Photoshop CS5 HDR Guide to Making Great Photography

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Photoshop CS5 is the most popular image processing application around the world. You can create a completely new image from scratch or just add some details to a photo. Once you try it, it will be difficult to stop using it.

However, the application is so powerful thanks to the number of third-party plugins that expand its features. Users use plugins as Photoshop tools without any noticeable difference in the workflow.

There are thousands of various plugins for Photoshop. When photographers start to study this program, they want to try them all.

Most of them promise one button to turn your photo into an artistic masterpiece offering a particular stylized treatment. But over time, there comes the understanding that it is a false path. In fact, the best digital artists and photographers whose photos look really stunning, do not use all the plugins, but choose only vital ones.

Success of photographers is predefined by deep knowledge of Photoshop, their eyes, their hands, only reliable plugins and graphics tablet. There is no magic, there is only hard work.

Photoshop CS5 HDR Guide to Making Great Photography

Creating HDR Effect: Photoshop CS5 Guide

One of essential plugins is an HDR software for merging bracketed photos into one fantastic picture. Photoshop supports merging tools, but it is a bit raw for now. I suppose, this feature will be improved in next versions of this app.

Aurora HDR Pro is the most popular application for creating high dynamic range shots. It is similar to Photoshop because it also does not have equal competitors.

The best feature of this software is possibility to use it as either a standalone app or as a Photoshop plugin. Using two best apps as a one program is a great way to improve your workflow.

Photoshop CS5 has a special Filter tab where you can find all most of plugins. Aurora is not an exception. To start using it, install it as any other application on your Mac and launch it. In the top Aurora HDR Pro drop down menu you will find Install plug-ins… line.

Choose it and install the plugin for Photoshop CS5. You can move right to creating HDR after you see a green word Installed. Click Done and close Aurora app window. You will not have to open it again until you decide to install this plugin for any other app.

Aurora HDR: Photoshop CS5 Plugin Use

Follow the step-by-step instruction below to create HDR photographs with Photoshop plugin.

  1. Make bracketed photos. Your goal is to capture all the details of the scene. Usually, photographers make three shots at -2/0/+2 EV to get under and over exposed photos. They will join into one single image by means of software. If you cannot take several photos, do not worry about that. It is sometimes impossible to do this, especially when we want to capture moving objects. An HDR Plugin will generate two more shots and merge them into one high range image.
  2. Photoshop CS5 HDR plugin is situated in Filter drop down menu. Open bracketed images in a new pp window and create a new layer for each image file. They must be visible, so check the corresponding icon. These layers will merge into one.
  3. Filter → Macphun software → Create HDR → Aurora HDR → you may tick Chromatic Aberration Reduction if required → Create HDR → do necessary adjustments → Apply → you are now back in Photoshop.
  4. Now you are free to do whatever you wish with this high dynamic range image file. It differs from other photos only by its quality and size.

Join the World of HDR Photography: Photoshop CS5

Have you ever thought you could capture bright moments of surrounding world by one blink of your eyes? You can see a nice scene when driving a car or riding a bike. How can a person catch and save this moment in these or similar situations? The answer is simple. Take a shot with any device you have.

If your Iphone is in your pocket, just slow down for a moment and move on. Rely on the Aurora HDR plugin features for creating magnificent images. One shot will be enough for this software to perform best results.

What can you do with Aurora HDR plugin for Photoshop CS5? There are technical and artistic specs that you can view below as a list.

Real-time image processing

The magic occurs in front of you, so just sit and watch it. However, the process takes so little time, that you can proceed right to further editing.

Revolutionary tone-mapping technology

Too much noise may easily spoil all your efforts by making your images grainy and dirty. If your source images are of poor quality, you will face the problem of noise in the final high dynamic range shot.

Aurora HDR provides a unique tool for removing such drawbacks without making grainy areas blurred. There are no other applications or plugins that could perform at least the same level of quality. Absence of noise and blurred areas make photos look natural and real.

Related Article: EasyHDR Review

One-click presets

What can be better than creating miracles with one mouse click? One click is done and you see a marvelous sea landscape with deep blue sky. Another click is done and you see a brilliant light blue sky with dark and thrilling sea storm.

Signature presets by Trey Ratcliff

Aurora users are granted with personal presets by a professional photographer. You can repeat his experience in HDR photography by choosing one of his presets.

If you want to find out what adjustments were made, have a look at the right sidebar. There you will notice highlighted controls that were changed in this very preset. You are free to do some additional changes if you need.

Built-in Layers & Masking

support of different blend modes for layers, custom texture overlays, luminosity masking, custom brush for selective editing, gradient masking tool, layer source changing, masking with brackets etc.

Tools for selective editing

You do not have to suffer from global changes in all image areas. Selective editing means you can adjust any feature to any specific picture ares, even if it is one pixel.