The biggest mistake HDR shooters make is trying to rush the process. Some think its as simple as shooting the photos and running them through a merging application. Others try to save even more time and use in-camera HDR solutions. While both of these options can make a better photo than just a traditional exposure, they don’t really embrace the full capabilities of HDR imaging. For that, you need to truly take a three-step process. Shoot Using the bracketing option on your camera (or manually adjusting exposure), you’ll successfully … [Read more...] about HDR: Is a Three Step Process
I find myself using the term ‘HDR’ less and less every day. When I started as a panoramic photographer in 2002, I was continually frustrated because almost every 360º scene would have blown-out bright highlights or ‘blocked up’ shadows. Often I would have both of those extremes in the same scene because a camera can only capture so much dynamic range. Imagine being outside of a hotel where the sun is behind the building. The shadows are dark on the building, but I still need to capture the complete scene at a pool -- of course before crowds … [Read more...] about Should I say “HDR” anymore?
Free Presets? You Bet! The team at Photofocus has put together a collection of free presets to help you get the most out of HDRsoft's Photomatix. These presets are absolutely FREE, you just need to join our mailing list to get them. Please subscribe to our newsletter using the button below. Once you have confirmed your subscription, you will receive a link to download the file. You must use a valid email address to receive the presets. Click the button to confirm and download. Macintosh Install Instructions Method 1 … [Read more...] about 44 Free Presets for Photomatix
You should make a lot more panoramic photographs. It's a great way to capture a larger view of the world, and you don't need to buy a new lens. In fact, you'll find that a panorama gives a better view than simply using a wide angle lens because the objects far away are not diminished as much as they are with a wide angle lens. There are many options for stitching the pieces of the panorama together. For my work, I've found Lightroom is usually adequate, and Photoshop does it a little better. Those who make a living selling panoramas often … [Read more...] about Go Make A Panorama
Once Photomatix Pro 5 opens a set of bracketed images, especially in Tone Compressor, the choices of controls is kind of intimidating. The first question that comes to mind is "Where in the world do I start???" The answer? Presets. Quick start: Photomatix Pro Before jumping into presets, here's a quick start for opening a series of bracketed photos. The graphic that follows shows the series of dialogs to navigate to merge photos into an HDR file. Drag a set of images made at least one stop apart into the Photomatix Pro dialog. Tell … [Read more...] about Presets Make Photomatix Pro Simple to Learn
Most of my friends and acquaintances in the photography world know that I work with HDRsoft who makes Photomatix software. Photomatix is used to combine and render bracketed images for high dynamic range scenes. This same company is also a sponsor of Photofocus, just to be clear about that. But for quite a few Linux users that I've been in contact with, it's a big deal that HDRsoft has just released 'Photomatix for Linux.' This means the HDR workflow is now supported on 3 platforms (Linux, Windows, and Mac). This isn't 'Photomatix Pro' … [Read more...] about Photomatix for Linux!
To capture great HDR images, you need some essential equipment. Most of it you probably already own, but may not aways bring with you on a shoot. It’s important to think of HDR photography as a tool, not a subject. Here’s what I mean…when you’re a portrait photographer, you go out and shoot photos of a model. A wedding photographer goes out and shoots photos of a wedding. A travel photographer shoots photos while traveling. You don’t go out to shoot HDR photography. Rather, HDR is a tool you can use to create images with more dynamic range than … [Read more...] about Essential Gear for HDR Photography
I love black and white photography. Perhaps its the newspaper journalist in me… but I just adore a beautiful grayscale image that pops off the page. Black and white photography is frequently a misunderstood technique in the digital age. Many photographers incorrectly shoot and post-process their photos. I’d like to share one workflow (but its my favorite). In-Camera Workflow Getting a great black and white photo requires capturing a color image first. Ideally an image with a wide dynamic range. While all cameras are different, here … [Read more...] about Creating Dynamic Black and White Images with Expanded Dynamic Range
Practicing with your tools on daily pictures will make you a better photographer when it counts. Having your camera with you isn't enough to make you a better photographer. You need to practice finishing your photographs just as much as making them in the camera. A well composed and exposed photo is only half done. As I photographed these coneflowers, today, I knew I'd need to use HDR techniques in order to reveal the details in the center and maintain rich color in the petals. However, it was windy so there was no way to shoot a bracket of … [Read more...] about The Best Photographers Practice Finishing
Do you like dynamic range? Let’s put it this way, are you a fan of the Shadows and Highlights sliders? Getting great tonal definition is a big part of making an excellent photo. Pushing the Limits with HDR Most people have mixed thoughts about HDR. Some resist because of the extra steps of shooting bracketed photos. Others had the over-the-top look practiced by some artists and abused by many. Don’t worry, neither of those problems exist in this workflow. I’m going to show you how to get the most out of a single raw file. What You … [Read more...] about Get the Most Dynamic Range from a Single Raw File
For a while now, I’ve been itching to begin experimenting with incorporating the Photomatix software into my workflow. One bright sunny Michigan morning, I had the opportunity to do just that. I found myself driving through downtown Port Huron after a networking event, my Canon 70D camera, 18-35mm F1.8 Sigma Lens, and tripod conveniently nestled in the passenger seat next to me. As I crossed over the downtown bridge, I decided that it was the perfect time to take some bracketed shots. The morning was clear and the sun was bright. No better time … [Read more...] about Exploring A Port Huron Scene With Photomatix
Interiors are tough to photograph. With film, windows had to be covered with gray gel (ND) to balance their brightness to the inside lighting. If bulbs were too bright for the rest of the lighting, they had to be turned off part way through the exposure. One of the toughest situations were arched ceilings lit with bulbs or tubes lining its edges. This super bright feature in a hallway or elevator lobby usually didn't have a way of shutting it off. These features are still quite popular today. Capturing one of these interiors has never been … [Read more...] about Photomatix Selective High Dynamic Range for Interiors
Landscape photography brings its own rewards. Being in a beautiful place at a tranquil time of day is therapeutic. Add good company, and it doesn't really matter if you make any good pictures because the experience alone was worthwhile. For instance, I visited my parents, recently, and my dad and I awoke early to photograph the moon setting over one of our favorite places, Garden of the Gods. Due to a small cloud that wouldn't move, the moonset was a bust, but I exercised a few tips I've learned to make the most of the experience anyway, and we … [Read more...] about Shooting Landscapes? Go the Extra Mile
Making pictures at nighttime can be challenging. Parts of a picture that are lit with street lamps or other lights are very bright compared to the darkness of the sky or the shadows under trees and porches. This scene is described as having a high dynamic rangethe difference between light and shadow is very great. This is the reason we have HDR tools for photography. Let me show you how I used HDR techniques to make a picture at nighttime. Bracket While photowalking with a terrific group in Austin, Texas, I wanted to make a picture of the … [Read more...] about How to Use HDR for Nighttime Photography
A very talented interior designer friend of mine, Adrienne Chandler, asked if I could take a few photos of an office building she completed. She said the building would be occupied during the shoot and we had a limited amount of time. Knowing I wouldn't be able to set up lights, I relied on high-dynamic range (HDR) photographs and this is how I got the shot. Planning The night before the shoot, I rehearsed how I wanted to capture the HDR shot. I planned on taking five bracketed images in one-stop increments: one under, one over, two under, two … [Read more...] about How I Got the Shot : HDR Interior Architecture
Don't miss our Photofocus hangout on Getting Started with HDR Photography. Take a look at the new Photomatix Essentials plugin for Photoshop Elements with Photofocus author Ron Pepper. https://youtu.be/R8iarJyBt9g Photomatix is an easy-to-use program to create HDR photos and adjust them to get the look you want, from natural to artistic, using one-click presets and basic settings. Merge to HDR, Tone Mapping and Exposure Fusion Automatic Alignment of hand-held photos Automatic Ghost Removal Simplified interface for an easy … [Read more...] about Photomatix Essentials for Photoshop Elements
Don't miss our next Google Hangout. The event is Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Its absolutely free to attend thanks to HDRSoft. It starts at 1PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific. You've probably heard about HDR photography... but do you really understand how to shoot it properly? In this informative and free event, top experts will share with you strategies on how to increase the dynamic range of your photos to make great looking images. Learn how to merge multiple exposures together to make great looking photos that tell the "whole story" of the … [Read more...] about Getting Started with HDR Photography (Free Event 8/26)
This week's podcast catches up with two very different photographers. First we talk with Moose Peterson about his love of nature and aviation. Then we catch up with street photographer Thomas Leuthard for some practical advice. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213441123" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="175" iframe="true" /] Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Moose Peterson Mooses true passion is wildlife photography … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast July 5, 2015 — Moose Peterson & Thomas Leuthard
While many have heard of (or even tried) HDR, chances are we're not making the most of the process - in fact we're likely overdoing it. To help you learn more, we've lined up a top expert for an interactive discussion and webinar. To learn more about how Google Hangouts work, click here. Mastering HDR & Photomatix Pro with Ron Pepper Thursday, April 9 at 10:30am PST / 1:30pm EST Register Here For those interested in learning more about the High Dynamic Range shooting and processing technique, you're invited to join us next Thursday, April … [Read more...] about LIVE HDR Hangout with Photomatix Expert Ron Pepper
The Challenge of Dynamic Range My next house I did end up photographing was a small townhouse. I think those are extra challenging to photograph as you are working to be creative in tiny places to get the entire room without too much distortion. A tripod is a must even when working in such a tiny space. I went to work and bracketed each room. The realtor sent me a text saying his clients were impressed and LOVED the pictures. I breathed a sigh of relief. After that praise I looked back through some photos and decided to play some more with … [Read more...] about What can Photomatix do for you?
In this tutorial, learn about the Exposure Fusion processing method in Photomatix Pro, a valuable feature for merging photos with multiple exposures together. This creates a wider dynamic range without an over the top "HDR look." Learn more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfDnPs100rI This tutorial is a single movie from the Up and Running with Photomatix Pro course by lynda.com author Rich Harrington. The complete course is 3 hours and 32 minutes and shows how to develop HDR photos with Photomatix. … [Read more...] about When to Use Exposure Fusion for HDR
What's better than 1 HDR photo? A really big panoramic photo. But in this case I was light on gear. Here was my shooting process. The Shoot I set my camera to a higher ISO and midrange f-stop so it would shoot fast (IS0 400 at 14). I shot a 5 shot bracket with each shot 1 stop apart. I tucked my elbows in for stability and shot handheld. I panned to get 30% overlap between the shots. The result... 55 images ready to process. The Post I ran the images through two apps to get the end result. https://vimeo.com/84836524 First up was … [Read more...] about Real World Workflow — Processing a Handheld HDR Panoramic Photo
I've been digging really deep into Photomatix lately (I'm working on a new Lynda.com class). I've come across a feature that I absolutely love, and I'm using it on many images that I'd never though of using HDR on. A lot of times, running HDR on a single image results in a lot of noise and grain. In the series below, I tried to run HDR on a long exposure image shot at night. This type of image has a lot of noise naturally, and HDR only accentuates it. But enabling a somewhat hidden option can take that single raw file and develop it … [Read more...] about Increasing the Dynamic Range of a Single Raw File
If you're into HDR, you'll be happy to hear that HDRsoft is now shipping Photomatix Pro 5.0. This release is exciting and adds several great new features including. Contrast Optimizer Tone Mapping. This is an option for localized tone-mapping. It produces nearly zero halos which can produce very natural looking results. This is useful for adding clarity to images and is very easy to use. Fusion/Real-Estate. This method was substantially sped up (now ten times faster). It can also be used on any image. It is useful for creating crisp HDR … [Read more...] about Photomatix 5 is Released
Here Are the Winners of our Photomatix Pro Giveaway Jeff Schultz @JeffDSchultz Judi Graff @farmnwife Foster D. Coburn III @fostercoburn John Crocker @Crockdog1 Fernando Lugo @nandolugo If you're name is not on the list we can't help you with a free license. Thanks. … [Read more...] about Here Are the Winners of our Photomatix Pro Giveaway
There was a time all photos were made in black & white. Even when I started my days of photojournalism, we primarily shot, developed, and printed in black and white. Now the default is color and we have to adjust to get the images from a color to a monochromatic version. But Black and white photography is so much more than stripping away the color. Great black and white images tend to exploit contrast. The difference between the whitest white and the blackest black is the highest contrast point in the picture and this can be used to … [Read more...] about How to Get Black and White Photos That Pop
I've put together a complete lesson on creating High Dynamic Range panoramic photos. This video tutorial walks you through a few different tools to try out. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/68395948 w=640&h=360] I'll show you how to: Organize multiple HDR photos Use Photoshop's built-in toolset Use Adobe Camera Raw to pre-process raw files before the merge Align images and reduce noise and ghosting Create a batch process with Photomatix Enhance images with tone maps and fusion Browse preset looks to find a good starting point Choose the … [Read more...] about A Complete HDR Workflow
When working with HDR software tools, there are many options. Its easy to get overwhelmed with sliders and presets. Theres a critical choice that needs to be made first. How do you want to merge the multiple exposures together? There are generally three options to choose from. Lets explore the benefits of each. Fuse Exposures The most subtle use of HDR is to simply merge exposures. If you want to capture a scene whos dynamic range exceeds the capabilities of a digital sensor, use this approach. In Photomatix, choose the method Fuse exposure … [Read more...] about Which Type of HDR is Right for You?
In this tutorial, I'll show you how HDR tone mapping can be applied to a single image for dramatic effect. The image can then be finished using a tool like Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture to get final results. Be sure to check out the HDR Learning Center for more on HDR. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/66307521 w=640&h=360] _____ … [Read more...] about Increase Dynamic Range with a Single Raw File
I wanted to give you a quick start guide on loading and processing images into Photomatix Pro to create the initial tone map. The process is straight-forward and quickly generates results. Heres our streamlined approach. Step One: Up and Running Launch Photomatix Pro from your applications folder. For quick access add to your Macs Dock or Windows Task Bar. Step Two: Load Bracketed Photos Choose File > Load Bracketed Photos to load a series of images. Ideally these images are shot using the tips in our HDR Primer. Step Three: Choose … [Read more...] about Photomatix Quick Start – How To Make Great HDR Tone Maps