To learn more about HDR, check out our HDR Learning Center.
First up, meet French photographer, Girolamo Cracchiolo.
Girolamo’s photos are filled with beautiful color and intricate detail. I love the way he keeps the HDR process an effect that enhances rather than distracts from the incredible landscapes he captures. Since 2009, he has captured some of France and Italy’s most incredible locations and has processed them utilizing HDR techniques.
“As you can see I’m into landscape and HDR photos since 2009. I have a Canon EOS 50D with 3 lenses: a canon EF-S 10-22 mm a canon EF-S 18-135 mm and a Samyang 8mm fisheyes. My tripod is a a Vanguard Alta…
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HDR photos are made using more than one photo merged together for an effect. They typically look very saturated and processed, or a little flat.
1)Choose your scene. HDR will often bring out the best in any scene, so this is up to you. A scene with plenty of cloud will work; HDR photos bring out a stunning amount of cloud detail.
2Setting up your camera. If you have a remote release for your camera, all the better; you could also use a short self-timer if you don’t. Whatever you use, it is very important that the camera does not move between shots. If your camera has automatic exposure bracketing, then use that setting to make it easier for yourself.
3)Take the 3 photos. One overexposed, one underexposed, and one normal.
4) Upload your photos to your computer and open photoshop or any HDR program.
5)Here we use Adobe Photoshop to convert the sequence of exposures into a single image, which uses tonal mapping to approximate what we would see with our eye. First, we need to combine all exposures into a single 32-bit HDR file:
Open the HDR tool (File>Automate>Merge to HDR…), and load all photographs in the exposure sequence; for this example it would be the four images shown in the previous section. If your images were not taken on a stable tripod, this step may require checking “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images” (which greatly increases processing time). After pressing OK, you will soon see a “Computing Camera Response Curves” message.
Once your computer has stopped processing, it will show a window with their combined histogram. Photoshop has estimated the white point, but this value often clips the highlights. You may wish to move the white point slider to the rightmost edge of the histogram peaks in order to see all highlight detail. This value is for preview purposes only and will require setting more precisely later. After pressing OK, this leaves you with a 32-bit HDR image, which can now be saved if required. Note how the image may still appear quite dark; only once it has been converted into a 16 or 8-bit image (using tonal mapping) will it begin to look more like the desired result.
At this stage, very few image processing functions can be applied to a 32-bit HDR file, so it is of little use other than for archival purposes. One function which is available is exposure adjustment (Image>Adjustments>Exposure). You may want to try adjusting the exposure to have this reveal any hidden highlight or shadow detail.
Below are my HDR images.
As a wedding photographer, I find it’s all too easy to slip into a groove of doing the same thing over and over. Sure it’s a different set of clients each week, and there’s a different venue, a different dress, different food, different customs, but at some point it basically boils down to the same basic concepts; the anticipation of getting ready, the excitement of seeing each other for the first time, the symbolic beauty of a ceremony, and the jubilation of a reception. It’s easy to become (dare I say?) bored.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do. But I also love all things new and unknown, which after ten years in the wedding industry, there’s not a lot of. So how do I reinvent the proverbial wheel of my well oiled wedding photography machine? How do I move forward with my photographic evolution as an…
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