How to prevent halos when tone mapping HDR images – A quick Tip Tuesday

Its rare (if ever) that I post the same picture 2 days in a row. While working on last nights post, or bonus post I should say, I began a small battle with the dreaded halos that can creep into your HDR process if you get too carried away. Its one of those things that you can easily overlook when getting started in this fun and creative world of tone mapping and processing your exposures, but over time (at least for most of us playing in this sandbox) its a look we like to steer clear of.

I should warn you, this post might be a little “geeky” for those that just tune in here for the image and the story.

I’ll carry on though…….

Seriously, so many names…..so many fallen. Sad isn’t it?

For all that fell

By the way, I was inspired by a post I say from Angella from AB Pan Photography in DC from a post and image she created from this exact spot. She had MUCH better cooperation with Mr. Sun and his army of clouds for her early morning shot, but it was still unbelievably peaceful to be there at the crack of dawn.

Check out her image here!

Just a quick note, I tweaked the verticalness (is that a word?) and a few other things before tonights export from lightroom, so you might see a few slight differences from last nights image. All created with a single raw file instead of an HDR bracket I might add.

More on that in a future video 🙂

I kinda like the ole’ newspaper black and white approach below as well.

Many ways to tell the story.

For all that fell-2

So, getting back to this whole “halo” thing, I included a bracket from Photomatix below that was overcooked (ya think!) with a couple red arrows pointing to exactly what I am talking about. There are several ways to actually get rid of them, but the easiest way is to eliminate them from the get go! I chat a bit about that in todays quick tip video below.

For my shot above, although I bracketed the shots, I was much happier with the effect I got out of the single raw file. Sure the HDR tone mapping effect can bring details to all of the shadows but sometimes there is more power in having those shadows hide some of that detail.

Again, a personal preference and all part of the creative path.

Enjoy yours!

Bad Halos

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Or watch the video here!

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