HDR Processing Techniques – A New Video Tutorial   25 comments

Pismo Beach pier sunset, image by Mark Patton, post-processed by Rob Hanson

Pier Pressure - Image by Mark "KonaFlyer" Patton


It’s finally here!

I’ve long wanted to create a video tutorial as a way of passing along ideas that others have contributed along the path of learning HDR processing. It took the urging of one Mark “Konaflyer” Patton to have me get down to business on the project. (Hence, the title of the image, “Pier Pressure.”) Mark had emailed, wanting to know how I achieved a certain “glossy” look to some of my HDR images. As it turns out, creating the video — and working on Mark’s brackets — was a lot more fun than I expected! Best of all, Mark has graciously agreed to let me post his image and the video for all to see in the interests of passing along knowledge to others. Thanks, Mark! Please be sure to visit Mark’s great Flickr photostream.

Perhaps… it was a bit too much fun. The resulting video turned out to be an hour long as I took Mark’s brackets from the original RAW files to the final product you see here. Although Mark has viewed this in its entirety, I had to break it into five different parts in order to satisfy the 15-minute restriction on YouTube.  That’s okay, I figure; In between segments you can get a cup of joe, slap yourself awake, or otherwise lift your spirits as we get down to some of the fine points of post-processing. I promise that next time I create a video, I’ll make it 15 minutes, or less.

I’ve included the embedded YouTube videos here. Later, when this blog post gets buried in the archives, you can access the videos via my Tutorials page. Or, if you’d like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can receive updates whenever new videos are posted.

You can view the videos directly from this blog page, or view them on YouTube. Either way, please remember to view them in 720p mode if your system is capable of that.

This is my first go at creating a video and posting it. So, if you see anything amiss, please let me know right away.  If you find anything useful or helpful in all of this, I’d love to hear about that as well. Comments and feedback are always welcomed here.

Cheers, and happy viewing.


Part 1: Includes Introduction, Image Analysis, Creating multiple tonemaps in Photomatix Pro


Part 2: Includes Layering & Blending Tonemap Files in Photoshop CS5, Image Cleanup Techniques


Part 3: Includes Defringing, Denoise, LAHR Sharpening


Part 4: Includes Nik Color Efex Pro, Color Fixing


Part 5: Includes Cropping, Finishing, Output Sharpening, Saving, and Conclusion

25 responses to “HDR Processing Techniques – A New Video Tutorial

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  1. Outstanding! The wizard pulls back the curtains…

  2. Can’t wait to check them out!

  3. Awesome work Rob… I can’t believe the work you put into this anyways. I’ve only manage to get halfway through the first video. I’m going to have to blovk out some time just to watch the rest of it which I don’t have because I have a e-book to finish up!

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  5. Hey Rob.. haven’t seen the blog since you first started it quite a while back. It looks great and the tutorial is so well done! Awesome job on it!

    Richard (oldhickory)
  6. Thanks, all, for visiting and commenting. The video was fun to create! I hope you enjoy working your way through it, and please know that I always welcome comments and feedback.

  7. I know what I’m watching tonight!

  8. WOW! Thank you so much for taking the time on this! The fringing technique is fantastic!

  9. Fantastic tutorial Rob! Where did you get the time?!

    Thanks for publishing this – really useful to us learning the HDR trade.

  10. Fantastic Rob! We’ve been away the past week and I just discovered this little gem of yours yesterday. Watched the first segment and wanted to comment. This is definitely your calling and you really should pursue this venue as well as publishing a book (as we’ve discussed in the past). Thanks again… I look forward to picking up on your little nuggets of wisdom!

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  12. Thank you Rob.
    I wanted to make sure I commented on this post to say a proper thanks for sharing your techniques, tips & tricks and for the time you put into this, however, I ran out of time yesterday after watching the videos and trying it out on my own brackets. It is so cool to see an image develop right before your eyes with a few well placed filters and brush strokes. I had so much fun.
    ..thanks! 🙂
    I hope you will find time to do more some day.

    • Jan — Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You’ve done quite well with these techniques, as evidenced by your recent blog post.

      I do plan to offer more of these videos in the future, so thanks for the encouragement.

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  14. wow man, thanks! Never thought about inverting the layer. I always did it the hard way 😦

    Funny though, many times during the tut I thought it looked fine. Everyone a different eye though. Fantastic job!

  15. Wow! Great tutorial – really great to see how you bring something together, especially for all the wanna-be HDR photographers out there. The finer details you spend time on is what I need to learn! Awesome 🙂

  16. Wow, this is fantastic. How generous to share such a detailed workflow! I learned a ton. I’ve stopped by your blog every once in a while and learned something every time, but you’ve outdone yourself. thanks!

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