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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to make HDR (High Dynamic Range) Images the quick and easy way

Often while surfing the Internet, Photo Blogs you come across some stunning landscape. You wish you could also capture photos like that. You do some digging around and come to know that the photo is of  HDR type (High Dynamic Range). You search the Internet for more info.. after few hours your head is full of so much technical jargon. You actually forget what you set out to do. 

It does not have to be this way. Today I will show you a step by step way to make your own HDR images. As always we will preffer to use Open Source tools and programs to do so. The program that we will use today is called Luminance HDR 2.0.2 It works under Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/?cat=5   To get the Source Code or Mac OS version

Download and install the version that fits the version of your O.S We will be using the Qt version on Fedora Linux, all the versions should look the same. Before we go on. Making good HDR images takes time and a lot of patience and experimentation. So enjoy and love the learning process. Now launch Luminance HDR 2.0.2 Click on New HDR Image. The HDR Creation Wizard will open.

Click on Next

Now Click on Load Image, you can choose Jpeg, PNG, GIF and even RAW files 
Select a file and choose Open.

Now change the EV value and Click Next.

Don't make any changes on this screen and Click Finish.

Now the Real experimentation begins, change the value of Mapping and see the change.

Now Click on Tone Map HDR Image (this will save the HDR image to a LDR format like Jpeg). Tone Mapping uses complex math algo to give it the HDR look. At this stage we have to select the size of the Image. You can keep the original size and re-size it. The bigger the size more time and CPU power is needed to make the HDR.Play around with the Operator Drop Down menu. See how the samples are rendered. Click of any one and Use Save As.


A Sample HDR Image that I made.This was a quick how to on how to create a HDR image using one file (jpeg/Raw). Remember it's all about the experimentation. Good luck

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