Lecture 106

High Dynamic Range & Panoramic Photography
“Introduction to Masking”

<< Lecture 105 - Blending Modes in Photoshop    |    Lecture 107 - HDR & Panoramic Images >>

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Lecture 106 Practice:


In lecture today, we discussed high dynamic range (HDR) photography and tonal mapping software. We also discussed Panoramic images and stitching software. In this exercise, you will use Photoshop to combine a bracketed set of images to make one High Dynamic Range Image. You will again use Photoshop to combine 3 or more images together to form a panoramic image. You will then process the resulting images using Adjustment Layers and or selective masking.

Part 1:

  • Using either the bracketed images you shot in Exercise 103 (this is preferred) or the collection of images I posted to the course website, follow Photoshop 1.8 [HDR images] to merge your images to a single HDR image.
  • Create an adjustment layer using: Layer>New Adjustment Layer> (Select the type of adjustment you wish to apply). (Photoshop Tutorials 1.1-1.5) You may wish to try/apply any or all of the following:
    • Levels: To adjust black point and white point while redistributing colors across histogram (Photoshop 1.2 [levels]).
    • Curves: Selectively lighten or darken the image (Photoshop 1.3 [curves]).
    • Channel Mixer: Add some pop to the image (Photoshop 1.4 [pop]) or make the image monochrome (Photoshop 1.1 [black & white]).
    • Selective Color: Work with specific color ranges to correct color casting, darken or lighten colors.
    • Hue/Saturation: Change saturation of a given color range or change the lightness of a specific color range (sky for example)
  • Use Layer Blending Modes (Photoshop 1.24 [blending modes]) to enhance your HDR photograph.
  • Use simple masks to define where a particular adjustment occurs. (Photoshop 1.10 [masks on adjustment layers])
  • Make sure to save your .psd Photoshop file for later editing!
  • Save the file using File>Save for Web...

Part 2:

  • Using either the panoramic images you shot in Exercise 103 or the sample images on the course website, follow Photoshop 1.7 [panoramas] to stitch the images together.
    • Note: You will likely find this method works best with small groups of images. As the number of images you try to stitch increases, you will have better results using Hugin. For instructions on stitching with Hugin, follow Digital Life 0.14 [hugin].
  • Perform adjustments as necessary (B&W, Curves, Levels, Pop, etc.) in Photoshop
  • Save the file (Photoshop 1.6 [save to web]) by first adjusting the image size to have a width of 2048 px (Image>Image Size...), then use the File>Save
  • For Web & Devices... menu item to save your file. You may also elect to add some text in the black space at the bottom of your image (like your name).
  • Please perform any adjustments you feel are necessary and (as you did in part 1) use simple masks to improve the results.

Part 3:

  • Post your resulting images to the web in one post.

About the Author:

Grant Adams

Associate Professor of Architecture
Diablo Valley College

www.youtube.com/digitaltoolsforarch | @270Photos | www.lulu.com/spotlight/dtfa  |  www.vimeo.com/grantadams