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Post Production – HDR and Digital Blending

St Mary's of Lastingham

Having had such a busy week, I am only now getting round to processing my images from last week and our long weekend in the Yorkshire Dales. A fantastic long weekend, but it being a biking trip the photography was limited.

During our exploring I made it a goal to visit a number of waterfalls. With the heavy rain earlier in the week the rivers were full and that meant the waterfalls were in full flow.

Without a tripod I was limited but I still tried to use long shutter speeds. I also bracketed extensively, as I was intending to HDR the images like the one above taken earlier in the year.

As I was going to HDR the images I set the camera to aperture priority. You want the aperture to stay fixed while the shutter speed changes, having the depth of field change will ruin your HDR image.

Recently I have been looking at a number of HDR images on line by other top photographers, and they often have a far better, more realistic quality then mine. In an effort to get a more real quality I have now started to combine HDR with digital blending techniques.

With the camera set for auto bracketing I fired off a number of shots then chose the above two, to combine for the HDR image. I then imported one of the orginal images and the produced HDR image into photoshop as two layers. I then, where I thought was necessary masked the HDR image to bring some of the qualities of the original file back.

The end result is still not realistic but still, for a HDR image I like it.

Watch out for the end of the month shot, I feel I will be using this technique again to produce my Photo of the Month! I’ll try my best to use digital blending to make it more realistic but with a hint of HDR.