View Full Version : Tutorial: Creating a 'Pseudo' HDR type effect using only LightRoom

17th January 2008, 07:07 PM
Creating a 'Pseudo' HDR type effect using only LightRoom

OK, here's a stab at a short tutorial where I will show you something I regulary try out using LightRoom. I saw a similar effect on a site somewhere (can't remember exactly where) and have remembered bits of it, and adjusted to my taste - which you should do also, as everyones tastes differ a lot of course.

It should be noted here that this effect works better on certain type of images, I have tried it on many different image types - some on which it works fine, some on which it works very well, and others on which is looks awful. Please don't flame me with criticisms if it doesn't work for your image - just perhaps try adjusting some of the other settings in LightRoom to see if you can achieve the desired effect you are after. So, following that disclaimer, here we go... :)

I am going to start with a nice image of the inside of a church as it is on this type of image (for me) that the effect tends to work well, with better results being obtained.

Here's the starting image: no USM, no WB auto or leveling.... just the RAW as taken, but reduced to 800px on longest side, exported as jpg and uploaded to web gallery here.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/553/HDR_effect_lightroom_original-1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1985)

Now, in LightRoom, I am going to adjust several parameters to unusual levels;

1 - put the Recovery to maximum
2 - put the Fill Light to maximum
3 - put the Contrast to maximum

Yes, the image looks horrid, absolutely horrid...
Next adjust the following parameters:

4 - set the Vibrance to +49 (or whatever suits your taste)
5 - set the Saturation to +21 (or whatever suits your taste)
6 - Increase the Blacks up to +64
7 - Now select the Temperature to 3702

I then adjusted the Brightness slightly to suit, then changed the Point Curve (in Tone Curve) to Strong Contrast.

Again, amend these values to suit, and with the settings I have used above, as shown in this poor jpg screen grab:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/553/HDR_Lightroom_Settings-jpg.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1986)

I ended up with this image:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/553/HDR_effect_lightroom_final-2-2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1987)

Voila!! Hope you can put this effect to good use, credit must go too to the person who I originally saw applying a similar effect to one of his images.

I have simply used this effect several times - and this is the bits that I remember.

Enjoy... :)

18th January 2008, 12:45 AM
thanks john, the only crtisism that i have for your picture which i didnt notice before, is the roof has a blue tinge now, other than that i like it and will definatly be giving it a try :D


18th January 2008, 10:07 AM
Hi john,

Thanks for the tutorial. I have given it a whirl and got a poorish result. This is probably due to the wrong type of image selected and not being adept in lightroom yet. I shall try again later when I have gained more experience/knowledge of lightroom.