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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.
Another place that HDR really comes in handy, is when dealing with photos of real estate. Lot of times you want to be able to show things like the beautiful view outside of an interior, or all of the great details in an architectural piece but you're dealing with really bright highlights, the sky, shadowy areas and it begets a bit difficult to see the whole range. Well, the good news is that we can do that, again using a very natural method with fusion. And Photomatix offers some methods, specifically for real estate.
Let's take a look at two examples. We'll start with an exterior and you see that I have captured a range here showing this castle, and we have our base exposure. My ISO is actually on the wrong setting, because I previously had been shooting indoors. So, it looks like I'm shooting at the wrong ISO. And I did shoot at a very stopped down F stop because I was trying to get some long exposure on the clouds. So, I got a couple of things shot slightly wrong, but that's okay.
Let's open those up into Photomatix. We'll merge here for fusion. Click Okay, and it's letting me know here that some of these are not evenly spaced. Notice here that while these other ones were able to achieve longer adjustments. That two of the images, while trying to cover this range Didn't have enough reach in the camera. So these two were shot very similar, slightly different on the timing, but not different enough to create the gap. So I need to let it know that those are only a third apart, so I'm going to cancel for a second and actually ignore two of the images.
I don't need this one, it's too overexposed. But this image here is really good, because my darkest shadows Are actually midtones. And let's select this one and this one, and we'll skip this one here, that's very underexposed for the highlights, as it's too similar. Sometimes when shooting HDR if you're trying to capture a really wide range with a lot of images, you might not have enough gaps in between them. So, Photomatics with prompt you to let you know that. Maybe you don't need all the images you shot to create the HDR.
Alright, let's merge those for fusion and click Okay. And this was shot hand held. I'm going to correct for perspective. I don't need to remove ghosts, but i definitely need to reduce noise on all images due to the high ISO. Also, since it was a high contrast scene I'm going to remove chromatic aberrations and let's click Okay to align and merge that HDR. The images are now converted from raw into their intermediate state and they'll be cleaned up for things like perspective issues as well as noise and chromatic aberration.
Since I'm doing a lot of processing on these images, it will take just a second. There we go. Let's choose from Fusion and choose the Real Estate category. You'll see that this is extremely subdued with its treatment of HDR. You have a simple slider to control the highlights and another to go after the shadows. So you can really find a balance so the whole range is shown. Let's put some contrast in, so the details come out nicely.
Then, it's just a simple matter of how saturated do you want, and do you want the highlights to have a lot of depth? Look, as we drag that, you see that the highlights get flattened out a bit, or they can get brighter, taking on some more specular qualities. Now, you need to be careful with this, that you don't push this too far. The whole idea with the Exposure Fusion is to get a very natural looking image. I'm happy with that, this is one of the least-stylized approaches to HDR Let's click Apply, and we'll store that file.
This file will benefit from some additional post processing to remove the noise. And that's really tied to the fact that I shot this slightly incorrect. But, it looks pretty good there. Let's put a little sharpening in, and I'm going to put a little bit of contrast. Let's back that off just a bit. Looks good. In this case, the image, I did a few things slightly off because I wanted to show some additional steps you might need to take. The ISO was too high, so I'm going to clean this up. And the composition could be improved slightly.
Let's save that image, and we'll choose to open it over in Photoshop really quick. Okay, the image is open. I'm going to convert for Smart Filters and take advantage of Adobe Camera Raw. One of the first things I want to do is fix the perspective in the image, so I'll invoke Upright. That took care of some of the composition issues. I'm real happy with that. And let's zoom into 100% to look at noise. Its not bad, I mean, there's a brick texture but a little bit of noise reduction would help. There we go. Pull out some of the colour aberration.
I don't believe in getting a completely texture free image, and that amount of noise looks very reasonable to me for 200% magnification. Okay, let's click OK. We'll apply the perspective correction and noise reduction, invoke the crop tool and I'm going to crop this for use in a DVD presentation. So, we'll go 1920 by 1080 pixels. This is going to be used in a presentation. There we go, and we'll just drag that image to recompose a bit, press return and let's apply that, there's the new image, I'm very happy with it, and we can in fact reinvoke camera raw.
And put a slight vignette on there. Let's just add an adjustment layer real quick. I'll put a gradient in. We're going to go from black to white. And we'll switch that here to Multiply. Lets change the direction, its actually using this as a neutral density filter. We're going to lengthen that out just a little bit, there we go. Lets lower the opacity. There. Just darken down the sky, just a little bit to tone it down.
I'm happy so I'll close and save, and the image is done.
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