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High Dynamic Range Digital Photography For Dummies®

Book Description

Create amazing HDR photos with this full-color, plain-English guide

Your secret is safe with us. Even if you don't have the latest high-end high dynamic range (HDR) camera equipment, you can still create striking images that appear as if you do with the tips, tricks, and techniques in this helpful guide. Discover how to use bracketing effectively, get the most out of a tripod, finesse your photos with Photoshop, and make it all go easier with this practical and inspiring book.

  • Shines a light on HDR-what it is, how it's done, and what tools you need

  • Walks you through how to take good photographs, from using the right settings to choosing good HDR subjects

  • Demonstrates how to put all your images together in a single photo, including selecting the software, establishing workflow, and creating files

  • Covers how you can clean up digital residue, how to create HDR in black and white, and much more

  • Packed with beautiful and inspiring full-color HDR images to fire your imagination

Get fresh ideas, avoid mistakes, and produce memorable images with this essential guide.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author's Acknowledgments
  4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Who This Book Is For
    3. What You Need
    4. Foolish Assumptions
    5. Whys and Wherefores
    6. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: The ABCs of HDR Photography
      2. Part II: Putting the Photography in HDR Photography
      3. Part III: The Soft(er)ware Side of HDR
      4. Part IV: Having Fun with HDR Images
      5. Part V: The Part of Tens
    7. Icons Used in This Book
    8. Where to Go from Here
  6. I. The ABCs of HDR Photography
    1. 1. Shining a Light on HDR
      1. 1.1. Peeking inside the HDR Process
        1. 1.1.1. The twin peaks of HDR
        2. 1.1.2. Going with the (work)flow
      2. 1.2. HDR Show and Tell
        1. 1.2.1. Rescuing details from shadows
        2. 1.2.2. Taming highlights
        3. 1.2.3. Making the most of interior spaces
        4. 1.2.4. Enhancing details
        5. 1.2.5. Working wonders with people
        6. 1.2.6. Within and without
        7. 1.2.7. Feeding your starving inner artist
      3. 1.3. Getting Excited about HDR Photography
    2. 2. Gearing Up for HDR
      1. 2.1. Knowledge Is Power: Researching and Shopping for the Right Equipment
      2. 2.2. Looking at Hand-Held Photon Capture Devices (Err, Cameras)
        1. 2.2.1. Inexpensive compact cameras
        2. 2.2.2. High-end compact and super-zoom cameras
        3. 2.2.3. dSLR cameras
      3. 2.3. Looking through Lenses
        1. 2.3.1. Budget compact camera lenses
        2. 2.3.2. Premium and super-zoom lenses
        3. 2.3.3. Wide angle lenses
        4. 2.3.4. General purpose and kit lenses
        5. 2.3.5. Other lens types
      4. 2.4. Choosing a Pod, Tri or Otherwise
        1. 2.4.1. Odd pods
        2. 2.4.2. Inexpensive tripods
        3. 2.4.3. Expensive tripods
        4. 2.4.4. Additional items for your tripod
      5. 2.5. Adding Optional Accessories to Your HDR Kit
    3. 3. Looking Hard at HDR Software
      1. 3.1. Software: Don't Pass HDR without It
        1. 3.1.1. H-D-R (uh-huh, uh-huh), we like it ...
        2. 3.1.2. Rah rah for raw raw
        3. 3.1.3. MBA in image management
        4. 3.1.4. Editing for zing
      2. 3.2. Your Guide to Raw
        1. 3.2.1. Using your camera's software
        2. 3.2.2. Third-party Raw software
        3. 3.2.3. Adobe Camera Raw
      3. 3.3. Surveying the HDR Software Landscape
        1. 3.3.1. Artizen HDR
        2. 3.3.2. Dynamic Photo HDR
        3. 3.3.3. easyHDR
        4. 3.3.4. FDRTools
        5. 3.3.5. Hydra HDR plug-in for Aperture 2.1
        6. 3.3.6. Photomatix Pro
        7. 3.3.7. Qtpfsgui
      4. 3.4. Integrating More Cool Software into Your HDR Workflow
        1. 3.4.1. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo
        2. 3.4.2. Adobe Photoshop
        3. 3.4.3. Adobe Photoshop Elements
        4. 3.4.4. Adobe Lightroom
        5. 3.4.5. Apple Aperture
  7. II. Putting the Photography in HDR Photography
    1. 4. Becoming One with Your Camera
      1. 4.1. The Secrets (Shh ...) of Exposure
        1. 4.1.1. Photographic stops/EV
        2. 4.1.2. Bracketing
        3. 4.1.3. Metering
      2. 4.2. Configuring Your Camera for HDR
      3. 4.3. Setting Up Exposure Compensation
      4. 4.4. Preparing to Manually Bracket a Scene
      5. 4.5. Dialing in Auto Bracketing
      6. 4.6. Getting Ready for Single-Shot HDR
    2. 5. Bracketing Exposures for HDR
      1. 5.1. Big Answers for Big Bracketing Questions
        1. 5.1.1. Deciding how many brackets to shoot
        2. 5.1.2. Seeing the difference
      2. 5.2. Shooting Bracketed Photos
        1. 5.2.1. Using exposure compensation
        2. 5.2.2. Manual bracketing
        3. 5.2.3. Auto bracketing
        4. 5.2.4. Shooting multiple auto brackets
      3. 5.3. Using Alternate Metering Strategies
        1. 5.3.1. Working with a light meter
          1. 5.3.1.1. AEB
          2. 5.3.1.2. Manual mode
        2. 5.3.2. Alternate metering with your camera
    3. 6. Shooting Single-Exposure HDR
      1. 6.1. Knowing When to Break the Rules
      2. 6.2. Satisfying the Minimum Requirements
      3. 6.3. Work-flow, Flow, Flow Your Boat
      4. 6.4. Tone Mapping Single Exposures
        1. 6.4.1. Shooting single-exposure HDR on the go
        2. 6.4.2. Increasing contrast and details
        3. 6.4.3. Reducing noise
        4. 6.4.4. Using a single Raw photo without converting to brackets
      5. 6.5. Comparing Results
  8. III. The Soft(er)ware Side of HDR
    1. 7. Generating HDR
      1. 7.1. The Unbearable Lightness of HDR
        1. 7.1.1. HDelightfullyR images and files
        2. 7.1.2. Choosing an HDR file format
      2. 7.2. Converting Raw Photos
        1. 7.2.1. Principle principles
        2. 7.2.2. Converting bracketed photos
        3. 7.2.3. Creating brackets from one Raw exposure
      3. 7.3. Creating HDR
        1. 7.3.1. Photomatix Pro
        2. 7.3.2. Photoshop
        3. 7.3.3. Photoshop Elements 8
    2. 8. Preparing to Tone Map
      1. 8.1. Tone Mapping 101
      2. 8.2. Getting Acquainted with Photomatix Pro
        1. 8.2.1. Exploring Details Enhancer
          1. 8.2.1.1. General controls
          2. 8.2.1.2. Tone settings
          3. 8.2.1.3. Color settings
          4. 8.2.1.4. Miscellaneous settings
        2. 8.2.2. Examining Tone Compressor
      3. 8.3. Using Photoshop
    3. 9. Tone Mapping for Fun and Profit
      1. 9.1. Tone Mapping with Photomatix Pro
        1. 9.1.1. Getting ready to tone map
        2. 9.1.2. Getting started to tone map
        3. 9.1.3. Making and evaluating adjustments
          1. 9.1.3.1. Adjust brightness and contrast
          2. 9.1.3.2. Fix the light balance and the overall effect
          3. 9.1.3.3. Adjust and enhance the color
          4. 9.1.3.4. Think details
          5. 9.1.3.5. Control smoothness
        4. 9.1.4. Finishing up
      2. 9.2. Tone Mapping in Photoshop
        1. 9.2.1.
          1. 9.2.1.1. Exposure and Gamma
          2. 9.2.1.2. Highlight Compression
          3. 9.2.1.3. Equalize Histogram
          4. 9.2.1.4. Local Adaptation
      3. 9.3. An Approach to Comparing Approaches
      4. 9.4. Batch-Processing Multiple Files
      5. 9.5. Batch-Processing Single Files
    4. 10. Layers, Process, and Blending
      1. 10.1. Taking the Layers Refresher Course
        1. 10.1.1. The lasagna of layers
        2. 10.1.2. Managing layers
      2. 10.2. Mama Mia Methodologia
        1. 10.2.1. Editing with layers
        2. 10.2.2. The workflow (cue reveal music)
          1. 10.2.2.1. Save the image as a PSD
          2. 10.2.2.2. Look for places to blend material from alternate sources
          3. 10.2.2.3. Duplicate the Background layer and sharpen
          4. 10.2.2.4. Perform noise reduction
          5. 10.2.2.5. Clone away dust and other problems
          6. 10.2.2.6. Check color (that is, white) balance and brightness
          7. 10.2.2.7. Correct obnoxious color problems
          8. 10.2.2.8. Enhance brightness and contrast
          9. 10.2.2.9. Make creative saturation adjustments
          10. 10.2.2.10. Dodge and burn
          11. 10.2.2.11. (Optional) Convert to black and white
          12. 10.2.2.12. Correct distortions and straighten
          13. 10.2.2.13. Recompose
          14. 10.2.2.14. Publish
      3. 10.3. And Now, Blending in 3-D
        1. 10.3.1. Blending with opacity
        2. 10.3.2. Blending select areas
        3. 10.3.3. Using blending modes
    5. 11. Cleaning Up Your Photos
      1. 11.1. Hey! Keep the Noise Down in There!
        1. 11.1.1. Global noise smackdown
        2. 11.1.2. Select and reduce
        3. 11.1.3. Masked reduction
        4. 11.1.4. Multiple masked reduction
      2. 11.2. We Have the Technology: Cloning
        1. 11.2.1. Ye olde feather duster
        2. 11.2.2. Removing distractions
      3. 11.3. Fixing Lens Distortions
      4. 11.4. Solving Color and Saturation Problems
        1. 11.4.1. Oversaturation
        2. 11.4.2. Color casts
      5. 11.5. Levels and Lightness
      6. 11.6. Smoothing Rough Spots
      7. 11.7. Turning Your Images Loose: Publishing
  9. IV. Having Fun with HDR Images
    1. 12. Creating Panor-Ahhh-Mas
      1. 12.1. Shooting Panoramas in HDR
      2. 12.2. Processing Panoramas As HDR
        1. 12.2.1. Developing Raw photos in bulk
        2. 12.2.2. Creating an HDR master frame
        3. 12.2.3. Batch-processing the rest
      3. 12.3. Stitching the Elements Together
        1. 12.3.1. Stitching in Photoshop Elements
        2. 12.3.2. Blending the frames with layer masks
        3. 12.3.3. Cropping the finalized image
    2. 13. Going Old School with Black-and-White HDR
      1. 13.1. Seeing That Special Something
        1. 13.1.1. Emphasizing contrast
        2. 13.1.2. Reveling in tone
        3. 13.1.3. Solving color problems
        4. 13.1.4. Focusing on the subject
      2. 13.2. Converting Early in the HDR Process
        1. 13.2.1. Using a Raw editor
        2. 13.2.2. Desaturating while you tone map
      3. 13.3. Converting a Tone Mapped HDR Image
        1. 13.3.1. Weighing in on the grayscale
        2. 13.3.2. Desaturayayayayshun
        3. 13.3.3. Using Convert to Black and White
        4. 13.3.4. Using a gradient map
        5. 13.3.5. Working with Photoshop
      4. 13.4. Colorizing Black-and-White Images
        1. 13.4.1. Using Elements to colorize
          1. 13.4.1.1. Colorizing using the Hue/Saturation dialog box
          2. 13.4.1.2. Applying color layers
          3. 13.4.1.3. Using the Color Variations dialog box
        2. 13.4.2. Using Photoshop to colorize
          1. 13.4.2.1. Duotoning
          2. 13.4.2.2. Cross-processing
  10. V. The Part of Tens
    1. 14. (More Than) Ten Ways to Shoot Better Photos for HDR
      1. 14.1. Getting a Good Tripod
      2. 14.2. Being Patient
      3. 14.3. Becoming a Cloud Watcher
      4. 14.4. Taking Your Camera with You
      5. 14.5. Loving HDR Photography
      6. 14.6. Paying Attention to Light and Time
      7. 14.7. Knowing Your Camera
      8. 14.8. Looking for Contrast
      9. 14.9. Returning to the Scene
      10. 14.10. Looking Around
      11. 14.11. Using AEB
      12. 14.12. Shuttering with a Purpose
    2. 15. Ten Ways to Ruin a Good HDR Image
      1. 15.1. Halos, Halos, Everywhere!
      2. 15.2. Wimping Out on Contrast
      3. 15.3. Imagination Smackdown
      4. 15.4. This Isn't Casper, The Friendly Ghost
      5. 15.5. Sharpening From Dusk 'Til Dawn
      6. 15.6. Too Much Noise Reduction Going On
      7. 15.7. Putting a Square Peg into a Round Hole
      8. 15.8. Timidity on the Coloroidity
      9. 15.9. Too Much HDR
      10. 15.10. Overreacting to Criticism