Well, I’ve covered all of the basics in my HDR process. Took the photos, sorted the photos, and did the initial processing of the photos. What else could there be?
Really, two more items only. The first is pretty simple. Re-importing the final shots back into Lightroom for ease of management down the road. That’s a pretty easy one. Once you’ve tone mapped and saved your HDR just drag them on into Lightroom once more. In my case I separate them out from the regular photos, just for the ease of finding them.
As you’ll see in the attached image, each of my collections in Ghost Towns is named. I’ve opened up the Vulture collection to show you two different subsets. Vulture HDR and VulturHDRsetup. The HDRsetup is hidden as VultureHD…. I think you get it though. From my trips to Vulture I shot 566 frames in total. And out of those I processed and liked 35 shots. Doesn’t mean they’re all winners, but that’s what I liked after 2 separate trips to the location.
The management opportunities in Lightroom2 abound!
After re-importing the nearly finalized versions there’s more you can do. Sure, you can be happy with the product you’ve walked away with, but there’s always room for a little more tweaking, a little more touching up. Lightroom2 offers you many options, and if you’re not satisfied with the simple editing capabilities there you can always export to Photoshop for the heavy lifting.
One major thing that I’ve noticed in HDR shots, especially ones outdoors, are those nasty little dust spots. On a standard shot they’re almost imperceptible, but in an HDR they can show through and eat up your sky! You could deal with those dust spots in Lightroom2 or in Photoshop, the choice is yours.
I have to say, my preference for dust spotting is still Photoshop. Yes, I love all things Lightroom, but I have more success and an easier time removing those spots in Photoshop. Bet some readers are shocked!
If you’re looking beyond simple corrections, looking to add or subtract from a shot then definitely keep Photoshop in mind. That’s the place where the magic can happen. And it’s easy to get to from Lightroom. A simple right click and select “Edit In”.
From Photoshop you’ve got many options. If you’re going beyond a simple dust spotting excursion I’d suggest editing a copy of the image, not the original. That way you retain the HDR you started with and can always return yourself to the beginning. Editing a copy is an easy selection from the “Edit In” menu. No trouble there!
There’s the wrap up on my personal HDR process. At some point down the road I’ll show you a few things that I’ve done on the Photoshop side when I really wanted to deal with the image further. There’s so much you can do there, and really it doesn’t have to be an HDR. Photoshop is a whole series of posts all to itself!