I've been fine-tuning my HDR workflow and decided that it was evolved enough that I should outline it for posterity. I share it here in the chance that someone else might learn something from or teach me something about it. [what is HDR?]
HDR Photo Workflow
- Group HDR set images together in Adobe Bridge
- Review HDR sets . Give star-rating to desired candidates for easier retrieval.
- Discard individual images that are obviously out-of-range.
Process candidate sets in Camera RAW. Most of this can be done globally to the sets except step 3 ("correct chromatic aberration"). which should be double-checked on each image.
- Set White Balance
- Enhance Exposure
- Correct Chromatic Aberration as much a possible
- Process individual sets in Adobe Bridge to create the high-dynamic range image file via Tools/Photoshop/Merge to HDR*. Find something productive do while waiting. (*Even though "Process Collections in Photoshop" would be easier to invoke than babysitting "Merge to HDR", I don't like to use it because it follows some rules about what images to use that will often leave some out or result in more sets of fewer images than I desire.)
- Save merged image from Adobe Photoshop as HDR Radiance files following the naming convention:
Yearmonthday HDR – Genre – Location – HDRfile#_version#.hdr
20091106 HDR – Nature – Lake Creek Falls 1_0.hdr
- Tone-map HDR files in Photomatix Pro. Save tone-map settings for re-use if processing many similar images.
- Save as 16-bit TIFFs.
- Post-process TIFF files in Adobe Photoshop and save as PSD files (early and often).
Things to keep an eye out for while working the Adobe Photoshop mojo:
- Ghosting artifacts around moving objects
- Chromatic Aberration around areas of extreme contrast
- Grey, flat tones where local contrast has been over-equalized.
Hopefully this will have proved useful to someone other than myself. Please comment, I'd love to know your thoughts on shooting and processing High Dynamic Range photographs.