Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The HDR Flow

Space Invaders Anyone?

I was cleaning up my shots from Japan today and started to work an HDR project with a quick bracketed series of grab shots.  I noticed the old "space invaders" character on the side of the building and decided to shoot it on the way to dinner.  The three shots are below.

0 E.V.

-2 E.V.

+2 E.V.

Not the most inspiring shots as singles so I decided to try a couple different HDR methods.  I first went from Lightroom to Photoshop CS5's HDR Pro.  I tried to build a realistic image although I did bump up the Detail slider.  The result is shown below.

Photoshop HDR Pro

Definitely better but I wanted to check and see what Photomatix Pro could do so I sent the images over and processed twice, once for realism and the other for grungy.  The results are shown below.

Photomatix Pro Details Enhancer (realistic)

Photomatix Pro Details Enhancer (grungy)

Between the three I decided I liked the Photomatix Pro versions but neither really grabbed me.  As I sometimes do I took the two TIFFs and sent them back to Photoshop as layers.  After blending a few copies and desaturating the sky I ended up with this one.

Composite HDR after some basic Photoshop

To kick this one up just a bit more I went to Topaz Adjust and played around for a bit.  The current version of the image is shown below.  Not sure if it is finished or if I'll ever show it again but it was a good exercise.

Topaz Adjust

Well back to the studio.  Just received four new backgrounds today and must hang them for immediate use tonight.  I'm working a studio project over the next week and have seven shoots scheduled.  The first will be tonight and should be a great time.  The final result should be an iPad app ready in just a few short weeks.

Hope to see you soon here at Light or during the festival, California Photo Fest

Fiat Lux!


  1. The final result is by far the most interesting. Think it is the sky that really does it and makes it all pop.

    very cool.

  2. Agree. I love working the process until the image starts to have impact.