HDR Experiment

  OK, so I've been playing around with fake-HDR, right? That's creating an HDR looking picture from just one JPEG. Most of you iPhone users know about HDR from our camera phone.By the way.. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It basically takes two pictures, melds them together shoving more pixels into a small space while achieving a large range in color, contrast and shading. You wind up with a picture that is not possible with one picture using one exposure.  Personally I think the result is a picture that is closer to what the naked eye sees and sometimes even better. That's why I think  this niche in photography has taken off. It creates photos that are surreal. I just have two issues that i'm working around. 
1. My camera doesn't shot in RAW format. According to many of the tutorials, you'll get the best result using a raw format picture.
2. My Photoshop software appears to be outdated, so no HDR support.


I also don't know what i'm doing (Gamma curves, shading and tone really do matter. )
   So because my software is outdated the HDR process includes a series of Matte photos, color corrections, Masks.. etc.  So I tried to find the easy way out- downloading a plugin. I started with the trial version to see what it was all about. So far, I'm not impressed. I did a better job on my own. The sky looks all funky in the finished product. The Colors are great. It might just be user error though. 

 I think my next step is to throw the camera on a tripod and actually Use some bracketing to shoot the same shot in three exposures. There are a bunch of HDR tutorials out there mostly for  Photoshop CS3 and Elements 9. I'm stuck with Elements 6. I found one good tutorial, but i'm not loving it. Let me know what you think. Maybe I'll get into the technical details later. 


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