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Let there be light! with HDR

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Let there be light! with HDR

Samantha McNelis

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There are many different ways of editing photos using Adobe Photoshop. There is a very simple way to make your photos more detailed and complex, giving them a Higher Dynamic Range.

What does that mean, you may ask? Well, HDR gives photos a more complex and structured look. Using Photoshop, you will be able to give your photos a crisp, detailed look in less than two minutes and less than 12 steps! Here’s what you need to do:

1. Open an image in Photoshop

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.32.12 PM

2. Duplicate the background layer of the image

   – name that layer ‘Black and White’

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.33.03 PM

3. Change the format of ‘Black and White’ from normal to overlay

   – option available in “layers”

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.20.02 PM

4. Desaturate the photo

   – Image → adjustments → desaturate

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.34.15 PM

The shortcut is ‘Command-Shift-U”

5. Invert the photo

   – Image → adjustment → invert

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.24.31 PM

   – The shortcut is ‘Command-I’

6. Blur the photo

– Filter → Blur → Gaussian Blur

– Radius: 40 pixels

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.38.37 PM

7. Duplicate the background layer again

   – rename it ‘linear’

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.38.58 PM

8. Move the linear layer above the black and white layer

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.39.17 PM

9. Change the format of the layer  to ‘Linear Light’

10. Decrease the opacity to make it between 15% – 23%

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.40.03 PM

You’re done!

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.40.29 PM

In just 10 easy steps, your photos can transform from normal and unedited to crisp and detailed!

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Let there be light! with HDR