Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Photoshop HDR manipulation (Tutorial)

What is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In other words, HDR photos cover a large exposure range, allowing for deeper contrast in both shadows and highlights. HDR photos are striking to look at, but the effect can easily be overdone.

There are two basic types of HDR photos. The first are true HDR composite photos, created by taking multiple shots of a subject at different exposures and combining them. The second technique involves using Photoshop effects and adjusting the shadows, highlights, and other settings.

Easy Photoshop manipulation to create a HDR photo without the actual (time-taking) HDR process.

  • We'll call the original layer "ORIGINAL", now duplicate ORIGINAL and place it above that layer. (We'll call this "BLACKWHITE")
  • Change the Blending option of BLACKWHITE to "Overlay"
  • Go to Image > Adjustements > Desaturate (SHIFT + CTRL + U)
  • Now invert BLACKWHITE: Image > Adjustements > Invert (CTRL + I)
  • And add a gaussian Blur to it (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) around 40 pixels (This causes the so called 'bleeding' of the edges, tweak the amount to personal likings)
  • Now duplicate ORIGINAL and place it above BLACKWHITE, name this layer "LINEAR_LAYER"
  • Change the blending type of LINEAR_LAYER to "Linear Light"
  • Give LINEAR_LAYER an opacity around 62%. And you're done (For better results, tweak this percentage)

Stay Fabulous,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Zoom Burst

The technique is called zoom burst technique. For this, you’ll need a zoom lens, i.e. lenses where you can change the focal length. Lenses like 18-55mm, 70-300mm suit this requirement (i used my very own Not-so-good kit lens 18-105mm). A fixed focal length lens like 50mm F/1.8 is not a suitable candidate to apply the zoom burst technique.

In this technique, you will change the focal length of your photograph as you shoot. In other words, during the time your camera is taking the photograph i.e. your shutter is open, you will rotate the focal length dial of your zoom lens. You can either zoom-in or zoom-out. Rotating the focal length dial is dependent on how fast you can move your hand, so you will need to shoot in shutter priority or full manual mode so that you can set the exposure to a value that is suitable for your hand speed. Setup your exposure compensation or aperture accordingly.

This sudden change in focal length while the shutter is open is going to capture blurred streaks emanating from every pixel of your photograph. Now comes the second part which is to keep one object in the photograph in sharp focus. Ideally, you would want to keep this object in the center of your frame or you can manually setup your focus point too. Once you have set up the focus point, it’s very important that you can hold you camera (really) steady with one hand and use the other to rotate the focal length dial. Although I will strongly recommend using a tripod (which i haven't done for my shot).

To conclude, zoom-in or zoom-out by rotating the focal length dial of your zoom lens as the shutter is open to capture photographs using the zoom burst technique. Use manual or shutter priority mode to set exposure value that matches to how fast you can move your hand. And importantly, have fun experimenting!..cos that's the FUN PART of photography ;-).

Stay Fabulous,