In this episode of Understand Photography, Joe Fitzpatrick will explain a lightroom classic CC quick tip, you will learn how to use Lightroom to quickly and easily process your HDR images.
Lightroom’s merge the HDR feature allows you to combine bracketed images quickly and simply. If you are shooting RAW, you won’t lose any tonality and color info, as the finished HDR image will be in Adobe’s DNG RAW format.
If you are shooting JPEGs, you won’t have any compression loss for the same reason. Don’t waste time editing your images before merging, most edits including those in the basic panel are ignored by the merge through HDR function.
First, select your images in the library module by clicking, holding down the control key on a PC, or command key on a MAC, and selecting all the images in your bracketing sequence. Then right click inside one of the images, and select photo merge HDR. You can also access the window by clicking on the photo tab and selecting photo merge HDR, or by just using the shortcut control on a PC, command on a MAC, hold down that key, and press the letter H.
The merge to HDR window will open, and Lightroom will process the image. You’ll see a preview of what the image might look like, depending on what options you choose. I always check auto align, that attempts to correct for camera movement between bracketed exposures. Auto tone works similar to the basic panel auto tone. You can always modify the tone adjustments Lightroom chooses, after the HDR merger is complete in the develop module. You can see the difference it makes without or with auto tone.
If something in the image was moving, when the bracketed sequence of photos was made, you will have multiple semi-transparent images of the things that were in motion. This is called ghosting. Lightroom provides four levels of de-ghosting an image. None, low, medium and high. You can click on each one to preview the result. I’m going to choose medium, for this shot. Show the ghost overlay allows you to see the areas Lightroom will attempt to de-ghost. You can see the red overlay in the image here.
Once you’ve made your choices, click merge. You’ll be returned to the library module, and the progress bar will show the merger process. Time to complete varies, depending on number and size of images, as well as computer speed. Once the HDR image is rendered, you can edit the image using your normal editing workflow.
~Joe Fitzpatrick is one of that rare breed of photographers who possesses both a vast array of technical knowledge and the ability to communicate it in clear, simple terms.