Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

When I found out the price of Adobe Photoshop CS, my gut reaction was nothing less than shock. At $670 a copy, it’s simply too much. How can the average photographer, somebody doing it for the love and not the money, afford such a thing? Some of you may be tempted by the other option, GIMP. It’s a free photo editing program that anyone can download and use right away. But I want to persuade you not to go for it, even though it’s free. Here’s why.

What Is GIMP?

Software programmers never feel like they should pay for software, especially software that’s really really expensive. Back in the days when Adobe Photoshop was the only name in town, hobbyist programmers felt a strong need to create something of their own. So, in an effort to bypass the costs of owning a copy of Photoshop, they created GIMP.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trickGIMP is actually an acronym. It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. I know, you’re wondering what GNU is. That’s a name given by a group of programmers looking to create a completely free and open operating system. Imagine never having to pay for a copy of Windows or Mac OSX. That’s what the GNU programmers are after. Their group is associated with the Free Software Foundation, and they believe everyone should have access to free software.

GIMP is kind of like a free Photoshop. It’s designed to incorporate many of the filters, tools, and photographic effects you get from Photoshop, but it doesn’t cost you a penny to use. That’s pretty awesome, but there’s a problem with that philosophy for regular photographers.

Why you probably shouldn’t use GIMP

There’s a reason why people pay a premium to use software like Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, and that reason is the simplicity of it all. Photoshop is easy to use and easy to understand. Free software “works,” but you often have to learn a lot more about it in order to use it properly. It tends to have been built by some very technically minded people, and that usually leaves the ordinary consumer feeling totally lost.

GIMP is free, but it’s also highly technical. You won’t understand how to use it right away, and good luck reading the documentation. Because the programmers aren’t actually getting paid for their work, they don’t feel as strong of a need to support the people who download their software. If people don’t like it, then so what. It’s not like they’re losing their income. GIMP, for them, is more of a hobby.

Contrast this with Photoshop. If Photoshop isn’t easy to use, people are going to complain. When people complain, Adobe loses sales. As software developers, they have a choice to make. They can either improve Photoshop and make it easier to use, or they can support their users through better documentation. As it turns out, you get both with Photoshop.

But Photoshop is expensive. I don’t want to pay $670

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trickThankfully, you don’t have to. Adobe makes it easier on you by offering Photoshop Elements for just $79. For most photographers, Elements has enough power to do get the job done. It’s got almost all of the tools in the original Adobe Photoshop software, and it’s a lot more simplified.

Will it do everything a professional needs? Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. It kind of depends on the individual. I will tell you this. The software is highly capable. It’s not some hastily developed junk you’d get with the purchase of a camera. What Elements does, it does really well, and that’s all you really need to know.

So don’t download GIMP. Save yourself hours of frustration and instead purchase and download Photoshop Elements. The sanity you’ll gain is well worth the money, and the software will surprise you with what it can do. Plus, it’ll make it a lot easier for you to follow my Photoshop tutorials. You can consider it required course material.

If you do make an Elements purchase, let me know how it goes for you. I’m happy to create any tutorials you suggest, so keep your ideas coming.

High dynamic range (or HDR) photography is a great technique that you can use to create differing effects, from natural to dramatic and gritty. The basics of the technique are to take several bracketed images in multiple exposures and then combine them to create a final HDR photo with perfect and even exposure. HDR photography and editing effects can allow you to create a striking image from a scene with uneven lighting that would be impossible in one shot.

This way of shooting and editing is useful to learn for both amateur and professional photographers as it gives great results and can be used in a range of ways to enhance photos. There are also a number of ways to merge and edit the images so learning from HDR tutorials can give you a great ideas to experiment with. Take a look below at these 13 awesome tutorials to master HDR photography to give you some inspiration.

HDR Tutorial With Photomatix

This is an in depth tutorial that discusses the principles of creating HDR images and then takes you through the steps to create your own using Photomatix. This is a great tutorial for learning HDR photography and you’ll be able to create images from one or multiple starting shots.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Follow the tutorial here

HDR Tutorial With Photoshop

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to merge your images to get HDR results in Photoshop and the tutorial also has hints for Lightroom and Camera Raw too. You’ll be able to create beautiful photos with a great tonal range and perfect exposure.

Follow the tutorial here

Fake an HDR Effect Using Photoshop

If you love the HDR look but don’t have enough skills with a camera to get the images needed, you can fake the effect by following this quick and simple tutorial. The resulting image is a gritty and interesting photo with a high contrast HDR look.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Follow the tutorial here

How To Shoot And Post Process HDR Images In One Day

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

This detailed HDR tutorial will show you how to shoot and edit your HDR images easily in one day with some helpful tips and techniques for taking your initial photos as well as editing them. The merging is done in Photomatix but you could use a recent version of Photoshop if that’s what you have on your computer.

Follow the tutorial here

In Depth High Dynamic Range Tutorial

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

This brilliant and in depth three page tutorial talks through all the details of creating a high dynamic range image, from taking the initial photos to combining them and then editing them. You’ll also see some brilliant example images to give you inspiration.

Follow the tutorial here

“True” HDR Portraits

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

This HDR video tutorial teaches you how to create HDR portraits from bracketed photos and takes you through the steps to merge and edit them. You can apply these techniques to all sorts of portraits to create amazing results in your work.

Follow the tutorial here

The Basics of HDR Photography

This amusing video tutorial from Digital Rev shows you the basics of HDR photography and how you can use the techniques to create cool effects.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jPu2lnfYvc]

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Manually Create A High Dynamic Range Photo In Photoshop
Using Photoshop, you’ll learn how to blend two exposures to create an amazing photo with perfect highlights and shadows. Perfect for beginners, this tutorial will also teach you about Photoshop layers.

Follow the tutorial here

Exposure Blending Tutorial

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

In order to create your HDR photo, this tutorial will teach you how to blend multiple exposures to get your perfect final image with more dynamic range. You’ll see how to use layer masks to combine separate parts of images into one and you’ll be able to use the techniques on your own photos.

Follow the tutorial here

Creating a Realistic HDR Image in Photoshop CS6

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

With this high dynamic range tutorial you’ll use Photoshop to merge your starting images and then create great toning effects in Camera Raw or Lightroom to perfect the final photo and create the perfect exposure.

Follow the tutorial here

Create HDR Composite Portraits

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

This is one of the best HDR photo tutorials for learning how to create cool composite portraits. To begin with you’ll see how to shoot the multiple exposures, then learn about tone mapping before moving onto shooting the model.

Follow the tutorial here

Create HDR Photos With Gimp

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

This HDR tutorial will show you how to create HDR images from your multiple exposures. If you currently use Gimp software then this tutorial will give you all the help you need to learn to create great HDR photos.

Follow the tutorial here

HDR Photography Tutorial

You’ll need a bit of photography and editing experience to follow this tutorial, but it gives some great tips for proper editing of your images to create the perfect high dynamic range photo.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Follow the tutorial here

Did you enjoy these HDR photography tutorials. We hope these HDR photography tips, tricks and techniques will motivate you to go further ahead and improve your photography skills and enjoy photography beyond limits.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

I practiced for years before studying formally in college. I took several classes in basic to advanced photography learning techniques from traditional portraiture, to trick photography, HDR, high speed, long exposure et al. read more

I practiced for years before studying formally in college. I took several classes in basic to advanced photography learning techniques from traditional portraiture, to trick photography, HDR, high speed, long exposure et al. read more

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

15 Years of Architectural and Landscape Photography Experience

I have 15 years of award winning architectural and landscape photography experience, with a bachelor of architecture and design. I have tutored for 10 years in DSLR photography and post processing in Adobe Photoshop. I have also. read more

I have 15 years of award winning architectural and landscape photography experience, with a bachelor of architecture and design. I have tutored for 10 years in DSLR photography and post processing in Adobe Photoshop. I have also. read more

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Photography Teacher with 5 Years Exp, Certified K-12 Art, Industry Exp

I have taught high school photography for five years beginning in 2016 at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC. I am certified in the state of North Carolina to teach K-12 Art (as well as 9-12 Science). I completed a two-year post-bacc. read more

I have taught high school photography for five years beginning in 2016 at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC. I am certified in the state of North Carolina to teach K-12 Art (as well as 9-12 Science). I completed a two-year post-bacc. read more

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High Dynamic Range Imaging ( HDRI or just HDR ) is a technique which was developed to produce high dynamic range images from the photographs taken at different exposures of light. In comparison with normal digital imaging techniques HDR imaging techniques can produce a wider range of luminescence between dark and light. The main intention of HDR is to differentiate the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to deepest shadows.

10 best Tutorials for creating HDR Images

With the help of Tone Mappnig techniques we can easily produce HDR images. In tone mapping , by combining images taken at different exposures to produce a sinlge HDR image. We can also produce HDR images in photoshop by merging Images. If applied properly then once can produce beautiful pictures with high dynamic range.

Let us see some of the HDR image creation tutorials available :

1. Exposure blending tutorial – HDR Image creation

A little background: HDR is a type of image manipulation. The goal is to blend multiple exposures of the same scene into a single image in order to get a result that has more dynamic range than your camera is capable of recording.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

2. Learn how to create awesome HDRs

In this post, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to create cool HDR images. Find out how to select a great scene, and how to properly take the images. Next, we’ll go over what Programs and techniques you can use to assemble the HDR. Only got one RAW file, but you still want an HDR? No problem, we’ll go over that too.
Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

3. Adobe Photoshop CS3 Tutorial – HDR

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Photoshop’s Merge to HDR (High Dynamic Range) automated feature has been improved for CS3, but it is still not able to merge exposures where subjects have moved between the separate exposures.

4. HDR Photograph Tool

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

The Merge to HDR command in Photoshop lets you combine several of the same scene with different exposures into a single HDR 32-bpc (bits-per-channel) image. First, you’ll need to have three images taken at different exposures. Run Photoshop and choose File > Automate > Merge to HDR.

5. The Definitive Guide to Realistic HDR

This tutorial will attempt to demonstrate how to make a realistic HDR, one that is virtually indistinguishable from a single exposure. The biggest goal is producing a tutorial that can stand as a standard by which anyone can learn to create a balanced HDR. Ultimately, the processing choices are yours. These are the building blocks.
Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

6. Photoshop CS2 High Dynamic Range

The latest version of Photoshop, CS2, offers an intriguing new function for creating 32-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. It offers the ability to combine multiple individual images with different exposures into a single 32-bit floating-point image with expanded dynamic range.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

7. HDR Tutorial Using Photomatix and Photoshop

Thinsite.net has a neat tutorial on High Dynamic Range
(HDR) photography, from capturing HDR shots properly, merging the bracketted shots into a single HDR exposure using Photomatix and the post processing steps in Photoshop.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

8. PhotoShop CS3 HDR photograph Tutorial

In this tutorial we will take a look at HDR photography. HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging) was originally used in 3D and is now in full force in photography. Basically it’s the process of taking multiple exposures and merging them together into a single 32 bit image. Let me explain: A camera is capable of capturing a limited amount of tones in a single photo.
Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

9. How to create HDR images using Photomatix

HDR images are generated by taking multiple pictures of the same scene at different exposure settings and combining them digitally on a computer. Generally, the more pictures that are taken at different exposure settings the better the resulting HDR image will be.
Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

10. Merging Photos to an HDR Image in Photoshop

This is an article about Photoshop HDR imaging. The following HDR workflow is explained in detail:

* Merging photos to an HDR image
* Processing the HDR image
* Tone Mapping
Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

60+ Incredible HDR Photographs

With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy-to-use desktop software, HDR images are becoming more popular. So I have collected 100+ smashing HDR images which will take your breath away.

At 5 am on February 24, Russia began the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. They are violently trying to steal our country.

Russian forces have invaded Ukraine, confirming our worst fears. At this very hour they are attacking us on the streets of many Ukrainian cities. We are at war.

Skylum was proudly founded in Ukraine, and our core development center is based in Kyiv. At this harrowing time, unfortunately we cannot guarantee the on-time delivery of updates to Luminar Neo. We strive for excellence in everything we do, and we will make sure to further develop and improve Neo and to keep you updated on any news.

However, today we ask our community for help and support. Here are some details on what has happened and how you can support Ukraine in this difficult time.

! At 5 am on February 24, Russia began the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. They are violently trying to steal our country.

! Right now, there are missile strikes and bombardment of peaceful Ukrainian cities. We must hide our families in bomb shelters and protect our land with weapons in our hands as part of the territorial defense forces.

! This disastrous and entirely unprovoked Russian war has already taken the lives of 198 civilians. 33 children have been injured, and 3 have been killed.

! The Armed Forces of Ukraine, young and brave heroes, are fighting all over the country not only for Ukraine but for Peace and Clear Skies in Europe.

As we write to you from a city under attack, we want to be very clear: This war is not just something you see on TV. It is not happening in some distant lands. It is happening right now here in Ukraine, and the Russian forces who are invading our lands and threatening our families may come to your doorstep one day too if we do not stop them.

Sanctions that world governments are currently imposing are not enough. Russia must be completely isolated from all spheres of the civilized world: the financial system, technologies, sports, culture.

Here is a list of simple actions you can take to help Ukraine. We MUST unite to quite literally save the world before it’s too late:

– Contact your local representatives and pressure them to provide more support for Ukraine and stricter sanctions on Russia. We need military and humanitarian aid and Russia must be cut off from SWIFT.

– Donate money to humanitarian aid organizations. Find a full list over here: https://how-you-can-support-ukraine.super.site/

– Follow the news from official channels. Avoid fake news and disinformation!

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

The ultimate compilation of gimp design tutorials to take a novice and turn them into an expert, the perfect guide for anyone looking to learn or even master the ins and outs of Gimp.

Some Designers may see the title of the post and may be curious to learn more about what exactly Gimp, it’s simple a free alternative to Photoshop which has similar features and functions to photoshop. I’ve always said i wanted to learn gimp but for one reason or another i just have never had the time, patients and been committed to learning it. One day i decide to download a copy of gimp and was pleasantly surprised that it was free and thought it would be useful within the future when designing but with access to photoshop. I had a search around the internet for some Gimp tutorials but struggled immensely to find any decent ones, this is what lead to me creating this article i decided to put all the best tutorials which would you to learn and master Gimp all in to one post.

I hope you enjoy this post, feel free to share your favourite tutorials from the article and tuts which we may have missed out.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Download Gimp for free over at: http://www.gimp.org/

1. Gimp Galaxy

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

3. Splattered Vector In GIMP

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

5. Tutorial: Beautiful Parrot Photo Manipulation in Gimp

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

24. Creative Composition

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

25. Smoke Scene Design

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

38. How to Design a Dramatic Winged Dragon with Gimp

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

40. Volks Logo Tutorial

yeh need any others? i have layer effects and layer groups planned because of a question i got on my blog and scripting actions so many times i’m reading outdoor photography with touch up guides using photoshop. some of the tools/options i can find in gimp but some i can’t. knowing the comparable actions would be golden. morning mizmo, sorry that I didnt answer but I went to bed yesterday its all good gnokii mizmo: i would like to see one with the manipulating color channels, how all that can be maximized mock, can you link me to a tutorial that shows how it works in photoshop so i can understand what’s needed? mizmo: sure, let me find one. you can definitely manipulate color channels in gimp in a lot of different ways, but im not sure which emulates photoshop best

  • gnokii have I to produce a screencast for vanessa how cool Inkscape is 😀
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well, those two are the ones i can find. do you do much photo manipulation? gnokii, actually vanessa has been doing some great character design in inkscape  🙂 like to see that mock, let me take a look at those quick, i was popped away from my desk for a sec mock, i have done quite a bit of photomanip but i do a wide breadth of stuff and no one thing super in-depth i know there are a few installables in the repos designed to generate hdr from multiple shots, but i would like to do them by hand if i knew how to use gimp a little more. gnokii, i had vanessa take a look at the characters on join.fedoraproject.org and make them cooler-looking i think darktable is open source version of adobe’s lightroom, correct? mock, yep althoguh there are a couple of other lightroom alternatives too mizmo: I still wondering why I did once the kids character once, thaught they would be for that mock, there’s one called photivo (photivo.org) gnokii, oh we should have the website updated for that then, it never got updated gnokii, your characters are really cool, i thoguht the intention was for ambassadors to use them hmm, i’ll check that out. i’ve not seen that one yet the characters are all on my fp.o space mock, shotwell comes default in fedora and has some lightroom-like features but it’s lighter-weight. you can do basic photo edits and stuff with it gnokii, can you open a ticket with websites team to have the characters updated?

  • gnokii hates trac, or trac hates him have to switch browsers that it let me in
  • nicubunu has quit (Remote host closed the connection)

mizmo: i’ve not been a big shotwell fan, but i’ll look at it again. seemed a little memory hoggish last few times i’ve used it. i’ll look at it again, though. mock, the thing thats odd about shotwell is its written in vala so i dont know if maybe some memory issues are related to that all right

  • mizmo opens up outdoorphotographer links

mock – so in the ‘enhance your landscapes’ one – mizmo: my fan just went into overdrive. the first photoshop trick he notes is ctrl+alt+shift+E to merge the effects of the layers into a single layer. in gimp, you right-click the layers palette and do ‘new layer from visible’ to achieve the same the layer styles / gradient overlay is possible using the gimp ‘layer effects’ plugin from registry.gimp.org i haven’t installed any plug ins for gimp. maybe i should explore those. ah okay so i dont see anything else major in that tutorial, i think if you install ‘layer effects’ plugin and with the ‘make new from visible’ layer trick you should be able to follow that tutorial step-by-step without too much issue the layer effects palette for gradient layer style in gimp is pretty similar to those screenshots im gonna open up the other tutorial now –

mock, so for the general b&w conversion task mock, outside of the PS workflow in this tutorial, you’ll want to try the gimpfx-foundry plugin (the package in fedora is gimpfx-foundry). it adds a menu item called ‘fx-foundry’ to the gimp menus. if you go to Fx foundary > photo > effects > Eg Black and White there are a lot of b&w conversion fine-tuning tools in there

BMP ( .bmp ) – No support for 16-bit per pixel images. Only 1-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit per pixel images are supported.

DirectDraw Surface ( .dds ) – If mipmaps are present in the texture, they will be loaded directly. This can be used to achieve effects using custom mipmaps.

OpenEXR ( .exr ) – Supports HDR (highly recommended for panorama skies).

Radiance HDR ( .hdr ) – Supports HDR (highly recommended for panorama skies).

JPEG ( .jpg , .jpeg ) – Doesn’t support transparency per the format’s limitations.

PNG ( .png ) – Precision is limited to 8 bits per channel upon importing (no HDR images).

Truevision Targa ( .tga )

SVG ( .svg , .svgz ) – SVGs are rasterized using NanoSVG when importing them. Support is limited; complex vectors may not render correctly. For complex vectors, rendering them to PNGs using Inkscape is often a better solution. This can be automated thanks to its command-line interface.

WebP ( .webp ) – WebP files support transparency and can be compressed lossily or losslessly. The precision is limited to 8 bits per channel.

If you’ve compiled the Godot editor from source with specific modules disabled, some formats may not be available.

Importing textures¶

The default action in Godot is to import images as textures. Textures are stored in video memory and can’t be accessed directly. This is what makes drawing them efficient.

Import options are vast:

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Detect 3D¶

This option makes Godot be aware of when a texture (which is imported for 2D as default) is used in 3D. If this happens, setting are changed so the texture flags are friendlier to 3D (mipmaps, filter and repeat become enabled and compression is changed to VRAM). Texture is also reimported automatically.


Images are one of the largest assets in a game. To handle them efficiently, they need to be compressed. Godot offers several compression methods, depending on the use case.

Compress Mode¶

VRAM Compression: This is the most common compression mode for 3D assets. Size on disk is reduced and video memory usage is also decreased considerably (usually by a factor between 4 and 6). This mode should be avoided for 2D as it exhibits noticeable artifacts.

Lossless Compression: This is the most common compression mode for 2D assets. It shows assets without any kind of artifacting, and disk compression is decent. It will use considerably more amount of video memory than VRAM Compression, though. This is also the recommended setting for pixel art.

Lossy Compression: This is a good choice for large 2D assets. It has some artifacts, but less than VRAM and the file size is several times lower compared to Lossless or Uncompressed. Video memory usage isn’t decreased by this mode; it’s the same as with Lossless Compression or Uncompressed.

Uncompressed: Only useful for formats that can’t be compressed (such as raw float images).

In this table, each of the four options are described together with their advantages and disadvantages ( = best, = worst):

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Upgrade Eligibility

To purchase the upgrade version of this product, you must own a previous licensed version of: Bibble Pro or Lite 5, Corel® AfterShot Pro®, Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 or higher, Adobe® Lightroom® or Apple® Aperture®.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

*Wanted to thank everyone who has stopped by to read this post over the last few years. I’ve received quite a few emails and seen links back to this article from many different forums based in many different countries. Thank you! As originally mentioned in the tutorial below, this isn’t a particularly original tactic, but if you put your own spin on it, it can produce some really cool imagery. Okay, on to my original posting, and thank you again for everyone who has stopped by. I’ve been really excited to converse, learn and meet with many of you since I started this blog over three years ago!



This is not an original idea, but so few ideas are anymore. While it may be a well used tactic, it can be very effective. I’ve played around with this technique a few times and it is one that when done decently will almost always get a “wow!” or at least a “huh, wait, what?” It is easy to do as well. It requires Photoshop, or if you are fundamentally against paying $600 for software you can download GIMP. I’ve used Photoshop for this one, so if using GIMP, you will need to translate these steps into GIMP-speak which shouldn’t be too hard.

Okay, our goal is to appear to be floating, or hovering so unless you’re an accomplished zen levitation master, you will need to take two pictures to create the illusion.

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Something to stand, sit, lay on
  • Photoshop/GIMP
  • Friends to show off to

Start with a tripod. Frame your scene and get your exposure set. I suggest shooting on your camera’s manual (M) setting so that you’re exposure settings don’t shift from one pic to the next. Also, establish focus for where you will be and disable your auto focus (otherwise you run the risk of the area in focus being different between the two, or more images you may want to take).

Now that you have your exposure set and your camera on the tripod, you want to take a picture of the scene without you or your prop in it. This will be your background image. When you get it composed to where you like it, fire a shot off. Don’t touch the camera other than to set the self timer if you do not have it set up to be remotely triggered.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

framing the background image

Next, use a ladder, box, bucket or anything stable enough to hold your weight and set it up in the scene making sure you leave enough room between you and the surface you will be floating above in the image to give the illusion of just hanging there.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

a secret revealed

Now you have both your background image and an exact duplicate image with you and the thing that you are going to erase leaving you levitating.

  1. Open both images in Photoshop and with both images open on the desktop, drag the “you” image using the move (V) tool on top of the background image while holding SHIFT which will automatically align the images.
  2. Set the opacity of the “you” layer to about 50% to check that you are lined up. If it is a little off, use the move (V) tool to manually align the two layers as closely as you can.
  3. On the “you” layer, add a layer mask (the hole in a square at the bottom of the layers palate) and using a black brush (B) paint out your prop. For me, as I was outside, I painted everything but me out because the sun came out for the second shot. You are essentially just painting around yourself which will effectively eliminate any evidence that you’re not just really good at holding a gravity defying pose.
  4. Post process after the fact to your heart’s content and viola! You’re floating.

It’s as easy as that! Things to keep in mind are, trying to keep any elements that you will be needing to erase behind you. If they overlap in front of you, it will be tricky to remove. If using lights/strobes keep an eye on shadows cast and make sure to clean those up. Other than that, really it is just a matter of experimentation. Once you have a shot done and feel like sharing, join us and drop it in our flickr group pool HERE! Enjoy!

For future tips, tricks and general photographic articles, sign up to receive them via email above ^ at the top right of the page (I promise not to sell your email address to online viagra pill merchants or Nigerian princes)

Enhance and transform your images, with the best photo-editing software available today.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

The best photo-editing software is having a bit of a moment right now. Spearheaded by Adobe’s ‘Project Sensei’, software firms everywhere are incorporating smart AI and machine learning into their products, making edits that once took hours of fiddling about possible within the click of a button. So it’s a great time to buy or subscribe to photo editing software, whether you’re a veteran professional or just getting started.

So which is the best photo editing software in 2022? That depends largely on what you’re looking for. If it’s just simple cropping, or subtle tweaks to colour or saturation, you might find all you need in a cheap or even free tool. If you’re a full-time photographer, designer, artworker or image editor, though, you’ll want the top-of-the-range software with the latest and most sophisticated tools. While if you’re somewhere in between – such as a designer or marketing professional who edits images every now and again – you’ll be looking at the best middleweight options that are powerful yet still very affordable.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best photo editing software below, and give you the information you need to choose between them. These cover a range of budgets, and include software that will work on your computer, phone or tablet. (If mobile software is your main interest, also see our guide to the best photo apps.)

So read on for the best photo editing software, and once you’ve chosen your tool, check out our guide the best laptops for photo editing too.

Top 3: best photo-editing software

Photoshop: Download a free trial for PC, Mac or iPad
Photoshop is the best photo editing software overall, and a seven-day trial lets you try the latest release for free. There’s no obligation to buy, but you can convert to a paid subscription during the trial or after.

Affinity Photo: Subscription free! Just $54.99/£47.99 (desktop) or $21.99/£19.49 (iPad)
This very capable Photoshop alternative from Serif comes at a one-off price; no subscription needed. This photo editing software provides impressive tools for digital painting, raw editing, retouching and more.

PhotoDirector 365: $49.99 / £13.99 per year
CyberLink PhotoDirector 365 offers all the features you’d expect from a top photo editing tool at a very reasonable price. A great way to get high-level editing features such as levels and colour adjustment for less.

The best photo editing software 2022

01. Photoshop

The best photo editing software overall.

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Photoshop is the godfather of digital image editing, and it remains today the best photo editing software, bar none. Its range of features is practically endless, but it’s typically used to edit and compose raster images, combine graphics and text in multiple layers; edit and render text and vector graphics; and create and edit 3D graphics and video.

Adobe has been boosting Photoshop further of late, by introducing AI tools that will smooth skin and remove artefacts from your pictures at a touch of a button. Other filters make it easy to edit expressions in portraits, add makeup to your subjects, colourise black and white photos and more.

Because it includes so many versatile features, Photoshop isn’t just popular amongst photographers and photo retouchers, but also with digital artists, graphic designers and art directors, and even animators, 3D designers, game designers and VFX artists. Beyond what’s in the interface, you can enhance the software further with any of the large selection of free Photoshop brushes and free Photoshop actions available online.

You can subscribe to Photoshop on its own, but many professionals tend to team it with another Adobe tool in their workflow. For example, a commercial photographer would likely pair it with Lightroom, while a motion designer would use it in conjunction with After Effects. In such cases, an All-Apps payment plan makes the best sense, particularly as this gives you access to other Adobe services such as Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock; this can be surprisingly affordable with the best Adobe Creative Cloud discounts.

For more information, read our Photoshop 2022 review, and check out the best Photoshop tutorials. Ready to start? Here’s how to download Photoshop.

There are many times you may want to combine multiple images together to produce a single final photo. The source images may be a bracketed set, each taken at a different exposure, or you may opt to process a single image in multiple ways and then combine those various ideas together, taking only the best pieces of each photo. In either case, you’re going to need layer masks in Photoshop (or the freeware Gimp alternative).

In the case of manually blending multiple images together to produce a natural ‘HDR’ image, you’ll often want to effect only the darkest or the lightest regions of the image, and this is where the concept of luminosity masks comes into play. Simply creating a mask based on the darkness (or lightness) of the image. While there are a multitude of ways to creating luminosity masks, I’ve found that the easiest way to create a simple luminosity mask in Photoshop is to use the ‘Apply Image’ command in the Image menu. First start with a pure white mask. Ensure that the image you want to use as the basis of your luminosity mask is visible, then select the mask before clicking Image -> Apply Image. Leave the default options (Blend Mode Multiply, 100% opacity) in place and you’ll get a black and white rendition of your image applied to the mask.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Apply Image Dialog

This standard mask is a good starting point, but rarely am I able to use it exactly as it comes out of the Apply Image mask. I have also found it useful if you do not try to create the mask from the same image you are applying it to. Doing often creates overly flat and muddy looking images when doing a blend of multiple exposures. Instead, use the ‘middle’ frame as your Apply Image reference image.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Mask created with Apply Image

Invert & Opacity

Note that there are many ways to modify the way the mask is created. Either by changing the color channel used, changing the blend mode, changing the opacity of the effect, or simply hitting that ‘Invert’ checkbox next to the Channel dropdown. The two that I most often utilize is Opacity and Invert. Opacity does exactly what you would think, at 100% opacity any region of the source image that was pure black will create a pure black mask. At 50% opacity that same region of the mask will only be 50% gray, and of curse everything else is scaled as well. Invert, again, is a straight forward term you are probably familiar with. Useful when you want the dark areas of your photo to create a white region in the mask instead of black.

Modifying Masks

Nearly anything you can do with an image layer in Photoshop can also be done with a layer mask. You can brush blacks/grays/white onto it. You can apply filters to it. You can draw gradients onto it. You can apply adjustments to it. You can select parts of it. And quite likely much more I haven’t figured out yet. Those however are some of my more frequently used modifications to masks either on their own, or more often in conjunction with Apply Image to fine tune a mask to just the right effect.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Curves Adjustment to a Mask

Starting with one of the more simple adjustments to an existing mask, is the Curves (Cntrl+M on PC), or Levels (Cntrl+L on PC), or Invert (Cntrl+I on PC). Curves and Invert are my two go-to adjustments. Curves is used either increase the contrast (or decrease the black and/or white points, etc) of a mask. Compare the mask in the photo above to the original mask shown further up. Shown to the right is the curves adjustment used to modify the mask. Invert is useful if the mask you are trying to create is easier to create in the ‘negative’ space for one reason or another, then invert the mask to create the desired mask.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

Gradient then Apply Image (or the other way around)

Say you want to blend in a darker sky from one image, but the darker foreground, even for the brightest parts of your ‘middle’ image don’t need to be effected. Either start with a white mask and draw in a black gradient (or gray if you want it just a little modified), and then use the apply image as above. You’ll get a mask similar to the above. The sky has white, but near the horizon the gradient fades the mask to pure black. You can, of course, do the operation in the opposite order, first creating the mask and then adding black (or white, or grays) to fill in more or less effect.

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

The sky is the limit to how complex you get with your masks. The above mask was created for the ‘dark’ frame in a 3-image blend I was recently working on. I wanted the sky to be pulled from the dark frame to prevent it from being blown out. But then I decided I wanted a little of the dark frame to influence the shadows of some of the foreground. Brushing in white on the foreground along side the boardwalk I darkened those parts I wanted to be deeper in shadow. However, I only wanted the darkest parts of those regions to be influenced by the dark frame. I using the rectangle selection tool I selected only the lower part of the mask, then applied image ‘Inverted’ so the brighter areas of the image removed the mask effect. One mask, one frame, two effects.

Also the Phlearn Channel on YouTube has some excellent videos on masking that goes into a lot more depth and tricks than this article could ever dream to. Aaron Nace is truly a Photoshop master well worth your time to watch in action.

We recently tested out the Pentax K-1 II’s new hand-held Pixel Shift mode which combines four images to create a ‘super resolution’ file in-camera with better detail, dynamic range and lower noise. Sadly, it also results in some unwanted processing artifacts.

But you can also create a super resolution photo without using Dynamic Pixel Shift by shooting a series of handheld images and combining them in Photoshop. Super resolution works essentially by sampling a scene multiple times with slight shifts in framing, which allows details to be localized with sub-pixel precision (since shifts are unlikely to be perfect multiples of one pixel). The result is a file with improved resolution, less noise, more dynamic range but no artifacts. The best part is you can do this with the camera of your choosing. For the sake of this example, we did it with the Pentax K-1 II.

Following a simple step-by-step Photoshop recipe (listed below), we created a super resolution file stacking four images – the same number used by Dynamic Pixel Shift – and one stacking 20 images, just for fun. We down-sampled the files to the original resolution (36MP). Right off the bat, the difference between our four image stack and a standalone Raw file is like night and day. While you can sharpen a single Raw to get similar perceived sharpness, it comes at the cost of more noise , more moire , jagged slanted edges , and generally more false detail .

Similarly, the difference between our 4 image stack and Dynamic Pixel Shift mode is also substantial. Areas where Dynamic Pixel Shift displays artifacts look clean in our 4-stack. This is observable throughout our sample scene . Interestingly, the difference between the 4 image and 20 image super resolution examples is less noticeable . While there is some advantage to stacking more images, returns are diminishing in this case.

That doesn’t mean stacking more images won’t help in other instances: the more you stack, the better your high-resolution shot (in this case: our 144MP image) will be. There’s also a notable noise and dynamic range benefit to stacking: you reduce noise by a factor equal to the square root of the number of images stacked. Smaller sensor cameras particularly benefit from more stacked images, as they start off noisier.

You’ll notice we’ve included two versions of our 4-stack and 20-stack: Median and Average, which refer to the stacking method used in Photoshop (described in detail below). Overall, the median method handles ghosting from moving objects better than the averaging method.


There are numerous tutorials providing instructions for creating a super resolution image in Photoshop – this one by Ian Norman on PetaPixel is among our favorites. Distilled down to its simplest terms, there are four easy steps:

  1. Bring all images into Photoshop as a stack of layers
  2. Resize the image to 200% width and 200% height using ‘Nearest Neighbor’
  3. Auto align all the layers
  4. Average the layers by setting each layer’s opacity to 1/layer number (the 1st layer will be 1/1 so 100% opacity, the 2nd layer will be 1/2 so 50% opacity, and the 4th layer will be 1/4 or 25% opacity, and so on).
  5. Sharpen the image using a Radius setting of 2, and a suitable Amount setting (we used 200% for the 4 image stack and 300% for the 20 image stack – the more images you stack the more amenable the composite will be to aggressive sharpening)

Alternatively, for the fourth step you can convert all layers to a ‘Smart Object’ and change the stacking mode to ‘Median’. This can help deal with ghosting from movement in your final image, but can also take longer to process.

Finally, you can resize the final output by 50% width and height (we prefer Bicubic resampling for this step) to get the shot back to its original resolution, but with far more detail and cleaner output. Or, you can opt to save the high-resolution file if you print big, but just keep in mind that for a 36MP camera, that’s a 144MP file. You can always re-upscale a super resolution file you’ve shrunk, and if you use the ‘Preserve Details 2.0’ resampling method in Photoshop to do so, the results are often impressive and sometimes hard to distinguish from the higher resolution super resolution file.


You don’t need any particularly special camera to generate images that look like they were taken with a higher resolution, larger sensor camera. Just use the technique outlined here or in Ian’s article.

And if you’re shooting landscapes and cityscapes, you likely already have multiple photos of the same composition captured with changing light. Chances are that due to the wind, natural vibrations, etc., the shots have at least some sub-pixel movement between them (you can always gently nudge your camera between exposures to ensure there’s at least some shift). So why not go back through your library and take advantage of super resolution?

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

I’ve been using the free photo editor that comes with Canon and I love it. I can do very simple and subtle edits like lens correction and colour/contrast stuff. It’s pretty powerful and easy to use for what it does do and was great for getting started.

But come the new year, I want to learn more about editing. I can’t see doing extreme editing except as fun exercise.

My goals for photography are three:

1. to companion my writing (which has more editing than a forum post)

2. to create a passive income with stock

3. to capture the world that I see so I can share it with others

I never learned how to use Adobe and the more I learn about lightroom and photoshop, the more I feel it isn’t for me. There are lots of reasons. One of the reasons is the first software someone learns tends to govern what they think is “intuitive to use”. I want to try other kinds before finally deciding if Adobe is for me so I can get used to non-intuitive tools first.

What are your favourite raw editing programs?

I want something that I can look at many photos and do quick edits like I do now, but also some more advanced edits like spot removal, clone, burn and the thing that is the opposite of burn which I can’t remember the name. I want to make lines not keystoned and have easy trick for horizontal horizon. I also want to put keywords in the photo instead of doing them all after I upload. I imagine if I keyword the photo file then I can search my personal library for these words when I want to find the photo. Maybe I imagine wrong?

Later on – maybe 2021 – I want to learn about making three exposures into one (has three letters, to expand dynamic range in a picture) and other neat things to do. But mostly this year I’m still focusing on learning how to make the best in-camera photos (I want good ingredients) and slowly learning editing (I learn better with deep understanding so slow is my speed).

There are a lot of programs to choose. Some are free. Some cost money. I don’t mind paying money if the program is good, but I would like it better to pay once instead of every month. But, I also don’t know enough to know what words I am looking for when choosing a software. I’m thinking of Capture One, but I wonder if this will do what I want? It’s hard to know where to begin until after you’ve already started then hindsight always shows you should have started elsewhere.

(I only have windows 10 pc. Canon mirrorless shooting raw)

Please forgive my spelling and such, I can’t seem to make grammarly plugin work with this form and extreme dyslexia means my regular spellcheck goes on vacation for “the program cannot detect what language this is written in so spellcheck is disabled” or some reason.

Edited December 26, 2019 by CrowingHen
adding info

When it comes to Image editing or photo enhancement, Adobe Photoshop is usually the primary option to consider. However the only problem is, the software package itself is a quite expensive for a general freelancer designers.

So what about you!! Gives much sleep lately or lower open Photoshop, and some do not consider ethical pirate download, so many free software supporters choose to use a large software GNU image manipulation, if you guessed right, we talking about GIMP, a free software raster graphics editor.

Below, you’ll find some of the Best Gimp Tutorials and Resources Around for your Image editing & photo enhancement related needs which might help you to get inspired and learned a tip or two by the end of this presentation.

For those, who don’t know what is GIMP? And what it can do? Then follow the link below for detail introduction.

In Short, GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free software raster graphics editor. It is primarily employed as an image retouching and editing tool, in addition to offering freeform drawing and retouching tools, the GIMP can accomplish essential image workflow steps such as resizing, editing, and cropping photos, combining multiple images, and converting between different image formats. GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in the GIF format.

The next generation, representing two decades of excellence. This application contains everything you need to create high-end images and graphics. For those artists whose work demands more than the basic application, There is a GIMP available freely to satisfy their every needs that utilizes Image editing & photo manipulation.

You may be interested in the following related articles as well.

Feel free to join us and you are always welcome to share your thoughts that our readers may find helpful.

Ultimate Round-Up Of Gimp Tutorials

The demand for good Gimp tutorials are too much in these days and finding the best tutorials from the pool with tens of thousands of tutorials is not a easy job to perform. Designers love all kind of free tutorials that can help them to easily learn more and more everyday and give them ideas and directions to design more beautiful and attractive creative works. This list contains some of the best handpicked free gimp tutorials from their respective categories.

You know the cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but it doesn’t specify if those words are from Shakespeare or Stephanie Meyer. That’s because the quality of a photo is up to you, the photographer.

Just like with anything else, good photography requires a solid grounding in the basics. If you’re just getting started and need some direction, check out my Essential Guide to Taking Great Photos.

Still, maybe you’re comparing your photos to a professional photographer’s work and wondering why yours don’t look quite as good. Or maybe the photographer has a technique you want to try but don’t know where to start.

I’m going to give some behind-the-scenes info on the tricks pro photographers use to take their pictures to the next level, or create jaw-dropping effects. So grab your camera and read on.

Extend your range

High-dynamic-range photos became very popular in the last few years thanks to computer programs that make them easy to make. Basically, an HDR image combines images of the same scene with different exposure levels into a single image.

Usually you use three images, one overexposed, one underexposed and one with normal exposure. This gives the image a higher range of light levels than you can get from a single image. For a winter scene, especially at night, this can produce amazing results.

Of course, you need to plan ahead. Take your picture with a tripod so you get the same exact scene each time. Unless you know exactly what you’re after, take more than just three shots and cover a wide range of exposures. Then you can play around to see which image combinations give you the best results.

If you have an image you’ve already taken that you want to make HDR, you can use the Exposure adjustment in Pixlr or other editors to create three or more images, but it might not come out as well. Pixlr also has a Mimic HDR filter, but I didn’t have much success with it.

Once you have your multiple images at various exposure levels, you can use a free program like Luminance HDR or Fotor to turn them into an HDR image.

Focus on the details

When you’re taking pictures, there’s the tendency to want to get the most “bang for your buck” with each shot. So you try to squeeze in that gorgeous landscape, get every inch of that gorgeous building or cram everyone into the frame.

While that’s not bad, it also isn’t always artistic. To get really memorable shots, you want to focus on details. What makes that landscape or building unique?

Instead of capturing a meadow full of flowers, shoot one or two close up. Ignore the wall full of stained glass windows in that church and capture one from an interesting angle, or even just a part of it.

With digital photography, you don’t have to worry about wasting film, so shoot hundreds of photos at various ranges. As you look at them later, you’ll get a sense of what worked and what didn’t.

Explore bold new angles

In the last point, I mentioned angles. I’m sure if you review the photos you take, you’ll find that you tend to take most shots standing, which means they’re from the same height. So low objects are going to be shot from above, and tall objects are going to be shot from below.

Instead, try changing things up. Get a chair or ladder and shoot something tall straight on, or even from above. For low objects, get down to its level. In the case of babies and children, get all the way down to the floor. This changes the lighting and the backdrop, and can give you some excellent framing or effects you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten.

Or go more extreme with your typical angle. If you’re shooting something low, get even higher. For really tall objects, lie on your back to stretch the distance even more.

Slow down your shutter

Shutter speed is a really big deal because it controls how much light hits your image sensor. A fast shutter speed is essential for catching action shots without blurring. Slow shutter speed is needed for good low-light photography without a flash.

Normally, cameras try to avoid slow shutter speed because it’s easy to get blurry images. However, if you put your camera on a tripod for stability and choose “shutter priority” mode, you can pull off some cool tricks.

Note: On a DSLR, shutter priority mode will be the options on the dial labeled “S” or “Tv.” It lets you choose the shutter speed and the camera will choose a good aperture to avoid overexposure or underexposure. In some cases, you’ll want to experiment with going full manual and choosing a slow shutter speed with a wider aperture. On smartphones, you’ll find the shutter and aperture settings in the camera settings.

If you set your shutter speed to stay open for a few seconds, you can point your camera at a city and get the “light blur” effect. You see the buildings perfectly sharp, but the car headlights and taillights turn into light streaks.

If you set your shutter speed from a few seconds to a minute, you can use a light source like a flashlight or glow stick for “light painting.” Anything that’s stationary in front of the camera will stay sharp, but the light will blur so it looks like lines of light in the air.

You can even jump in front of the camera and write words, draw images or just create patterns. As long as you don’t stay in one spot for too long, you’ll blur out of the photo, leaving just the background and light.

If you want to slow down your shutter speed to an hour or more, you can point it at the sky and get star trail pictures. You just want to make sure there are few sources of light around or it will wash out the sky.

So, get away from the city and shoot when the moon isn’t out. Also, don’t use any artificial light while shooting. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is and what kind of great shots you can get.

The major don’t of black-and-white photography

Black-and-white photography is a quick way to make a classy portrait photo or atmospheric cityscape. However, the black-and-white mode on your camera is not the way to do it.

In that mode, the camera sensor only captures a fraction of the information that it can. Plus, if you want a color version of the photo later, or want to pop a single color, you can’t. Instead, take a color picture and then change it to a black-and-white photo in a photo editor.

In Photoshop, load your image and copy it to a new layer. Then go to Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Channel Mixer. In the free GIMP, go to Colors>>Components>>Channel Mixer.

At the bottom of the Channel Mixer dialog, click “Monochrome.” Now your image is black and white. However, you can adjust the Red, Green and Blue sliders to bring out various parts of the photo.

Dragging the slider to the right for a color will make the parts of the image that were originally that color lighter. Dragging to the left will make them darker. Experiment to create a more dynamic image than you would have gotten otherwise.

This question is about emulating Gimp’s Grain Merge Blending Mode in Photoshop. As can be seen, it adds the layer above and subtract 128 (DC Level).

Why is it important? It creates the ability to use “Negative Numbers” in a layer limited to the range [0, 255].

I have more than 2 layers stacked one above the other.
I want to sum them yet since the represent negative numbers (They are in the range -128 to 127) I added 128 (I can add any other number) to all.

The problem I can’t add them up in Photoshop.

I saw some math tricks people made to emulate averaging like here:

Is there such trick to emulate Grain Merge in Photoshop?

P.S. The Math Behind the Blending Mode might be useful:

2 Answers 2

Duplicate the layer and invert one copy. With the curves tool flatten the bottom half of the brightness range. Using the levels tool, on both layers, set the input levels to 127, 1.00, 255 and the output levels to 0,127 finally set the blending modes of one layer to “Linear Dodge (Add)” and set the other one to “Subtract”.

What we have done is effectively isolate the the top half and bottom half of the brightness range, and then add one whilst subtracting the other.

There’s a way to do so in 32 BIT.
In 32 Bit Mode Photoshop doesn’t clip the subtraction between layers.

I’ll try to explain.
Imagine 3 layers, the bottom layer, layer #1 has constant value of 120.
Layer number 2, above it, has a constant value of 130 and it blending mode set to Subtract.
The top layer, layer #3, has a constant value of 10 ans its blending mode is set to Add.

In 8 Bit and 16 Bit the result, Composite Layer, would be 10 as the subtraction result is clipped into 0.

In 32 Bit Mode the result is 0, as there is no clipping.

Hence What I asked for could be done by adding the same number of layers with constant value of 128 at Subtract Blending Mode (Actually one could be created with the value of # Layers * 128).

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The best HDR software can merge bracketed exposures seamlessly and produce both realistic or dramatic results!

Learn how to make hdr images in photoshop or gimp with a simple trick

The best HDR software can tackle one of the biggest problems in digital photography – the dynamic range of an image sensor can’t yet match that of the human eye (or rather, the brain’s processing of light). While we can look at a scene and see detail in both deepest shadows and brightest highlights, the camera restricts this somewhat and the result is overexposed whites and underexposed blacks.

That’s where High Dynamic Range, (HDR) photography comes in. The technique involves keeping the camera steady while taking two or more photographs at differing exposure values in a bid to make up for this loss of dynamic range on the sensor; this step is known as bracketing.

The next stage is to bring these bracketed images into editing software for processing. The software will typically align, blend, and add other imaging effects to provide the user with the best HDR option with the information it has. The best HDR software will also give the user control to make adjustments so that the HDR effect can be as subtle or drastic as one likes.

Typically, they come in two flavours: standalone and as a plugin. Standalone HDR editors run irrespective of other image editing software installed on the device and often their only task is to process HDR images. As such, they commonly comprise multiple presets and plenty of settings to customise. Those that work as plugins work by running through an existing software, such as Photoshop. While plugins can contain the same complexity as standalone when it comes to control over settings, some are a little lacking. But this simplicity is also a blessing in disguise for those less concerned with twiddling sliders. The added benefit of using a plugin is that your workflow isn’t interrupted or changed and the organisation of libraries are faithfully maintained.

There is a third option. Some photo-editing programs like Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity Photo come with HDR merge tools built in. So how do these stack up against separate HDR programs and plug-ins?

However you want to use HDR editing software, there are a range of price points to choose from, some with one-off payments and others with subscriptions, so take a look below at some of the best HDR image editing software available right now.