HDR Images

HDR Images

Photoshop CS3 Tutorial


How to Create HDR Images in Photoshop



High Dynamic Range (HDR) images allow you to capture images closer to the way your eyes see the world. On a sunny day you are able to see the shadow and highlight detail. The camera clips the highlights and shadows by driving the highlights to white and the shadows to black.

Your eyes see 10-stops of information and your camera captures only five. HDR does a very good job of making up the difference.


Step One

With your camera on a tripod, take a series of images without altering the focus and aperture settings.

Adjust the shutter speed and capture several images in one-stop increments (i.e., 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, etc). Take five images total (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2).

Step Two

In Photoshop, open your images (File > Open) and choose File > Automate > Merge to HDR.

Step Three

In the dialog box choose Use Files and click the Add Open Files button. Attempt to Align Source Images should be checked. Click OK.

Step Four

In the next dialog box, change the Bit Depth to 16 and click OK.

Step Five

Set the Method to Exposure and Gamma. Start with Exposure, then adjust the Gamma slider and click OK.

Step Six

If the image still needs a final adjusting, add a Curves adjustment layer and paint areas of the adjustment layer mask with black or white to complete the image.

HDR Software

Another great software choice for HDR images is Photomatix Pro. For more information, visit www.hdrsoft.com.