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How to Create HDR

Images in Photoshop

Digital Photography For Dummies

(Optional) Select the Attempt to

Automatically Align Source Images
check box.

Adobe Photoshop creates HDR files from

This option helps align details in images and is

your bracketed images, as you would expect,

especially helpful for hand-held brackets. If you shot

smoothly and professionally. To generate high

your images using a tripod, you might not need to

dynamic range images in Photoshop, follow these

align source images. If you see smeared details,

handy-dandy steps:

ghosting from static objects, or what looks like a

By Robert Correll from High Dynamic Range

double-exposure, come back and select this check


Launch Photoshop, and (optional)

open the bracketed photos.
You have the option of opening your bracketed
images now the ones that will be the source photos
for creating HDR. You also have the option later to
automatically select all open images to merge into
HDR instead of navigating and selecting them


Click OK to continue.
Photoshop merges the files into an HDR image. If
there is a question about the exposure values of the
images, Photoshop displays the Manually Set EV
dialog box, as shown. Enter the correct camera

Choose FileAutomateMerge to
The Merge to HDR dialog box opens, as shown. Add

parameters in the Exposure Time, f-Stop,

and ISO text boxes, or select EV and enter the value
in the EV text box, then click OK.
When finished, the Merge to HDR dialog box
reappears in a new form. A large preview window and
the bracketed images appear on the left.

your source images using this dialog box.

Choose source images as follows:
If the images are open: Click the Add Open Files
button. If the images arent open: Choose Files from
the Use drop-down list, and then click the Browse
button. Navigate to the folder that contains the
bracketed photos and select them.
If you add a photo you dont want, select it after it
appears in the Merge to HDR dialog box and then
click the Remove button. To add all images from a
folder: Choose Folder from the Use drop-down list,
and then click the Browse button. Navigate to the
folder you want and select it.


Select the images you want to
remove from the preview from the left
side of the dialog box. Select them
again to add them back.


This allows you to change the balance of the HDR file

toward under- or overexposure. You should be well
served by trusting in your brackets, but experiment if
the fancy strikes you.

Click the +/ buttons at the bottom of
the dialog box to zoom in and out of
the Merged Result image.
You can experiment with the source images and white

To retain the most flexibility, choose
32 Bit/Channel from
the Bit Depth drop-down list.
This allows you to save the resulting HDR file. If you
set it to less (16 Bit/Channel or 8 Bit/Channel) and
click OK, Photoshop automatically starts the HDR
conversion process (Photoshops terminology for tone

(Optional) If desired, load a camera

response curve from disk by
selecting the Load From File radio
button and clicking the button.
You can also save the current camera response curve
for use in later HDR projects by clicking the Save
Response Curve As button. If you want to keep things
absolutely consistent across a photo shoot, save the a
camera response curve for the first set of images, and
then load it for subsequent sets from the same shoot.

Click OK to create the HDR file.
Youre done. The HDR image opens in Photoshop.
There is no obvious indication from the image itself
that this is an HDR image and not an ordinary photo.
However, if you look at the image title bar, Photoshop
includes HDR in the name.


mapping) and reduces the bit depth of the image. If

you dont need to save the HDR file, selecting the bit
depth saves time.

Drag the Set White Point Preview
slider left or right to alter the images
This is not a permanent change. You have the chance
to review and finalize the images exposure during
HDR conversion. This change shows up in the
Exposure slider of the Exposure and Gamma method
of the HDR Conversion dialog box.

(Optional) Save the HDR image

(choose FileSave As).
Photoshop supports many different HDR file types,
including the standard Radiance RGBE and
OpenEXR formats. You may also choose from any
other 32-bits-per-channel format within Photoshop,
such as TIFF or PSD. If you choose PDS, though, you
might not be able to open these images in other HDR