Thursday, 11 March 2010

Creating an illustrative look using Pseudo HDR techniques

Here's a recipe from tour member Ralph Hilmer you might like to try to create an awesome painted look in your work.
This is a shot of the Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi - a fascinating place on its own. Ralph shot a single RAW file and created a pseudo HDR effect using Photomatix Pro (see below for the recipe).

Step One: Shoot the image in RAW
Step Two: Convert to Pseudo HDR using Photomatix
Step Three: Hit the Tone Mapping button
Then choose these settings:
Strength: 70
Colour Saturation: 39
Luminosity: +2.5
Microcontrast -9
Smoothing: Light Mode set to LOW
Tone Settings: White point +10
Black Point: 3.35
Gamma: 0.966
Colour Settings: Temperature: +1
Saturation Highlights: 0.6
Saturation Shadows: -4.4
Save into Photoshop then add a Curves Adjustment Layer

These worked brilliantly for this particular image - there are no guarantees for any other image so you might have to play with it to get it right. 
Big TIP: If you hit a good Photomatix Pro recipe, SAVE it using the preset drop-down menu and replay it on other images by calling back using the LOAD command in the same preset menu. OR you can try using one of Photomatix's presets like Grunge or Painterly.
(Thanks to Ralph Hilmer for his image)

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