Today we’ll learn how to make a HDR (High Dynamic Range Rage) image out of a single GIF. The first thing you need to do is to go out into the nature and shoot your GIF image, now most cameras doesn’t save to this format so for this example we’ll use RAW instead and convert it later… Be sure to bracket a lot when doing the actual shooting so that you have a lot of images to choose from when you get home… In my example I bracketed 9 exposures with 1 EV spacing.
For this example I choose this exposure… +1 EV… Simply because I like it the most and I’m the photographer guy…. the artist.
Then open your image in Photoshop, or whatever program you prefer, it doesn’t really matter.
You’ll get to this wicked looking program with lots of knobs and buttons that no normal human can possibly understand… Just ignore them all and open the image… After all we’re artists, not computer programmers…
This took unusually long on my computer… Just chill out for a while, get a coffee of something, it will open eventually…
In order to save our image as a GIF file we need to convert it to indexed color, ie. no more then max 256 colors…
Save it as a “Compuserve GIF”, quit photoshop and open it in PhotomatRix
PhotomatRix is being stupid, can’t read GIF files… But it seems like it haven’t got a problem with Jpeg files… so we’ll need to convert…
Re-open the image in Photoshop and change the mode to RGB Color. Don’t worry, you destroyed all the colors when converting it to indexed color, and you will not get them back, this is just because you need to have RGB Color mode in order to save as Jpeg.
Check the image that it still looks like a GIF… This one is fine, save it as the middle (0 EV) exposure (as a Jpeg)
Then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels
Set the midpont at various places and save as different exposures… I used 0.1, 0.5, 1, 2 and 5
When you’re done saving your pics open them in PhotomatRix, you will need to fool the program that you have some idea of EV spacing… I told it I spaced 2 EV in between the exposures.
Since all the images in the stack are from the same GIF file you don’t really need anything on this next page… they are perfectly aligned and no ghosting…
Ths is the “real” HDR image, but in order to get something the monitor can show us we need to tonemap it back to a LDR
The default setting, you probably wanna drag the sliders around for a bit to get the look you want.
One single GIF HDR sees the light of day… =)