Lightroom HDR effect

Get more natural results with this Lightroom HDR effect

04 Tone Curve adjustment

Lightroom HDR effect

That last step left the picture looking a little light, and Lightroom 5 doesn’t have a brightness slider, so I’ve swapped to the Tone Curve panel for a moment to add a control point to drag the centre of the curve downwards – this gives me the darkening effect I need.

05 Vibrance increase

Lightroom HDR effect

I’m going to finish off back in the Basic panel with a Vibrance increase. The difference between this and a regular Saturation increase is that the Vibrance slider has the strongest effect on the weakest colours.

06 Checking for edge effects

Lightroom HDR effect

There’s one more thing I want to look at. Extreme Shadow and Highlight slider adjustments can introduce edge artefacts where they meet. In this picture, it’s the edges of the standing stones that will be the problem area. Zooming in to 100%, though, shows that the edge effects really aren’t that bad. This is one area in particular where Lightroom 5 marks a big step forward compared to previous versions.

07 The finished photograph

Lightroom HDR effect

I think this is a pretty good result, given that it’s been achieved without HDR software and without even any localised adjustments. It all depends on whether you want your HDR work to be obvious or subtle. You can use a specialised HDR tool like HDR Efex Pro or Photomatix, but it can be difficult to make the outcome look realistic. Lightroom’s results, while probably not as powerful, are more natural-looking.

See also

More Lightroom tutorials

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