Quick HDR effect in Photoshop

Quick HDR effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial we’ll learn how to create a quick HDR effect from just one photo. HDR creates a high impact in photography and even in photomanipulation. HDR stands for HighDynamicRange and are achived  by capturing multiple standard photographs, often using exposure bracketing, and then merging them into an HDR image. In photography, dynamic range is measured in EV differences (known as stops) between the brightest and darkest parts of the image that show detail. An increase of one EV or one stop is a doubling of the amount of light. Some cameras have even build modes to create automatic HDR effect. But enough with the theory let’s get to work.

Stock used: http://furlined.deviantart.com/art/Ratty-394710709


Step 1

First we duplicate the background layer and the go to Filter>Other>High Pass and chose a value between 3.8 and 4.2.


Step 2

Now we change the blending to Vivid Light and Flatten Image. We duplicate again the image and use again the High Pass filter but now with a value between 6.8 and 7.2. After that change the blending to Color and set the opacity between 39-43% and Flatten Image.


Step 3

Duplicate the layer and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur  and set the radius between 9.4-9.6 pixels. Now we’ll add some noise Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the amount between 3-5%. Add a mask selecting Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All.


Step 4

Set the foreground color to white and background color to black, then useing a soft brush (B) at 30% opacity and start brushing over the entire image except the car than Flatten Image.


Step 5

Go to Filter>Sharpen >Unsharp Mask and use the values below. Of course you can use diferent value for the Radius depending on how much detail you would like to have.


Step 6

We’ll add now some curves to bring more details and highlights in our picture. Go to Image>Adjustments>Curves. Here you can play with the values you think that fits best your image. Just experiment and have fun.



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  1. Юля says:

    шаг 4 – это че такое?… урок для профи или для бегинеров? я уже далеко не новичек – вроде – но не догнала вообще, КАК это делать, где…

  2. Sam says:

    So how is this similar to HDR in any way? Your shadows are still dark and your highlights still too bright, all i see is a sharpening and higher contrast.

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