Following the Flow
Some people might find HDR confusing – especially if you are not aware of the basic flow of events. Generally, when you do the HDR, there are some things you must do and in the right order to get the best results.
Here’s what you need to do to go with the workflow.
Without a question, this should be the first step. This is your foundation and, therefore, the most important step to get an HDR. Don’t be satisfied with average photos. Go ahead and put your skills to work and get some of the most amazing photos that you can easily put to great use.
Majority of the time, the camera would be on a tripod once you have picked the scene of your choice. Go ahead and take a number of exposure bracketed pictures. For those of you who are not aware of what bracketing is, go ahead and take a few pictures that offers different exposure values without adjusting your camera position. This will help you take an entire series of pictures with bracketing.
When you capture pictures like that, you will experience how bracketing can change the dynamics and lighting in each image, naturally. This is important to get a range of the scene to make HDR more interesting and successful for you. Although the over- and under-exposed photos may not look very attractive at the first glance, once you apply the HDR process with the help of the information shared in this book, you are definitely going to see how each part of the picture makes sense and adds to the final product.
HDR software will follow the information you put in. So, make the most out of this information. In case you have a super fast camera, you may even get a series of bracketed photos without placing it on a tripod. This technique is also known as hand-held HDR.
To achieve the best results based on quality, blend the Raw photos together and save the blended image as a large TIFF filebefore you are ready to proceed with the HDR effects.
The purpose of using HDR software is to merge the bracketed photos (with multiple dynamics) into a single HDR photo. This adjusts the lighting and eventually leads to a high quality, HDR images. The images (on their own) serve no purpose.
The HDR image in itself is not important at all unlesseveryone has HDR printers or monitors to work with. Therefore, it is very important that you tone map (the process that decides which part of the data from the actual images should be reserved for using in the final images). The software also helps find out if the reserved part of the image will perfectly fit into the final image.
Yes, it is surprising that the whole procedure is carried out to take you back to where you started it–a low dynamic image. The only and the most important thing to notice here is that the final image you have comes from a much wider range of original data than what was collected initially. This makes the image a lot more attractive and different after the processing takes place.
The HDR image you just used to tone map may require further attention. Therefore, it is important that you give it one final touch to finish the processing. For instance, you might have to crop or straighten the picture, or have to reduce the noise in the picture.
Other than that, there are options you must take into consideration to give your final HDR image an edgy look. You can convert the image into black and white or adjust the levels to further enhance it. Don’t hesitate in a little burning, dodging, and contrasting before you call the image ‘finalized’.
The final result will only match your expectations if you use both photography and software skills at their best. Make sure you invest your time and effort to capture the best series of pictures and then go down with the software for the final touch ups.