Up and Running with Photomatix Pro

The Details Enhancer workflow


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Up and Running with Photomatix Pro

with Richard Harrington

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Video: The Details Enhancer workflow

One of the most popular tone mapping methods in Photomatix is the Detail Enhancer method. This goes through and essentially adds selective contrast to the image. And it really makes dramatic compelling images. It also has a tendency to really make noise a bit of a problem. Be careful, if you're using this with images that have high ISO settings. These particular images were shot at ISO 500. They look pretty clean. I don't see a lot of noise in there. I do have relatively shallow depth of field but, that looks good.
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  1. 2m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Loading from a folder
      1m 41s
    2. Loading from Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Loading from Aperture
      1m 45s
    4. When to load raw files
      3m 2s
    5. When to load preprocessed files
      4m 25s
  3. 38m 3s
    1. Aligning source images
      4m 5s
    2. Removing ghost images with automatic deghosting
      4m 21s
    3. Removing ghost images with selective deghosting
      6m 40s
    4. Reducing noise
      2m 36s
    5. Reducing chromatic aberration
      6m 16s
    6. Choosing the color primaries and white balance
      2m 57s
    7. Working with single files
      2m 53s
    8. Working with single raw files
      8m 15s
  4. 27m 40s
    1. Working in Unified or Floating mode
      3m 26s
    2. When to use Tone Mapping
      3m 15s
    3. When to use Exposure Fusion
      2m 48s
    4. Adjusting the preview window
      2m 35s
    5. Working with presets
      4m 52s
    6. Add finishing touches
      4m 48s
    7. Saving the image
      3m 45s
    8. Redoing the image with other settings
      2m 11s
  5. 20m 2s
    1. The Details Enhancer workflow
      6m 21s
    2. The Contrast Optimizer workflow
      3m 50s
    3. The Tone Compressor workflow
      3m 53s
    4. The black-and-white workflow
      5m 58s
  6. 27m 3s
    1. The Fusion/Natural workflow
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring the Fusion/Real Estate workflow using photos taken outside
      7m 2s
    3. Working with Fusion/Real Estate workflow using photos taken inside
      2m 54s
    4. The Fusion/Intensive workflow
      2m 54s
    5. Fusing multiple images
      4m 5s
    6. Fusing a single image
      2m 22s
    7. Comparing methods
      3m 14s
  7. 40m 31s
    1. Removing color casts
      5m 15s
    2. Removing tough ghosts
      2m 54s
    3. Replacing a selection with a source
      6m 29s
    4. Refining performance with preferences
      6m 5s
    5. Automating with batch processing
      11m 8s
    6. Photomatix Pro and color management
      3m 12s
    7. Post-process in Photoshop
      5m 28s
  8. 40m 2s
    1. Challenge: Preserving original color and applying contrast
      2m 26s
    2. Solution: Preserving original color and applying contrast
      5m 20s
    3. Challenge: Creating a feeling within an image
      2m 10s
    4. Solution: Creating a feeling within an image
      9m 58s
    5. Challenge: Creating the look of a digital painting
      2m 18s
    6. Solution: Creating the look of a digital painting
      5m 53s
    7. Challenge: Help a subject stand out from the background
      2m 3s
    8. Solution: Help a subject stand out from the background
      9m 54s
  9. 1m 4s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Photomatix Pro
3h 32m Appropriate for all Mar 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Rich Harrington and explore the world of HDR, or high dynamic range, imagery with Photomatix from HDRsoft. Rich covers how to merge multiple exposures to show an extended dynamic range of scenes, as well as preprocess images to reduce ghosting, noise, and chromatic aberration. He also reviews tone mapping and exposure fusions, and solutions to common problems you'll encounter in HDR images, such as color cast. At the end of the course, Rich offers a series of challenges to test your skills.

This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We're honored to host this material in our library.

Topics include:
  • Loading bracketed photos
  • Aligning source images
  • Reducing noise and chromatic aberration
  • Tone mapping with methods
  • Fusing a single image or multiple images
  • Removing color cast
  • Automating with batch processing
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photomatix
Author:
Richard Harrington

The Details Enhancer workflow

One of the most popular tone mapping methods in Photomatix is the Detail Enhancer method. This goes through and essentially adds selective contrast to the image. And it really makes dramatic compelling images. It also has a tendency to really make noise a bit of a problem. Be careful, if you're using this with images that have high ISO settings. These particular images were shot at ISO 500. They look pretty clean. I don't see a lot of noise in there. I do have relatively shallow depth of field but, that looks good.

Let's process this here and combine them. Okay, let's bring these images in and use the Details Enhancer. This is a three bracket set. This particular shoot was from a tripod. I didn't really see any problem with noise. But there is some high contrast color areas, so I'll Reduce chromatic aberration. Click Align and Merge. And the images are converted, aligned and opened. Okay let's adjust the user interface. And stick with the Details Enhancer.

All right. I'm going to choose the Detail Enhancer presets and we'll step through some of those so you can see this effect in action. Remember, presets are just a starting point to give you an idea how a particular effect works. You could push this dramatic into things like painterly, to really get some strong areas with bright vivid colors and lots of contrast. And you see there as you step through the different painterly options, well you get some nice variations. I kind of like painterly four.

On the other hand, you could just go with the simple enhanced to see a wider range of detail. Before. After. It's definitely showing areas of the photos, but still pretty subtle. Let's zoom in here. And you'll notice, it's doing a pretty good job there on bringing out some of the details in the fabric. Okay, let's finish out some of those presets. Now, I'm not a big fan of some of these grungier ones.

But there's a style for everybody and a demand for every type of image with clients. So, you do have some options here. Creative is a very interesting moody effect often used in magazines and I've seen many movie posters that take this sort of style. And you notice there's just different choices and you could step on through. Including some Details Enhancers that are specifically designed for compelling black and white photography. Well, that Monochrome one really stands out nicely to me as a very compelling dramatic image.

But with that said, I'm going to go with something here in the Painterly category. And let's just scroll up here. The Strength is a bit much so I'll back that off. That's a good balance. Play with Saturation there. That's very vivid, so I think I'll take it down just a little bit. And using Tone Compression, notice how it's taking the different wide range of exposure. Here it's not using as much of that 32-bit image. Here, it's using a lot more, so you want to find a good balance.

And then, of course, the ability to add contrast in selectively. This is really the hallmark here, of Details Enhancer, is that Detail Contrast slider. Okay, you have the ability to adjust the overall lighting. And this essentially is going to change what parts of the image that are being lit. It's almost like moving the midpoint there like the lighting sources is moving around through the image. There we're sort of just focusing in on the highlights and leaving the midtones and shadows alone. But you could find the right balance and I think it's a little bit right about there.

I don't want to push the shadows as much so, that feels a bit better. You also have Effects Mode that you can click on that make it easy to just try different pre-sets to give you an idea. But I generally use the slider here to take total control. As you're working you can smooth out some of the highlights if you're getting the telltale glow that HDR often suffers from. And even darken down the white point or brighten it up, as you see fit. Same thing, lightening up the blacks or popping the contrast. Find a good balance for Gamma.

And then, of course, shift the color temperature if you're trying to change the feeling or time of day. I'm going to take that just a little bit to open that up and warm it up a bit, because it was late evening and it was feeling a bit cool. Now, smoothing is useful and you see there that some of that grunge in the street, the thing that makes it look like the HDR look, maybe that's too strong there. And so by pulling in Micro-smoothing, you're going to see that, that cleans that up quite a bit. Now, you might need to choose to refresh this, so just clicking there will help a bit.

That's looking good. Let's smooth that out just a bit more. And then of course, you could play with the saturation. Notice there, that that's just affecting the highlights. So, the background areas that are brighter, I could pull the color down if I didn't wan them so intense. Putting a little more focus on the foreground. Same thing here, we could pop the saturation in the shadowy region and refine that as well. And of course, you have some smoothness and clipping to make the blacks really rich there if you just want to push them to total darkness. All right, that looks fantastic.

If this was a 360 photo there might be a choice there but it's not. So I've got that disabled and let's fit that image. Before. After. I am very happy with the results there. I like the vivid color. The rich blacks. And how i've been able to get a good balance by playing with my saturation controls for shadows and highlights separately. Remember, some of the options here for smoothing things out. As well as playing with the compression and the contrast settings are really how to get the best looks with the Details Enhancer.

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