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HDR Photography Tutorial – Using Adobe Lightroom

October 22, 2019


Hi! In this video, I’m going to show you how
to do HDR photography in Adobe Lightroom. Hi! I’m Adam and welcome to First Man Photography,
the channel that will help you take your photography to the next level. Before we get into the
video, in this tutorial, I’m going to be using Adobe Lightroom. Now this is a programme that’s
very powerful for storing, organising and editing your photos. If you haven’t got
that yet, I’ll put a link down below for you so you can get a free trial. After that,
it’s £8.50 a month in the UK and $10 a month in the US. with that, you also get Adobe
Photoshop. That’s a really great value package and a really powerful photo editing suite.
Okay, let’s get into this. HDR stands for high dynamic range. All that
means is that within that image you going to be capturing those real nice highlights
but also bringing out the detail in the shallows and everything in between. When we see things
in the real world, the combination of our eyes and our brain pulling all that information
any way, so we have a really nice view of the world with really high dynamic range between
those highlights and those shadows. Now sadly, the processes in our cameras are not quite
as powerful as that so we aren’t able to pull all the detail out. That’s why you high
contrast images where detail is lost in the shadows or you get blown out highlights or
vice versa. It’s impossible to expose for the image as a whole in certain circumstances.
There is a way round this though and that’s with HDR. If you’ve seen HDR before, you
may be thinking that you don’t quite like it because, when it first came about, some
of the images that it created were very unrealistic and it looked little bit like you’d thrown
up all over the image. Thankfully though, this is no longer the case and we can really
use HDR to our benefit to pull out details in some of those really high contrast situations
that you may find yourself in. Now all we need to do to achieve this is take two or
three images of your scene and then combine them in Lightroom. What that does is, you
capture the highlights in one picture, the mid-tones in another and then the shadows
in another and exposing each of those in the correct way. Then Lightroom will combine them
and produce the final image. I’m going to go through the settings in the camera quickly
and then we’ll get into Lightroom and I’ll show you what to do.The first thing you need
to do is to get out somewhere beautiful so you’ve got something great to shoot it will
end up being great image at the end. Next we need to employ bracketing option that our
camera offers. This will only work in manual mode. So the first thing we need to do is
expose for somewhere around the mid-tones. If you need to work in auto or aperture priority
you can do that but make a note of the settings then transfer them into manual mode. Switch
in to manual mode and then you need to hit the Q button or go into the exposure compensation
chart which now becomes the bracketing. Slide the roller and you can set the bracketing
so you have those three shots either side of that exposure that you gained. Sometimes,
it works well with one stop two stops of bracketing, it really depends on the lighting in situations
you’ve used. I’ll, generally, be working somewhere between one stop and two stops.
Once you’ve done that, shoot your shot but you really want to have the camera as stable
as possible. So it’s best done on a tripod. Although, if you are very steady, it can be
done hand held. So I’m assuming now, you’ve got your shot
and will head into Lightroom. Okay, so straight into Adobe Lightroom and
this is a really straightforward edit, simple to do and really quite effective. This is
the image I’m going to be working with. It’s a shot I took on my recent trip to
the Yorkshire Dales when I captured my first vlog. If you haven’t seen that yet, I really
recommend you see it. I’m really proud of it. Go in to this description down below and
I’ll put a link for you there. Three images we’ve got. This one here exposing for the
shadows, the mid-tones and the highlights. You can see that bright sky there and the
rest of it is underexposed. I’m trying to just pull the details out of that sky on that
shot. So just select all three, select the first one, hold shift down and select the
last one and then right click and you’re going to go straight to Photo Merge. Then
just simply click HDR and this window should pop up and start creating a preview of your
HDR. A few options over on the right here. Auto Align, you could leave that because you
want everything to line up. Auto Tone, you can choose whether you have that. I usually
leave it in because it does make some tonal changes that you can undo afterwards if you
want but sometimes it goes get it right so I just leave it. Deghost, now what that is
is, if you’ve handheld HDR, there might be some slight movement between each of the
frames and Lightroom will try and correct that. If there’s something moving in the
frame that you don’t want there, Lightroom will also try and correct that. The amount
of that Lightroom does that can be controlled here with the low, medium and high. I, generally,
have my HDR’s on a tripod so I usually go for None and that doesn’t do any de-ghosting
whatsoever. You’re generally going to get the highest quality using the setting of None.
Just go ahead and click Merge. Lightroom takes a second to do it’s think and then create
that last image for you of the completed HDR. Then you can just go in to that, view it and
you can see I’ve got detail right across the highlights here where you can now see
some blue sky. I’ve got some mid-tones and the shadows are there as well. There’s not
a lot of contrast in it so you want to hit the D go into Develop module and start making
some changes. This is a DNG file so you still have all that raw data there the really make
those nice, accurate changes with the sliders here. As you can see, it’s put highlights
right down there with those tone changes that it did automatically. I’m just going to
adjust that a little bit. You can see the difference it’s making. Probably has it
right keeping it quite down low, reducing the shadows and then just give it a nice contrast
boost to start bringing out that detail in the images. Add a little bit of saturation
vibrance. It’s up to you how you do your settings but, as you can see, it’s a really simple
edit and you can start to see what a nice image this is becoming. It’s nice and simple,
easy to do using the power of Adobe Lightroom. I think you’ll agree that the image doesn’t
look unrealistic, it’s nice and it represents what I saw at the time. So it’s not cheating,
it’s not tricking anybody, it’s just a way of presenting the scene that you saw to your
viewer. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that and now you’ve
got a good idea of how you’re going to use HDR to your benefit. If you haven’t done
so already, please subscribe to the YouTube channel. I know it’s going to help you out
and get your photography to the next level. There’s videos going up on a Sunday and
a Wednesday. I’ll see you on another video very soon.
I’m Adam. This is First Man Photography…… Out!!!

7 Comments

  • Reply Stylish Riding June 7, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    nice and natural Adam. There is too much terrible HDR out there but this I like. I use LR 5 but unwilling to pay monthly so I will stick with my ND grads.

  • Reply patrick mallare December 6, 2016 at 7:18 am

    thank you

  • Reply MegDrakie April 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    can bracketing be done with people in the image?

  • Reply Niall Carolan April 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    amazing 🖐

  • Reply Slim Thug April 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    this guy looks decent so I will watch the full vid. woof woof

  • Reply Slim Thug April 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    deghost under me bed?

  • Reply Bill Akers December 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Great video!

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