Make city lights glow with HDR in ACR

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the biggest leap in image quality I’ve ever seen. It lets you truly show the full dynamic range of your camera without compromise. Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) v15.1+ makes it incredibly easy to process your RAW images as HDR on an HDR-capable monitor.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to setup and use HDR to get the most out of your images in ACR.

See my HDR page and e-book for much more detail on how to setup HDR. You’ll need to enable the tech previews shown in the video above and restart Photoshop to get support. HDR is supported in ACR for all computers at this time, but layer-based editing outside ACR in Photoshop is only supported on MacOS at this time. See my related videos on HDR in ACR and how to export HDR images for the web using the AVIF file format.

Be sure to see my tests and monitor recommendations to make sure your display supports HDR. If you’re viewing the video on an SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) monitor, it will be “tone mapped” to give you a relative sense of what’s possible. In other words, you’ll get a simulation of the effect on an SDR monitor, but need to view it on a true HDR display to really appreciate the benefit. Try viewing using Safari or Chrome on an M1 or M2 MacBook Pro to see just how truly stunning it can be. Also, I would avoid FireFox for this video if it looks strange (you may incorrectly show the wrong version of an HDR YouTube video on that browser).

Please also note that I’m still learning how to optimally render HDR video, and what you see in this tutorial isn’t quite as good as the real experience. I highly encourage you to try it for yourself.

Greg Benz Photography