In today’s episode, I take a quick look at a range of high dynamic range (HDR) techniques. From working with single images to merging multiple exposures, HDR techniques can give your photographs an interesting look. You can vary this look from the extremely natural to the intensely surreal.
Of the 55 filters in Color Efex Pro 4, one of the most versatile is “Glamour Glow.” This filter creates a softening effect with a mild glow that is most often used in portraits. However, I’ve found it to be a perfect choice for smoothing out skies in HDR images and landscapes. To get this effect, you’ll want to add the Glamour Glow filter in Color Efex Pro 4 and dial up the saturation slider a bit. Then, use Control Points to restrict the effect to just the sky. You may need to use a combination of plus (+) and minus (-) Control Points to get the look just right.
Here’s a video tutorial of how I use Glamour Glow on HDR/Landscape images:
Colorado Springs is home to the United States Air Force Academy, and this week is graduation. To celebrate the event, a group of WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force arrived in town on Monday. These beautifully restored aircraft were on public display, so I grabbed my Nikon D4, 16-35mm f/4 AFS G VRII lens and went to check it out. Shooting in mid-day light isn’t the best scenario, but I was able to use the D4 to capture ±2EV bracketed sequences in continuous high-speed advance mode at 10fps. I processed the images using HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished the image in Color Efex Pro 4 (part of the Nik Collection).
I loved this old tree in Colonial Williamsburg. The problem was that the morning sun was in my face. Had I shot this tree from the other side, I would have had a distracting background. Therefore, I decided to shoot it as an HDR. I used a 7-shot (±3EV) bracket on the Nikon D800e, and I stopped down to f/16 to create the starburst pattern in the sun. I tone-mapped the image in HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished it off in Photoshop with Color Efex Pro 4 and some minor layer tweaks.
The Nik Collection now includes all six pro plug-ins by Nik Software for a new low price.