HDR editing in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom

Started Oct 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP tom60634 Senior Member • Posts: 2,130
Re: More to Adobe & 32 Bit...

ProtoPhoto wrote:

Several comments...

For the OP, great idea!  I've tried it and I like it!

For those who say ACR 7.2 whether via LR or PS is just as good, eh, no, not really.  It all depends on the image.  For a true high DR image a single raw capture can't match bracketed shots.  That said, most images don't need real HDR, and I'm really enjoying using the highlight and shadow sliders in ACR 7.2 to avoid HDR with many of my images.

The power has always been there, but for some reason, the full 32 bit powers of Photoshop have never become all that well known.  As Russell Brown showed in his "Smart Object 32 Bit HDR Editing Techniques" video from Photoshop World 2011, the power route is not to use Photoshop like a lesser Photomatix, but to instead create a 32 bit file that is a Smart Object inside a 8 or 16 bit wrapper, and tap into a very different way of working with HDR.

(I don't know why my type went to bold, and I am unable to return, seems to be one of the glitches with the new interface.)

As for what Redcrown said about Adobe HDR ignoring exposure changes, with further experience, there is more to it than that.  Some changes translate from 32 bit, and others do not.  Levels do effect the exposure conversion, and if the Photomatix look is the goal, that is how you punch it up in Photoshop.  Drop levels to 50 or so, convert, and see what happens.   HSL, Quick Selection Tool, 32 bit Color Picker, painting. some patching, and a number of other 32 bit tools do directly carry over, that is the intent.

But the bigger picture is not to convert at all in the usual HDR tone mapping sense, or rather, just where desired.  By keeping a 32 bit Smart Object inside a 16 bit envelope, in combination with layers and masking, you can ride up and down the exposure curve and quite easily select the exposure used with each individual layer, no need to use what most people think of as HDR techniques.

I have to agree that most photos don't require HDR and that a well exposed raw file from recent equipment can be more than enough for a great file/photo/print, but I do wonder if Adobe isn't setting us up for the next newest, greatest gimmick ( feature ). I also wonder how large the files will become.

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