HDR Tutorial Part 4: Finishing Touches

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HDR Tutorial Part 4: HDR Tips & Tricks

We ran the image through Photomatix, now what?  If you’ve looked close you’ll notice there are differences between the final image and what was created by photomatix.  Take a look:

Final Image:

Decomissioned A-6E Intruder - a 3-image HDR will be the photo we'll be creating in this HDR tutorial

Final HDR Image

What Photomatix Created:

The HDR Photomatix Created

The HDR Photomatix Created

Pointing out the Differences:

Differences pointed out

The Differences Pointed Out

Remember back in part 2 when I discussed all the tools I use?  Here’s where they come handy.  The mix coming out of Photomatix looks pretty good, but there’s almost always work to be done.  The image needs noise reduction, sharpening, and some items needs to be cloned out.  Photoshop will help remove the line cutting across the image, as well as, with cloning out the tree at the edge of the frame.  I used Topaz to reduce noise  (remember that tutorial I talked about, you might want to check it out when you get a chance) and, finally, I did a minor levels adjustment in Lightroom to brighten the mid-tones and add contrast.

I won’t dig into the step-by-step for each one here as the tutorial would go one for several more pages.  It might seem like a lot of work to do, but keep in mind that after your first few HDRs, you will spend the least amount of time in Photomatix.  The bulk of the work happens afterwards.

Well, our journey through this tutorial is at an end.  I hope you enjoyed creating your first HDR and that you found the tutorial helpful.  I’m always open to hearing your thoughts.  Drop me a question in the comments or find me on Google+ (you can find me on Twitter and Facebook too, but your best bet is Google+).  I’ll do what I can to help!

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