How to create Realistic HDR Images

I frequently get the question, “How do you create such amazingly realistic HDR images?”  Well in this tutorial I will walk you through the process that I use to create realistic amazing HDR images.

You can catch the video here on Youtube:  Tutorial How to Create Realistic HDR


Select your images

• At least three images 2 whole exposures apart
Middle correct exposure
Brighter overexposed image
Darker image

This gives you details of all the parts of the image to play with.

• I use RAW because there is so much more information in the images and the results are very impressive

Open your HDR Software and Process

I use HDRSoft’s product Photomatix Pro 5.0 again because of the great results.  Download and try Photomatix and it’s good to tell them that the trial is fully functional and never expires but adds watermarks.

Drag then into your HDR processing Software I use

Select “Merge for HDR processing”  and ok and ok again

Deselect Align Source because we always photograph with a tripod.

Select Show options to Remove Ghost.. that air plane may produce ghosts in our image…

Select Reduce Noise on Under exposed images.

Select Reduce Chromatic Aberrations for under exposed images… explain

If your color is not perfect you can adjust white balance here.. This is because we shot in RAW.

The airplane did not create a ghost so we do not need to do anything here..

Explain Ghost

This is where we get to play.

Check first Results

See the incredible amount of detail you have available to you now?

Look at the presents to the right
Demo the difference

But I do not use those.. Go to Default

Adjust Strength

Adjust color saturation

Adjust Detail Contrast

When you have what you like.. Hit Apply

Now you can do some final adjustments.

I generally add some contrast here..
Show details..
Select mild
Back that down to about 9

Then I sharpen..

Processing HDR generally softens the original focus quick a bit so you need to sharpen

Hit Done

Save the image.


Now if you want you can open it in Photoshop or your favorite tool and do some final clean up of the image.

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Until next time Get out and capture the adventure.

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website