Tag Archive for 'color'

HDR Portrait & Wedding Photography Techniques (2nd Edition)

Look To The Wind. HDR by Gavin Seim. Canon 30D

~ Check out Gavin’s HDR workshops. More details here.

Updated 07/2009: Revamped & improved article. Added a new segment dealing with movement and blur (towards bottom).

by Gavin Seim: In 2007 I wrote an article about using true HDR techniques with people. Yep, portraits, fashion and wedding images can be utterly amazing using High Dynamic Range. HDR is not just reserved for nature and still life. We’ve been using it at Seim Studios for some time now and it blows clients away. Heres some of my secret sauce to get you started with HDR portraits and a few of my own images.

Link Resources>>

What’s HDR All About?
First lets cover basics. If you’re already an HDR master you can skip this part. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It’s better seen than described, so other than the images I’ve included in this article, you can see more on my website.

HDR is the combining of light and dark tones of multiple images taken at varied exposure levels and then blended using software like Photomatix, Photoshop, or another HDR program. Photomatix is the most popular among HDR fans and we have a deal worked out with them. You can save 15% with promo code PPS15. Basically this software blending allows the photographer to selectively choose how much light he wants in various parts of the image. You’ll have a light to dark range that’s much higher than that of a normal exposure, thus giving you much more control over the final image.

You can also check my two PPS episodes from 2007, talking about HDR and HDR portraits. HDR Podcast Part1 & HDR Podcast Part2. There’s also PPS #57, an HDR episode with Trey Ratcliff that’s full of insight.

Continue reading ‘HDR Portrait & Wedding Photography Techniques (2nd Edition)’

How To Make An HDR Portrait. Behind The Scenes:

~ Check out Gavin’s 3 day HDR workshop coming Fall 2009. More details here.

So you’ve probably heard about HDR photography, and you may be wondering what you can do with it and why it’s so cool.
By Gavin Seim
: This is not a short article but it will explain a lot about HDR photography and why its so amazing. Today we’re going to talk about the editing techniques I used to create “Look To The Wind” the bride on the beach image that you probably have heard mentioned on Pro Photo Show, and maybe seen on the net. Also below are some additional links for things relevant to HDR.

Link Resources>>

HDR is a method of taking multiple images and combining them in a high dynamic range file. Lets say you take three images of the exact same scene, at various exposure levels. Standard images are only around 8 bits each, basically meaning that their ability to correctly expose dark scenes while keeping bright scenes from getting overexposed is limited.

So to make an HDR you might take one image that’s underexposed, one image over, and one with correct exposure. Then using software you can combine the shadow and highlight details from all the images into a single image is called an HDR, It’s the combined bits of these images, and is usually a 32 bit image when converted. What does 32bit mean to you? It means it can contain far more light. Even though the actual resolution of the image is not increased the details inside it are much higher. The HDR Photography technique is most often done with nature or still life images, but I have been doing extensive experimenting with this technique in portraits as well with good results, as we’ll see today.

hdr example

So lets look at an example. In this image I took three shots of the bride on the beach using continuous shooting mode with auto exposure bracketing. This along with a model holding as still as possible, and a fairly wide angle scene made “Look To The Wind” Possible possible (click for a larger version) You can read more about HDR portrait techniques in my HDR portrait article.

There a a few ways to take the three images and make an HDR from them. First take your images in unedited raw form. You could do it with jpegs, but raw will give you the best results. Don’t correct the raw files before converting to HDR. There is a very basic tool in Photoshop for converting the images called Merge To HDR (File/Automate/Merge To HDR) This allows you to select you images, and it will combine them into and 32 bit image. You then can use tools to adjust the levels, and curves of the image mix to try and get a good result.

Continue reading ‘How To Make An HDR Portrait. Behind The Scenes:’

Free Lightroom Presets | The Ultimate Free Presets List:

The power of presets. Mouse over for before image. Get Gavin’s Lightroom and Aperture presets on from seimeffects.com

The Free Lightroom Presets Directory: by Gavin Seim. (Updated 10/07/2013)


One of the most powerful features of Adobe Lightroom is presets. And you’ve just found the biggest, best maintained list of free LR presets anywhere. I hunt the web for these, trying to add the best and filter out the dead ends. There’s plenty to browse. And feel free to share your favorites in the comments (freebies only).

LR4 and LR5 Presets: The develop module changed in LR4 and most LR3 presets will not fully function under the new process. As more LR4 presets are becoming available I’ll add to the list. I’ll also note listings that I’ve been able to verify are LR4 Compatible. Non-marked listing may be LR1,2 and 3 only.

NOTE: In LR 1-3 separate JPEG and RAW presets were needed. In LR4 this is not the case. since the process changes, all images are processed the same and any LR4 preset works on any image.

Also check out my presets for Lightroom 1-5. My full collections are guaranteed are worth the cost. But there’s also loads of freebies (linked below). I’m fanatical about quality and honored that they’ve become so well regarded my peers. OK, now on to the goodies. Oh and if you use Apple Aperture, here’s the free Aperture presets list.

Also check out…

Top Free LR Preset picks

6000+ Facebook Fans say it best – Seim Effects are the ultimate LR presets.

More Free Presets Worth Noting: These may not be large sets but they may have potential…

Other Random Presets: Some of these have obscure links, some with only 1 preset. But if you crave more…

Free Lightroom Brush PresetsHow To Install Brush Presets

LR4 Brushes…

LR2-3 Brushes

Free Lightroom Print Presets/Templates:


Free Lightroom Presets. By Gavin Seim

I use using Lightroom Presets like crazy. I’ve decided to add to the mix of free Lightroom presets, with a few of my favorites that come from my Power Workflow2 Lightroom presets.

On to the free stuff. These have both RAW & JPEG versions just like you’ll find in my PW2 collection. You can also find more of my free presets right here.

These are a few of my favorite special effects from my Power Workflow. 400 is loosely based on the very popular “300”series by Mikelao. It’s a cool fantasy effect that adds some snappy drama to a scene.

Fantasy is a preset I use all the time, and have found it to be very useful since it gives a creative look. Fantasy Basic is a great lightweight general use effect that gives a nice gentle look. It works great on nearly any image. There’s more variations in the my complete set but this should get you rocking!


More than everyday Presets: POWER WORKFLOW Lightroom Presets by Gavin Seim. Define your style!!