Good morning everyone! Sorry for the week off (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately). Every time I think that my life should slow down, something else seems to come up! If you don’t already, you can follow me over on my Facebook page, where I do have daily updates!
For today’s post I have something a bit different. After reading Neil Kremer’s photo post a few days back, I learned of a new way to process HDRs using 32 bit processing and Lightroom 4 with a plugin from Photomatix. This technique, which allows for outstanding tonal range without the complications from the HDR process like noise and halos, gives you ultra realistic HDRs that you can process using the Develop tab in Lightroom. After that you can kick them over to Photoshop to run them through whatever filters you like, but your starting point is much, much different than if you were to use Photomatix alone.
The process is quite simple. After making sure that you’ve upgraded to LR 4.1 and downloaded the plugin you are ready to begin. Just select the bracketed photos in your LR library, control or right click and select Merge to 32 bit HDR. Lightroom will do the processing and place the new, 32 bit image in your library, either among the bracketed shots or at the very end of the folder. Hit the Develop tab and make any necessary adjustments. I’ve found that most of the raw HDRs have been underexposed, so I’ve been upping the exposure by about 0.5. You can then pull back the highlights and shadows using the appropriate sliders in LR. Export to PS to make an final edits and you’ve got yourself a great HDR!
In this series of images, the first one was processed using the technique described above while the second was using the standalone Photomatix application. I’m a believer!
Here you can see the highlights are much more under control.
The halo and banding in the sky is gone.
The clouds don’t look as dirty.
So, even without any other post processing (no filters were applied to the first image in every set), they still just look better. I still have a bit of work to do in refining the technique, but I am very impressed thus far!
Thanks for stopping by today everyone!