Sunday, July 29, 2012

HDR Love

Recently I downloaded a free trial of an HDR software. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it refers to a photo (or photos) that attempts to expose for both the shadows and the highlights.

There are several ways to create an HDR photo. One way is to take multiple photos, each exposed for a different element--shadows, highlights,ect. Then, you use a software to merge these multiple photos together.

You see, that requires planning. And I'm not the best on planning. ;) I was just sitting here, messing around with some old photos that I thought would benefit from HDR treatment.

So what I did was take the original photo, decently exposed to catch the colors of the sunset, and make two copies of it, one for the shadows, and one for the highlights.

 This was edited to bring out the dark areas (at the expense of the brights, but that's alright, as I am merging several photos together):
This is the original photo:

Here I slightly edited the photo to bring out the sky:


I threw these three photos into my trial program, Photomatix Pro. I have seen some other photographers use this program, to amazing results. Photoshop does have a HDR function, however I've never had any luck with it.

The final result!

Since it is a trial version, I have all the full functions of the program, but with the limitations of those watermarks. If I really wanted to, I could remove the watermarks in Photoshop, but that just seems, well, rather immoral. If I'm cheap enough to use the trial version, then I'll just have to deal with the watermarks ;)

Another picture! This one didn't turn out as well, but still, I like the result. HDR photos can look over processed, but there are definitely some perks. Here, you still get the color of the grass, and trees, even with the great contrast and color of the sunset.

:) Thanks for reading!

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