HDR Style Photo in Lightroom

March 16, 2010  •  Leave a Comment

I came across this tutorial on the Digital Photography School website from a link on Facebook posted by the Adobe Lightroom team.  I guess that’s just an example of how posting something on a blog or on Facebook or LiveSpaces can really get a message out.  Even though I get emails directly from DPS and look at that site from time to time, I somehow missed this tutorial .

If you’ve read my LiveSpaces blog in the past, you know that High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a technique that I am fond of.  Not only for the effects, but knowing that my eye sees a much broader range of light than my camera can (at least today) and a single photograph doesn’t really capture that range.

Over the last few years, I’ve been completely sold on shooting RAW images in my camera.  Knowing that it is giving me the most information about my photograph.  Much more than a jpeg that is processed inside my camera.  This tutorial really shows how to take advantage of all that information.

I won’t type out all the instructions, but rather send you to the source here.  I will, however, give you the “before” and “after” of one image that I worked on.  The author does recommend starting with a photo that is a bit underexposed so that we don’t lose the information in the shadows and that is why I picked the following image.

I used a similar photo to this one on an earlier post.  This was shot one evening on my drive on US Highway 212 on my way home from Minneapolis.  The sun was setting and really lighting up a bank of storm clouds with wonderful shades of red.

Beforebefore_thumb5b25d ISO 200, f/16, 0.6 sec, 28mm  - Nikon D300

You can begin to get a sense of the dramatic sky here, but no where near the impact I had while seeing it with my own eyes.  I shot this and several other frames at different exposures (on a tripod) with the intent of combining three photos for an HDR photo in Photoshop.  You’ll have to jump back here in the blog to last June 1st to see how that turned out.

One thing I liked about THIS technique, is I’d be using one RAW file and working exclusively in Lightroom.

Storm Cloud LR HDR-001 emailstormcloudlrhdr-001email_thumb5b65d

In the final image, I am able to pull back the blown highlights in the sky and also see the subtle shadows in the grass and in the tree line.  Definitely going to be a technique I’ll play with more!

I’m looking forward to the return of spring!  Hope to have more photos to share on a more regular basis.

http://www.pjandersonphotography.com  

http://www.facebook.com/PJAndersonPhotography

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