How to Create an HDR Landscape | Adobe Camera RAW Makeover!

Are you tired of your landscape photos looking dull and lackluster? Do you want to create stunning high dynamic range (HDR) images that showcase the beauty of nature in all its glory? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of creating an HDR landscape using Adobe Camera RAW. With its powerful editing tools and advanced features, Adobe Camera RAW can transform your ordinary landscape photos into breathtaking works of art. Get ready to give your landscapes a makeover and impress everyone with your newfound editing skills!

How to Create an HDR Landscape | Adobe Camera RAW Makeover


Camera Raw just received a major update in Photoshop, and we are here to give you a tour of the new features. Today, we will be focusing on how to create an HDR landscape using Adobe Camera RAW. If you are a Lightroom user, you will find Camera Raw to be more intuitive and user-friendly. So, let’s jump right in!

Getting Started

To begin, we need to import some raw images into Camera Raw. For this tutorial, we will be using five different DNG images that were shot on a road trip through Kansas. Simply click on the link below to download the raw images from PHLEARN.

Merging Images

Once you have imported your raw images, you will see a cleaner and more modern layout in Camera Raw. Since we want to create an HDR image, we will select all the images in the film strip by holding Shift and clicking on each image. Right-click on the selected images and go to “Merge to HDR”.

A dialog box will appear, asking you to save the merged HDR file as a new file. Click on “Save” to proceed.

Exploring Camera Raw

Now that we have our final HDR image, let’s take a tour of the new features in Camera Raw. At the top right, you will find the adjustments panel, which includes basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and saturation. The curve tool has also been updated and now displays the changes in colors more clearly.

Below the adjustments panel, you will find the crop tool, heal tool, and various adjustment brushes and filters. These tools are similar to the ones in Lightroom and make it easy to make selective adjustments to your image.

Making Adjustments

To demonstrate the editing capabilities of Camera Raw, we will use the graduated filter tool. Simply click and drag a graduated filter from the bottom of the image upwards. Adjust the shadow levels and color temperature to brighten the shadows and make the ground warmer. These adjustments should feel familiar if you are a Lightroom user.

If you want to make more significant changes to the sky or other areas of the image, you can use the hue adjustment tools. However, for this tutorial, we won’t dive into that topic.

Importance of Settings

Before opening the image in Photoshop, it is crucial to check a few settings. First, make sure you select “Adobe RGB 1998” as the color space. This color space provides excellent color representation. Additionally, change the depth to “16 bits per channel” to have more information to work with.

At the bottom of the dialog box, select “Open in Photoshop as Smart Objects”. This option allows you to revisit Camera Raw if necessary.

Bringing it into Photoshop

Once you click “OK”, the HDR image will open in Photoshop as a 16-bit layered file. You can now make further adjustments or edits in Photoshop. Feel free to download this HDR image from PHLEARN to experiment with it.

Remember, opening the image as a smart object in Photoshop gives you the flexibility to return to Camera Raw and make additional changes.

And there you have it! By merging multiple exposures and utilizing the new features in Camera Raw, you can create stunning HDR landscapes. Have fun exploring and creating!

FAQ: How to Create an HDR Landscape | Adobe Camera RAW Makeover!

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Create an HDR Landscape using Adobe Camera RAW Makeover!

1. What is HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is a technique used in photography to capture a wider range of light and dark details in a photograph. HDR images typically display a more balanced exposure, resulting in vibrant and detailed landscapes.

2. How can I create an HDR landscape?

To create an HDR landscape, you’ll need Adobe Camera RAW Makeover. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Adobe Camera RAW Makeover and import your desired landscape photos.
  2. Select all the photos you want to merge into an HDR image.
  3. Click on the “Merge to HDR” option.
  4. Adjust the HDR settings, such as exposure, highlights, shadows, and white balance, to achieve the desired effect.
  5. Once you’re satisfied, save the HDR image.

3. Can I create an HDR landscape without Adobe Camera RAW Makeover?

While Adobe Camera RAW Makeover is a popular tool for creating HDR images, there are alternative software options available. You can explore other HDR software like Photomatix, Aurora HDR, or even certain built-in HDR features in some cameras.

4. Are there any specific camera settings for capturing HDR landscapes?

When capturing photos for an HDR landscape, it’s recommended to shoot in RAW format to retain maximum image data. Use a tripod to ensure stability and shoot bracketed exposures by adjusting the camera exposure compensation. This will provide multiple shots with different exposures, allowing you to create more dynamic HDR images.

5. How do I enhance the colors and details in my HDR landscape?

After merging your photos into an HDR image, you can further enhance the colors and details using Adobe Camera RAW Makeover. Experiment with settings like clarity, vibrance, saturation, and sharpening to bring out the best in your landscape. Just be careful not to overdo it, as it may result in an unrealistic or unnatural look.

6. Can I use HDR techniques for other types of photography?

Absolutely! HDR techniques can be applied to various other types of photography, such as architecture, portraits, and even still life. It can help capture more details in challenging lighting conditions and create visually striking images. Experiment and explore the possibilities!

I hope you find useful my article How to Create an HDR Landscape | Adobe Camera RAW Makeover!, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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