Lightroom Tutorial: How To Create HDR Image in Lightroom CC

Leave a comment

What is HDR?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a technique of digital photo processing by combining several photos of the same object with different exposures (underexposed, normal and overexposed) to produce an image that have more detailed information on the shadow, highlight and midtone areas.

HDR technique is generally applicable on shooting landscape / cityscape when the exposure difference between the foreground to the background is high such as during sunrise, sunset or city lights at night.

HDR-LR.jpgWhy is HDR?

The camera sensor has limitations to perfectly capture the dark and bright areas in an image in high contrast conditions. The image will look like a silhouette (do not have enough information shadow areas) or too light (do not have enough information highlight areas).

HDR technique can also be applied to the interior of the room shooting using artificial lights (strobes) with the aim that every object in the room will get perfect exposure.

How to Create HDR in Lightroom CC

Creating an HDR image can be done in various ways such as manual blending techniques in Photoshop or automatic blending with special HDR software (Photomatix , HDR Efex Pro) which have more preset and relatively not require a lot of processing time compared to the manual method.

Adobe has introduced the HDR feature in Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 where we can combine photos with automatic blending techniques along with the options that can be selected.

Steps to create HDR photos in Lightroom CC is very easy and fast by these steps below:

  1. Select pictures with different exposures (underexposed, normal, overexposed) which will be combined into HDR in the Library module.
  2. Right-click to bring up the menu Photo Merge > HDR or simply press Control / Command+H as a shortcut.HDR-in-LR-step-1
  3. In HDR Merge Preview window, Auto Align and Auto Tone will be active by default. This option can be turned off if the resulting image does not look natural. Auto Align is useful if we do not use a tripod when shooting photos that will be merged.HDR-in-LR-step-2.jpg
  4. Check one option Deghost Amount available (None, Low, Medium or High ). Deghost is useful to eliminate the shadow effect on moving objects (clouds, vehicles etc.) as a result of limitations in the merging process. Select the option that produces HDR photos most natural.
  5. Click Merge to start the merge process HDR photos.

The result of the merged photos will be formatted * -HDR.dng and can be seen in the same folder with the photos came from.


Posted by

Hi, I'm Hong Kong based photographer who loves shooting street and portrait photography. You can license my photographs on Getty Images.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.