I recently had the luxury of checking out Jimmy Mcintyre’s Advanced HDR Course.  Jimmy is the founder and host of HDROne and if you do not have him on your Facebook friends list you should probably add him now, his posts and images are incredible!  Jimmy offers an excellent training program, The Art of Advanced HDR available for just $34.99.  Let me tell you, it is worth every penny.  Before you begin to speculate, Jimmy did not pay me for this testimonial, I am making it because the course is… simply put… that good!

Before-Advanced-HDRAfter-Advanced-HDR

I have been post processing photos in Photoshop for nearly 14 years.  Much of that time was spent teaching myself the ropes from one tool to the next.  However, I learned a lot and I learned it relatively quickly.  When I became a photographer, naturally I used Photoshop to do all of my post processing.  I continually improved my workflow as I found tricks here and there that worked out pretty well.

Recently, I have become quite good at dividing my image into three parts, Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows using very distinct curves adjustments for each one.  I really thought I had it down, I thought I was doing something pretty epic.  It turns out the selections I was making were mere child’s play compared to what I learned from Jimmy Mcintyre’s course.

You see, Jimmy uses Luminosity Masks to make some very impressive selections.  Where I was creating one Highlights layer, Jimmy was making six!  Likewise for the Midtones and the Shadows.  With these very intuitive selections Jimmy makes precise adjustments to every detail of the image at even the most minute level.  In Jimmy’s course he explains it all to you and walks you through his process of creating amazing HDR images without relying on excessive software and/or plug-ins.

The Good:

  • Jimmy’s Advanced course will take your cookie dough post processing and carve it into wood with utmost craftsmanship.  He is very good at explaining the process and walks you through the convoluted Luminosity mask process making it seem like second nature in minutes.
  • There is an Action available with the download that sets up the Luminosity Masks for you.  A time consuming task is made effortless with the Action that Jimmy created for the course.  This is great because it allows you to focus on the training rather than the creation of the Luminosity Masks.
  • There are 5 videos, one that is very basic and covers the Luminosity Mask creation process and the theory behind their benefit.  The subsequent videos are specific to certain images that Jimmy offers in the course for you to follow along with.
  • There is a bonus tutorial that outlines the benefit of using Adobe Camera Raw to edit 32 bit HDR images.
  • The best part, your images will look better after this training.  Your workflow will benefit greatly from the knowledge you will receive about Luminosity Masks from Jimmy.  Take it from a 14 year Photoshop veteran who thought he had nailed his workflow!

The Bad:

  • The only problem I see, your workflow time will increase.  I am all about efficiency and processing my photos quickly, however, this is a very daunting process that requires a lot of brain power and tedious, but necessary adjustments.  It really is bitter sweet!  However, the excellent final product of your post processing efforts will shine through the additional amount of time.

The Bottom Line:

This course has definitely improved my workflow, made me more conscious of my post processing decisions and most importantly dramatically increased the quality of my final images.  You should know that this is a rather advanced course.  While Jimmy does a great job of walking you through the process, it will take quite a bit of Photoshop knowledge going into it.  If you are new to layers and masking, you may find it difficult to comprehend at first, however, if you follow along with Jimmy using the provided source images, you will master them in no time.

This is an excellent buy at just $34.99.  Don’t spend another ounce of money on software or plug-ins until you check it out!

Purchase the Art of Advanced HDR by Jimmy Mcintyre at HDROne.

 

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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