Create Stunning HDR with Photoshop Elements

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In recent years, the spread of digital photography made the creation of HDR-images popular (maybe even too popular). Let us talk about how to obtain such images in the amateur version of Photoshop called Photoshop Elements.

But first, let’s figure out what HDR is. What does this abbreviation mean? Imagine that you’re shooting the yard of your house from the window of your room on a bright sunny day.  You want the details of the photo to be clearly visible.

The walls of the room, paintings hanging on them and other attributes of a beautiful life should not go black on your screen.

You are likely to fail capturing all the details of a bright window view and the interior details no matter how cool your camera is. There are only few digital cameras that are able to shoot HDR photos, but they still do not reach the range of human vision.

You will receive either a correctly exposed sunlit courtyard and absolutely black wall with a sunken like black hole components. Or vice versa, normally exposed walls of the room with perfectly visible paintings by Degas and Renoir and a white rectangle of the window with illuminated parts of the yard.

Create Stunning HDR with Photoshop Elements

Get the Most out of Photoshop Elements: HDR Tutorial

To reach brilliant results, we need to analyze and discover the reasons of falis and what we need to do to prevent them. Fails happen because the matrix of a digital camera does not support enough dynamic range for the simultaneous transmission of very bright and very dark areas of the image.

The difference in brightness is measured and the steps of it can be 10-12 degrees. Our eyes have a dynamic range of 12-14 degrees, the best black-and-white photographic film is up to 10 degrees, a slide film consists of 5 stages and the best matrix cameras provide 8 degrees.

To capture all the details of bright and dark areas of the scene, take the following steps:

  • If you do not have a tripod, switch the camera to a bracketing mode (for example, -1EV, 0EV, + 1EV or even more);
  • enable continuous shooting;
  • lock the camera in your hand;
  • press and hold the shutter button until it takes the series of photos.

Well, now we will move to Photoshop Elements (PSE). Starting with PSE 8 version, it has a tool called Photomerge Exposure. Of course, this is not a professional program like Aurora HDR Pro, but it is still able to imitate high dynamic range in photographs.

If you wish to get the most out of PSE and HDR photography, it is advisable to install third-party plugins.

How to Use Aurora HDR in Photoshop Elements

There is nothing easier than using Aurora as a plugin in PSE app window. It was created for fast and easy photo processing.

This software has no equal competitors in the market because you will not find such a wide range of features in any other application. Make few clicks and get the result. The steps below are easy to take and fast to complete:

  • Download and install Aurora HDR Pro as you do with any other application.
  • Open it → Aurora HDR Pro → Install Plug-ins… → Click Install button near Photoshop Elements Plugin line → wait until a green word Installed appears on the right.
  • Click Done and close Aurora HDr Pro app.
  • Open Photoshop Elements application → open bracketed photos or a single-exposure shot → Filter → Macphun Software → Create HDR → tick Chromatic Aberration Reduction if needed → Create HDR.
  • A new Aurora window will open with all available tools for editing the effect of a new high dynamic range photo.
  • You have two options now. The first is to add some more effects and the second is to jump back to PSE window by clicking Apply button.
  • You can do any manipulations with a new image as you usually do with any other pics. the difference is only is regaining maximum details of the scene. A new picture does not differ from the source images.

Photoshop Elements HDR Plugin Specs

A good HDR plugin should meet the needs of photographers and have a user friendly interface. Combination of two applications brings you new and unforgettable experience. Aurora HDR Pro plugin provides the following features for its users.

Fast and reliable processing engine

It takes about ten to fifteen seconds to open photos in PSE, do some mouse clicks and get a great HDR shot. This plugin never crashes, so you can fully rely on it.

Support of a wide range of file formats

No matter what device you use to take photos, it supports all common image files such as TIFF, RAW files, PNG and JPEG.

Ghosts removal tools

It is a very useful tool when you shoot something or someone when moving. If you do not tick this tool, you will see slightly visible figures in your final photograph.

They can easily spoil all your work, so choose the source image for removing ghosts and enjoy the result. The source image predefines the position of all the objects, so they will remain still in an HDR photo.

Layer-blending modes

You have enormous number of masking and layers tools with various blending modes. You can play with your pic and go extremely far away from its realistic view. You rule the process of image editing and it is you to choose how the high dynamic range photo will look like.

Merging HDR: Photoshop Elements Use

HDR Photography turns ordinary dull photos into masterpieces by just a few mouse clicks. Photoshop Elements is a simplified version of an image processing program. It has a limited number of tools and controls that you can expand with the help of third-party plugins.

To create catching high dynamic photos, download Aurora HDR Pro and use it as one of Filter tools as you are used to. Easy and fast merge leads to excellent HDR photography. You will never fail creating high range images with Aurora HDR Pro.