Wednesday, June 2, 2010

HDR Photos

HDR was one of the first things I learned on Photoshop. I was first introduced to the full potential of Photoshop during the summer of 2007 when I was studying in Florence; back when Photoshop was still CS2! Last week, Photoshop CS5 was finally released. One of the newest things that they added to PS (Photoshop) was HDR Pro. PS had HDR functions since CS2 but lacked tone mapping that photographers want in a HDR image. Photographers had to purchase plugins like Photomatix to achieve great tonal range that they wanted. CS5 new HDR Pro function solves this problem; not fully but pretty damn close.

Q: What are HDR photos?

A: HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR photos is a post process technique whenever there's 2 or more photos taken of the same subject with different exposure values (typically most photogs shoot about 5 photos). The photographer will then add these photos together into a single image using editing software such as Adobe's Photoshop. The benefit is that a single photo will have a greater range in lightness, mid tones, and darkness in a single image. This greater range will give the photographer an opportunity to create a surreal photograph.

For the most part, creating a HDR image is very time consuming and takes up a lot of space on the hard drive. Also the HDR image is sometimes too digitize...well for me anyways. It's not my favorite technique to use, but sometimes I do get some good images out of it.

Below are some HDR images that I did in PS CS5's new HDR Pro function. However, first one is done with PS CS3 two years ago with the Photomatix plugin. The second image is the same photo but with the new CS5's HDR Pro. The other 2 images is also using CS5's HDR Pro. Further editing was done with all images after creating the HDR image (levels, curves, color/lens corrections and etc)

7 photos at different exposure. Using PS CS3 to create the HDR image, then using a trial version of Photomatix plugin (why the watermarks are there). Take a look at the ghost like airplane flying above the bridge.
MO River, Kansas City

Same photo but using CS5's HDR pro. Notice that it preserved the airplane that is flying above the bridge.

HDR with 5 photos

HDR with only 2 photos

Check out Ben Godkin's HDR photos on his flickr: click here Ben was the first person to introduce HDR to me when we're both in Florence.

Other's HDR images on flickr: click here

Music Video pick of the day, to kick off the Summer:
Weekend by Sea and Cake



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