March 9th, 2009
Sylvia Guardia described a technique to me that she and others are using to get the best of both flash lighting and HDR. The image on the right (actually the first two images in her Spa Hilton Papagayo series) was made by shooting 3 HDR shots with a flash. Then after processing the the 3 HDR shots with Photomatix using Photoshop masking to blend in some the details of the +2 and -2 shot to Photomatix image. Here is Sylvia’s detailed description:
“I set the flash in manual exposure mode , so it would look “good” at exposure 0. Then kept that same flash setting for the other 2 exposures. I blended the 3 exposures in Photomatix, and then used details of the +2 , -2 to mask into it. For example , the outside of the -2 looked very nice, so I used those details and blended them into the HDR pictures, using a layer mask, and the brush tool. The inside in +2 had good detail, so I masked so of it in as well.”
I’m anxious to try this technique on an interior that has white woodwork because one of the things I don’t like about straight HDR processing is that white woodwork never looks as bright and crisp as it does with a flash shot. I think this technique has the potential of making use of the best of both techniques. Thanks Sylvia for sharing your secret sauce! Anyone else playing with this technique?
Update late on 3/10: Sylvia has posted more examples of “Flash HDR” of some interiors in the flickr discussion group.