Tuesday, July 17, 2012

HDR for Interior

In one of the webinar of Unified Color, the maker of HDR Expose 2,

the photographer, Michael James, lets out a little secret of how to balance the indoor white balance with the out door white balance in Photoshop.  I followed his suggestion and did an exercise myself.

Five bracket shots, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2  EV apart were shot with D700, all the tungsten colored lights inside the living room were turned on.  An additional image was shot using SB-910 flash mounted on the camera with the head pointed toward the ceiling.  The RAW files from the five bracket shots were directly imported into the HDR Expose 2 and a HDR image was created using the Optimal preset and saved as TIF file.  The RAW file of the flash photograph was brought to Capture NX2 to create a TIF file.  The two TIF files were then opened simultaneously in Photoshop CS4.

The flash image was "Select All", "Copy", "Paste" onto the HDR image as first layer with the HDR image as the base layer.  Both layers were then aligned together using "Auto-Align Layers...".  The first layer of flash image was then selected, the blend tap was change from "normal" to "color", a perfect white balanced image appeared, for both the indoor theme and the outdoor theme.  The layers were flattened (Flatten Image) and saved as a new TIF file.

The new file was further adjusted for color saturation, contrast and sharpness in Capture NX2.  Finally, the image was brought into PTLens for automatic lens distortion correction and slight rotation and prospective adjustment.  The final image was cropped by Capture NX2.

The outdoor theme may seems to have a little green tint, that is actually the color of the tinted glass on the patio.  The color of the sky and mountain above the tinted glass still has a good white balance.

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