HDR Efex Pro portraits

Have you ever tried HDR Efex Pro portraits?

04 Tonality adjustments

HDR Efex Pro portraits

This picture’s looking good, but it needs some tonal adjustments to make it stronger. These will obviously vary from one picture to another, but what’s worked well here is a combination of a slight Exposure increase and a boost to the Contrast, Blacks and Structure sliders.

05 Vignette effect

HDR Efex Pro portraits

Now I think I need a vignette effect to concentrate attention on my subject’s face and to heighten the image contrast still further. You’ll find HDR Efex Pro 2’s vignette presets in the Finishing panel. I’ve chosen the strongest option from the drop-down menu – ‘Lens 4’ – but I think it’s going to need something stronger still.

06 Manual vignette settings

HDR Efex Pro portraits

Once you’ve chosen a vignette preset, you can adjust its settings manually until you’ve got just the effect you want. Here, I’ve shifted the Shape slider to Rectangle, pushed the Size up to maximum and set the Amount (darkness) to -27%. And that’s it – I’m done!

07 The finished picture

HDR Efex Pro portraits

You don’t normally associate HDR effects with portraiture, but it can work really well. There’s a fashion in male portraiture at the moment for super-heightened contrast and detail, and this is exactly what HDR tools are designed to achieve.

 See also

More HDR Efex Pro tutorials

2 thoughts on “Have you ever tried HDR Efex Pro portraits?

    1. I have used Paint Shop Pro in its many different versions over the years, and in fact I included it in a round-up I did for Digital Camera Magazine a few issues back and gave it a decent rating. If I’m honest, though, I think it’s had its day. It’s a neat all in one program, and it’s really good value, but although it does the same things that Elements does, it does them in its own way. It’s a bit slow and quirky in some respects, and there’s no real route forward if you outgrow it – you can switch to Photoshop, but you’ll have to relearn a lot of the techniques you learned in Paint Shop Pro. The other thing from my point of view is that it’s PC only, whereas I prefer to work on a Mac.

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