Irish Landscape Photography by

A quick HDR Tutorial for Landscape Photography 26.02.2009

Ok Guys, you asked for it and here it comes - the first question: "How did you take the Waterville Sunset Image and why are the colours so brilliant?" The Answer is: HDR Photography! Here some simple steps. As you all know, you need a lot of fantasy to understand my wild english ( : That's why i don't torture you and i will just focus on the mainsteps and created a very simple basic tutorial. Detailed information you will find in the bursting web. Photoshop adjustment layers etc will become an own thread soon. So enjoy and post questions in the comment section if you need to.

What the hell is HDR Photography?

A new crop of technologies using High Dynamic Range imaging expands the normal range of detailed portions of a photograph way beyond the limited range that people are accustomed to seeing with traditional media. HDR images consist of several pictures taken of a single frame, each shot adjusted slightly from a dark exposure to a light exposure, then the pictures are combined into one. This produces a photo in which the darkest and lightest parts of the picture, and everything in between, have full detail. There are no parts of the photo that are too light or too dark. This means that an interior photo of your guesthouse, conference room or spa can have perfect exposure of the featured room’s beauty, as well as having the outside view in all its splendour or the glory of landscapes.

What do I need?

1 - Camera with bracketing options / Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB)
2 - Tripod
3 - Landscape (Movement is a big problem for HDR Photography... choose days without wind)
4 - Processing Software (Photomatix and ADOBE Photoshop)

Ok and now?

1 - Choose a scene without movement (no wind, no people)
2 - set up your camera to RAW files!! ( HDR software works with RAW )
3 - set up your AEB to -2 / +2 and take 3 images (make sure that the white balance is similar in all 3 shots. Later you can expand it to 7 images - see examples - but wait until you have more practise)
4 - check the images on your display - you should have a underexposed / overexposed and well balanced image - go home or do it at home ( : )

5 - Download your Raw Files and choose "HDR" in Photomatix (The software will merge them)
6 - the software will offer Tonemapping or compression to adjust the hdr file - i choose tonemapping usually
7 - play around with the 3 mio tabs until you are happy with the image. I create very soft hdr files, all infos are in the file and i will adjust contrast and colours in Photoshop ----

8 - adjust contrast, colour and saturation in Photoshop with adjustment layers until you are happy.

9 - that's it! Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland / Now bring them into a form

Here you can order postcards / folded cards

Any additional Tipps? 1 - stay relaxed with the "strenght option" in tonemapping palette. This will decide if your image will become one of these hdr monsters or a natural looking image 2- use 300% of your attention to get similar moving tripod etc 3 - don't adjust the maincontrast and colour with the tonemapping tool. Try to get a well balanced image in this option and do the mainwork in PS 4 - make sure that you use the same white balance for all images 5 - HDR is famous to unsharp your images...use min f16 / f22 and make sure that the original images are really sharp! 6 - watch out - the horrible cyan skies of HDR Photomatix - additional PS adjustment are necessary....otherwise it looks like a poisoned sky 7 - make sure that the typical "grey layer effect" of the tonemapping tool ("strenght") is under control! 8 - use noiseware software to reduce the .... (don't know that word) ...noise :D 9 - your archive: 1 RAW folder / 1 tonemapped file / 1 Photoshop PSD with adjustments _/ 1 Printfile - save the tonemappe adjustments so that you can start again whenever you see a mistake 10 - Use the Photomatix Fusion option for Tiffs and JPGS, this creates a very realistic light, for some images the better choice than tonemapping! 11 - clouds means trouble because they move. additional blurfilter in Photoshop is needed to get read of the copyoutlineeffect. 12 - that's it. Cheers Madeleine

There was an error in this gadget