Pseudo-HDR: Half-Assing Your Way To Fame And Fortune

We talked about HDRs before – they’re great, right?  The problem is you need three (or more pictures), you need to have your camera set up right, you need to bracket your shots (which might not happen automatically) and you need to take them all pretty quickly without anything moving between shots.  That’s hard, or at least inconvenient.  Well the good news is there is a way to fake an HDR from just one RAW file – something you might already have a stack of if you’ve got a DSLR.  Alright – let’s get going.

This morning I jumped out on the balcony all bright and early, just for you.  Yes you.  First, let’s go whole hog: Camera set to Av (aperture priority), I cranked out three bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2) of the sunrise.  I then use Photomatix Pro (which I said I don’t use) to combine them into a Tone Mapped HDR.  I’m using Photomatix here because Photoshop kinda chokes on this kind of thing and I wanted a comparable image.  Behold the magic picture below, in all its funny HDR glory.

Sunrise HDR

You wanna hear the rest of the story?  Hit the jump.

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  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1.6s