Road to Renewal: A Natural HDR Workflow

*Road to Renewal – After the Storm*

32-bit HDR, Lightroom, Topaz Clarity, Natural HDR workflow

Road to Renewal – A more natural HDR process with a boost from Topaz Clarity

I used a new workflow for this image. Not too long ago they made Lightroom capable of handling 32-bit HDR images. So instead of finishing in Photomatix I actually finished this in Lightroom then tweaked in a new program called Topaz Clarity.

Here’s the workflow:
1) Export bracketed set (5 in this case) from Lightroom to Photomatix. Photoshop HDR works as well I hear but I don’t think HDR Efex Pro works because it doesn’t allow you to save the 32-bit file. If someone knows how I’d love to hear about it.
2) The key in exporting to Photomatix is to select the “Show intermediary 32-bit file” or something like that and I always save as a TIFF file.
3) Once the window pops up be sure to do any de-ghosting that is needed. This is your one and only chance.
4) Once the HDR file pops up you’ll need to go to the file menu to save it.
5) Go back to Lightroom and Import the file from the source folder back into that same folder. I wish it would automatically reimport.
6) Once that’s done you can adjust the basic sliders. It seems that a great deal of info lies outside the histogram. So even if it is over or under exposed make your exposure adjustments and also reduce highlights and bump shadows to the extremes if needed.
7) Continue tweaking how you normally would. You can then send to any specialty programs. I used the new Topaz Clarity to add some drama to the clouds.

I really like the natural look achieved here with some flare added to the sky.

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