Easily Enhance Your Photos With HDR Toning in Photoshop CS5

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Photoshop Fractals

HDR (High Dinamic Range) images are created using multiple photographs, each captured at a different exposure. It may happen you didn’t have the chance of shooting more than one image.. don’t worry, even if you haven’t got what’s needed to create a real HDR image, you can fake it.

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to enhance your images faking an HDR effect using the new HDR Toning command in Photoshop CS5. We’ll apply this effect to different images so you can see how this would work with different type of landscape shots.

About the Author

Carolina Creciente is a graphic designer based in Rosario, Argentina. Now runs her own Design Company OnOff! Solutions. Carolina is an Adobe Certified Expert and instructor of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Self-taught and extremely passionate about graphics and photo manipulation. You can see more of her work in Coroflot

Download and open the first image from Stock.xchng (requires free subscription to download). The image is quite big, you may leave it that way or simply reduce the size to something more easy to handle.

Go to Image > Adjustments > HDR Toning.

Start with a Default Preset and make sure Method is set to Local Adaptation.

On the HDR Toning window enter the following values:

Edge Glow: set Radius to 12 px and Strength to 1.40

Tone and Detail: set Gamma to 1.10 and Detail to +97%

Color: set Vibrance to +30% and Saturation to +20%

Click OK and that’s it. An extremely fast and easy way to enhance your images with a subtle HDR look.

 

Click on the image below to view it at full size.

Two More Examples

 

Open the second image and go to Image > Adjustments > HDR Toning

Start with a Default Preset and make sure Method is set to Local Adaptation.

On the HDR Toning window enter the following values:

Edge Glow: set Radius to 17 px and Strenghth to 0.51

Tone and Detail: set Gamma to 1.60, Exposure to -1.00, Detail to +175%, Shadow to +27% and Highlights to +23%

Color: set Vibrance to +70% and Saturation to +20%

Click OK. Your image should look like the one below.

 

Click on the image below to view it at full size.

 

Open the third image and go to Image > Adjustments > HDR Toning

Start with a Default Preset and make sure Method is set to Local Adaptation.

On the HDR Toning window enter the following values:

Edge Glow: set Radius to 40 px and Strength to 1.00

Tone and Detail: set Gamma to 1.10, Detail to +175%, Shadow to +30% and Highlights to -5%

Color: set Vibrance to +50% and Saturation to +20%

Click OK. Your image should look like this:

 

Click on the image below to view it at full size.

Want More HDR Control?

The new HDR Toning tool is an awesome addition to Photoshop. But sometimes you want more options to create a real HDR looking photo with a single image.

The amazing Topaz Adjust 4 Photoshop Plugin by Topaz Labs does exactly that. It provides you with an array of color enhancement tools that can help you tuning your image in ways you never imagined.

Take a look at the image comparison below:

Amazing, isn’t it? But don’t take my word for it. Just go to Topaz Adjust Photoshop Plugin page to check some other examples and download a free, fully functional, 30 days trial.

HDR Photography Books

Practical HDR: A complete guide to creating High Dynamic Range images with your Digital SLR

Practical HDR provides you with an abundance of step-by-step examples that will quickly make you an expert on the theory and practice of shooting and processing HDR images, allowing you to get the best possible results every time. Read More…

A World in HDR

High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this book, Trey shares his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He also reveals the techniques he used to get the final shot. Read More…

Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography

High Dynamic Range photography is the process of taking several pictures of a scene at various exposures, then merging them into one file. So the entire photo can look crisp and detailed, from highlights to midtones to shadows—and photographers needn’t sacrifice any part of their image. And the best way to master this exciting technology is with this thorough, easy-to-follow, and visually spectacular guide. Read More…

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