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HDR Imagery in Adobe Photoshop CC

Photoshop CC has a way of creating and working with HDR images using Camera Raw 8 and the new Camera Raw as a filter option.

Select the bracketed shots in mini bridge, right click on the images and open in the option Photoshop / Merge to HDR Pro.

HDR stands for high dynamic range, which is a top new feature of Photoshop CC. The dynamic range is the visual “distance” from black to white. By making that visual distance greater, you create a wider tonal range in the image. The world we see around us contains far more range than can be reproduced on a monitor, printed to paper, or even saved in a 16-bit image.

Consider, for example, shooting an image in a room with windows on a sunny day. If you expose your image for the content of the room, whatever is outside is blown out and completely white. (See the examples in the figure.)

You can expose for the room and lose the highlights, you can expose for the highlights and lose the
You can expose for the room and lose the highlights, you can expose for the highlights and lose the room, or you can have both with HDR.

If you expose for the outside, the content of the room is in shadow. So, why not create an image in which the content of the room and the world outside the windows are both properly exposed?

Is HDR “the future” of photography, the way digital has supplanted film? Probably not, until we have cameras that can capture true HDR images natively, as well as a way to better take advantage of the enhanced tonal range when printing.

Is HDR something about which you should be aware, so that you can take advantage of its potential to meet difficult challenges in your own photography? Absolutely!

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