HDR with Photoshop – my way

After that little HDR tour yesterday I was asked how I do create a HDR image with PS.
So, I wrote a short tutorial – here it is:

Create an HDR with Photoshop

  1. Create a black layer and put the image series onto it (+1 EV, 0 EV, -1 EV)
  2. You can automate the basic HDR process by pushing the record button (Actions) to create  a batch-mode processing for future HDRs
  3. +1 EV image: contrast +100, select highlights, feather 85px, inverse, layer: reveal selection
  4. 0 EV image: contrast +100, brightness -50, select midtones, feather 85px, layer: reveal selection
  5. -1 EV image: contrast +100, brightness -100, select shadows, feather 85px, inverse, layer: reveal selection
  6. Stop recording
  7. Insert -1 EV as basis layer and modify it until it fits as a good background/basis (e.g. set it to contrast +100 and brightness -50)
  8. Deselect the black background layer
  9. Go back to layer +1 EV and modify brightness and contrast
  10. Repeat step 9. for 0 EV and -1 EV
  11. Go back to layer +1 EV and optimize via curves
  12. Repeat step 11. for 0 EV and -1 EV
  13. Flatten image
  14. You’re done.

The more you feather, the smoother the borders will be and this will result in a more natural HDR look.

There are many ways to create an HDR with Photoshop and this is my way.
To success!

Bye!
Chris