Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0
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Tone mapping a single image


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Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0

with Tim Grey

Video: Tone mapping a single image

By definition, a high dynamic range image involves assembling multiple images, captured at different exposure settings, into a final result that maximizes the amount of detail, through the full dynamic range of the scene, Into a single image. The process results in images that tend to have an HDR look. Sometimes that just means that there's more detail than you might otherwise expect in a photographic image, but in other cases, it might result in a very dramatic or over-saturated or hyper-realistic image.

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0
1h 21m Beginner Nov 08, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Assembling HDR images
  • Configuring the interface
  • Applying adjustments
  • Working with presets
  • Evaluating the before and after
  • Modifying settings via a Smart Object
  • Using selective adjustments
  • Finishing touches
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
HDR Efex Pro
Author:
Tim Grey

Tone mapping a single image

By definition, a high dynamic range image involves assembling multiple images, captured at different exposure settings, into a final result that maximizes the amount of detail, through the full dynamic range of the scene, Into a single image. The process results in images that tend to have an HDR look. Sometimes that just means that there's more detail than you might otherwise expect in a photographic image, but in other cases, it might result in a very dramatic or over-saturated or hyper-realistic image.

That's often referred to as an HDR look. And what you might not realize is that we can actually create that look for a single image. Keep in mind if we're using a single image to create an HDR look, we won't have the full level of detail that we could otherwise achieve with multiple exposures, but we can create an interesting and creative effect in a single photo, using HDR Efex Pro, with the tone mapping portion of the software. You can see I have a tone mapping option on the Nik Software control panel, but I can also, in Photoshop, go to the File menu and choose Automate, followed by Merge to HDR Efex Pro. In addition, of course, I could use Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop Light Room, or Apple Aperture in order to send a single image to HDR Efex Pro for processing. I'll go ahead and choose the command from the menu here, and then the dialog will come up to select source files for HDR Efex Pro. I'll go ahead and click the Add Open Files button, and that will add the image that I've opened in Photoshop to the list of source files. I'll then click the Merge Dialogue button, but since this is a single image, the Merge Dialogue, itself, will actually be bypassed and I'll be taken directly into the Tone Mapping features of HDR Efex Pro. So, here I could process this individual image in exactly the same way that I can process multiple images being assembled into a real HDR image. So, I'm able to achieve a similar look, granted not necessarily with the same level of detail, but a very similar look for an individual photo. And once I've adjusted all those settings, I can simply click the okay button in order to process that individual photo into an image with an HDR look.

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