As I have started taking an interest in Photography I have been joining groups on flickr and one is lumix HDR. HDR photos are becoming more and more popular with people just to change there photos and give it a specific effect so im going to show you how to make a fake HDR effect. You might be asking HDR?! what?!
In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of luminances between light and dark areas of a scene than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of
HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging to read all.
The correct way is to make a HDR is to take at least 3 photos one low exposure normal and high exposure then merge them. This will give you the desired effect. There are many tools out there which you can use alongside photoshop to create great effects, photoshop also has its own HDR tool file>automate>merge to HDR… but this might not give you the effect you are after. There is a tool called topaz which I have trialed and it is very good and produces great results. Click here to view all my HDR’s on flickr
Anyway down to the tutorial 1 image fake HDR Effect. This is for when you have taken an image but forgot to take multiple ones with different exposures so this little tip will get a really nice HDR effect with just one image. I am using photoshop CS3.
Find a good image. I will be using this one it has a good depth to it and nice colors. Now duplicate it(so you dont edit the original) and call it base.
You need to change the shadow and highlights of the new layer so go image>adjustments>shadows/highlights… you need to change the settings to
Shadows (amount: 50%, tonal width 45%, radius 40px)
Highlights (amount 70%, tonal width 65%, radius 60px)
All these setting vary from photo to photo so you can experiment to find the look you are after.
Now you want to duplicate this layerand set the blending mode to Color Dodge this produce strong colors and the whites should be now #fff true white. Ignore opacity for now that comes later.
Duplicate the layer again and turn the blending mode to linear burn, now select black as the foreground color and choose Select>Color Range and set the Fuzziness to around 100 (this is just a guide but use your own judgement for your photos.) Also you want the invert checkbox unchecked click ok. Now click the mask button loacated at the bottom of the layers panel.
You may think this looks pretty rubbish now but to fix it just add a Gaussian blur. As i said earlier each picture varies on the amount and also the style you are after.
Now you want to duplicate the last layer, and change the blending mode to Overlay. Now Select the mask and invert it image>adjustments>invert or Ctrl+i.
Final Step is to play around with layer opacity untill you get something that looks good.
Here are a few more I have done in exactly the same way.
So have a play around and have fun with this 1 image HDR effect