HDR Photography is when several exposures are made of the same subject. In English, that means you take a lot of pictures, on a tripod usually, of the same thing, and use different exposure settings for each one.
Then, when you’re done, you can blend those in various ways, to capture lots of details, pump the color saturation, give the image a surreal quality, and much more. It’s very interesting when done well, and Photoshop is capable of doing it.
All you have to do is open your image in Photoshop (duh), go to the Image menu, and choose Adjustments. Then select the HDR Toning… option from the submenu and a dialog box opens for you to tweak.
And that, boys and girls, is where the magic happens. The adjustments are powerful and there are a number of presets. You need to know what those adjustments do, and be sure you’re not using the only copy of the image you’ve chosen or it’s lost forever. If you’ve made other adjustments to your image before you apply the HDR Toning adjustment, Photoshop warns you about how your image will be flattened (made into a single layer). When you finish, you’ve got an outstanding photograph.
A lot interesting effects are possible just with the presets. Here are a couple of examples without any further tweaking (‘cause I wouldn’t even know how to begin to do that):
HDR setting one:
HDR setting 2:
That first one is called something like “More Saturated” and the lower image is the “Photorealistic” filter. (How a photo can become more photorealistic is another matter, I suppose.)
So, HDR (which means “High Dynamic Range”) photography can be used to achieve some of those great movie-poster quality or surreal type, hyped up images you sometimes see in magazines or online. It’s a lot of fun, but I don’t know enough about the technique to be able to give you quality examples.
Check out the link for it instead if you’d like some cool ones.
See ya next time!