Creating an HDR Image

By: Tenna Merchent on August 19th, 2011

I’ve been talking on and off about HDR (high dynamic range) photography on this blog, but someone asked me about it last night, so I thought it was worth revisiting. The first nine images in this gallery are the ones used to make the two final images in the gallery.

This photo was taken just after sunrise looking across the fairway towards the 16th green.

There are several ways to create an HDR image like this, but what I do is, put my camera on a tripod, attach a cable release, so my pushing down on the shutter release button doesn’t cause any camera shake, and I program my camera to take a series of images, ranging from being under exposed by 4 f-stops to being over exposed by 4 f-stops. So this make a total of nine exposures, -4, -3, -2, -1, even or accurate exposure, +1, +2, +3, +4.

On this particular occasion, I had my f-stop set at 22, which is the highest it will go, and that’s how I get some much in focus, and achieve that cool star effect from the sun. I put my camera on it’s lowest native ISO setting, which for me is 200, and I press the shutter release cable and count off nine exposures.

When I get back to the office with my memory cards, I import them into Adobe’s Camera Raw, and then use Nik’s HDR Efex Pro to merge the nine images into one image. I love this program as it gives you numerous options on how the merged image will be rendered.

This program opens the image in Photoshop, and that image was the second image you see in this gallery. I did some basic touch up, then applied another filter, Nik’s Tonal Contrast, which I absolutely love for HDR and landscape photography, and I was finished.

The final product in actually on display at the Indiana State Fair in the photography exhibit.

On the subject of the Indiana State Fair, our hearts and prayers go out to all the families that were impacted by the tragic accident that took place during the storm.

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