HDR Soft Photomatix / Photoshop Urban Exploration HDR Tutorial

Author Ms sophos9 - Last updated: 17.03.2012

Our members wanted to know more about HDR and the processing techniques often used to compliment urban exploration images…….

So an experiment was developed….. a set of images was donated, each person taking part downloaded these images, and processed them as they wished, the only condition was that HDR was part of it. Each person taking part was asked to keep track of the settings they used….. enter the image into a gallery, where each image could be rated and the most popular choice would be featured on the Talk Urbex website along with a tutorial of how the image was created…..

Sooooooooo here’s the image (we were given 9 exposures, this one is the correctly exposed one)…..


…..my HDR processing…..


…..and here’s my HDR tutorial, each step is accompanied with an image showing layer settings, opacity etc.

1. Open images in Photomatix Pro, choose settings.


2. Adjust Sliders.



3. Save

4. Open image in Photoshop (I used CS5), clicking on Filter > Lens Correction > Custom, adjust the vignette sliders (I adjusted to Amount -70 & Midpoint +30)



5.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels


6.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Threshold


7.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast


8.Duplicate image, make sure ‘Layer 0’ is highlighted in the layer window and then click Layer > Duplicate Layer


9.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter


10.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels


11.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves


12.Add new adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation


13.Finally the piece of window in the top left corner bothered me, so I painted it out by creating a new layer (Layer > New Layer), and taking a colour sample of the area around it, then on the new layer a just painted over the bit I didn’t like.



And there we have it.


Hope you guys find this helpful… if you have any questions please ask them here.

View the original competition thread here and you can see all the entries in this gallery.

If you have a tutorial you would like to see, then please let us know here.

Photomatix is the tool we mostly use, you can check out their site here and also, forum members get 20% off this product


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