On my last tutorial I received many comments on how changing the exposure level of a single raw file then creating an HDR image is not a ‘true’ HDR image. So I shot a bracketed self portrait and generated a new tutorial. This is the image that resulted.
I am not sure how letting the computer in my camera do the bracketing is any less ‘true’ than doing the same thing manually in Lightroom or Photoshop. But, I come from a purist photography background; as in I shot film, developed film and have lost years of my life in a dark room (go into the darkroom at 7 in the morning and come out and it’s still 7am, on a different day!), and I am actually fond of the smell of fixer.
I will admit that there are many, many photographs out there today that don’t look anywhere close to real. Some are meant to look that way but many more try to pass themselves off as some type of surreal reality. I want people to know that you can achieve some very true to life images using HDR processing.
This morning I took many self portraits while bracketing 1/3 to a full stop. I shot sets of 3, 5 and 7 frames. I found that when doing self portraits it is a bit more difficult to sit still than you think it is. I was using a programmable shutter release (Nikon’s MC-36), my D200, one SB800 with a grid spot, and one SB900 for fill and of course a tripod.
In the tutorial below I start out with the three bracketed images and using Adobe Lightroom2, Photoshop CS4, Photomatix Pro3 and Imagenomic Noiseware Pro and I make what I think is a very true HDR self portrait. I do it all in about 15 minutes too! It’s actually very easy. Check it out! (tutorial should open in a new tab/window)
This tutorial won’t fit on YouTube so if you want to share it, feel free but send your friends to this blog post.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I think this should satisfy all those that wanted a ‘True HDR Portrait’.
Until next time,