I was told all kinds of things while my beautiful wife was pregnant, things like, “Your whole life is about to change”, or “Just wait, you and your wife will fight about the stupidest things, things you never fought about in the past”, and “Enjoy the sleep and movie-going while you can!”  I always responded, “yeah I know”, or “bring it on”, but it never occurred to me  that it would be such an epic change, and I absolutely love it!  Every day is something new, you can really kiss routine goodbye, because you no longer make the rules, a 16 pound chunk of the heavens does all of that for you.

When you have a child you’ll soon find that your hard drive gets flooded with pictures of your little one doing anything and everything.  These photos range from important things like crawling and eating for the first time to just laying there either looking cute or crying.  It is all about capturing the moment, and  every moment is worth capturing (oh man, I should be quoted for that one!).  That is why seeing my son in HDR is so important.  I can make all of the mundane photos of him look lifelike and epic with a few keystrokes and brush waves.  However, the traditional method of HDR makes babies look horrible, you know, the “Take 5 Pictures and Slam Them Into Photomatix and Try As Hard As You Can to Get Rid of the New Found Dirt On His Face” Method.

A few weeks ago I showed my method of making better Portrait HDR’s using Adobe Camera Raw and Topaz Adjust.  Let me tell you, this method kicks ass!  I used to be of the mindset that Pseudo Single Raw HDR’s were not HDR’s because they didn’t use 5 exposures.  Now, however, I look at Pseudo Raw HDR’s with a much more open mind.  Whether you are using traditional HDR methods (5 exposures) or single Raw’s it is all about extracting the dynamic range present in the images you are working with and exaggerating them to take that dynamic range to the next level (high).  That being said, if there is enough dynamic range present in a single Raw image to exaggerate, then why call it pseudo at all.  It is just as much High Dynamic as 5 exposures if it works, right?  I think the term Pseudo HDR should be given to HDR’s created from multiple fabricated exposures in Photoshop, like taking a single jpeg and making 4 more exposures (+/- 2 EV) for the sake of HDRing it.

Check out these examples, I used the Pseudo Method I developed a few weeks ago for them:

Thankful for his Mother's eyes!

And the Tutorial for the Pseudo Method, just in case you didn’t click on the link above 😉


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's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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