In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create photo realistic 32Bit HDR image. To do this we are going to use Lightroom to do some light adjusting then we are going to use Photoshop to create 32 Bit image and lastly go back to Lightroom to edit the final image.
I made a three image HDR and each shot is two steps apart. First shot is what my camera considered “normal”, second shot is two steps underexposed and the last one is two steps overexposed.
First thing we’re going to do is some simple adjustments before we head over to Photoshop. So go to the BASIC panel and turn Clarity to around 40. Then go to Lens Corrections panel and click on Enable Profile Corrections.
Now do the same to all three images. To do that hold Shift key down and click on the last image, this will select all three of them and then click SYNC…
When you will click SYNC this dialog box will show up, make sure that Clarity and Lens Profile Corrections are checked and click synchronize. This will apply adjustments we made to all images.
Now right click on selected images and select Edit In > Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop. This will take all our images and open them in Photoshop HDR preview window.
When Photoshop HDR preview window shows up, select 32 Bit and make sure that Remove Ghosts is selected. This is an outdoor shot, it was a bit windy, clouds and trees were moving so checking Remove ghosts box will make sure that there are no ghosts in the final image. But if you’re photographing still life don’t worry about that and leave it unchecked. Last bar is something where you’re going to pick you white point, I usually just move it all the way to the right to make sure that every black pixel is involved. And click OK. This is going to create HDR image and import it into Photoshop, which will look very flat. We are not going to do anything else in Photoshop, the reason is because it can not read 32 Bit Tiff files, but luckily Lightroom is able to do that!
Now click Close Photoshop, it will ask if you want to save the image, click YES and it will import it into Lightroom.
Now we have a file which contains a lot of date and we are going to process it using Lightroom. Lets go to Basic panel: move Highlights all the way down and Shadows to around 50.
Before adjusting the Black and White points, we’re going to add Graduated filter (M). Select graduated filter, move Exposure down a few stops and apply it while holding Shift key across the whole image. Lets change the temperature by moving slider left a little and Tint slightly right.
Now we’re going to adjust white point by holding ALT button (you’ll notice that screen turns black when you press it). Click down and move slider to the right while holding ALT key until you see a little bit of detail showing up. Then adjust the Black point the same way but this time move the slider to the left (screen will turn white this time). So click down and move slider to the left until you see some details showing, I usually move back slider further than white one. After we’re going to add some Clarity and Vibrance as well.
Now we are going to darken the top and the bottom of the image to draw viewers attention towards the middle. Select Adjustment Brush Tool (K) bring exposure down a few stops and apply it to the clouds and the bottom of the railway. Hit the O key to see where you applied the bush. If you want to undraw certain areas simply hold the ALT key which will turn brush into minus and apply it to where you need it.
Because this 32 Bit file contains so much data you will notice that there is not much noise in the image, so we are not going to mess with Detail panel. The last thing I’m going to do is add a little vignette, lets go to effects panel and move first slider down a little.
And this is how you create 32 Bit Photo realistic HDR image.
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