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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.
There's a very subtle method for tone compression called tone compressor, and essentially it doesn't do some of the selective contrast that the other methods do. But it does have a couple of technical benefits, mainly that it doesn't tend to add much noise, and it avoids some of the halos that are often considered problematic. Let's see how it works. So with the contrast optimizer here, or details enhancer, you may notice that we have a bit of a glow. Now of course there is the neon glow here, but on those edges you tend to see some halo effects.
Particularly there on the high contrast area. And as you increase the strength, it only gets worse. This is something that many people considered bad with HDR, and it can be a bit over the top. Let's chose the tone compressor method for a second, and stick with the tone compressor presets. We'll fit the image there and essentially there are three choices for presets. I really like this for black and white photography. It becomes very clean.
But even with the photographic preset, it's quite nice. If we look at the original image here, you'll notice that it was a bit difficult to get those trees in the shot. And so, by using these different methods, we're able to balance this out. Alright. Let's switch back, and we'll stick with the tone compressor method. Essentially, you have the ability to adjust the overall brightness, and it's using that wider range of detail through all the photos to help you achieve the brightness that you want.
You then have the ability to compress tone. And to play with the overall contrast. Look at some of the shadowy areas there and how those behave. Alright, that's looking pretty good to me. I'm going to play with the white clip there and you see that it brings up the brightness of the whites, as well as the ability to clip blacks. Now that's just destroying the tree there and I pushed it too far. So you want to be very careful with clipping that you don't take it too strong. And then of course, do you want the colors super rich or bit more subdued? Sometimes a subtle chromo look could be attractive, but with all this neon, I'm going to actually bump that up a bit and play with the color temperature.
Notice there, by cooling that down, it takes on more of the feeling of night time. Before. After. Well, that merge definitely brought things in, but no additional noise. Let's go ahead and move that around a little bit. We'll go to an area that should be pretty much in focus. There we go. And as we've played with those methods there, we're not introducing any noise or halo effects, which is great. This is one of the major technical benefits of using the tone compressor method. Let's save that out, and then we'll just finish the file.
Put a little bit of contrast in. There we go. And this is a great opportunity to take advantage of these color sliders. Note that you could pop individual colors, a little bit of red, back the orange off so that tree picks it up. Little bit of green there, and the aqua, and the blue, looks good. And you just refine it. That looks great, I'm going to strongly sharpen that so we get some great detail. Let's zoom in for a second. And that sharpening is looking really good. And, we can click Done. And then save our image.
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