Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 24/101: Save Time When Processing Your HDR Images

This is tip #24 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Save HDR processing time by working with JPEG files.

Sure, you should always shoot RAW files - because you can pull out a lot of data from a single RAW file. But when making HDR images, try converting your sets of RAW files to JPEG files before your start processing. I use Image Processor in Photoshop to convert my images. Works amazingly fast.

Working with JPEGs saves you a lot of professing/waiting time. Plus, if you captured the entire dynamic range of the scene in your set of images, you will not lose any details your HDR image – as illustrated by these before-and-after images from Angkor Wat, Cambodia (taken yesterday).

I processed my sets of JPEG files with Nik Software's new HDR Efex Pro. After that, I spiced up the images with the Spicify Filter in Topaz Adjust – which is totally amazing. Info on Topaz here. (Save a bundle by ordering a Topaz Bundle.)

HDR Efex Pro + Topaz Adjust/Spicify.

Original average single exposure.

HDR Efex Pro + Topaz Adjust/Spicify.

Original average single exposure.

Camera info: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40mm lens.

For discounts on Nik plug-ins and Photomatix (another HDR imaging program) click here.

For info my my HDR book, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. A BIG thanks to Mukesh at TravelInterlink for putting together such a fantastic photo tour. For info on my 2011 photo tours, click here.


victor said...

HDR is way overused and overhyped these days. May as well just create that fake look from scratch in PS.

Rick Sammon said...

Hi Victor. I actually tired to create an HDR image from the opening shot in Photoshop. The noise was just toooo great in the shadow of the boat. For me, HDR is a time-saver - and often a shot saver.

JimmyD said...

Rick, when you apply the Spicify preset from Topaz Adjust, do you reduce the opacity of the effect in Photoshop, adjust the settings in the Topaz window, brush in where you want it applied in Photoshop, or anything else? It seems a bit strong at 100%. Thanks.

Dudley Warner said...

Did you use the Promote Remote for any of these shots? I am trying to decide how essential it is.

Thanks -

Gary Simmons said...

Hmmm, I haven't ever tried working with jpgs in HDR, but what you say makes sense.

I'll give that a try this weekend!

Rick Sammon said...

Jimmy D... I usually reduce the settings....

victor said...

Rick, do you see the current fascination with HDR lasting??

Mike said...

Hi Rick!

Nice shot as always!

One thing i notice though... the reflections on the water doesn't appear 'matched' especially the photo under this

HDR Efex Pro + Topaz Adjust/Spicify.

Rick Sammon said...

Re the water reflection being different . . . it's the color of the water.

Re HDR lasting... it's been around since Ansel Adams

victor said...

I doubt Ansel would approve of the manufactured look of many of these HDR images. Bringing out shadow detail is one thing. Many of these HDR images look completely graphic in origin.

Rob said...

@Dudley: The Promote may not be essential, but I use it regularly and find it well worth the money spent. If you shoot HDR with 5 or more bracketed exposures, it's a great tool.