32-Bit HDR Images in Lightroom and Photoshop

Uploaded by IceflowStudios on 03.11.2012


Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here from IceflowStudios
with a cross-application tutorial. Today, I'm going to show you guys how Adobe Photoshop
Lightroom 4.1 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 can work hand-in-hand to produce stunning HDR
In the past, I would use one or the other. Lightroom with a plugin, or directly merge
the photos to Photoshop's HDR Pro. So if I could use only one application in the past,
why the heck would I want to use two? Well there's a very good reason. 32-bit editing.
With Lightroom 4.1, we now have the ability to edit 32-bit HDR images, which eliminates
the need for an external plugin, and you\'92re more likely to end up with a more natural
result. Let\'92s take a look.\ \
So here in Lightroom, I have three images which I took at Oxford University. As you
can see, each image has been taken at a different exposure, to capture the shadows, midtones,
and highlights, which a single image simply cannot do. I\'92m only working with 3 images,
but if you want an even higher dynamic range, you can easily use 5 brackets, if your camera
supports it.\ \
So, with all three images selected, I\'92m going to right-click on any of them, go to
Edit In, and then select Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop, which has been available to
you for quite sometime. At this point, Photoshop will spring into action and start the process
of not only combining the 3 exposures, but it will also attempt to line up the images.
Sometimes, especially if you\'92re like me and don\'92t use a tripod...don\'92t tell
anyone, your photos may be slightly misaligned. Lining them up will give you a much cleaner
result.\ \
And here\'92s the HDR Pro window, which many of you may be familiar with, but instead of
going through all of these sliders to create a 16-bit HDR image, we\'92re actually going
to switch over to 32-bit here at the top. This will simply merge all three images and
their data, allowing us to bring it back into Lightroom and use all the wonderful adjustments
that Camera Raw has to offer, which again, should give you a more natural result than
HDR toning would.\ \
Now don\'92t worry too much about the white point slider at the top. It\'92s simply there
for preview purposes. I\'92ll click OK to finalize the merge, which could take a few
minutes, depending on your computer, and the amount of exposures you\'92re working with.\
\ And once the merge is complete, all you need
to do is save. A simple Command/Ctrl + S will pop your new 32-bit image in the same location
that the other images are in. Let\'92s hop back over to Lightroom, where our new image
should be waiting for us.\ \
And there it is! From here, you can use the same adjustments that you\'92ve been using
previously, but because we have a 32-bit image, made up of three exposures, there is a TON
a data to work with. Take a look as I increase and decrease the exposure. Obviously you wouldn\'92t
need to go this extreme, but it gives you an idea as to what\'92s actually available
to you. I\'92ll leave the Exposure increased ever so slightly, dump the Highlights to get
rid of the unnecessary bright areas, and then increase the Shadows to allow us to see into
some of the more shaded areas of this photo.\ \
Of course, what\'92s an edit without increasing the Clarity? This will increase the contrast
of your midtones, which will look great on texture such as bricks and stone. Finally,
the overall color of this image is a little bit dull, so increasing the Vibrance a touch
should do the trick. I\'92m not going to touch the Saturation slider, as the stones have
a lot of yellow in them. Increasing the Saturation on images that contain a lot of yellow or
skin tones, can result in some funky results.\ \
Sliding down the Develop module, the selective adjustment tool is also available to us. I
love this tool. You\'92re able to selectively adjust the Hue, Saturation and Luminance of
any part of your image. For example, if I wanted a slightly darker sky, under Luminance,
I can activate the selective adjustment tool, and then click and drag on the color I want
effected, in this case, the blue of the sky. Dragging up will brighten it, while dragging
it down will darken it.\ \
The same goes for Hue/Saturation. Let\'92s say I wanted to slightly decrease the yellow
tint in the stones. Selecting Saturation will allow me to use the same tool to increase
or decrease the saturation of the stones and even the grass if I wish.\
\ Finally, let\'92s slide down the LensCorrections
to deal with some of the Chromatic Aberrations that I see in the trees. Also new in Lightroom
4.1, I can use the Fringe Color Selector to sample any purple or green fringes that may
be present, and then adjust the sliders if necessary.\
\ And that should complete the edit! Let\'92s
take a look at the final result, in comparison to the original images. We started with an
over-exposed image to capture the shaded areas of the scene, an under-exposed image to capture
the lighter areas like the roof of this building, and a neutral image to capture everything
in between, and after merging all three images into a 32-bit HDR file, and performing some
pretty basic edits, we\'92re left with a beautiful photo that captures a range that is more true
to what the human eye might see.\ \
So even though if may seem more convenient to use only one application, utilizing all
your resources can leave you with much more desirable results!\
\ If you want to catch more tutorials just like
this, check me out at IceflowStudios.com. Take care.}