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Realistic HDR photography Photoshop tutorial

hdr photographyIn this HDR Photoshop tutorial you’ll learn how to make realistic looking HDR photo. Instead of Merge to HDR command used in many other Photoshop tutorials this one is about exposure blending through layers and masks. The aim was to avoid manual work and make the process of creating realistic HDR photography as painless as possible. Though you still have some settings to tweak and get desired look. To follow this tutorial you can download HDR samples with different exposures.

1. Open three properly exposed for HDR photos on different layers. First goes photo with normal exposure (0EV), than Underexposed (-2EV) and last Overexposed (+2EV).
hdr layers

2. Select Underexposed Layer and apply Select->Color range->Shadows, check Invert box.
hdr range

3. Apply Select->Modify->Feather, Feather Radius 150-250px (vary for different photos and also depends on image size). Decrease the Layer Opacity to 60-70%

4. Now select Overexposed layer and repeat steps 2 and 3 with one important exception: uncheck Invert box.

5. Finally the photo needs a little boost in brightness and contrast (Levels) and Saturation.

Realistic HDR Photo
hdr photography

Photomatix version
photomatix hdr

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