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What you need for this course

From: Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR)

Video: What you need for this course

You can shoot HDR images with any type of camera, but you will definitely have an easier time with some cameras more than others. We are going to cover several different shooting techniques for handling scenes with high dynamic range, but the most popular involves shooting a series of images. Now because we want the images to be as similar to each other as possible, it helps to have a camera with a fast burst rate. In fact, the faster the better. But if your camera can only manage two or three frames per second, you will still be doing okay. Now those multiple frames that you are shooting won't be completely identical; instead their exposures will be bracketed.

What you need for this course

You can shoot HDR images with any type of camera, but you will definitely have an easier time with some cameras more than others. We are going to cover several different shooting techniques for handling scenes with high dynamic range, but the most popular involves shooting a series of images. Now because we want the images to be as similar to each other as possible, it helps to have a camera with a fast burst rate. In fact, the faster the better. But if your camera can only manage two or three frames per second, you will still be doing okay. Now those multiple frames that you are shooting won't be completely identical; instead their exposures will be bracketed.

That is, each frame will be exposed slightly differently than the previous frame. This is much easier to achieve if your camera has an auto-bracketing feature, which is sometimes referred to as auto-exposure bracketing. You will be using this in conjunction with the camera's burst or drive mode. Though not completely necessary, you ideally want a camera with an aperture priority mode to help ensure that all of the images of your bracket set have the same depth of field. You will get the best results from your HDR work if you have a camera that can shoot in RAW not just JPEG.

Now because I'm usually pretty lazy, I actually do most of my HDR work while hand holding the camera. However, there are times when the only way you can get a good HDR shot is with a tripod, and certainly any HDR image will benefit from the stability provided by a good tripod. If you are really a stickler for sharpness, then you are going to want a remote control to use when tripod mounting. Now for postproduction, you will need a copy of Photoshop CS5. You can get away with an earlier version, but some of the new HDR features that we are going to cover here are only available in CS5.

You will also be looking at Photomatix and NIK software's HDR FX. There are free demo versions of all of these programs and we will look at where you can get those when we get to the postproduction sections. Finally, you'll need a basic understanding of exposure, what aperture and shutter speed and iSO mean, and how to change them on your camera. You can learn more about exposure in the Foundations of Photography: Exposure course. So, if you're still not clear on what kind of camera you need, know that if you have an SLR, you're probably fine.

If you have an advanced point-and- shoot, then you probably have aperture priority mode, exposure bracketing, a burst mode and possibly the ability to shoot RAW, so you're probably okay. If you have a more simple point-and-shoot, don't run out and buy a new camera just yet. It's possible that your camera will be fine, but you will need to do some tests and experiments to be sure.

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  1. 6m 46s
    1. Welcome
      2m 0s
    2. What you need for this course
      2m 37s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 9s
  2. 24m 55s
    1. Dynamic range defined
      4m 31s
    2. Understanding bit depth
      3m 37s
    3. Image sensor and shadows
      2m 38s
    4. Three methods for capturing more dynamic range
      3m 56s
    5. HDR shooting and processing
      4m 40s
    6. Single-shot HDR
      2m 43s
    7. When to use HDR
      2m 50s
  3. 19m 59s
    1. Finding HDR subject matter
      4m 38s
    2. Shooting HDR
      9m 45s
    3. Workflow and organization
      5m 36s
  4. 17m 52s
    1. Using gradient masks to improve dynamic range
      3m 56s
    2. More dynamic range masking
      8m 57s
    3. Masking with brushes
      4m 59s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. Creating an HDR image in Photoshop
      12m 15s
    2. Creating an HDR image in Photomatix
      22m 5s
    3. Creating an HDR in HDR Efex
      11m 47s
    4. Merging in Photoshop and processing elsewhere
      3m 51s
    5. Using Tone Compressor in Photomatix
      4m 25s
    6. Using Exposure Fusion in Photomatix
      7m 35s
    7. Single-shot HDR images in Photomatix
      4m 18s
    8. Single-shot HDR images in HDR Efex
      1m 3s
    9. Single-shot HDR images in Photoshop
      5m 32s
    10. Ghosting and Photoshop
      2m 51s
    11. Ghosting and HDR Efex
      2m 47s
    12. Ghosting and Photomatix
      6m 36s
    13. Batch processing in Photomatix
      10m 51s
  6. 2h 9m
    1. Reducing noise and correcting chromatic aberrations
      13m 33s
    2. Finishing an image
      8m 42s
    3. Handling HDR images that are "flat"
      13m 37s
    4. Combining HDR and LDR
      19m 40s
    5. Selective editing with HDR Efex Pro
      9m 42s
    6. HDR that doesn't look like HDR
      12m 42s
    7. Tone mapping troubles to watch for
      6m 46s
    8. Why use HDR for black-and-white images?
      5m 26s
    9. Black-and-white HDR
      12m 39s
    10. Panoramic HDR
      12m 3s
    11. HDR time lapse
      4m 24s
    12. Processing the trestle image
      10m 1s
  7. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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