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Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR)

When to use HDR


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Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR)

with Ben Long
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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

Video: When to use HDR

Taking a picture involves answering a lot of questions and solving a lot of problems. How should I frame my shot, how can I frame all those power lines, do I want motion to be blurry or frozen, do I want deep depth of field, how can I work around that backlighting, how can I preserve detail where I want it? HDR techniques are just another set of tools that you have at your disposal for addressing all of those various problems. HDR techniques will not help you with every image. On some images they'll have no effect at all. But as we've seen and as we'll be exploring throughout this course, for certain situations HDR techniques give you another way to solve particular photographic problems.

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Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR)
4h 55m Intermediate Jul 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, photographer Ben Long describes the concepts and techniques behind high dynamic range (HDR) photography, a technique used to create images that have a wider range between the lightest and darkest areas of a scene than a digital camera can typically capture. The course begins with some background on dynamic range, on how camera sensors detect shadows, and on the kinds of subjects that benefit from HDR. Ben then describes and demonstrates several methods of generating HDR images, starting with single-shot HDR, which relies on masking to subtly enhance the dynamic range of a shot. Next, the course covers multi-exposure HDR, which involves shooting several photos of a scene, each at a different exposure, and then combining them using software tools. Ben demonstrates how to use Photoshop and the popular Photomatix software to process HDR images whose appearance ranges from subtle to surreal.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how the image sensor detects shadows
  • Capturing a broader dynamic range
  • Knowing when to use HDR
  • Finding good HDR subject matter
  • Using gradient masks to improve dynamic range
  • Merging in Photoshop and processing elsewhere
  • Dealing with ghosting
  • Reducing noise and correcting chromatic aberrations
  • Handling HDR images that seem flat
  • Combining HDR and LDR (low dynamic range)
  • Selective editing with HDR Efex Pro
  • Creating panoramic HDR images
  • Creating an HDR time lapse
Subjects:
Photography HDR
Software:
Photoshop Photomatix SilverFast HDR Studio
Author:
Ben Long

When to use HDR

Taking a picture involves answering a lot of questions and solving a lot of problems. How should I frame my shot, how can I frame all those power lines, do I want motion to be blurry or frozen, do I want deep depth of field, how can I work around that backlighting, how can I preserve detail where I want it? HDR techniques are just another set of tools that you have at your disposal for addressing all of those various problems. HDR techniques will not help you with every image. On some images they'll have no effect at all. But as we've seen and as we'll be exploring throughout this course, for certain situations HDR techniques give you another way to solve particular photographic problems.

For the entire history of photography, photographers have been dealing with the fact that that their cameras cannot capture the full range that they can see with their eyes. Because of that limitation, photographic vocabulary developed around the ideas of light and shadow and their interplay. And so, as photographers, we frequently choose to plunge shadows into darkness or choose to let highlights blowout the complete white. As viewers and even just as people who shoot snapshots, we've all become used to photographs that look like, you know, photographs.

We're used to not seeing detail in every shadow and highlight. HDR changes all that. Suddenly we have the ability to have perfect exposure throughout our image. This has a few impacts on our jobs as photographers. First, it can make an image look really flat. Your main job as a photographer is to ensure that the viewer understands what is the subject of your image and what is the background. But if everything is exposed equally, the viewer can get lost in an image of flat even tones. As an HDR photographer we have to think even harder about what detail should be visible in our scene and how to bring focus to our subject.

As a viewer, people often recognize an HDR scene as being manipulated, even if they don't quite know how or what it is that they're recognizing as a manipulation. With image editing you never want your edits to upstage your image. A good edit is one that the viewer never recognizes, and HDR is often very recognizable. So as we work through this course, we're going to be trying to address these questions. While we will go over how to create extremely surreal processed-looking images, my goal is usually to create HDR images that don't look like obvious HDR images.

I try to continue to use the same photographic vocabulary that I use in my normal non-HDR shooting. And so I aim for nice interplay between shadows and highlights and always try to figure out how to better reveal my subject. Thanks to HDR, I have more flexibility and, if I want it, more detail and tonality at my disposal as I try to solve those problems.

There are currently no FAQs about Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR).

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