Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video HDR for black and white, part of Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop: Black and White Photography.
Okay, the next thing I'd like to talk about is HDR, or high-dynamic-range, and for that, we've got a number of relatively small JPEG's here, that are taken at different exposures, so if I hit the space bar, I'm gonna get a full-screen preview. This one, I've shot really dark, and that gives me some of the detail in the sky. As I arrow to the right, I'm gonna see that it's a little bit brighter, and one of the problems with a cityscape, is that people are moving through the image, and so what I want to do is, I want to combine these and make a better exposure, something more like what my eye sees.
Now, historically, this is something that was done in Photoshop, and normally, people think about doing this with color images, but it's very effective for black and white images, and it can be done in a way that's really tasteful. So here's how it works. I just select the images I want by shift-clicking. Those are the five images that I want. You need three or more images to do an HDR. Now, these are JPEG's. Normally you'd want to work with a full, raw file. You could either right click and choose Photo Merge, HDR, or come up to the Photo menu and come down here to Photo Merge, HDR, and when I click on that, I'm gonna get this dialogue that's pretty much gonna take care of everything for me.
It's a very automatic process, and I get an initial preview. Lightroom went ahead and automatically aligned the image. If I were to unclick that, I would see that those images were way out of alignment, and automatically toned it, and I would really let it just do its thing. Now, as far as deghosting goes, it's looking for common content between the images, so if I say, go with Low, it's gonna look for common content throughout those images, and it's gonna give me that much better of an image. If I go with Medium, it's gonna look even better.
In this case, I'm gonna go with High, because it's a cityscape. There's a lot of stuff moving around. That looks great. I'm gonna merge those together, and again, what's happening is it's merging all five of those images into one, and if I were using raw files, it would create a true, new raw file that was a combination of all of them. So let's step through and it'll be really obvious when we get to the new HDR. Here was the dark one. Little lighter. Little lighter. Little lighter.
Even lighter, got more detail in the shadows, and then our new merge, made up of all five, and we're just gonna take that one into the Develop module, and I'm gonna use the Exposure slider to show you why this is so powerful. I pull that over to the left, we have tremendous latitude. We've got tons of information in the sky, and if I pull it over to the right, I have tons of information in the shadows. I'm just gonna double click that. Lightroom's done a really nice job of balancing it out to begin with, and in this case, if I wanted to make it crunchier, I could add some clarity.
I could play around with it, but truthfully, it looks pretty good. If I hit Black and White, I'm just going to get a really nice, high-contrast, full-dynamic-range, Black and White image. So that's what HDR looks like with Black and White. If this isn't you've played around with yet, I really encourage you to do so. It's easier than it's ever been, and the Black and White part is just like I've shown you before. It's just a matter of playing around with the sliders to fine tune the image.
- Why black and white?
- Shooting with black and white in mind
- Preparing color images
- Black-and-white mixing and adding toning
- Utilizing presets effectively
- Creating black-and-white HDR images with Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop
- Taking advantage of black-and-white adjustment layers
- Adjusting the toning of images
- Working with the Silver Efex plugin
- Converting to black and white on the go