Unlocking the pros’hottest post-processing techniques – a book review
There’s no better feeling for a photographer than to havepeople gush over your photo, suggesting you submit it to National Geographic,or better yet, asking if they could buy it. Unfortunately, most of your shotsdon’t get that way with a simple press of the shutter. Most are post-processed,some heavily and more often than not, it’s the HDR images that pull the mostpraise.
So how hard is it to learn HDR? Can a hobbyist learn HDR, ordoes it take years to perfect? The answer is Yes and No.  Learning HDR, whether you use Photoshop,Photomatix or Nik’s HDR Efex Pro, could take years; but, with RC’s newest titleThe HDR Book, you’ll be producingfantastic shots in under a week.
What makes people crazy is that the first time you usePhotomatix, after you press the “create” button, you wait for your masterpieceto appear. When it finally does, it usually looks plain awful.  That’s because the image created is reallynot finished. You next need to “tone-map” the image. That’s where the magicbegins to happen.
Only problem here is that there are so many choices in thetone-mapping process that most mere mortals get overwhelmed with all the checkboxes and sliders at their disposal. It can be quite intimidating.
Enter TheHDR Book.  Just as the CanadianMounties save the day up north, RC saves the photographic day for hisreaders.  In a non-techie tone, heexplains what you need to do to make the choices that will both start andfinish your photos into the masterpiece that you hoped for.
Luckily for you, he doesn’t confine his suggestions to onespecific brand of HDR software. He actually shows you how to create your artusing each of the three primary software choices. He also spends an appropriateamount of time discussing the setup of your shot, what type scenes are the bestcandidates for HDR and shortcuts that will save you processing time. He evendiscusses how to do single-shot HDR’s and using HDR for black and white photos.
Step by step, in ten different photos, he shows how eachsituation can be handled using each of the three software packages. But then,the secret sauce is revealed when he takes each image back into Photoshop forthe final tweaks that make that photo really pop.
As a bonus, Kelby Training did an hour-long webcast about the book that anyone can view for free. View that firstor just head straight for your local book store and get started with the realthing. Your pictures will love you for it.