Photoshop CS5 Top 5: HDR Pro

Hey, gang. I just returned from the 75,000-strong Coachella music festival. And I’m here to confirm, while the concert was great, AT&T’s iPhone coverage was abysmal. My group’s attempts to communicate with each other met with complete and utter failure. For example, at 7:39pm (in the hopes that we could hook up to see Them Crooked Vultures), I texted a similarly iPhone-equipped buddy, “Wanna meet at the purple origami crane at 7:50?” He received my missive five hours later, long after we were safely ensconced at camp enjoying a beer. While hilarious in retrospect, it meant we missed each other all evening long.

But hey, enough off-topic bitching. (After all, what iPhone user doesn’t already know that AT&T’s coverage sucks?) Today’s post is about something infinitely more satisfying, a major new feature in Photoshop CS5.

This particular feature is the revamped-from-the-ground-up HDR Pro. Like the Merge to HDR feature in Photoshop CS4 and earlier, HDR Pro lets you combine two or more exposures of a single scene into an impossibly rendered composite, complete with wide-open shadows and richly detailed highlights. The big difference: Unlike Merge to HDR, which is about as easy to control and difficult to predict as an iPhone conversation, HDR Pro offers superb controls and delivers reliable results.

In today’s video, I demonstrate HDR Pro and its essential Remove Ghosts option using a series of photos captured on a bright snowy day inside a dimly lit barn. The first image below shows a single exposure that I shot with an Olympus E-3 digital SLR; the second image is eight exposures from that same camera combined with the new HDR Pro.

Enjoy HDR Pro today. I’ll get you pics from Coachella sometime in the near future.

Next entry:Photoshop CS5 Top 5: Refining Your Masks

Previous entry:Photoshop CS5 Top 5: Common-Sense Enhancements


  • Clear Type Font

    Hi Deke, I am Hok.

    I have seen your 5 tops Photoshop CS5. I have seen the pupet warp in 720p and the new painting in 360. Both of the video has a bit blury flashy font. In Photoshop menu or in the Windows. Does this only a problem for me only? Thank you.

  • Thanks

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial. But there is also another way to produce the fakery HDR layer.
    - copy the original to a new layer
    - convert the new layer to a smart object
    - double click the smart object so that it opens the .psb file
    - apply the HDR settings to this .psb
    - save it an return to the original image file

    - now blend the new hdr layer with the background

    It worked here very well.

    kind regards


  • CS5 HDR Pro - Always loads the same image???


    I took about 200 bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2 exposures) last weekend and was really excited to try out the new CS5 HDR Pro… But when I open 3 images of differing exposures, I see PS start to process the different files before the HDR Pro popup comes up, it creates new layers, etc… BUT, once the HDR popup comes up, it ALWAYS opens 3 of the same image, the +2 exposure. What am I doing wrong here? When I do this with RAW it works fine, but unfortunately the 200 bracketed shots I took were all JPG (mistake I know) because I was trying to conserve space on a trip.

    I’ve also tried exporting the image from Lightroom as jpegs and TIFFs and it still didn’t open them correctly.  I’ve tried using “All Open Files” and browsing by the way..

    Here are the images:

    Has anyone come across this? 


  • Re: CS5 HDR Pro - Always loads the same image???

    You can delete this post if you want, but the issue turned out to be the filenames believe it or not.  Photoshop can handle () and -, apparently HDR Pro cannot!


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