Monday, October 3, 2011
Its my One Year Blog-iversary! I can't believe I've been blogging for a whole year now! And I have 271 awesome followers! :) I've been thinking of changing things up a little, maybe starting a weekly linkup and showing some one year ago to now comparisons. Also, if you haven't seen, I've added some social media buttons in case you'd like to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Flickr...
Now a little about HDR...
HDR is a process where you take several pictures of the same scene (while locked on a tripod) at several different exposures, and then combine the photos digitally so the best exposures from each photo are prominent. The resulting look is somewhat unreal. I've always wanted to try it, but I shoot with a tripod so rarely, that I've never had the chance. I've seen some amazing HDR images, like this one and many others.
I've heard its possible to create a sorta mock HDR affect with a single RAW image because you can change the exposure so drastically in RAW, so I tried it. I started with this sunset shot--here's the SOOC.
Then, while editing the raw in Lightroom, I moved the exposure to -1 and exported and then moved it to +1 and exported. Then I had these three images.
So I opened the three raw files in Photoshop and I tried the "Merge to HDR" feature but I really hated the result! I'm not sure what I did wrong, but it came out almost all black with a few flashes of unrealistic bright colors.
So instead, I tried my own method. I layered the pictures on top of each other and used layer masks to to remove the incorrectly exposed parts of the picture. I put the SOOC shot on top of the darker shot first. I used a layer mask to remove the sky so the darker sky showed through. Then I flattened and put the over exposed picture on top and erased the sky and ocean section so the sand showed. In my result, the sky comes from the under exposed picture, the ocean from sooc picture, and the sand from the overexposed picture. (then I ran Pioneer Woman's Boost action on the result. Its not technically HDR, but I liked the result. Most of my sunset shots left the sand black--I like that you can still see the footprints in the sand without overexposing the sky.