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Create HDR Image in Photoshop

Hi Guy, I hope that you had enjoyed my last tutorial on Creating Instagram Gingham effect on Photoshop. This time I am shifting a little bit to write on How to Create HDR Image in Photoshop. Lately I have been receiving a lot of requests to write a tutorial on Creating HRD Effect, and here’s one.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. To achieve HDR effect, we need special kind of photos called as bracketed photos. You shoot same scene 3 or 5 times with exposure difference of 1 or 2. For example, you shoot 3 images of same scene with its exposure value as -1, 0, and +1, or -2, 0, and +2. You can also shoot 5 images with its exposure value as -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2. This feature comes by default in most of the DSLR cameras. But we are humans and we forget to take bracketed images and go to create a HDR and realize how foolish we are. To keep those people is mind, I am going to start with 1 image and make some adjustments such that they’ll look like bracketed images.

Before we go further, I’d like to show you how the final image will look.


Step 1: Change Exposure to Create Bracketed Photos

Open your image.

Go to Image>Adjustments>Exposure. Increase the Exposure by 1 value.


Now save the image with an easily recognizable name. Photo stands as prefix and +1 stands for +1 value of exposure.


In same way, create 4 photos with their exposure value as -2, -1, +1 and +2. In the end, you will have total 5 images including the original and 4 images that we just created.


Step 2: Open HDR in Photoshop

Go to File>Automate>Merge TO HDR Pro.


Click on Browse and select all photos. Press OK.


Now wait for few seconds till Photoshop finishes its magic.

Step 3: Create HDR Image in Photoshop

Photoshop will show below screen when it complete processing.


It’s looking beautiful, isn’t it?

The first thing you wanna do to turn on Remove Ghosts.

This will clean up all the unnecessary extra highlights present in the image.


Step 4: Choose the Image

You can choose which image to use as reference image to create HDR image at the bottom of your screen.

I am choosing the image that has exposure value of -2. Don’t worry about the exposure value that Photoshop is showing now. it’s because changed the exposure value in Photoshop. Had we done it with our camera, Photoshop would’ve shown us the correct value.


Step 5: Play with Sliders

There’s no such magical settings in HDR. Each image looks perfect with a different adjustments of sliders. Below is the setting that I used. I am not saying this is the perfect adjustment.


And we are done with the image. I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial.


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