Hi guys!

today we explore a particular topic, i.e. the fusion of an HDR photo with a normal one. As you weel know the HDR is a tecnique which needs the use of 3 or more shots (overexposed, normally exposed, underexposed) in order to create an image which has detail both in the shadows and in the lights. For whom wants to know a little more about HDR I had written an article some time ago, which you can find here  http://www.stefanotealdi.com/2010/hdr-vs-layering. You can easily understand which is impossible to apply the HDR to a shot with a human being inside because the person, even if we can do the three shots with the machine bracketing very fast, will move. The movement can be subtle, but that little movement will generate a lot of problems using the software which generates the HDR.

So in order to have a subject in a HDR photo it is necessary to realize first the background, and then position the subject in postproduction. Let’s see first of all the background I choose for my photo. It is an abandoned structure where you can’t enter (and it would be dangerous to enter..), but I could put my tripod inside it and realize the 5 shots necessary for the HDR. Hereafter you can find the 5 shots (-2EV, -1EV. 0EV, +1EV, +2EV) and the final HDR:

At this point, having realized the HDR background, a shot of the subject came next. In this phase it is foundamental to understand where the light comes from in the background shot. In this case the light arrives from behind, so the subject must have a rim light (or separation light), in order to define his shape as a light would arrive from behind. But obviously if we want the subject to be well lightened we need a front light to lighten him, so I used a flash in an umbrella. Unfortunetely I did not have a model so you have to see me, with this autoshot 😀

Did the shot to the subject easy to crop in postproduction, the difficult is to make him blend with the background. It is not simple, but using color management layers and textures, it is possible to obtain a similar result.

As you can notice I modified the light and shadow colors both of the background and of the subject in order to make them blend, and at this point I made a greater light from behind in the windows!

Now I ask you, did you ever made something similar? Which is the most difficult composite you ever realized, and how did you made it? You can write in the comments section below and post links to the shots in order to discuss all together about it!


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