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Tiny Photoshop

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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Fake HDR 
Adone Photoshop


Fake A Vivid HDR Photographic Conversion
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 & CC
Skill Level - Intermediate

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This tutorial demonstrates how to fake a vivid photorealistic or a painterly HDR - (High Dynamic Range) - conversion using a single Start Image. To to work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image HereUnzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Understandings Layers
Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Images will always react uniquely; therefore, when using your own, experiment with the settings I mention, and discover the best settings for you.

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards. Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,

or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

Open a single Start Image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Extend your image’s workspace by left-clicking and dragging out one of its corners.

Tip: Snap Your Image To The Top Menu’s Horizontal Bar
Another way of centralising an image is to snap it to the top (horizontal) menu-bar by dragging your image towards it: as soon as you see a blue horizontal bar, your image should automatically snap to it.

Now, Duplicate the Background Layer by left-clicking its Layer, and dragging it over the following Create a new layer icon. Repeat this once. You will now have three identical Layers, as illustrated below.

(Alternatively, tapping Ctrl then tapping the J Key quickly Duplicates a Layer).


Now, left-click to activate the Middle Layer: then change its Blending Mode from
Normal to Overlay.

Still working on the Middle Layer: from the top menu, choose Image then choose Adjustments then choose Desaturate: (Shift+Ctrl+U).

Your workspace image won’t look any different: this is because you are working on the Middle Layer.

Still working on the Middle Layer: Invert the colours by tapping Ctrl then I. (Image then Adjustments then Invert). Again, your workspace image won’t change its appearance.

Still working on the Middle Layer: from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. From the subsequent Gaussian Blur dialogue box, set a Blur Radius of around 50 Pixels, then click OK.


Now, activate the Top Layer.

Then from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Other then choose High Pass. From the subsequent High Pass dialogue box, enter the following Radius setting, then click OK.


Now, still working on the Top Layer: change its Blending Mode from Normal to

Congratulations, you have completed your Fake HD/HDR Conversion.

To reduce the impact, reduce the Top Layer’s Opacity.

Painterly Conversion
To intensify the colours, Duplicate the Top Layer: Ctrl then J.

Then, to create a vivid painterly effect, change the Duplicated Layer’s Blending Mode from Overlay to Vivid Light. For personal results, always experiment with different Blending Modes,Opacities, Effects and Filters.


To preserve the Layers, save your work as a
Photoshop Image File (PSD).

To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

Congratulations, your work is complete
and is ready to save.

Sharpen Tip
Applying a Sharpening Filter to your final work will add impact and texture: to apply a Sharpening Filter, from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Sharpen then choose Smart Sharpen. From the subsequent Smart Sharpen dialogue box, set the attributes of your choice, then click OK.

Now you are familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun converting photographs into vivid fake HD/HDR Conversions.

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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