HDR photos with the GIMP


Step 10: Recap- steps for creating brightness-mapped HDR

- Take stock photos- one exposed normally, one 1 stop underexposed, one 1 stop overexposed, from a tripod.

- Open middle image as background
- Open dark image, copy, paste into new layer in composite image, rename layer "Dark"
- Desaturate dark image
- Adjust curves on dark image to set levels
- Create a layer mask on Dark layer, copy monochrome dark stock image, paste in to layer mask and anchor
- Do the same for the light image- open, copy, paste into new layer, rename layer "Light", desaturate original stock image
- Invert colours in stock image, adjust curves if necessary
- Create layer mask on Light layer, paste inverted greyscale light image into it, anchor
- Save image
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oshman67855 months ago

Wow!! Awesome and so easy! Thank you! After playing with this a few times, the 2.8.10 version of Gimp offers quite a few shortcuts, namely when you create the layer masks, it's now combined into a single step. There is no more need to desaturate or desaturate / invert first. Right click the layer, create layer mask, and just select the grayscale copy of layer and either check / uncheck the Invert Mask checkbox. Here's the compiled steps:

Steps to convert Images to HDR using
the gimp 2.8.10

  1. Open the middle image. Rename that
  2. Open the dark image, copy the full
    image and paste it as a new layer on top of the base. You can do
    that with the Edit \ Paste As \ New Layer option, or create a new
    layer from the layers toolbar, paste the image, then anchor it down.
    Rename this layer...
  3. From the layers toolbar, right
    click on the dark layer and Add Layer Mask. Initialize Layer Mask
    to: Grayscale copy of layer.
  4. Open the light image, copy / paste
    it as a new layer above the dark layer. Rename this layer.
  5. Again, from the layers toolbar,
    right click on the dark layer and Add Layer Mask. Initialize Layer
    Mask to: Grayscale copy of layer. One additional option is needed
    though, to check the Invert Mask box. This will make the grayscale
    mask a negative.


And, if you want to edit the curves of those grayscale masks, just right click the layer and make sure Edit Layer Mask is checked. Select that layer and have at it... :-)


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