Photography Tutorial 14

HDR Photography Workflow Tutorial

http://linearliquid.wistia.com/medias/kqfiz809tg?embedType=iframe&videoWidth=640

 

This is my workflow and a tutorial for creating HDR images using Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro plugin. I create the HDR image in HDR Efex Pro then take the image back into Aperture for further tweaking and editing. Once again, this is just my personal workflow. I don’t claim it to be the correct or even the best workflow, but it works well for me. I hope you enjoy.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Nov 19, 2010 4:17 am

    Hi Kevin,

    I took the shot at the annual Wings Over Houston airshow. My dad and I try to go every year. I am a huge aviation fan and figured this would be the perfect avenue to try some HDR imagery.

  • Reply
    Kevin La Rue
    Nov 19, 2010 4:03 am

    Hi Andy,

    Just wanted to give you a quick shout-out to say "Thanks!" for sharing your workflow through HDR Efex Pro, Viveza, and Dfine. Nice that you took the time to help us see the complete workflow you traverse. As an aviation fan myself, I also dug your subject matter! (where did you take the original shot?).

    Thanks again, Kevin (from Nik Software)

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Dec 04, 2010 12:52 am

    Hi Steve,

    I start out with NEF files in Aperture, then when I import them into HDR Efex Pro they are converted to TIFFs. HDR Efex Pro will export them as TIFF back into Aperture. I try to stay with a RAW or TIFF workflow as much as possible. Yes, it does eat up some space, but with storage so cheap these days it isn't too much of a problem.

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Dec 04, 2010 4:01 am

    Hi Steveo,

    Thanks for watching and the compliment. I have experimented with full screen in the past, but that has been a while. I'll give it a try again, because, in all honesty, I had forgotten about it. Thanks for mentioning it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Dec 04, 2010 4:41 am

    Hello Dennis,

    I'm glad that I was able to help you come up with some ideas on how to start. I agree that the Nik plugins are excellent. They have certainly helped me to create the type of photography that I envision. I am thrilled that you like my little blog. I don't get to update it quite as much as I would like with work, school, and a family, but I am hoping to change that. I don't have a notification email system yet, but I do have an RSS feed that you can subscribe to. It is located on the right hand side of the screen. Just click on that little box, subscribe, and your RSS reader will be updated whenever I update the blog. Thanks for watching and reading.

  • Reply
    Steve Konrad
    Dec 04, 2010 12:32 am

    Great video. I'm an Aperture and Nik user myself so I really enjoyed picking up some new tips. I have one question on your HDR workflow. What file types do use use at the different points in your workflow. Do you start out with NEF's then go to TIFF's for HDR Efex Pro? Thanks.

  • Reply
    steveo
    Dec 04, 2010 3:39 am

    Hi Andy,
    Great workflow video, thanks. I've just bought the Nik suite and am still at the novie stage so to see someone else do it has been a great help. In the video you mention that you wished for a darker interface for Aperture – so do I ! This is what I do: select the image in the standard interface, type F to get it to full screen, type H to bring up the heads-up display for adjustments. Retouch and other items are hidden at the top of the screen, muse to the edge and you'll find them. The interface is nice and dark! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Dennis Zito
    Dec 04, 2010 4:34 am

    Hey Andy,

    Wow, very nice Tutorial! I have just started using HDR Efex Pro and having a problem determining where to start. Your tutorial has given me some great insight into start points. I love your work flow because it patterns after mine. I love the Nik Software and it has brought my photography and post work to the next level. This is the first time I've visited your web site and it's really great. Do you have a notification email that let's folks like myself know when you have add new videos or other material? If you do, please add my name.

    Again, GREAT tutorial!

    Dennis

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Dec 04, 2010 5:36 pm

    Hi Ken,

    I'm glad to see another Aperture user out there. It seems these days we are few and far between. I have found that since I started using these plugins my time in Photoshop has dropped significantly. I will still go to Photoshop for some things, but I can handle about 99% of what I want to do in Aperture. I had switched to Lightroom for a time because Aperture did not support my D300s, but I feel more at home with Aperture and find it handles the RAW conversion from my Nikon better than Adobe RAW.

    Stay tuned. I hope to do some more Aperture tutorials in the future. Thanks for watching, reading, and commenting.

  • Reply
    Andy Brown
    Dec 04, 2010 8:18 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I have never tried HDR Darkroom. I visited the site and it looks like it might be a really nice program that I might have to try. I have noticed the halo issue with some of these shots in HDR Efex Pro. Most of the time I don't mind too much, but if I'm going for a more realistic look instead of the surreal HDR shot then it is troublesome to get rid of. I have also used Photomatix and like it but have had some trouble getting the look I want. I still will use it from time to time if the halos are an issue. I am glad that we have so many tools at our disposal so we can create the images we want.

    Thanks for the comments and for visiting.

  • Reply
    Ken Rubenstein
    Dec 04, 2010 2:54 pm

    Thanks Andy. I too am an Aperture / Nik software user and you are one of the few showing them together. I am not a user of Photoshop and tired of all the PS posting using layers and cloning to correct the photos.

  • Reply
    Mark
    Dec 04, 2010 7:46 pm

    Thank you for the workflow tips. I really like the new NIK HDR program. I also use HDR Darkroom and Photomatix for my HDR processing. The main problem I have found with it, as is shown in this video, is the tremendous amount of halo effect that it produces. Much more than either HDR Darkroom or Photomatix. Your tip about using Viveza was very helpful in reducing the halos but NIK really needs to clean up HDR Efex to reduce or eliminate the halo problem.

  • Reply
    Kris Rossmiller
    Oct 24, 2012 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much! This really helped me define my workflow so I can be consistent with all of my photos. I worked on a photo as I followed along and this really opened my eyes. While I have Photoshop, I’m now considering switching to Aperture. Also liked how Define 2.0 reduced the noise and I will buy that tonight.

  • Reply
    Kris Rossmiller
    Oct 24, 2012 7:31 pm

    Do you ever have a need to Sharpen your HDR photos?

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