HDR Pictures

They are stunning, some seem unreal but they are not. What’s the trick, or rather the technique behind these beautiful colored and painting-like pictures? It is called HDR photography. And if you can set you aperture and exposure time and have photomatix and  perhaps photoshop, you can come a long way.

What is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is post-processing of a series of images using different apertures or shutter speeds – combining these and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are almost impossible to do with single aperture and shutter speed. It gives the images an all new look and feel. It becomes more than a normal photograph.

How to create a HDR picture?
HDR pictures are created in a few steps : you’ll need 3 to 5 pictures with a different range in light. The easiest way to create this is to use the camera’s autobracketing function and for example set it to : -2 / 0 / +2  The camera will then on release take 3 pictures with the different varieties in aperture. You will want to use a tripod to stop the camera for shaking or being slightly off.  Import the three or more pictures in Photomatix and it will create one jpg. picture for you. You upload this one as a layer in Photoshop. Then you import the 3 other pictures as layers and you mask and brush as if your life depended on it. Ofcourse – there are more steps in between and you might want to figure out all the settings in Photomax and Photoshop. For all the steps and the full “how to” there is a truly great tutorial site for creating those stunning HDR pictures : http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/

Some examples :

By: Matthew Sullivan