HDR Patrice huNTER

HDR - High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range or HDR as it is more commonly known, is a blend of images of the same scene with different levels of exposure in order to create one image with an unusually high dynamic range.

In order to create an HDR image you will need;

  • A camera with exposure settings. (AEB Optional)
  • Tri-pod
  • A good eye

On location you will need to shoot a minimum 3 images of different exposure of the same scene to later merge into your HDR image.


To begin you will need to open your 3 shot images in bridge. Highlight those image and right click. Select and open in Camera Raw. You will then be brought to this window.

Once you have opened your images in CR you have the chance to make any minor changes to each of the Raw images. This could be altering WB however you don't want to do too much as editing will come later. Once you are happy with your 3 images, select them, right click and select 'Merge to HDR'

The window you are brought to has some options available to you and depending on your images the options you select will be different.

Align Images and Auto Tone are pretty self explanatory however the option to Deghost is probably your most useful. Deghost helps prevent doublings which is good when working in locations such as forests and there is wind (my case) or in the street and people are walking by.

Once merged you will need to save your new DNG file and then open in photoshop. You will have the opportunity to edit the newly blended image in camera raw prior to this.

Once the image is opened we are working with a 16bit image. In order to continue editing we are required to change this to a 32bit. Under the image menu hover over mode and select 32bit from the menu.

You will be greeted with an exposure slider at the bottom right which will allow you to see the amount of detail in the 32bit image. You will now want to TONE MAP. Tone mapping is a technique used to give the HDR image its cliche look.

I have used photomatix however there is many different tools and ways to do it.

Once your image is opened in Photomatix you can select from a number of presets but there is options to personalize this to your own preferences. Select the preset or settings that you wish and click okay.

The image is now a tone mapped HDR image. TA DA! However, in order to save you need to convert the image back to 16bit. This compresses the file data and allows for saving.



Created with images by 705847 - "field cloud countryside"

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