools photoshopped merge to hdr probe same thing we had okay and wait finishes merging these together and then if you have photoshopped cc then there was that little check box that I mentioned which you'll see here in a moment yep right here it's called complete toning in adobe camera I'll just turn that on and then I'll click the button and lower right and instead of having to save a tiff file and then go point bridge at it and then tell it opening on camera right now behind the scenes it's creating a temporary file on my hard drive and it's going to automatically send it over to camera and I believe when I'm done I'm going to end up with if I remember correctly a um a file that hasn't applied as a smart filter grate and so let me double check that just in case I'm wrong but I can see the smart I can already on there so I'll bring up my shadows bring down my highlights but they bring up my exposure a little we'll see through there see if clarity will help or not just processing the image a little bit right now just kind of doing anything I'll click okay and if you look at the way it's been assembled here's a layer this little icon means that layer is a smart object and then down here it applied camera as a filter which means I could turn off the eyeball on it turn it back on if I want to change the processing aiken double click on the words that's a camera filter it will send me back into camera so I could process it using different settings and that type of thing so that's the way to do it if you're in photo shop cc that one check box is going to do it all for you uh if you're not in photo shop cc and have to look and photoshopped cia six you could open that file see if it allows you to turn the layer into a smart object I don't know I don't have c s six on here on then see if you could do that but I think you need photo shop cc for I believe you're correct then yeah onda follow up when you did the antelope canyon shot that we're looking at looks like it was about seven or eight shot seven shots was that done automatically through your through your camera you just push one button and it just shoot shot all seven I don't recall in that particular case I don't remember if I had the five d mark three where I can take more than three shots and he might have been when I had the five day mark too but if you did if I did I would set it up for seven shots and I would have it take them and if that wasn't enough meaning that in the darkest shot I could see the sky but in the brightest shot I could not see enough shadow detail yet I would just take my exposure compensation wheel in the back of my camera which pretty much defines where the middle of the bracket and sequence will be and I'd set it toe plus a ce high as it'll go like plus four or five stops so that it moves all of the brackets it's going to shoot up there to make even brighter once and take a second sequence but yeah I would try to do it with thea auto bracketing that we don't have to touch the camera uh speaking of bracketing ben sarah in the chat rooms says if you don't think of bracketing in camera could you create pseudo brackets in camera raw saved them as individual images and then merge them as in each day our image you can it's not going to be the same thing though the quality will not be the same and all that I find that I'd simply don't need to with the newer versions a camera just adjust it with camera it's it will be able to get usually the maximum out of that image with old versions before the newest versions that came iraq we're around that might be something you needed to do but let's grab an image here double click on one and this one is is one where let me make sure it's a default settings yep it's a defaults but this is one where it's just crazy the amount of contrast there is but you're able to get all the detail out of this if you want to and the detail here using just camera that one I'm not goingto process said in the dark shadows and there are some logos we can't show but let's see there is a limitation to it here let me see if what I got all right uh here is a restroom I take pictures of weird things like this mainly because I think it had texture and interesting things but let's see how much I can get out of this image if I bring up shadows do you see all that shadow detail coming out if I bring down highlights and then I can adjust my exposure a little bit if you need maura out of the image go over to the tone curve tab and then say you want to bring out stuff out of your darks or bring stuff back into the lights there will be a limit if you did have blink ease on your camera meaning that your highlights were blown out solid white I won't be able to get the detail up here because my camera never captured it but I find that usually I can get a justus good image but just using a single raw file and adjusting it with the newer newer versions that came a wrong so I find there's usually no need to go to that extent and just let the internet audience know if you guys are intrigued as I am about dobie camera one of ben's good buddies jack davis was here just a couple weeks ago and went through ah I think a two day course on adobe cameron cool that was awesome and went really deep into it so yeah what we're going to go actually a little deeper into camera because there's a bunch of other things that we need to talk about in there and I did talk about the need for doing a little bit of pre processing on your hdr so I could show you what a couple of those things are ah here it would be an example of one of them let me first make sure this image hasn't been adjusted yet because I don't remember uh if I had messed with it yet or not and what I'm going to do here is these are all temples they're really tiny temples but if I zoom up on this image you'll notice an issue around the edges of the temple you can see some fringing on the edge it's kind of a magenta couple over here and kind of the greenish on this side that's known as chromatic aberrations I notice it with some of my wide angle lenses especially a fisheye lens I'll get that around the edges of any really high contrast areas well those things are going to become exaggerated if I were to use this in an hdr composite where combines multiple images and there'll be more difficult to get rid of after the hdrs processed then it is to do beforehand so in order to get rid of that kind of artifact ing what we need to do is in camera one of the tabs that is available up here is the lens corrections tab if I click on lenz corrections you get three different tabs under here but under the one called color is a choice called removed chromatic aberration if I turn on that check box it will attempt to uh producer of or eliminate those issues on the edge of objects and if there's still any purple fringing which there can be on occasion there's a stepford slider for purple amount that you could bring up two further reduce any uh purple fringing that's in there but that's one of the changes that I would usually dio before merging files it has hd are the other things that I would do is there's another tab here that looks like two triangles that's the detailed tab and here's where you see the choice called sharpening I would rather sharpen my image after it's in hd argument instead of having it embedded into the file where I can't modify how much sharpening their is because it's already been done so it usually bring my sharpening down and then the last thing that I would do is I would adjust white balance if the image looks too warm or too cool just the colors don't look quite right I would find two knows but I would do this if this was an hdr sequence toe all the images at once this happens to not be in hd our image but I can show you here's a hdr sequence I select all the images go the file menu and choose opening camera and you'll see all the images on the left side I would then click the select all button so it affects all of the images and then go at it change all the settings you need this far as uh optimizing that thing so adjust your white balance turn your sharpening off and get rid of chromatic aberrations there's not that much more that I would do to the image I would not mess with most of these sliders because it will give you a result it doesn't look a smooth now there are some instances when I would if the darkest shot that I captured if the bright portions of that image are looking overly bright like way over exposed so I didn't quite get it dark enough I could bring the highlights slider down a little bit and on the although not on all the images hold on I want to click on an individual picture for that there we go I could bring the highlights down on the darkest exposure if I found the highlights to be overly bright and on the brightest exposure if I still can't see the shadow detail then I could bring up the shadows slider a little bit for a little extra that is completely optional and it's only when I did not shoot it right I mean that my darkest shot didn't have all the highlight detail and I need to artificially kind of darken it up and I on ly adjust the other one when I didn't take enough shots where this shot I still was too hard to see what's in the shadows then I would boost it just a little bit I would do those kinds of changes before I merge them together

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.


Ashleigh L

AMAZING CLASS! I caught bits and pieces of the live stream, but even in those bits and pieces of it, I learned so much! He's a great teacher, easy to understand and great visuals. He "walks around" the subject to give us different POV, tells us the negative/positive/neutral of the photo, and tips. Thank you, Ben!