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Thread: Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

  1. #1

    Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    I am new to HDR and am trying to perfect my technique using PS CS6.
    My problem is that I get a big difference between the preview and the final processed image.
    After I make my adjustments using the preview image but when I submit this for the final processing the resulting final image is extremely different from the preview. It's too saturated and too much luminescence, among other things. The images are so different that the preview is useless for me.
    Any idea what's going on here?
    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    Hi Bob,

    I don't want to hijack your thread, but while I don't have an answer to your specific question, I have a suggestion. If you are concerned about unrealistic colors from HDR, I suggest trying an alternative. I used CS5's HDR pro literally only once, because I disliked the distorted colors. I settled on exposure fusion (google it) as an alternative to HDR. It combines the properly exposed portions of multiple images with very little, often no, visible distortion of colors. There are a variety of software options for doing fusion (one of the major HDR programs, I think Photomatix, has this as an option), but I use a Lightroom plugin called LR Enfuse. I'll post one example. Check out the turquoise sky in the first one. The rocks are also the wrong color.

    Dan

    CS5, HDR Pro, default settings:

    Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    LR enfuse, default settings:

    Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

  3. #3

    Re: Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    Thanks Dan, I'll check it out.
    But I'd still like to solve th PS problem.
    Nice photos BTW.

  4. #4

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    Re: Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    I have used the CS5 HDR option a few times. Ought to do a bit more with it sometimes but most of my shots aren't really suitable.

    I found that you must avoid any HDR default settings and learn how to 'do your own thing' with adjustments to create a result that suits your desired style.

    When done well, you can avoid the extremes and get results which look natural but slightly extend the tone range of the original.

    Try to prevent any excessive changes to white balance etc between your HDR shots.

    The method which I often use instead of the HDR auto creation is when shooting to extend the depth of focus etc but it can also be used to produce HDR results.

    Stack the photos and use the Auto Align option followed by Auto Blend. Although sometimes it is better to just align the images and do your own HDR merge by using layers and masks to select exactly what you wish to include in your final merge.

    Sometimes known as Handmade HDR and used in various ways by experienced photographers to give a photo that little bit extra without becoming excessive.

    It does take a bit of care to work with these masked layers and I suggest labeling each layer noting the applied effect.

    Well worth a bit of experimentation when you have a bit of time to spare - and a clear head.

  5. #5

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    Russell

    Re: Photoshop HDR merge preview vs final result dramatically different

    Hi, JMO. PS CS 5 or 6 is made with more in mind than HDR, HDR software is made for, well HDR!!! and so IMO you get a better result. Next question, What HDR software should I buy?
    That is your decision and the only way to get that is to download the FREE trial offers made by most if not all the HDR software developers. Try Photomatix, SNS-HDR etc etc.
    Russ

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