Studying how to create cool photo images of interior or landscapes in conditions when your frame contains as very dark as well as very light objects people recommend to use HDR technique.
I tried to do that using a few shots and then combine them together using Photoshop software. But I always got very poor image. So, I tried to find some another way to do this.
Here is a simple workflow of how I do HDR images now.
- Making at least 3 shots with exposure of -2, 0 and +2 (if you need you may create more shots with another exposure sets). Set your camera to ‘A’ mode (aperture lock). This will keep your depth of field the same for all images.
- Reducing noise from source images. I’m using Noise Ninja (by PictureCode).
- Loading images to Photomatix (I’m using Photomatix Pro 4.1)
- Choosing Merging to HDR option
- Setting ‘Align source images’ using ‘by matching features’ option
- You can set ‘Remove ghosts’ if you have moving objects in your frame. If you do not have such objects I’d recommend to not set this option on
- And is you reduced noise from your source images then you may not use ‘Reduce noise’ option.
- After the software completed merging source images to a single HDR you can choose how to process them. HDR itself is 32-bit image that cannot be displayed by monitors or printed therefore you need to convert it into 8 or 16-bit image. You can choose a few predefined settings to process your file or you can make your custom settings. Play around to find the best fro you result.
- When you found your best combination of settings click ‘Process’ button and get your file.
- Save it as .TIFF image.
- Now you can upload it to Photoshop (I have Photoshop CS5) to post-process your HDR result.
In Photoshop you are free to make any changes you find good for you. This part is usually most painful as usually the result of merging to HDR is low contrasted and looks very flat.
I will post about post-processing more in another article. As for image I’m showing as example in this post I made some lens correction and played with saturation of different colors. You can see source images bellow.