Archive for the ‘HDR’ Category

Taken around Armenian Street in Penang.

Camera – D5000 with Tamron 17-50 f2.8

PP- photomatix 3 & photoshop CS



Another HDR after my trip back from Xiamen, China.

Photo was taken at Tan Jetty before my business trip and only now managed to process it through Photomatix & photoshop CS.

18-55mm f3.5~f5.6

+/- 2EV 3 shots taken.

Nikon D5000

If you are interested to know how, i have a simple tutorial here you can follow, you will need to have Photomatix installed in your system.

Check out my previous shot using HDR.

Tan jetty_hdr

Finally, the photos of Hard Rock Hotel, soft launch on Saturday 19 Sept in Penang. I didnt go there to view the opening but had an appointment with Andrea’s hairstylist, who had her salon opening at the lower ground floor of the hotel.

The first look of the hotel –  simple and minimalist, so if i took the shot directly, it will look very very boring to you. So i decided to take a few shots (brackets the shots) and do a HDR out of it. Result is a stunning piece of work! (looks like a digital painting ??!!:))

Photo taken using D5000 18-55mm

HDR_hard rock hotel PG

The view of Hard Rock Hotel from the beach / back. This panorama was a combination of 8 photos and later put together using Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.


The intriguing light-work at the front entrance, the light-work changes it colour every few minuets.


Reflection of Andrea with the Art work of the Beatles.


Another panorama photo – combined in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 using 3 photos


One of the Function Hall use for Wedding ceremony / dinner


a customer-made Hard Rock wedding cake….


each of the chairs are decorated with a guitar pinned to the back, rather than a traditional ribbon.


One of the staff told me the maximun table allowed is 30 and the price starts at RM888 per table…


more photos…..Pizzeria….Starinz ….



“welcome back my friend, the show that never ends” a message display at the entrance of Hard Rock Hotel. Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando USA has a similar message at the Hard Rock Cafe main entrance. If you wonder what E.L.P. means, its a name of a English progressive rock supergroup – Emerson, Lake & Palmer


Photos of Hard Rock Cafe to come tomorrow, stay tuned…

Here’s the contact and map if you need it.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Batu Ferringhi Beach,
11100 Penang, Malaysia
Tel:  +60 4 8811711
Fax: +60 4 8812155


Photo taken with Nikon D5000 19-55mm.

3 shots  (over, normal, under exposed) taken and process in Photomatix & later Post processed in Photoshop CS.

regency height view

This photo is created by merging 2 HDR photos into one to create this panorama view. Panorama done in Photoshop CS.

HDR_panorama_regency Height


HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. HDR is a 32-bit image consists of multiple LDR (Low Dynamic Range) which we can be produced by our camera (Underexposed, OverExposed & normal).

When you merge 2 or more exposure photos into one, the resulted image (32-bit) will not show the full range of tonal representation due to the limitation of our monitor, which can only show in 8/16 bits, a post-process is required to compress the picture. This process is called tone mapping.

To achieve a HDR image, one have 3 options –

The key to choosing a great HDR photo is the extreme levels in light & dark. (It is the kind of photo that one will avoid because you know the end result on photo will never go with what you have seen in mind’s eye)

Next, get your camera (i would prefer RAW ) & Tripod ready, you can set your camera in A mode (recommend by some, although I am not sure why) but setting in S or M mode shouldn’t do much harm. But please do some experiment first to see what which of the setting do to your final HDR photo. Activate your Auto-Bracketing to take -2,0,+2. (3 shots) or -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 (5 shots)….Other equipment needed to take HDR is a tripod-

1) Invest in a stable and solid tripod, it will last you a life time!

2) Shutter release (wired or wireless) this will prevent the picture from going blur when you press the shutter.

Next, get ready your Photomatix Pro, we will open up this  (-2,0,+2) shots in Photomatic Pro. Here are some quick summary to follow before you saeve the HDR photo.

1)leave all option deselected when you are asked under “Generate HDR-Options”. You can play with the options if you wish to

2)Click ok to proceed and wait for a few mins for Photomatix to process. Once you see the photo ( you wont be able to do anything with it), click on “Tone Mapping” and Photomatix will bring you to a new window with sliders. For the function of each sliders and what they do, you candownload the PDF below.


Once you are done, save the final image in jpg and open up in photoshop. OK, i had listed a summary of items we will do using Photoshop.

1)Import all the 3 original photos (-2,0,+2) & the JPG from that you saved earlier from Photomatix. So you should have 4 images in the Photoshop layer. (if you wish not to import all, select the darkest of all photos cause you will need it next)

2)repair all blown-out area using the darkest of the original image using ‘mask’. You will need masking for the original blue sky in Photoshop as HDR processed photo will render the blue sky grey, not pleasant to the human eye.

3)put the HDR photo on top layer, and stacked the less below, from darkest to lightest. Once you become more advance, maybe just one or two will do the trick.

Bonus – to get #3 done, do the following. Open all photos, you should have all open in Photoshop under different windows, choose your orignal RAW photo (this will be your base layer). Goto another window, goto select -ALL, The Edit – COPY, now go back to your base layer, do a Edit – Paste, then you end up with 2 layer in photoshop. Continue this until all in. (so the HDR photo will be on top)

4)select all layers by CTRL or SHIFT clicking them, then under the Edit Menu, select AUTO ALIGN

5)now, we are into masking, the idea is to remove the top layer (HDR) so a see through hole appear on top layer, allowing one to view the underneath layer.

6)Click on top layer (HDR), on the MENU, go to Layer>Create Layer Mask>Reveal All

7)choose brush tool, adjust OPACITY to 30-40%, next set the Brush setting to brush size 100

8)now that you had create the MASK (white box on the right of image), start using the brush on the photo.

9)after you are done masking, Merge Layers in the menu

There you are done 🙂

I had posted herehere , here & here –  some of my HDR sample, check it out.

For those looking for a video on Photoshop Masking, you can check out this video from Youtube.

For those looking for a video on HDR How-to, you can check out this video from Youtube.

They are a few photographer/artist (Andy Calnan & Trey Ratcliff) who had done remarkable  job in HDR, check them out too

* thanks to Andy from for kindly sharing and pointed out another available option in creating HDR image.