Department of Agriculture – First HDR Photo Using Photoshop CS3
January 1, 2010
Photo of the Department of Agriculture. Independence Ave Washington DC
This is my first attempt to create an HDR image so bear with me.
What is HDR? HDR which means High Dynamic Range, is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques of photographic methods. from Wikipedia…
Equipments I Used when I shot this photo:
Camera : Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black)
Lens : Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens
Tripod : Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
Digital Darkroom App: Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
How to Create An HDR Image
- Taking Photos for merging to HDR
- Secure the camera to a tripod.
- Take enough photos to cover the full dynamic range of the scene. You can try taking at least five to seven photos, but you might need to take more exposures depending on the dynamic range of the scene. The minimum number of photos should be three.
- Vary the shutter speed to create different exposures. Changing the aperture changes the depth of field in each exposure and can produce lower-quality results. Changing the ISO or aperture may also cause noise or vignetting in the image.
- In general, don’t use your camera’s auto-bracket feature, because the exposure changes are usually too small.
- The exposure differences between the photos should be one or two EV (exposure value) steps apart (equivalent to about one or two f‑stops apart).
- Don’t vary the lighting; for instance, don’t use a flash in one exposure but not the next.
- Make sure that nothing is moving in the scene. Exposure Merge works only with differently exposed images of the identical scene.
- Merge Photos to HDR
- Choose File > Automate > Merge To HDR.
- In the Merge To HDR dialog box, click Browse, browse to select the images, and click Open.
- (Optional) Select the Attempt To Automatically Align Source Images option if you held the camera in your hands when you photographed the multiple images.
- Click OK. A second Merge To HDR dialog box displays thumbnails of the images being used in the merged result, a preview of the merged result, a Bit Depth menu, and a slider for setting the white point preview.
- If necessary, do one of the following to set the view options for the merged result preview:
- Click the Minus or Plus buttons below the preview image to zoom out or zoom in.
- Choose a view percentage or mode from the pop‑up menu below the preview image.
- (Optional) Deselect or select the thumbnails in the Sources filmstrip to specify which images to use in the merged image.
- Choose a bit depth for the merged image from the Bit Depth menu. Be sure to choose 32 Bits/Channel if you want the merged image to store the entire dynamic range data of the HDR image. 8‑bits and (non-floating point) 16‑bpc images files cannot store the entire range of luminance values in an HDR image.
- Move the slider below the histogram to preview the merged image. Moving the slider adjusts the image preview only. All the HDR image data remains intact in the merged image file. If you’re saving the merged image as 32‑bpc, the preview adjustment is stored in the HDR image file and applied whenever the file is opened in Photoshop. The preview adjustment is always accessible and adjustable by choosing View > 32‑Bit Preview Options.
- Click OK to create the merged image. If you chose to save the merged image as an 8‑bits or 16‑bpc image, the HDR Conversion dialog box opens. Make the exposure and contrast corrections to produce an image with the dynamic range (tonal range) you want.
You can also find these set of instructions at the Adobe Website.