- Straighten, Crop, Clean-up
- Decrease Noise
- Set a Black & White point
- Balance your Tone
- Sharpen Your Image
Sharpening your image
Making an HDR can bring out a lot of detail in an image, but that is “Tonal” detail. It doesn’t necessarily mean our image is Sharp. In fact the HDR process itself can soften an image. It may be from just the process, but we can also get softness from: the alignment of images, or the deghosting of images. We can even get some softness with any chromatic aberration fixes we do. And then there is the simple fact that straight out of the camera, raw images are not that sharp and require some post processing sharpening. I like to do it at the end of processing however instead of before I merge images. I also sharpen an image depending on the size of the image and how it will be used, Printed or web display as I talk about in this article devoted strictly to sharpening.
You can sharpen an image much ways. You can use sharpening tools in Lightroom, Or you can use some of the sharpening filters in Photoshop such as Un-sharp Mask or Smart Sharpening.
If you want to get a little more advanced, you can look into “HighPass” sharpening as discussed here.
And finally you may want to look at some of the sophisticated sharpening tools and plug-ins such as:
- Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0
- Topaz Labs Detail 2
Which ever way you choose to do it a little sharpening goes a long way to take your HDR from Ehh to wow!
And that concludes 5 Quick Ways to better HDRs. I hope they help you to refine your images and give them that little extra that gets you more and better comments on your work wherever you share it