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Hot Rods in HDR

Hot Rods in HDR

Today I was reading about HDR and decided to get some inspiration on the subject. I am a super fan of HDR photos and we've been posting about it since the very first year of the blog. It's incredible to see how popular HDR has become and I'm still amazed by the visual style this technique can give to photos. Atomicpixal demonstrates this beautifully with some HDR photos of cars that look like legit illustrations of hot rods. I have been a Freelance Photographer for a very long time. I enjoy post processing images as well as taking them. I moved to Menifee two years ago from Oceanside and I love the area. I also collect antique cameras. I am an old darkroom photographer that has been converted to the digital world. Looking forward to meeting everyone.

New Inspiring HDR by Trey Ratcliff

As you may already know, Trey Ratcliff is a good friend of ours and is also the guy behind the amazing "HDR wonderland" Stuck in Customs. Trey is always publishing new and inspiring HDR at his website, and this is why we love to check out his news to keep you guys super up to date about what he is up to. So here is a selection with the latest photos from @TreyRatcliff... Enjoy. ;) Check out the downloadable version of Trey Ratcliff's HDR Video Tutorial to learn more about this amazing technique. Want to read more about Trey Ratcliff? Try this: A World in HDR - A Great book by Trey RatcliffTrey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images #2Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images

Beautiful HDR Photos by Kyle Merriman

Kyle Merriman is a photographer based in Taiwan, where he's been for the past 5 years, and he specializes in HDR photos. To promote his work Kyle started a site called BrandKnewMe, it started out as a project to keep family and friends in touch with his life half around the world. This site started as a platform for blogs, photos, and the videos to show to his family and friends what it’s like to be living in Taiwan. "Twelve hour time differences don’t make for easy communication so this allowed those back home to experience it as best they could" - says Kyle Merriman. For more information about Kyle visit his Web site at: http://www.brandknewme.com/ or follow him on Twitter BrandKnewMe Below you can see some of his photos. HDR I’ve always been fascinated with music, design, photography and gadgets in general. Obsessed with wanting to learn as much as I could, and get my content easily to as many people as I could I started to dip into web design and photography more and more. Then, after purchasing my first Mac, it all began to really motivate me. A DSLR camera only added more fuel to the fire. Photography content came to the fore on the site so I felt something more akin to a portfolio rather than a standard blog of random thoughts would work best. Regular

Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them eBook Giveaway Result

We announced the Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them eBook Giveaway earlier this week and today we are announcing the lucky winners. Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them is the book where Trey Ratcliff shows some of his own mistakes from the past and teach us how to avoid them! For sure a must have for HDR lovers! And the lucky readers who got the eBook are: Tiago SchmidtzangetsuBankaiDan G.B. We will get in touch with you!! Thanks for all the comments guys... and stay tuned, we will have further giveaways! :) Some sample Pages Make sure you stop buy stuckincustoms.com to check out further details about the eBook! Latest from Trey

Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them eBook Giveaway

I'm pretty sure you are already familiar with Trey Ratcliff, the owner of the number #1 Travel Photography Blog on the internet, stuckincustoms.com. He is simply THE GUY when we talk about HDR photography... and for sure, to get where he is now, he had to learn a lot and develop techniques to constantly improve his work. A prove of that is the eBook he just released: Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them, where he shows some of his own mistakes from the past and teach us how to avoid them! So if you want to learn details about how to fix HDR mistakes... you better learn from the best! :) And this is exactly why we will giveaway 3 Top 10 HDR Mistakes and How to Fix Them eBooks to our readers. To participate just leave a comment telling us the importance about learning with our own mistakes... and good luck. We will announce the winners Friday - July, 30th. Some sample Pages Make sure you stop buy stuckincustoms.com to check out further details about the eBook! Latest from Trey

Giveaway: A World in HDR - The Winners

Last week we announced here a really cool giveaway: Giveaway: A World in HDR - A Great book by Trey Ratcliff, and today we are proud to reveal the 3 lucky winners that will take this incredible book home to 'go deep' into the HDR world! Once again we would like to thank Trey for the support with this giveaway and for his excitement, passion and enthusiasm throughout HDR! It's really nice to have someone spreading the word and opening some 'secrets' of this technique. And in case you want to see further HDR by Trey head over to his incredible stuckincustoms.com!! We also would like to thank you guys for all the comments and opinions about HDR! It's always amazing to count with your support in our site. And ok, enough said, I know you are all very curious to get to know the winners, so... the 3 lucky winners are: Gabriela KDG heybird We will get in touch with you to inform you what to do. :) Thanks to all of you again. Some images from the book: A Snowy Night at the Kiev Opera House Farewell India The Open Road Notre Dame of Lyon The Airy Doom of the Duomo Masts and Shafts A Small Carousel in France The Fallout Bunker Fourth on Lake Austin Check out more about Trey here at Abduzeedo: Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images #2 A World in HDR by Trey Ratcliff

Giveaway: A World in HDR - A Great book by Trey Ratcliff

I'm pretty sure all of you guys read our post A World in HDR - A Great book by Trey Ratcliff and got simply amazed with the images and tiny portions of the book's content we showed here! And I'm also convinced that if you are a HDR lover, you are probably dreaming about this book... if you are a HDR curious you must be even more curious about it... if you had no clue about the existence of HDR (which I doubt) now you do want to know everything about it... and ok, maybe you don't even like HDR, but I bet that deep inside you do wanna read the book... Once again I repeat that this book is really amazing. The images, the content, Trey's excitement and passion, everything is so catching that you want to read the whole book in a single shot to get your camera and start picturing your world in HDR. :) So based in all that and with a great support from Trey Ratcliff we are having this giveaway where 3 of our readers will be gifted with a copy of A World in HDR! All you have to do is leave a comment saying what do you like most about HDR photos and next Thursday - not tomorrow, but Feb, 18th - we will announce the lucky winners. So get ready and shout out what do you like most about HDR!! Good luck guys. ;) A Snowy Night at the Kiev Opera House Farewell India The Airy Doom of the Duomo Masts and Shafts A Small Carousel in France The Fallout Bunker Fourth on Lake Austin Check out more about Trey here at Abduzeedo: Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images #2

A World in HDR - A Great book by Trey Ratcliff

As you probably already know, Trey Ratcliff - the guy behind StuckInCustoms.com, the #1 travel photography blog in the world - released in December a great book called A World in HDR, which I had the pleasure of reading. The book presents the art of HDR mastered by Trey Ratcliff, and it presents it with a very nice sense of humor and passion that it makes you really excited to try it out if you are a beginner, or to improve your skills if you are already a pro. Trey's excitement, passion, talent and humor are a extremely evolving reading, getting our interest throughout the whole book. His adventures, trips partners (the urban legend Yuri), tricks and 'sunsets fixation' are able to evolve readers off all kinds, those interested in photography, HDR lovers (and also the 'haters'), art lovers, general readers and those curious people that like stunning images. The book explains the world of HDR... it gives us an insight about it, what it is, what is the concept about it and how is it that he does it. By the course of the book you will appreciate the whole range of colors so much that you will think why is it that you are not doing your own HDR to share with your lovely ones. You will get so excited about colors, light and tripods that you will finish the book and will run out of your house to try your fist experiment... and as in my case, you will see that is needs more than reading to get to do it right, but at least will will take the first step. I made here a selection of some of my favorite images from the book and also some of my favorite quotes from Trey. I really recommend this book either you are a photographer wannabe (like me), a pro or a photography lover. The images and reading will surely conquer you... Enjoy! :) I saw the light. Now I want to tell you about it. A Snowy Night at the Kiev Opera House Ultimately, I believe we are traversing the most exciting period in the history of photography. The use of emerging visualization tools combined with your creative spirit can make something that is singularly beautiful and uniquely yours. Farewell India Road shots are always fun, and although I hate to offer this advice because it is dangerous, it is often best to be in the exact center of the road. The Open Road Don't worry about getting caught. Churches are much more lenient that they were during the Inquisition. Notre Dame of Lyon You must check out Trey's step by step of how to enter into cathedrals with tripods... it's really cool. The Airy Doom of the Duomo Wake up early when you are in a new place. I don't like waking up early, and those who say they do might just be lying. But the light is usually so good that you can't sleep through it. Masts and Shafts This is my favorite image of all! I just loved this place, the light, the boats, the water...everything. A Small Carousel in France If you want to take an HDR photo, it is fundamentally important that you capture as much light as possible when you are on the scene with your camera. The Fallout Bunker I encourage you not to stay indoors during a storm, unless there is lightning of course, in which case you should probably stay inside. Otherwise, forget what your mom told you about rain. Fourth on Lake Austin The Tutorials & Some Further Tips At chapter 5 you will find tutorials that will guide you through the process of producing a HDR using the Stuck in Customs Style. The tut is easy to follow (even for a beginner like me) and you won't find those difficult terms or commands that you don't have a clue about it. But the important thing about this is that Trey also gives a perspective of the whole process, camera, tripod, taking the photo and so on. So if you are really just starting this, you will have now a good background of info to do it. And at chapter 6 he gives us some good advices about software and tools. I will show you the results of my first HDR attempts to show that if I could manage to achieve this (without having good photoshop skills), you can certainly do better!! I certainly need to go wild on the lights x contrast next time. By the way, my mom said the images look great for a beginner. =) First Attempt Second Attempt Single Raw Single Raw Check out more about Trey here at Abduzeedo: Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images #2 A World in HDR by Trey Ratcliff A HDR Experiment by Fabio: HDR Experiments and RAWs for download

Awesome Architecture in HDR

Yesterday I was browsing through Flickr and I came across some Architecture groups with images that simply amazed me, most of them were beautiful photos of buildings in HDR. I'm a big fan of HDR because it sorts of increase the level of details and textures with that very unique lighting. I've chosen only 30 photos from these groups, they're all sorts of projects. But I highly recommend that you visit the groups on Flickr to appreciate all the beauty of these architecture projects in HDR: flickr.com/groups/hdrarchitecture.

A World in HDR by Trey Ratcliff

Owner of the number #1 Travel Photography Blog on the internet, Trey Ratcliff also know as Stuck in Customs travels the world taking the most stunning hdr photos one has ever seen, and also shares all his photo travel experiences on his personal blog. His work has been featured on national television a couple times and it has been nominated for numerous awards. Represented by Getty, Trey lives the life a lot of photographers dreamed about. With a non-stoppable traveling schedule his collection of hdr photos is an enormous font of inspiration. The post-processing work used to transform his photos into hdr is what make his work very unique and famous. Here you can see a great collection of over 30 photos of The World in HDR. For more visit StuckinCustoms.com Also check out the HDR Tutorial Created by Trey that has helped thousands of people to learn how to use this effect like him. The Book A World in HDR by Trey Ratcliff Inside the Book The rich cover and interiors have been designed by the great French designer Fabien Barral, who also did the graphic design for the website. We have spared no expense in bringing you the highest quality book! More photos of the interior and other tidbits will be revealed in the next few months as we get closer to release. Besides new and extended descriptions with various tips, the book will also feature 10 unpublished photos that will remain exclusive to the book. Because I like to teach by example, the book will feature over 100 photos that I consider to be some excellent examples of "HDR done right". Whenever possible, I include tips and tricks and discuss the conditions of the shot. Often times, I also talk freely about various subjects that are related and help describe more about the way I think about these things. There are many thoughts and questions around human nature, the arts, science, religion, and more. This style has sprung up from the wonderful congenial and conversational style that has helped make this community so fun and exciting. I thank you all for your involvement, your passion, and your feedback. I appreciate it very much. Pre-Order Available

Incredible New Portfolio of Dave Hill

Who doesn't know Dave Hill, the guy with the awesome hdr looking photos. Well, I think that was more when he first started getting recognized for his style and as time goes by Dave Hill is showing that he is just improving even more bringing very creative concepts and scenarios to his photos that already are full of style. So when creativity meets skills you get a great portfolio like the one you about to see. Dave Hill recently released a new website with a few extra pieces you may not seen, it also has a behind the scenes section where you can see the photo shots and clear out some doubts about how his work is done, it also has a blog and a display of his personal work. davehillphoto.com Girl on Adventure Behind the Scenes Video Modern Warfare Cowboy Arches National Park, UT Misc

Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images #2

A while ago we featured a post about Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images. Since our readers really liked the first post and Trey has a lot of incredible new photos at his website, Stuck in Customs, I decided to make a "sequence" of it. I have to say that his work continuous to amaze me... so here is a new selection of Trey Ratcliff's work that I'm pretty sure you will like!! I liked so much this whole HDR universe that I even tried Trey's HDR tutorial, but as for the result I got, I really need a lot of reading and practicing around the subject to try it again. Another great thing that I just read on Trey's blog is that he announced a book,A World in HDR, which has pieces of his work with extended descriptions, more information about the photos and also some tutorials to help you with your HDR creations. Thanks again for Trey and all his kindness!! So now, go ahead and enjoy the images! ;)

Beautiful HDR Photos of Paris

Following our series of cities in HDR we present you the beautiful Paris. Paris is awesome in any type of photo, so imagine in HDR. If you're an HDR lover like us you will really enjoy this selection. Also, if you have nice HDR photos from your town let us know, our idea is have as many cities as possible. madsick on Deviantart haq on Deviantart Unicorne on Deviantart Hamrani on Deviantart darkaio on Deviantart Legba72 on Deviantart Paleuf on Deviantart xentor38 on Deviantart osxnop on Deviantart javierly on Deviantart Eddy-C on Deviantart superjuju29 on Deviantart OllieLomo on Deviantart etalyx on Deviantart kristiankarijord on Deviantart svensson on Deviantart Soigne-Steatopygia on Deviantart Shibbychibs on Deviantart Drocan on Deviantart ValentinDavid on Deviantart danielwille on Flickr ramonduran on Flickr jaafarm on Flickr matthewskorea on Flickr andaluca on Flickr titos81 on Flickr vitodimario on Flickr kenofhu on Flickr thoht on Flickr kmsf on Flickr shoey on Flickr

Trey Ratcliff's Wonderful HDR Images

The first time I saw Ratcliffs work I got amazed about his talent to capture a scene and show it in a surrealist way, an artistic way. At that time I didn't know much about photography or HDR either, but even so, I really liked what I saw. After some research and a photography class I started to admire even more his work and decided to get further information about it to post it here to you. The impressive images from Trey are not only good HDR photography technique but also a natural talent to capture a good scene, in a great angle and with good elements. Check out a HDR tutorial he has published at his site or a great article he wrote here on Abduzeedo: Really Cool Photo Art Tutorial . Also enjoy the reading of his blog since he also has a great humor. I’m best well known for, well, I suppose, this site, StuckInCustoms.com, which gets around 350,000 visits per month including one from my mom. In addition to this, Flickr, and other online communities, my work first became popular after I had the honor of having the first HDR photo ever to hang in the Smithsonian. After that, I was fortunate enough to be represented by Getty, been featured on the BBC and various other shows, and have had numerous showings around the world. Trey Ratcliff Here I will show some images that I really like, but I really recommend you to check out http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ to pick your favorites...

50 Street Shots in HDR

For all the HDR lovers here is a great selection of street shots, it's so amazing how HDR brings such a new life to a photo, and here you be able to see the streets from all over the world with HDR eyes. Enjoy!

Really Cool Photo Art Tutorial

Hello everyone from Abduzeedo!If you are anything like me, you have this site in your regular reading list for inspiration.I've been so inspired by so many things here, that I thought it would be good to share a few things back with the world.I talked to the very nice Fabio here at Abduzeedo, and he thought a light version of my photo art tutorial would be fun for a guest post. Trey Ratcliff - www.stuckincustoms.com So, this is really a short version of the big tutorial here on my blog, which you may or may not enjoy if you had any inkling of linking. You should note that this is not really JUST an HDR tutorial.The process begins with that, but ends with significant steps thereafter.If you have seen HDR photographs, then you probably have noticed how many of them are kinda rough on the eyes.I've evolved (and continue to) a new technique to bring these full circle back into something that "feels" more right to me. What is HDR? HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a software technique of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed.Most of the images in "Your Top 100 Favorites" are HDR, so you can take a look there if you want to see more examples than in this tutorial. I will post a few interesting HDR photographs that I have taken that people seem to like.This one immediately beneath has the honor of being the first HDR photo every to hang in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. I think this goes to show how mainstream and accepted HDR can be, if the technique is properly applied. I'm a huge defender and believer of utilizing HDR as a technique for processing photos because I think it helps to evoke my actual memory of the scene.It's just another tool that digital photographers can utilize depending on the situation.As opposed to the camera shutter and aperture, the human eye actually scans the scene at a very high rate of speed, constantly adjusting the pupil diameter to adjust the light and color levels.The brain builds a quilt-like image that is comprised of millions of little bits, combined with neuron-connected memories of colors of objects.For example, when you look at a sunset, you can see all the colors of the clouds and sky, but you can also see all the colors of the trees and rocks in the foreground. This is why, many times, people get home after a vacation and sigh at their pictures and tell their friends, "Well, it was much better when you were there."With this technique and a bit of practice, no one will ever have to say such a sad thing again. Step 1: Get your tools on What apps do you need?I have the three core essentials here: Photoshop, Photomatix, and Lightroom. All of these are available for the PC and the Mac.Note, of course, that Lightroom can be swapped out with Aperture or Bridge if you wish... One new program to you might be Photomatix, which is quite inexpensive with my coupon code of "StuckInCustoms".You can purchase it for download here.I've been using it for years, and I sent so many people to their site that they gave me a discount code to increase sales!There are many programs I have tried for this technique, and Photomatix is still the best. Step 2: Get some equipment on the sly so your spouse does not ask too many questions I have a full "My Equipment" page here, which is much more organized than the following Hawthornesque ramble. What kind of equipment do you need?All you really need is a camera that has autobracketing.Autobracketing is the ability for your camera to take at least 3 pictures right after one another, each at different shutter speeds.If you are hunting around the menus on your camera now, just look for the words Autobracketing and perhaps some numbers like -2, 0, +2.If you have a DSLR camera, then you probably have this ability.I notice that some of the high-end consumer compact cameras have these as well. Recommended Low End Camera: Nikon D40 with 18-55mm Lens Note:I don't recommend this entry level camera because it does not do autobracketing.It DOES take shots in RAW format, and you can use that for making HDRs (later in the tutorial), but I believe it is better to have a camera that does have autobracketing built in. Recommended Mid Range Camera: D80 with 18-55mm VR Lens This is a great camera.It will treat you well and it will last you a lifetime of great shots. Recommended High End Camera: Nikon D3 This camera is the ultimate.I can say no more. As for me, I have a Nikon D2X, but I am expecting to get the Nikon D3X any day now.Then, my life will be complete, truly.Well, except for a few minor things that would help take the edge off... Step 3 - Look at the world in HDR It is key to choose good HDR candidates.What I look for are extreme levels in light in a given scene.Below is a selection of five photos that I shot in New York at Times Square.This is one of the pictures that Getty is currently representing, so I think it is a good example of how to take something mundane and turn it into something beautiful that can be mass market and selected by major agencies. And here is another photographic-philosophical moment.Everyone shoots Times Square in New York.Everyone.Professionals, tourists, teenagers with grainy cell phone cameras, etc. Think about it and name your worldwide location:Paris, New York, Shanghai - these places are filled with thousands of photographers, many of them very very good, with incredible equipment and great training.YET, it is still quite difficult to get an "original" shot.You end up with just about the same shot that everyone or anyone else can get.So this New York picture is a good example.If you look at this one below, you will see it is a "decent" and "serviceable" shot.However, look at the final version right below that, and you can see how much more interesting and engaging it is. The BEFORE shot, selected in Lightroom. The AFTER shot, after running it through Photomatix and Photoshop: Step 4 - Take your autobracketed pictures and prepare for the HDR Set up your camera in Aperture Priority mode.Turn on Autobracketing.If you have 3 pics in the autobracket, set it up at -2, 0, +2.On my Nikon D2x, I usually take 5 pics at -2, -1, 0, 1, +2.I usually do 5 pictures in extreme light or extreme dark.The rest of the time, three pictures seems to be okay. Below, you can see that I have selected 5 pictures from Times Square.You can also easily see that they are all taken at different shutter speeds.By the way, you can click on any picture to go its Flickr page, where you can then click on ALL SIZES then ORIGINAL at the top if you want to zoom in all the way. Step 5 - Photomatix Now it is time to fire up Photomatix and get crunk in the HDR house.Okay that was stupid. Photomatix will take your 3+ shots and convert them into an HDR image.You can then tonemap the image and save it as a JPEG.I'll take you through this process. The easiest way to use Photomatix (more in the longer tutorial) is to just go to the menu and click GENERATE. Choose the images you like then click OK.You will then see a second dialog.I have selected the most common choices that I make.That "Ghosting" area never seems to work so well for me, so I don't check it.I have a better method for ghosting that I will show you later. Click OK again and now your computer will churn like a farm of computers generating a single frame from a Pixar movie. You will soon see a strange looking image on the screen.You are not done yet - not even close. That is an HDR image and you can't really do anything with it until it is tonemapped.So, go up to HDR in the menu and select Tone Mapping.Now you will get a nice little dialog with all these fun gizmos and Willy Wonka-like controls. Every picture is different.There is no "right way" to set these sliders.There is certainly a "wrong" way to do it, though.I am sure you have seen lots of crappy HDR images.Below, I paste an example of how you can really make your image look too funkadelic.Funkadelic is cool if that is what you want or you have a lot of druggie friends that like laser light shows and your mind-bending HDRs, but most people don't like them.Actually, please don't look at my old work.It's a little over-the-top too... I cringe when I think about it.Just look at the newer stuff.Thank you kindly. Above, you can see the options I selected.It's way overdone.Below, you can see better selections.Here are a few things I do... although none of these are cast in stone.I like to crank up the White Point and Black Point bars to give it some punch and contrast.I also like to slide the Luminosity bar over to the right as far as I can before it looks too flat.The further right the Lum bar is, the less halo effect you get as well.If you don't know what the "Halo" effect is, you will soon enough - especially with daytime shots.Another way to combat that is with the next few steps I go through below. Once you have set everything up with the sliders, click PROCESS.Save the resulting image as a .jpg and then prepare to bring it into Photoshop. Step 6 - Photoshop fun As you might have seen, Photomatix is great, but it probably messed up parts of the image that you now need to repair. This, briefly, is what we are gonna do. a)import 3 images to make 3 layers - the .jpg HDR you just made, the original RAW, and the darkest RAW. b) repair the blown-out areas with the correct areas from the dark layer and c) repair the ghosty cars and people with the real cars and real people from the first RAW file. Below, you can see I am importing one of the original 5 pictures. Okay, in this next screenshot, if you look over on the layers, you will see there are 3 of them.TOP LAYER - the cool HDR we just made in Photomatix.MIDDLE LAYER - the DARKEST of the 5 original images.BOTTOM LAYER - the MIDDLE exposure of the original 5. The current layer showing is the 2nd layer.You can see why I chose this one - all of the lighted ads are very sharp and readable, whereas in all the other shots, including the HDR version, they are all jumbled and unreadable. As you can also see, I have the AUTO ALIGN layers dialog up.I am using that to make sure all 3 layers line up correctly.This is a CS3 option.If you have CS2, you will have to do it yourself. Also, I am going to throw something at you here called MASKING.This is a really valuable thing to know when cleaning up HDRs.Essentially, what you are doing is taking the TOP LAYER - the HDR layer, and then "punching through" to see the layers beneath.If you look closely at the layers on the right in the screenshot below, you can see that I have created a LAYER MASK for the TOP LAYER.If you see those little black and grey marks there, that is where I have painted black to see the MIDDLE LAYER beneath.I used a paint brush, adjusted the opacity to about 30%, and kept painting until enough of the middle layer shined through. Now, I combine those two layers into a single layer.We now have two layers.TOP LAYER - the HDR with the fixed ads and blown out areas.BOTTOM LAYER - the original RAW photo with the nice streaking yellow taxis and busses.We need to fix the HDR image on top because, if you look closely, there is lots of ripping and ghosting that looks unnatural.We create another LAYER MASK, then use the 30% brush to paint through to the bottom layer.As you can see from the extreme black in many areas, I painted over many many times until I was effectively at 100% brush, but you don't want to start with that because sometimes the transition between the HDR and the original RAW can be too extreme. Now, there is just some general cleanup left.I used the blur tool on the sky since there was some noise there, cropped the entire image better, and then pulled up the "LEVELS" dialog to adjust the overall brightness and contrast.I think HDRs look best when there are dark blacks somewhere in the image.Sometimes HDRs don't have a single black dot anywhere in them, and they can look a little fake.I like to take the viewer's eye on a little visual tour-de-force! Below, we can see the final image once again!All the hard work has paid off!Behold! There are a few other techniques on the longer version of this tutorial for different conditions.One common question is how to do this with just one RAW photo.That is easy and can be done with Photomatix as well. Over the next month, I will be updating the tutorial for 2009, and I will continue to update it and evolve it with newer, better techniques as I figure them out every few months or so.I hope this has been useful to you!I will close with a few of the most recent shots I have processed in the last month or so...and remember, you can do this stuff too!It just takes a lot of practice and failure.Remember what Winston Churchill said:"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

2008 Most Beautiful HDR Images

2008 was a great year for HDR. Hundreds of blogs were posting about the new and awesome way of photographing. So did abduzeedo, we wrote lots of articles which were visited more than 2 million times. Enjoy our list of the most beautiful and most interesting HDR Images of this year. In this year the HDR-photomapping became really huge. Why? Because its very easy to create and very powerfull. The images look incredible proffesional. For those who don't know what HDR is, I try to explain: What is HDR? HDR is the short form of High Dynamic Range, a technic that allows a greater dynamic range of luminances between light and dark areas of an image, like on the example: Usually you take 3 shots of the same subject with different exposures. The image in the middle is presented as the normal image. The image on the left has a lower exposure value what makes it more darker and shows very light details like clouds. The image on the right has a higher exposure value than the original to point out details of darker areas. What now happens, is that all of the three shots are going to be merged together in one singel image. There are several great tutorials on the web, also on Abduzeedo, with detailed explanations. For example: How to create HDR Photos I know that you guys have made hundreds of good HDR's. So just leave a comment with a list of YOUR favourite images and post it. Here is a "Best Of"-Compilation of the most beautiful High Dynamic Range Images of the year 2008. Enjoy.