Adobe Photoshop Elements HDR

By Matthew Bamberg / Jan 31, 2012

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 has a Photomerge option that is supposed to create HDR-like photographs.

It works by merging three photos of different exposures. When it’s set in Automatic mode it does a good job with photos you have taken with a tripod or with an extremely steady hand.

Big drawbacks of the feature is that there is no tone-mapping–just sliders: Highlights, Shadows and Saturation, all of which don’t tweak your photo all that much. Another is that it doesn’t get rid of ghosting nor align your photos. If you want to do this you can use the Manual mode.

The Manual Mode that permits you to copy and paste parts of photos on to other photos to combine exposures. This is effective, but it doesn’t even approach the drama of an HDR photo.

There is one way you can get a great HDR-like photo by tone-mapping in the main Elements program. It is very effective, much more so than the automatic function.

Be sure and get my new book, Beginning HDR Photography for an easy-to-follow workflow.

If you want to produce an HDR-like photo quickly, don’t bother with it and go out and buy Photomatix Pro.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).