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In this workshop Tim Grey teaches how to use Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro 2.0 to create great high-dynamic-range (HDR) images. After showing you the basics of HDR Efex Pro—including configuring the interface and settings, using presets, and evaluating your image—Tim introduces the various adjustment options. Learn how to make overall tonal and color adjustments, use control points to apply selective adjustments, and reset adjustments or go back in the history. Plus, get tips on applying finishing touches to your images and saving the final processed image.
In addition to applying adjustments that effect the entire image within HDR Effects Pro, we can also apply selective adjustments. In other words adjustments that effect specific areas of the photo. Let's take a look at the Selective Adjustments options within HDR Effects Pro. They are found on the right panel, under the header of Selective Adjustments. And we can click on the triangle to the left of that header, in order to expand that section of adjustments. We'll start off by clicking on the button for Control Points. That will allow us to add a control point to the image. So I'll click that button in order to activate the control and then I can move out over the image and determine where exactly I want to focus my adjustment. Now the control points are rather intelligent.
When I choose a particular portion of the photo it will evaluate the color and tone of that portion of the image to determine which portion of the photo will be affected by this adjustment. You'll notice that my loop display, down at the bottom right, shows me a zoomed in view of the portion of the image underneath my mouse. Making it even easier to select the particular portion of the image that represents the area you want to adjust. So if I want to adjust the red barn I can just find a pixel within the image that seems to be a good representative sample of that barn and then click to add a control point there. The control point will now effect just the red barn, not the entirety of that barn necessarily, but at least a major portion of it. Let's go ahead and apply an exaggerated adjustment.
I'll adjust exposure here, increasing the exposure value rather significantly by dragging the slider for exposure, which is labeled ex until we mouse over it. And then we can adjust the size of this control point. I'll go ahead and click on that topmost slider. And then drag away from that control point to the right in this case, in order to increase the range, the area within the photo that will be effected by that control point. I can also narrow in on a specific area but notice that even as I'm adjusting the overall size of this control point HDR Efex probe is still constraining that adjustment to pixels that match the pixel that I initially clicked on. In other words a red pixel, and then therefore I'm affecting the red barn but not the blue sky.
I'll go ahead and leave the size relatively large so that we can affect the overall barn, and of course I don't want to overexpose the barn so I'll tone down my exposure adjustment, and then I can adjust contrast for the barn and the saturation level just for the barn itself. I think I'll reduce the saturation just a little bit so that the barn looks a bit more weathered. I can adjust structure. In this case. I think I'll increase structure to add a little bit of a clarity to the barn. I can adjust the blacks and the whites but of course those won't have a significant impact on the barn based on the tonal values found there. And I can also adjust temperature and tint.
If I want to adjust the color, as well as the method strength, so the intensity of the adjustment for the image, and increasing of course in this case will give me a little bit better structure for the photo. Keep in mind, by the way, when you add a control point initially by default you'll only see a subset of the controls. You'll see exposure, contrast, saturation and structure. But you can click the small triangle below those four sliders in order to see the remainder of the sliders available to you. So, as you can see, adding a control point and fine tuning the adjustments that affect a specific area of the photo is rather simple and it really gives us a tremendous amount of power when it comes to adjusting the overall appearance of our HDR images.
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