May 3, 2009

Belated Friday Apollo & Pseudo HDR tutorial


As promised a couple weeks ago, here's a brief set of instructions for those of you interested in creating pseudo HDR images. To make it really easy, what I suggest is downloading an "action," - a pre-recorded set of instructions that tells your program how to manipulate an image automatically. It's a great shortcut, but also a crutch.

I found the one I use here: This particular action made by Karl Sneath is pretty effective for drawing out details in washed-out sky. You will need to download and install this in your Adobe folder.

(Side note: there are also downloadable actions for other progams like Gimp)

After you have installed this...As always, make sure to save a copy of the original photo in a new filename and work on that instead of the original - these actions are quite destructive and can affect the image quality, and some actions - not the one I suggested downloading - will automatically save for you after it has finished making changes, making it difficult for you to get original image back if you don't like the results.

Look for the triangle icon in your menu. If it's not there, you can hit Alt+F9

(2) Then scroll down until you see the name of the action. If you downloaded the same pseudo HDR one that I did, it will be clearly labeled, "Pseudo HDR." Click on the folder to open it. (3) click on the first step to highlight it, then (4) click on the triangle (aka play button) near bottom.

Once you click the play button, you can sit back and let the action run. It will ask you occasionally to click "OK" or to make a few minor tweaks. As you play with this feature, you'll get a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

As you can see, when this action is finished, you've a number of layers to play with, to make any further tweaks to your image. For example, if I decide I don't want vignetting at all, I can just unclick the "eye" and it goes away.

I know my instructions aren't comprehensive, but really, best way to learn this stuff is to play with photoshop yourself. It should get you started, at least.

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