Extend dynamic range - quick & easy

Started Feb 16, 2004 | Discussions thread
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Gordon W
Gordon W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,037
Extend dynamic range - quick & easy

I was inspired by another thread to put together a pBase gallery showing my quick & easy technique for extending dynamic range by using two images from a bracket (since I don't have RAW capability yet)...

http://www.pbase.com/merriwolf/extend_dynamic_range

...rather than post all the images here, for the sake of those on dialup. But I will show before and after here.

Before

After

You can see in the second image there's quite a bit more detail in the sky without the foreground being significantly effected (other than by my typical post-processing adjustments like levels, color balance, etc.)

Basically though, the technique is nothing more than...

1. Shoot brackets of a scene.

2. Take the light and dark images of the three images.

3. On the darker image, command-click (on a Mac, or Alt-click in Windows) on the RGB composite channel in Photoshop's Channels palette. This automatically selects the lighter tones in the image.
4. Copy

5. Paste into into the lighter image which will automatically put the highlight data you just copied into a new layer.

6. And that should just about do it except for making whatever adjustments you like to optimize the image.

And for those who love to get in there and play in Photoshop, this also affords the opportunity for a lot of control.

BTW, Charles Lloyd gets credit for showing me the Command-click on the RGB channel trick.

http://www.pbase.com/merriwolf/

 Gordon W's gear list:Gordon W's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Panasonic FZ1000 Nikon Coolpix B700 Panasonic FZ80/FZ82 Nikon Coolpix P1000 +5 more
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