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HDR: HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE PHOTOGRAPHY Artificial flavoring of photos? The last posting sparked my interest in correction. =) It’s true that P&S cameras are not 100% effective in expressing the subjects. But no worries! In this digital era, you can easily use Photoshop or the Web for photo editing. Among the many photo editing programs, HDR caught Ca’em’s attention. HDR, in brief, is a photo that combines 3 photos at different exposure to fully express both the light and the dark areas. You can also use 5~7 photos, but more photos means more computer processing time. But if the program has high specifications, it can effectively handle 7 photos. Dynamic Photo HDR 4 is a professional program for HDR making, but Ca’em used Photoshop. Okay. Shall we give it a try? 1. Given the fact that the scene changes every second, set the mode at AV and shoot with exposure -2, 0 and +2. For better understanding, below are the 3 shots at different exposure.

2. Merge to HDR In Photoshop, you can merge 3 photos using Merge to HDR. When you see a window like the one below, click on the browser to find the photo. Check the blue box at the bottom. You need to make sure that the camera stands still to get identical pictures. Using a tripod is a good idea. Checking the blue box helps to align the image for pictures that are not totally identical. FYI, HDR can accommodate CS2 and higher. File> automate > Merge to HDR

3. Choose the 3 images and press OK. Photoshop will automatically calculate the exposure and create HDR.

4. Once the merging is complete, you can check the result in preview. However, this is not the end! Save the merged photo in TEST.file 5. Open the file and convert from 32bit to 16bit. The following HDR conversion window will pop up.

Image ->Mode ->16bits/channel

6. Under Method, Local adaptation is the most frequently used function. Click on the left button on Toning curve and histogram to control the contrast during conversion. This is where Ca’em modifies the data to change the exposure. You can adjust the exposure for different areas and create an almost noise-free image.

Below is the finished work. Next to it is the original photo for comparison. You can clearly see the difference! I’ll share a few more images that I tested.

So, I’ve walked you through the basics of how to correct photos using Photoshop. I hope that beginners like me find this helpful in creating quality photos using HDR image. Wow! The creative work has left me with a headache. But, the result seems to have upgraded the faulty photo. I guess this is what correction is for? Heehee~

I brought some HDR Images had taken with WB1000 from flickr. It belongs to one of WB1000 user. His works are amazing. Go check his arts!! <Flickr photostream>