Photoshop CS4 HDR Guide to Creating Perfect Photographs

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Photographers use Photoshop CS4 in their workflow. This application provides solutions to almost all the problems that photographers face when processing the images.

You can build up your own creation with this program or add a pleasant background to your photo. Photoshop performs multiple tasks at high speed and with best productivity.

Software developers can predict most common needs and requirements that photographers want their applications to meet. It is impossible to be perfect for everyone, that is why Photoshop CS4 supports integrating with third-party applications. One of such integration example is compatibility with Aurora HDR plugin.

Photoshop CS4 HDR Guide to Creating Perfect Photographs

Photoshop CS4 HDR Plugins

Mutual efforts of Trey Ratcliff and the team of programmers created a great application for merging several bracketed shots into one high dynamic range image. Its name is Aurora HDR Pro.

What is so special about Aurora HDR? You can launch it as a Photoshop CS4 plugin or use as a standalone program. If Photoshop is an inseparable part of your workflow, it will become a powerful extension to all the features of your favorite app. A new Filter tool will appear in few seconds after you install this plugin.

Before moving to instructions of using Aurora as a plugin, let us find out what HDR is and why we need it. High dynamic range is a term that we use to describe the amount of light or the level of brightness of the scene that we want to capture.

We can get a high range image from several shots with further post processing steps. To save all the details of one scene, you will need to take from one to ten shots depending on the type of scene. The higher the contrast between the darkest and the brightest areas is the greater number of shots is required.

Integrating Aurora HDR: Photoshop CS4 Guide

When you have your photographs ready, upload them onto your hard drive and get ready for creating something beautiful and amazing. First, you will need to download and install Aurora HDR. Keep in mind that only Pro version can be used as a plugin. Once you installed it, open Aurora HDR application window to set it as a Photoshop plugin.

Click on Aurora HDR Pro to show the drop down menu as you see in the photo below. You can have a brief look at Aurora controls in the right sidebar or jump right to installing the plugin. Click Install Plug-ins.

Find the line with Adobe Photoshop Plugin and click Install button on the left of it. One click is all that you have to do to start using Aurora plugin.

When you see a green word Installed, click Done and start enjoying the process of creation stunning photographs.

Create Your Best HDR: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Creating high dynamic range seems difficult or unclear until you try to make it with your own hands. Prepare the photos for editing and open Photoshop CS4.

Filter → Macphun Software → Create HDR → Aurora HDR → Chromatic Aberration Reduction (tick it only if you need it) → Create HDR → Adjust necessary effects → Apply → You are now back in Photoshop CS4 image processing window.

You may think that the tutorial is too short or incomplete. You can stay calm because the process of merging bracketed shots into one realistic HDR image takes few seconds and fe mouse clicks. Aurora provides reliable processing algorithms that make the final image look as a real scene.

If you aim at saving this natural effect, you just click Apply button. In this case, all the process will take about ten seconds or less depending on how fast you can click. If you want to improve the photo or add any specific effect, you are free to use any control or tool.

Aurora HDR Plugin Features

Let’s have a closer look at all the features that Arora plugin is able to perform. It would take days and nights to describe all the specs because their number is impressing. The main thing that you should always pay attention to when choosing the right app for creating HDR is tone mapping algorithms.

When the plugin generates an HDR photo, it becomes so big and with so many details that your screen will not be able to display it. There are only few screens that support displaying real high dynamic range photographs.

Tone mapping is an obligatory step for lowering the range so your screen could properly display it. Tone mapping algorithms influence the way your HDR photo will look and what effect it will provide.

Aurora HDR plugin is a powerful tool for expressing inner views and states through photography. It can turn dull pics into dramatic photography that will make you stay awake until the sunrise.

Developers of Photoshop CS4 made a wise decision by letting its users install third-party plugins. Get the most out of Photoshop with the help of Aurora HDR plugin for making splendid high dynamic range photographs.