08. Before & After: Natural Looking HDR Photography with HDR Expose

A few months ago, I discovered and started using a new HDR tool that I later reviewed on my blog in an article entitled,  HDR Expose 3 – King of Natural Looking HDR. Many of my readers expressed interest in this tool and, as a result, I am releasing a step by step tutorial on how to achieve natural looking HDR images using HDR Expose.

If you want to follow along, please download the fully functional HDR Expose 3 30 day trial here and, in the event you decide to purchase the full version, please use the coupon code PHOTOTRACES at the checkout to receive 10% off.

Make sure you install it as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom and not as a standalone application.

You will learn following:

  • How to prepare (preprocess) bracketed images before merging them for HDR
  • How to use HDR Expose 3 plugin in Lightroom
  • How to align multiple images in HDR Expose 3
  • How to tone map bracketed photos for HDR
  • How to bring HDR image back to Lightroom
  • How to achieve the desired look in Lightroom and Photoshop

Below you can find my Before&After Widget which illustrates 11 editing steps of my workflow. By clicking through numbers (orange squares) you can see how image transforms from step 1 (original raw image) to step 11 (final published photo).

Before & After Widget
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Also, I’ve included the source files with this post (original RAW files, layered Photoshop file (PSD), and Lightroom preset). You can download all files at the end of the post.

 

Step 1. Original Image

For today’s tutorial I selected photos I took in Montreal from the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the tallest bridge in the city. I originally took 5 bracketed shots but +2EV was too overexposed and soft. In my previous post I discussed the challenges of shooting multiple exposures from the bridge.

Below are 4 bracketed shots (-2, -1, 0, +1) I used to tone map HDR image.

Read more08. Before & After: Natural Looking HDR Photography with HDR Expose

05. Before & After Spring in Montreal – HDR Landscape Photography with Photomatix

For today’s Before&After post I’ve chosen photo I took at one of my favorite places in Montreal – Rene Levesque Park. It is located not far from where I live. This is where I go jogging almost every day and place where I photographed at least hundred of sunsets.

Read more05. Before & After Spring in Montreal – HDR Landscape Photography with Photomatix

04. Before & After: Cuba’s Beach Sunrise Photo Processed for HDR in Photoshop

For today’s Before&After post I’ve chosen photo of beautiful Cayo Coco beach, which I took during my last trip to Cuba.

For this particular photo, I used Photoshop + Lightroom HDR workflow. Photoshop HDR Pro was used to tone map 3 bracketed exposures. Check my free Natural Looking HDR Photography Guide where I outlined my workflow in details (including source files).

If you’d like to follow along, I’ve included my source files with this post (original RAW files, layered Photoshop file (PSD), and Lightroom preset). You can download all files at the end of the post.

Read more04. Before & After: Cuba’s Beach Sunrise Photo Processed for HDR in Photoshop

03. Before & After: Processing Miami Skyline Photo in Lightroom and Photoshop

For today’s Before&After post, I’ve chosen the photo of Miami which I took from Key Biscayne a few years back. It is a single frame (RAW) processing workflow. Here is the full size of the featured photo.

Below you can find my Before&After Widget which illustrates 12 editing steps of my workflow.

Read more03. Before & After: Processing Miami Skyline Photo in Lightroom and Photoshop

Processing Photo of Silicon Valley for HDR in Photomatix

For today’s Before&After post I’ve chosen the photo of Silicon Valley in California, which I took during my last driving trip along California State Route 1. In the background, across San Francisco Bay, you can see Oakland and Union City  and in the middle of the frame is Silicon Valley.

Below you can find my Before&After Widget which illustrates 10 editing steps of my workflow.

Before & After Widget

Read moreProcessing Photo of Silicon Valley for HDR in Photomatix

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