Trey Ratcliff’s Photography, HDR, and Post-Processing Course is a complete course that details everything that you need to photograph, create, and professionally produce high quality High Dynamic Range (HDR) photographs through the use of Adobe Photoshop and Photomatix Pro processing software.
This course was created from the recording of a paid online webinar that took place beginning in May of 2011 and took place over the course of nine days. Each of the lessons is over an hour (a total of over 11 hours in length) and takes you through beginning, intermediate, as well as advanced topics. There are over 130 source working files (in the Total package editions) and are full size actual files that the instructor works with during the course.
Each lesson begins with an informal discussion that covers a wide variety of topics that pertain to photography, HDR, and personal growth. Sometimes they reflect topics that are covered in the course and other times they are just life lessons that the instructor shares with the group. Then you get into the meat of the lesson which consists of working with the files and processing images and finishes up with a question and answer session.
Lesson 1 begins by getting into the instructors philosophy of a holistic approach to photography and art in general. Here he talks about how many people have a very shallow, almost fragile knowledge of photography and he would like this course to provide a much deeper knowledge. This lesson discusses these concepts while taking you through the overall workflow so that you can see the process from a higher level. The remainder of the lessons dig deeper into these processes providing much more in depth information. The Q & A session looks at what kind of mistakes people make when creating HDR and why the instructor uses JPEG files instead of TIFFS.
Lesson 2 starts off by talking about the private Clubhouse forums (available for the Total package editions) and the experience of interaction with users. Then he gets down to business on setting up both Nikon and Canon cameras for bracketing and how to take the type of shots for HDR imaging. He also explains the number of images that you need to take, the use of RAW vs. JPEG files for processing. He then does three different Photomatix processing examples. In the Q&A segment there is a detailed explanation of color space, megapixels, and histograms.
Lesson 3 examines how to find your own artistic self through the process of trying new things until something works for you. Through the use of social media and the internet, you can both share your work as well as examining the works of others to refine your vision. You will also learn about critiques and criticism. The instructor takes a look at a lot of the work that has been posted by those who were participating in the webinar with a critic’s eye. He also provides a demo of a double-tone mapped photo, how to set up shortcuts, and the Q & A segment talks about the use of wide angle lenses and how they affect the image.
Lesson 4 is about how HDR photography works and how it relates to how we see the world and the emotions that affect what we remember about a scene. He also talks about image size as well as how chromatic aberration and noise is not that big of a problem especially with Web based presentation. Other topics include how Photomatix works – what it gets right and where it falls short, working with layers in both Photoshop and Photoshop elements, and other post processing techniques. Q & A looks at online images being copied, how to take HDR images without people in them, and how to get that wow factor to your images.