Saturday, June 13, 2015

PhotoEditTools :: AfterShot’s HDR

Despite being a fan of HDR (used with restraint) and having had Version 2 of AfterShot pro for a while (and used it often), I actually had not got around to trying out its new HDR feature. I figured I’d work on this series of a stormy sky for this weeks PhotoFriday, perhaps HDR can enhance the drama of a coming storm?
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There are a three modes in which you can run the corel aftershot  HDR, and I will just used the conventional method of working with a set (three in this case) of bracketed exposure. To do that you simply select the photos you want and then right click and select the Edit with AfterShot HDR option. This takes you into a new window (and new process) shown above, which merges the three images into one with a wider dynamic range. At this point you have the ability to select individual photos as if the are layers and paint in or out details from that photo. I haven’t used this feature here but I can imagine it is going to be very useful.
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After you click on process you get a new panel which undertakes the tonemapping (it is called HDR Adjustments) and there are the typical series of garish Presets (the don’t have typical tone mapping names) but the all tend to overbake the effects, eg disturbingly contrasty and gritty or lurid false colours. They are not my style so I turned off the presets and underneath this filter panel are a series of more conventional tone sliders and I just lowered the shadows a little. Normally this is where many HDR systems would leave you but Aftershot HDR has another panel.
The third and final step in the Aftershot HDR, which is called fine tuning gives you access to a histogram with some basic tonal sliders. Lower down on this right hand panel are a number of other fine tunning tools. This is actually a smart idea because I normally take the HDR tonemapp and do some further “fine tunning” on it in say lightroom or perfect photo suite. I have aftershot pro on my laptops rather than the  lightroom/prefect photo heavy weights so this is going to be very useful. If you are happy with the tonemapped version you can just press the Save and close key at the bottom of the screen
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I should have tried this earlier.
Here is the photo after some extra post processing in Perfect Effects
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