Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video HDR, part of Lightroom Insider Training: Mastering the Develop Module.
- HDR or High Dynamic Range is a way of taking multiple exposures and blending them into one. So, the idea is that I take a dark image like this, slightly dark image like this. An image that's very similar to what the camera's meter's on and an image like this and I combine them all into one so that I have the tonality of all of them. Now, in the past, that meant going over to Photoshop but Lightroom CC now has a very powerful way of doing this directly in Lightroom.
Most of what we've talked about is in the Develop module but this operation, because it involves multiple files, actually begins in the Library module. And so what do is I shift click my files, and with those four files, select it. You need either three or more. What I'm going to do is come up to the Photo menu and I've got this option for Photo Merge HDR. The other way to do is with those same four images selected, I can right-click and I will get that same option, Photo Merge HDR. And I get this dialog and for the most part, Lightroom takes care of everything.
It's automatically going to align the files. It's automatically going to tone them and in this case, it's automatically deghosted them. So, I don't know if you noticed before but if I had no deghosting, I'd see that there's a person walking through the image and there's a bird flying through the image. And ghosting is a problem anytime you have multiple images because waves are moving, grass is blowing, clouds. But if I move this over to one of my deghosting amounts, I'll just Medium, the bird is going to disappear as is the person. So, it's just keeping all of that common content in there.
And when I'm satisfied, I'm just going to click on Merge and sort of sit back and let Lightroom do the work. And again, it's going to take out any ghosting and it's going to automatically align the frames and tone them. And what I have is an image that immediately looks much better. Now, it's really important to understand that unlike what we used to do in Photoshop, this is not pushed in the pixels. This is still a true raw file. So, if I come into the Develop module, I can do all sorts of things that I can only do to raw files.
I can adjust the Temperature. You can see that all of these adjustments have already been applied but let's look at the latitude of this. There's a tremendous amount of information with the Exposure here. There's a lot we can do with this file. I can do something like bump up the Clarity and maybe even the Vibrance as well. Now, one of the great things about HDR and I think a lot of people don't use it for this is that you can make really amazing black and white images as well.
So, as before, if I made this black and white, it might look pretty good there. But one of the things I can do to dramatically change it is introduce a Graduated Filter. So, maybe I want to make the sky dark and sort of moody and add a bunch of Clarity to it. And then in the foreground, I'm going to drag another Graduated Filter and take off the Clarity, take off the Exposure and just open up the Shadows quite a bit there.
Click Done. And just to give an idea of how far we've come, let's look at before and after down here in the lower left. Here was the initial very flat image and here's a complete different interpretation. Four images fused together, graduated filter, black and white. Really different effect and a lot of fun. HDRs don't have to be eye-bleeding candy color. They can be whatever you like and using this feature in Lightroom, they're very very accurate because they don't have artifacts and they're perfectly aligned.
And again, they work like a normal raw file. So, once your HDR is built, you can just take it into the Develop module.
In this course, Adobe's Bryan O'Neil Hughes explores the Develop module in depth, stepping through each of the module's core tools and sharing insights on each along the way. The course concludes with chapters on essential time-saving tools, taking photos from Lightroom to Photoshop for further enhancement, and editing images on smartphones and tablets with Lightroom for mobile.
- Understanding the order of operations for adjustments
- Adjusting white balance and temperature
- Adjusting tone
- Adjusting color
- Converting images to black and white
- Developing HDR images and panoramas
- Working with the DNG Profile Editor
- Reducing noise
- Saving time with shortcuts, presets, and virtual copies
- Moving to Photoshop
- Going mobile