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I'm sure that many of us have found ourselves in the situation at one point in time where we want to photograph a scene, but the darkest values in this scene and the lightest values in this scene. There's such a difference between them that we can't capture them in a single exposure. The solution there is to capture bracketed exposures, and we can bracket those exposures maybe one stop apart. Until were able to capture that entire dynamic range. So in this situation I have three files.
And I want to take these three different exposures of the same scene and I want Photoshop to merge them together. Into a single HDR image or high dynamic range image. Every four I tell Photoshop to merge this two and HDR. I want to be sure that I remove any lens distortion so I am going to use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+R or Ctrl+R in Windows. And I'm going to select all three of my images by clicking Select All and then I'll move over to the Lens Correction panel.
And I'm going to remove the Chromatic Aberration and I'm also going to click on the Profile tab and I'm going to enable Lens Profile Correction. So that's going to remove any of the lens distortion and help Photoshop to create the highest quality HDR image possible. So instead of opening the images at this point. I'm going to select Done and return to Bridge. Then, I can use the tools menu and select Photoshop and merge these to HDR pro. Now, Bridge is going to hand off each of those three bracketed exposures to Photoshop and Photoshop is going to build a single document that's not eight bit or 16 bit, but it's actually 32-bit. So it's going to take advantage of the fact that we can see into the shadows in the overexposed bracket and that we can see in the highlights in the underexposed bracket.
Now by default Photoshop assumes that I want to convert this 32-bit image down to 16 bit, and that's not actually the case. Instead I want to leave this in 32-bit. I also want to take advantage of this option to remove ghost because it could be that something's changed in between exposures. Maybe a person walked through. In this case, the water is flowing, maybe the clouds have moved, so removing ghost tells Photoshop To make sure that if something moves in between different brackets to isolate and just select one of the frames, in this case, it selected the first frame.
But we could click on any of these frames if we had a preference as to which one it should keep for those areas that do move. You'll also notice that when I click OK, I'm going to complete this toning in Adobe Camera Raw. So let's see what that looks like in Adobe Camera Raw. Now, you'll notice that the interface here is very familiar, but I do want to point out that it is a little bit different. For example, we don't have the crop tool here. So we're not in the same Camera Raw. When you start in Bridge an you open a file in Camera Raw. Instead, we're in Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop. So a few of the tools that don't make sense, have been removed. But all of the tools in the basic panel are right here, an we can use them on this 32-bit image.
So for example if I wanted to increase the exposure a little bit and maybe increase the widths to make sure that I'm using the entire dynamic range. And also, maybe decrease the highlights because I would like to get a little bit more detail or a little bit more contrast in here. So by increasing my wideths, but then decreasing my highlights. You can see how I'm spreading out these values in the histogram. So I'll move the highlights to the left and then I'll move the whites up to the right.
I don't want to go too far right I don't want to clip those to pure white that's what we're seeing right here this red overlay is because my highlight clipping warning is on. Can toggle that on and off by clicking on the triangle. I'll need to back off a little bit on that. But let's go ahead and tap the p key for a preview. So that's what it looked like when we first entered Camera Raw and that's what we've done to enhance it. I'll also move my shadow slider up to the right just so that I can see into my shadows a little bit. And when I do that, I notice that I have a spot right here so we can use the spot removal brush. And I'll use the left bracket to get a smaller spot. We'll just click directly on top of that in order to remove it. Then I'll select the zoom tool in order to access all of my panels again. I'm going to add a little bit of clarity, and also a little bit of vibrance, just to make the image pop a little bit more.
I just want to point out that we also have access to all of our selective adjustments, so I've got my adjustment brush as well as the graduated filter and the radial filter as well. If I wanted to make a selective adjustment in the sky, we could select the adjustment brush. Maybe load this with a little bit of a negative exposure, but a little bit of a positive contrast, and a little bit of negative highlights here. I'll use the right bracket to get a larger brush. And then we can paint in the sky area. Now I think this is overdoing it a bit.
It looks rather fake. I'm just going to back off on those values. Let me take my highlights up a little, contrast down, and maybe the exposure up as well. The point is I can make all of these changes with all of the familiar tools that I already know but I can be working with and changing a 32-bit file. And I click okay we want to take a look at the layers panel for a moment like I mentioned what Photoshop has done is its taken its 32-bit image and its brought it into Photoshop it automatically converted it into a smart object. An then it added the Camera Raw filter, as a smart filter. So we can hide or show, the changes that we made by toggling the eye icon next to the Camera Raw filter.
An if I wanted to selectively mask this, we can use the mask that's associated, with the smart filter. So at this point we can save this document just like we saved any Photoshop document even though its in 32-bit all we need to do is a quick save as and save it out as a .PSD file.
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