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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photoshop Tutorial- Creating a Desaturated HDR Effect

Photoshop Tutorial– Creating a Desaturated HDR Effect
I am using Photoshop CS5

Here is the final edited image:

HDR Photogaphy is a set of methods used in photography to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard photographic methods. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter. It is a great way to capture a surrealistic image.
I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the 24-105mm f/4 IS USM AF Lens for todays photo shoot. I was shooting in Manual mode. I went into the menu settings and set the Auto Exposure Bracket to -2 and 2 to set up the HDR image. I have added the camera settings below each picture. 

Here are the 3 unedited photos:
Underexposed Photo
1/60 Shutter Speed
ISO 640

Correctly Exposed Photo

1/20 Shutter Speed
ISO 640
Over Exposed Photo
1/10 Shutter Speed
ISO 640

Step 1)
Open Photoshop and go to File > Automate> Merge to HDR Pro
I then selected these three images (your images don't have to be in any specific order, Photoshop reads the metadata). Then you hit ok and Photoshop will merge the three images.  For this tutorial, I selected the default settings and clicked okay. This will give you your 1 HDR image. 

Step 2)
The first thing we need to do is to raise our black levels. Blacks should be set right away in your image-processing workflow. How you do this influences the ultimate contrast and color of your photograph. To edit your black levels you go to Image > Adjustments > Layers 
Under "Input Levels" the arrow tool on the left hand side is the one that will control the blacks. For this picture, I increased that level to 59. Then hit OK.

Step 3) 
This is our image so far:
I want the final picture to have a blue haze to the image. So we add a Photo Filter to this image. Go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter. 
For this image, I used the third Cooling Filter (82) 
Resulting in this image:

Step 3) 
Duplicate your first layer 
(select the background image in your control panel > Layer > Duplicate Layer > okay)
Then with your new duplicated layer selected we are going to run a High Pass filter.
Filter > Other > High Pass > Radius at: 59.0 pixels > okay
That will give you this image:

Step 4) Go to your layers pallet and change the blend mode to "Hard Light"
That will give you this image:

Step 5)
Go to your original image and duplicate it again. This time move that image to the top of your layers pallet. We are going to desaturate the original image.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
Than we want to turn the Layers blend mode to "OVERLAY"

That results in this image:

Step 6)
Highlight all three layers in your layers pallet and go to Layers > Merge Layers.

Step 7)
It is time to desaturate the image some more.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation
For this image, I brought the Saturation down to -47
That results in this image:
Step 8) 
I want to increase the black levels a little bit more to get the final image.
I go to Image > Adjustments > Levels
I just increased the black to 15
Step 9)
Here is the final image:
Editing Photos is partly subjective, partly an art, partly a science. Not saying this is the right way or the only way, this is the image that we produced for the look we were going for! 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below! 
Photoshop Tutorial- Creating a Desaturated HDR Effect
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