Streamlined HDR in Lightroom Workflow

I’m an enormous proponent of HDR pictures and use it each day. I make use of totally different HDR software program and varied enhancing methods to attain pure wanting and balanced HDR pictures.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom

Over time, the inspiration of my Pure Wanting HDR strategy was the workflow the place I used a mixture of Photoshop and Lightroom. Utilizing Photoshop HDR Professional, the module of Photoshop, to merge a number of pictures to HDR and Lightroom to use a customized enhancing approach to supply the ultimate look.

“Pure Wanting HDR Pictures Information” is, by far, the most well-liked tutorial on PhotoTraces.com the place I break down my favourite approach.

I extremely advocate that you simply try the “Pure Wanting HDR Pictures Information” the place I additionally reply the most typical questions in easy phrases. A number of the questions embody: “What precisely is HDR Pictures?” and “Why do I would like HDR?”

The approach requires a number of steps and, if I show them schematically, it seems like this:

Lightroom > Photoshop HDR Professional > Lightroom > Photoshop

Typically, the approach will not be too advanced nevertheless it requires each Lightroom and Photoshop, in addition to a number of steps to finish it.

HDR in Lightroom? Is that this for actual?

Not too long ago Adobe launched a brand new model of Lightroom, model 6 (learn my evaluation Adobe Lightroom 6 Overview – New Options). One of many largest addition that stunned many photographers was the Picture Merge HDR module built-in into Lightroom.

It grew to become the sport changer within the subject of HDR pictures. Not solely does the brand new processing technique bypasses Photoshop altogether, nevertheless it additionally saves an unlimited period of time on creating and enhancing HDR pictures.

The HDR in Lightroom is the fact now.

Initially, I used to be planning to replace my “Pure Wanting HDR Pictures Information” with the brand new Lightroom 6 HDR choice however, later I spotted that Lightroom HDR is one thing fully totally different that deserves its personal tutorial.

To proceed with this tutorial, all you want is Lightroom 6 or later. If you wish to observe me step-by-step, you may get the identical pictures that I used on this demonstration.

Obtain the supply RAW information beneath. Import them into Lightroom and you might be able to create your first HDR in Lightroom.

For Lightroom HDR tutorial, I chosen 3 bracketed pictures (-2; 0; +2) I took in Hawaii (O’ahu Island) whereas climbing alongside Hanauma Bay Rim Path early within the morning. I used Sony A6000 digicam and Sony 10-18mm lens on a tripod (FEISOL Event CT-3442).

That was my very first journey with the brand new gear after I switched from Canon DSLR to Sony Mirrorless.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom - Bracketed Shots

Earlier than you can begin with the tutorial that you must import demo photographs to Lightroom.

Step 1 – Picture Merge > HDR

In Lightroom, choose 3 bracketed photographs you propose to course of as HDR, proper click on (choice click on) and choose PHOTO MERGE > HDR…

Lightroom HDR - Using Lightroom Photo Merge Feature

You’ll be offered with the Lightroom’s new Picture Merge interface with HDR Choices.

As you may see the variety of HDR choices are very restricted in comparison with standalone HDR packages like Photomatix. On the identical time, I discover them (choices) to be very efficient and I by no means skilled the necessity for extra controls.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom 1

Auto Align – despite the fact that I used a tripod, I chosen this feature in case the sturdy wind brought on digicam motion between the pictures.

Auto Tone – when chosen, the Lightroom tries to routinely tone map picture by adjusting the publicity, recovering the shadows and the highlights. Since I’m planning to make use of my customized edits, I don’t care about this feature.

Deghost Quantity – I should not have shifting objects in my composition apart from the waving grass attributable to sturdy wind. I chosen LOW settings to permit some “ghosting” within the foreground, to have the ability to obtain the impact of lengthy publicity softness.

When you find yourself executed with the HDR Choices press MERGE button and Lightroom goes merge 3 bracketed pictures, create new HDR picture with the DNG extension and reserve it subsequent to the unique photographs. All executed routinely.

Beneath is the brand new HDR picture produced by Lightroom. As you may see it seems boring and unappealing and we now have to use Lightroom edits to deliver it to life.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom 2

Step 2 – Preset Based mostly Lightroom Modifying

To hurry up the method of enhancing and to have extra artistic choices, I made a decision to make use of Lightroom Presets Based mostly Modifying. The approach is predicated on making use of beforehand saved presets to the picture and selecting the right wanting model.

To observe alongside, that you must use my Free Lightroom Preset Assortment. For those who need assistance on the way to set up and use free presets, please verify my tutorial: Easy methods to Use PhotoTraces Free Lightroom Preset Assortment

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom 3
Preset: Pure

First, with just one click on I utilized Pure preset from my Free Lightroom Preset Assortment and later used ToolKit changes to superb tune the picture (for assist verify the tutorial).

Listed here are the precise enhancing steps I used to attain the ultimate look:

  • Pure preset
  • 08 Open Shadows ++
  • 20 Vibrance +
  • 23 Saturation 0
  • 38 Sky Blue Darker +

Modifying system: Pure (8, 20, 23, 38)

Preset: Finish Of Summer time

Modifying system: Finish of Summer time (4, 12, 15, 32)

Preset: HDR Mix

Modifying system: HDR Mix (12, 21, 40)

Preset: Hawaii Sundown

Modifying system: Hawaii Sundown (4, 8, 31, 40)

The next “seems” I managed to attain by utilizing my premium Landscapes Lightroom Preset Assortment Vol.1

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom 12
Preset: Tropical Morning

Modifying system: Tropical Morning (32, 40)

Preset: Damaged Clouds

Modifying system: Damaged Clouds (8, 11, 15, 31)

Preset: Pinkish Hue

Modifying system: Pinkish Hue (32)

Preset: Level Lobos

Modifying system: Level Lobos (5, 9, 12, 15, 40)

Preset: Skyshine

Modifying system: Skyshine (1, 9, 33)


Step 3 – Inventive Choice

As you may see, by utilizing Lightroom Preset Based mostly Modifying we managed to create 9 very distinctive “seems” in a really brief time period. Subsequent step is to pick the model we like one of the best.

My private desire is the “look” produced by Tropical Morning preset.

What’s your favourite “look”?

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom 23


The brand new Lightroom HDR module simplifies the method of making HDR pictures. It’s less expensive (no Photoshop required) and far easier. Together with the Lightroom Preset Modifying, the method of making HDR pictures turns into extra streamlined and fewer time-consuming.