The Session: If you are a returning student, before each Mentoring Session begins, we try to always pose the question, “what did you practice, have troubles with or want to work on today”. Questions like these can guide the remaining one-hour session for that appointment. Today we asked Leland the question and he knew immediately that he wanted to work on a blending 3 different exposures together to create one image. This is referred to as HDR Photography or High Dynamic Range Photography.
First: We began by selecting the group of images we were going to blend together in Lightroom.
To do this, simply go to Photo>Photo Merge>HDR and enter
This will bring up the HDR Dialog box
For the HDR Dialog Box, the basic setting should be to leave Auto Align Box, checked. Disable Auto Tone Box and Medium Deghost Amount should be just fine. Click>Merge when done.
This will take the multiple images you selected and merge them together into one High Dynamic Range File (HDR). To clarify a little further, the multiple images you selected will remain inside of your Lightroom Catalog and will not be changed or altered in any way. The HDR File that was created is actually a new file that has been added to your Lightroom Catalog. The new file will be named with an extension of -HDR (see example below). Select this image and proceed with editing accordingly.
In the case of Leland, all of the edit adjustments after the HDR File was created were done in Lightroom. Some of the adjustments used were Gradient Filters, Radial Filters, Basic Adjustments HSL Color Adjustments and Detailed Sharpening for an effect that was both natural and colorful. The screen shot below is a before (right) and after (left) of these adjustments.
If you look at this screenshot and compare it to the three images before the blend, you might also notice that the image was flipped horizontally. This was also done in Lightroom. If you are not sure how to do that we have created a video to show you how. The reason for this was after our conversation we decided that the path in the foreground was best suited moving left to right through the image versus the other way around. Since we read left to right in the USA our brain is used to processing things in this manner, therefore the image is more pleasing to the eye.
One.On.One. Mentoring happens almost every day here at Photonerds University. Hundreds of clients and thousands of hours answering questions, teaching techniques and inspiring creative thinking. If you or someone you know would like to know more about the Photoshop / Lightroom Mentoring Program, send us a message. We would love to help you in any way we can.