A Cheap HDR Trick

Posted on January 5, 2012 


I read this idea somewhere and then tried it. It’s a cheap way to create a high dynamic range photograph with only one exposure. As you’ll see, it’s a cheap trick.

Here’s how I did it. You may come up with another way.

Using Bridge, I create three copies of a file. I then imported them into Photomatix, which tells me that all three exposures are the same and asks me if I want to change and how much. I usually say 1 stop and Photomatix makes one exposure 1 stop over, another 1 stop under and keeps one at the original exposure.

I then process in Photomatix. The results are OK but are no substitute for getting multiple exposures in the first place, especially if what you want is a regular HDR photo. I didn’t like the HDR photo I created and used the painterly filter to “cover” for what I considered a less-than-satisfactory result.

Back in September, I opined about an HDR Hat Trick I had come up with and as I said then that if you’re able to shoot from a tripod, that’s better than the cheap trick outlined above or the hat trick.

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