RAW Image Processing...
A Popular Photography and Imaging Tutorial
A "how-to" on RAW image processing and the fake HDR digital photography technique are found on this page.
If you want to convert a single file into HDR, you can process it through Photomatix.
Just drag and drop your RAW photo onto Photomatix's empty grey screen and it starts converting the RAW file into a pseudo-HDR image.
Press OK and you're off to the tonemapping. For the purpose of this digital photography technique tutorial, I used the tonemapping default setting in Photomatix.
The Sussex train station is our popular photography and imaging example. It was a warm, snowy evening with a pink/purple cast. I shot three exposures in RAW.
Here is the single file conversion...
We have three things going on in this RAW image processing experiment: the aforementioned single file conversion, a multiple-exposure blend from a single file and a regular HDR generation from three exposures.
You can do a multiple-exposure blend through a RAW converter that most likely came with your digital camera's software package. I dragged and dropped the file onto Photoshop and the converter took over (see below).
I chose my mid-ground RAW photo of the train station and figured in exposures from -2 to +2 to make five separate TIFF files.
Basically, put the exposure slider to -2 and save the file; put the slider at -1 and save the file; 0...; +1...; and +2. Now you have five differently exposed files you can load into Photomatix.
Put your five files through the Batch Processing mode in Photomatix. Its dialog box gives you lots of choices, but I decided to let Photomatix do the work and checked Blend exposures with Highlight and Shadow - Auto, chose the amount of images and source folder.
Photomatix spits out the blended photo in a folder within that five-files folder.
When you compare the single file conversion technique to normal method of HDR generation, the most noticeable difference is in the street light as the single file has less detail. We could use the darkest of the three, which would be better for the street light, but the grain and noise is more noticeable.
Regular HDR for this popular photography and imaging tutorial
Single file fake HDR
Interestingly, that multi-exposure blend from the single RAW image
isn't too shabby either.
Return from RAW Image Processing to the main Photomatix page.