I thought I would follow up the Nik HDR Efex Pro announcement with a free preset for all of you Aperture 3 people. If you haven't been reading for a while you probably don't know that I am not a big fan of HDR but I thought that this preset might be a fun way to introduce you to the power and the glory of Aperture's Highlights and Shadows adjustment.
Here is an old tutorial on Highlights and Shadows. Let's not get into the "bad HDR" vs "good HDR" because if you have that conversation with someone it will amaze you how all your words agree with each other's but when you look at images together there is a 99.9% chance your definition of good and bad HDR will diverge wildly. So… Here is my over the top impression of what all things labeled as HDR look like - I did say over the top, you can tune it to your own definition of "good HDR". Here is the HDR recipe from my standpoint.
- Bring all of the shadows into the midtones.
- Bring all of the Highlights into the midtones.
- So much so that they will actually cross over each other at some point.
- Jank the living hell out of the midtone contrast.
- Make sure there are some large soft halos of sorts that look like surreal light on an alien planet.
Okay - so here are some of the results of my trademarked over the top HDR preset for any image. Just make sure that it is a RAW image. These are with no other adjustments - season to taste, you can probably tell before and after. You can download the preset at the bottom.
Aperture 3 HDR Preset