Did you always wonder why the breathtaking visual you witness and the image you take are so different? Well, the image you capture is generally in Standard Dynamic Range(SDR) which doesn’t capture the luminosity that your eyes are able to capture hence it’s not able to reproduce the magic that you are witnessing. That’s what make High Dynamic Range(HDR) images so different and appealing. In this blog, we’ll learn how to create HDR images using DSLR and the same technique can be applied to any other digital camera with manual exposure setting.
I’ve used following gear and software for building this tutorial, this is just for reference and once you understand the technique it can be applied to different gear and software:
Camera: Nikon D5100
Lens: Nikon 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G
Software: Photomatix Pro Version 5.1.3 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC
So let’s begin, you need to follow three simple stages to create an HDR image:
- Capturing images at different exposure
- Merging images using Photomatix
- Post Processing using Lightroom
Stage 1: Capturing images at different exposures
After selecting the object or landscape you want to capture, take three images using bracketing mode. The D5100 will then take a series of three pictures: one without compensation, one with a positive and one with a negative compensation.
Choose ‘Program(P)’ Mode for shooting and then press ‘i’ button and go to ‘Auto bracketing’ option and choose ‘AE0.3’. Also, set release mode to continuous shots so that 3 images are captured at once.
Quality of file selected should be in raw format preferably to obtain best results.
Stage 2: Merging images using Photomatix
Now open Photomatrix and load these images by clicking on ‘Load Bracketed Photos’.
Then click on ‘OK’ in the next dialogue box, now your bracketed images are compiled in one single image with a high range of details.
Click on ‘Apply’.
Then Click on ‘Save Final Image’ and select the desired location for the final image. This step brings us to the end of the second stage of merging the images. Now we’ll move to the final stage of the tutorial.
Stage 3: Post Processing using Lightroom
Open the merged image in Lightroom and go to ‘Develop’.
After completing the post-processing, click on File and Export. Choose the desired location and click on Export. Which brings us to the end of the tutorial and creating an HDR image.
Take a look at these HDR examples,