I’m always looking for new ways to enhance my images.  I’m especially interested in what happens when I combine my workflows to create new combinations.

For this image, I really wanted to bring out the contrast.  At the same time, I also wanted to take control over color and tone.  The solution? HDR and Camera Raw working together.  Here’s the workflow.

  1. Merge the images in Photomatix Pro.
  2. Invoke the Contrast Optimizer method for a more subtle HDR approach. This is part of the new version 5 beta (get the free trial).
  3. Finish the image using the Finishing Touch options.
  4. Save a 16-bit TIFF image and choose Open saved image with Photoshop CC choice.
  5. Convert the layer to a smart object.
  6. Run Camera Raw as a filter.  Take advantage of options like clarity, toning, sharpening, and post crop vignette.


Disclaimer: This is just one way to enhance contrast.


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


Adobe, HDR, Shooting, Software