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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 way of using HDR is an Average Workflow. Perhaps you shoot bracketed, not to create a truly high-dynamic range look, but to just safely capture the entire range of the scene. So, in post production, you have some flexibility to put the pieces together. Here's how. Let's select this whole scene here of Independence Hall. And you see I've exposed to really cover the whole range from the outdoor window to the bright interior. We'll open that with Photomatics, And we'll merge to fuse. This was taken from a tripod, And I want to take a look at some of my fusion methods here.
Let's start with the Average method. One thing you'll notice is that this method really has no choices. It's simply averaged out the exposure value of the entire scene. So it looked at that entire dynamic range and it averaged the values together. Into a single image. This is a great way to create a noise-free image that's based on a variety of input sources, but there's only so much you can do with the average method. You'll notice there aren't even presets because again, there is no setting for average.
Okay. You probably didn't merge those together to have no choices, so let's take a look at something else that's related to Average. The Average Auto is going to take a look at those images and attempt to create a better image based on the best parts. You'll note, as we switch between those, that the Average Auto did a better job of preserving some of the brighter reflections But brought back some of the details that were getting blown out. Pretty straightforward and relatively useful, but what I want to show you here is really the ability to fuse just two images together.
You can shoot the entire bracketed set, and then pick which two images are going to be blended. This works pretty well to solve a problem, which is showing what's happening outside the window and inside with the action. Let's switch to the 2 Image method. Because I have chosen too many images, you'll see that it asks me to basically select two from the list. Now, I'm going to take one of my really dark ones here Right about there in fact, so the windows come into play. And then, let's go in and grab one of mid-tone images.
That's a little bit dark so I'll go right about there. That's looking pretty great actually. I'm able to see inside of Independence Hall And outside. And before any of you ask, why didn't you just turn on the lights, or try to balance the exposure, there is no electricity in Independence Hall. This is an old, historical monument, and I needed to work with the available lighting that I had, and quickly get the shot. So I like this method here. We're able to see outside the windows. That seems pretty natural there. It's hard to decide between which two methods, but I think I like that there.
I'll go with a little bit more underexposed for the windows, and for the interior we'll slightly overexpose and click apply. And then let's just add a little bit of contrast back in. That makes the blacks nice and crisp, I can play with the overall light there. There we go. Looks pretty good. And let's just bring out a little bit of cooling with the blue. And drop that down. That looks great. And I managed to successfully capture the entire dynamic range. Those three fusion methods are all very similar, and are very useful when you have multiple images.
You could choose to combine them just to get the average value, or you could fuse particular images to get a perfect image, where you shot for basically two situations. But here's the good news, you actually have one more method that we're going to look at next, which is the ability to fuse a single raw file.
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