Written by guest photographer: Steve Rich
I personally like adding in a little texture to my HDR workflow. I use [Captain] Kimo’s HDR textures, which includes 100 HDR textures. Check them out on his his website. Using a combination of Adjust, DeNoise, B&W Effects, Topaz Lens Effects and texture, I was able to create a neat HDR and textured photo.
Step 2: Select AUTO for Camera Raw presets. Camera RAW did correct the White Balance issue with the lighting. Once auto correct was complete then the image can be opened in Elements 10 for further editing.
Step 3: (optional) I reszied my image to a small image, this allows your Topaz to run faster. Then duplicated the background layer.
Step 4: Select Filter -> Topaz Labs -> Adjust 5 and apply the Heavy Pop Grunge preset (found in the HDR Collection). Apply it TWICE!
Step 5: Open image in Topaz DeNoise and apply a MODERATE amount of noise reduction to smooth out the image.
Step 6: Back in Photoshop Elements select COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E to merge my layers to one image. (My working layers remain)
Step 7: Open image in Topaz BW Effects and apply the Cool Tone 1 preset (found in the Traditional Collection). You now have a cool BW image, you can save a copy if you like what you see so far.
Step 8: Back in Photoshop Elements I selected SCREEN from the blending mode, this really lightened up the image. I reduced the Opacity to around 30%. Now we are beginning to look like an HDR Image. You can adjust this to your taste. 30% may not work for you.
Step 9: Select COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E to merge my layers to one image. (My working layers remain)
Step 10. This is where the textures come in! I selected a texture from Kimo’s HDR texture, texture #9 (Texture Applying is Optional). To select the Texture in Elements I selected PLACE, grabbed my texture, selecting PLACE, places the texture directly on your image, using the pulls I sized the image to completely cover, I then selected OVERLAY and reduced my Opacity to around 30%.
Step 11: Select COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E again. Then select the Dodge Tool and tweaked some of the shadows.
Step 12: Run a High Pass Sharpen and reduced the sharpening to around 75%. I did not want a lot of detail in my image.
Optional Step – I really like blurs to images. They can really add and subtract, I selected COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E again on my new layer, I opened Topaz Lens Effects, Filter is Diffusion, I selected Generous Diffusion, you can play around with different effects. I will reduce Opacity on my layer inside Elements if TOO Diffused. When I accepted the diffused preset, my image was too diffused, I lowered the Opacity to around 45%. Again this step is optional.