Creating an HDR Effect
Written by guest photographer: Steve Rich

Here is another image where I took a raw image shot using my Canon 7D on a tripod, my camera was set up for HDR, (ISO 100, F11, AEB -2/0/+2) instead of running three images through Photomatix Pro, I ran the 0 Ev image through Topaz plugins.

Additional images of this beautiful Mill can be found here.

Topaz plugin used – Topaz Adjust 5, Topaz Denoise, Topaz BW Effects, Topaz Lens Effects.

This is the BEFORE RAW Image 0Ev of a three image set.

Step 1, The Raw image is brought into Photoshop Elements in Camera Raw. This was one image from a three shot HDR I selected the 0 EV image.
Step 2, Selected AUTO for Camera Raw presets, I wanted to see what Camera Raw could do. Camera RAW did correct the White Balance issue with the lighting, once auto correct was complete, I OPENED the image inside Elements 10.

Step 3, I reszied my image to a small image, this allows your Topaz to run MUCH MUCH faster. I then duplicated the background layer.

Step 4, I selected Topaz Adjust 5 HDR Collection, Heavy Pop Grunge, TWICE!!

Step 5, I applied a MODERATE Topaz Denoise, this really smoothed out the image.

Step 6, I selected COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E to merge my layers to one image. My working layers remain.

Step 7, I now selected Topaz BW Effects, Traditional Collection Cool Tone 1. You now have a cool BW image, you can save a copy if you like what you see so far.

Step 8, With my BW preset now applied, I selected SCREEN for the blending mode, this really lightened up the image. I reduced the Opacity to around 20%. Now we are beginning to look like an HDR Image. You can adjust this to your taste. 20% may not work for you.

Step 9, I selected COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E to merge my layers to one image. My working layers remain.

Step 10. I like textures, 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 20%.

Step 11, I selected COMMAND, OPTION, SHIFT E again, I then select the Dodge Tool, I worked some of the shadows

Step 12, I did a High Pass Sharpen and reduced the sharpening to around 60%. I did not want a lot of detail.

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.


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