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From the author of Improve the Contrast

Improve the Contrast

The next-to-last step for most of my HDR Toning photos, is to use the powerful Curve function to improve the contrast in specific areas of the image, without changing other areas. This is accomplished using the unique “corner point” technology. To set up your Curve, target the areas you wish to modify, keeping in mind that the very brightest tones are represented at the far-right edge of the curve, and the darkest tones at the far-left edge (the histogram will show you how evenly the tones are distributed across this range).

Start by clicking points along the curve (one on either side of the segment or segments you wish to manipulate), and after each one, check the Corner setting to enable that point as a Corner Point. Then click once in the center of each segment and drag the curve as you normally would to make the adjustment. Notice that all the areas outside of your “corner point segment” don’t move, as they normally will in other Curve functions (Figure 7).

Figure 7 The Curves function in Merge to HDR Pro works a little differently than a traditional Photoshop curve dialog, but the unique Corner Point option allows you to make very precise edits.

Finally, you’ll also notice in Figure 7 that I tweaked the Edge Glow Settings to punch up the contrast and control any halo artifacts that appeared around the building during the HDR Toning process. Here, by boosting the Strength setting I was able to get more of a “sheen” off the glass on the building, and then I adjusted the Radius to control the halos. These two sliders in particular will require some experimentation, but hopefully you can see how powerful editing a 32-bit HDR exposure with HDR Toning can be!

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