Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Developing HDR in Photomatix Pro, part of Shooting a High-Dynamic Range (HDR) Time-Lapse Video.
In our previous example, we took the images directly from Camera Raw into Photomatix Pro. However, you don't need to do that. You can take advantage of Lightroom, or Photoshop's RAW decoder, or even aperture for that matter to process the images to a way that you're happy with. Because this was a tough situation, getting really close to nighttime, I want to do a little extra loving care and make sure that I'm happy with the overall color and tonality of the images. So let's do a quick process.
I've opened up all of the images into Adobe Camera RAW for the entire time-lapse sequence. And what I'm showing you here, is the image that I developed. But, this is how it turned out. You'll note that details have been lost in the front of the stone, but by lifting up the exposure slightly and playing with the shadow slider, notice how we can really bring that out. And that helps quite a bit. Additionally, you could play with highlights if you need to recover, although I think we've got a pretty good job here with the underexposed image preserving all that detail.
So I don't think I need to rescue them. All in all, the white balance is very subjective. I decided to let this pop a bit. If you look at how this was shot, it's very blue. But I went with a warmer look that still preserved some of the gold highlights in the top of the mountain. And a bit of a boost to clarity really helps with the edge detail there on those rocks. Look at how that just pops that and brings it out, alright.
Compare the starting state versus the ending state and it's clear to me that a lot has come through. If you decide you want to go after individual areas for example, the yellow here is a little bit strong. I can step in to the intra cell sliders. And this allows me to go after just the yellowish areas, so I can brighten those up a little bit, and pull down the saturation so they're not so strong. Same thing with some of those orangeish tones, or in this case, there's a bit of a greenish cast up there.
And I can pull that down a bit, so it's not so strong. Remember you also always have the ability to add an adjustment brush. So I could take a small brush here, paint over that area. Let's take advantage of an auto mask in seeing it. And we can select that mountain range just the top there which is turning a little bit golder than I would like. Here we go. Hold on the option and the alt key to erase, here we go that's pretty good, let's pull out that little divot there.
And now, we can selectively adjust that area. Note that I brightened it up quite a bit. And I'm going to pull down the saturation. So it becomes a nice, clean, white peak. As opposed to something that is got a color cast. All right, that looks pretty good. Let's select everything and synchronize across the board. Making sure to synchronize that Local Adjustment there, which is really important. I like what they did, I took the mountain peak and made it a nice strong white peak.
And with the three different exposures here, we're seeing all of the tonal range, nice clean mid tones, the underexposed areas are looking great there, the dark highlights and here we're seeing all that stuff come through. So it feels pretty good. I like what happened here. We shot the underexposed image, so that we have details in the whites. And the over exposed image so we have good details in the blacks and that's going to combine with this. Now that that's all set, I'll simply make sure to save that.
Note that I can store that here, as a new look and click okey. And these snap shots make it really easy to audition different treatments. And note there, by doing some of that selected HSL adjustment, I've really toned down some of that color cast. Looking at it even closer, I think I'm going to go a step further. Let's go back here to that adjustment brush, select that. We going to add just a little bit here, clean that one up.
Pretty good. And I like that. Let's zoom in, and it's very easy to touch things up. Alt key or option key lets you erase. And you see there, by using the auto mask technique, I was able to very accurately paint that in. Everything's selected, synchronize. There we go. Local adjustments. And let's make sure that we update that enhanced look. We'll just save over it. All right. Now that that's set, I'll click Save Images and let's target a new location for those.
I've already output the JPEGs once with one look. Let's call this JPEG2 for a second look. I'll choose that folder, look everything over, high quality jpeg's, rack 709, HD 709 A, for the color space for broadcast video, looks good. Click save, and the files are being written. You'll note here in the bottom, we could track its progress. Now that that's building out, very quickly here, that will finish the export and we'll be able to take those in. And do some batch processing over in Photomatix Pro.
For now I can click Done and let that finish its export.
This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Staging the camera
- Controlling the camera with an intervalometer or smartphone
- Choosing the right interval for HDR
- Shooting JPEG or RAW
- Building a HDR test sequence
- Developing HDR images
- Organizing, assembling, and evaluating the shot in post