Ever heard of HDR? It stands for “high dynamic range” which means that there is a larger amount of range between light and dark areas in a photo. Usually, it is a pretty long process. A photographer must choose a location, set up a tripod, be very careful not to move the set-up then, take 3 photos all at different settings (correct settings, blow out the highlights, and saturate the shadows). Then, when post-processing, it usually takes time to layer the images correctly and morph them into the final product.
Picasa has just simplified this for you:
pmHDR (or “poor man’s”) HDR is simple and easy with a couple of steps!
- Open Picasa and choose an awesome photo (landscapes work wonders!) and export it to a folder. Name the folder HDR
- Open the HDR folder and choose the photo you want to edit (title it ORIGINAL), save a copy of this photo in the same folder.
- Click on the copied photo “Tuning” tab and increase the fill light to your liking (the higher, the better but don’t blow it out). Sharpen the image to your liking. You can also mess with other settings like blur, glow and warming. Save and title the photo HIGHLIGHTS
- Click back on the original photo and save another copy.
- Click on the copy and then click the “tuning” tab and now increase the shadows to your liking (dark but not black). Save and title SHADOWS
- Highlight the two edited images (Highlights and Shadows) and the click on “Create Collage” (click here to learn how to create a collage )
- Choose the “Multiple Exposure” option. This should give you an HDR effect.
It takes some time to get used to the settings you like, also, no two pictures are the same. Some might look good with a blur effect, others need to be sharpened more. Here is a before and after of my first pmHDR: