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Lightroom Editing Series Other Photography Photography Tips and Tricks

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

You transfer your pictures from your camera onto your computer. You take a look at them and some of them just don’t look the way you thought they would — underexposed, a little out of focus, dull… Fortunately, Lightroom is here for you.

Adobe Lightroom is a great tool to make, or rather fake, the HDR look using only one picture. Not only is it extremely simple to do, but it only requires fiddling with the basic sliders.

Let’s get started!

(I am assuming that you already know how to import pictures into Lightroom and get into the Develop module. See you there! A complete guide for Lightroom for beginners is coming soon… patience.)

First of all, I like to start with the Highlights and the Shadows. The sliders can be found under the Basic tab. For the HDR look, I bring down the Highlights slider to -100 and set the Shadows slider to +100. This will bring back details in the picture (and dynamic range). It might look washed out for now, but don’t worry, we will take care of that in just a second!

*Do not abuse this HDR technique. It may be a quick fix but nothing remedies crappy technique. Sincerely. *

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Other Photography Tips and Tricks Urban Photography

Photography Tips and Tricks #7 : Use a Flash for Snow Photography

Snow with flash
Snow with flash

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Photography in the wintertime is, and always is, a tricky challenge. Not only do you have to brave the cold weather (with your fogged lenses too), deal with shorter batteries (since they don’t last as long in the cold), but falling snow is also a major part of the equation. Yes, snow can ruin your camera and equipment, but it can also yield beautiful images. That is, with this ONE simple trick. Use a flash for snow photography.

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Photography Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #6: Shoot in Live View on Tripod

San Francisco Cityscape
San Francisco Cityscape by David Yu (Flickr)

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Although the real-time optical finder in DSLR’s is hugely useful, there are times where using Live View is a wiser choice. While walkaround photography is perfectly suited to quick OVF (and EVF’s), slow-paced photography on a tripod is better done with an LCD in Live view mode. Why?

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Macro Photography Other Photography Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #5: Use a Spray Bottle for Better Flower Shots

Dew Droplets

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When it comes down to macro photography, dew drops can go a long way of enchanting a picture. In many cases, a picture will not even look half as good without dew drops that instinctively draw one’s eye on the subject. Are there photographers really raining after each rainstorm and/or waking up at 6 AM to get precious water droplets on their flower shots? While some surely do, most photographers don’t because there is a better technique for adding dew drops… a spray bottle.

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Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #4 : Use Lightroom Camera Calibration for Better Blues

Calibration

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There are many ways to enchance the sky in landscapes. Some people like to boost vibrance or saturation alltogether, while others like to underxpose highlights. Some people like to add GND filters, while others like to use HSL pane or even tone curves for better blues.

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Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #3: Don’t Understimate the Blue Hour

Manhattan Skyline
Manhattan Skyline at Blue Hour

 

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While many photographers appreciate shooting during the golden hour, where the sun is low compared to the horizon, giving a golden tone to images, equally many photographers tend to overlook the blue hour that comes immediately after it. Although there are precise ways you can calculate the blue hour period, as a general rule of thumb, the blue hour is the hour immediately after the sun dissapears from the horizon, akin to how the golden hour is the hour immediately before the sun sets.

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Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #2: Always Check Your SD Cards Before Shooting

Fuji X-Pro1 SD Card
Don’t let that happen to you.

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Yes. I know what you think. Dead obvious ridiculous. I used to laugh at that advice too, until the day I forgot my own SD card in my computer for a 2 day trip. 

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Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #1: Use Auto ISO for Better Results

Manhattan at Night

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There used to be a time where people had to shoot with tripods during daytime, when ISO 50, 25 or even below were common values for film speeds. But of course, digital changed everything. You no longer had to change a whole roll of film to change your film speed (aka ISO sensitivity), since the sensor itself could adjust its sensitivity all by itself.