Training

Click the image for a $10 discount off the regular $45 price of the HDR Masterclass.

Click the image for a $10 discount off the regular $45 price of the HDR Masterclass.

An HDR processed image of a feature at the Grand Canyon by Patrick C. Cook.

An HDR processed image of a feature at the Grand Canyon
by Patrick C. Cook.

I am an HDR photography enthusiast.

HDR has served my very well over a number of years. HDR enabled me to return from the Grand Canyon with remarkable images that would have otherwise been impossible due to the extreme light variations of the intense sun and deep shadows of the rock features. HDR has made it possible to take photographs in situations that were otherwise walk-aways due to an extreme range of light levels in the scene. HDR has helped me understand my camera much better...and take better control of my camera. In short, HDR is a powerful imaging method that, frankly, I can't image doing without. HDR has elevated my possibilities, and opportunities, in digital photography.

"HDR" is the acronym for "High Dynamic Range". HDR is a photographic method for capturing all of the light levels in a scene using a standard digital camera. Capturing all lights levels in a scene is important to avoid what is called "data loss". Data loss occurs when pixels has no tonal variations - they are either full white or full black. When pixel information is lost the image suffers loss of detail. So, HDR is really all about maximizing detail in an image.

The preservation of detail is accomplished by taking several photographs at different exposure levels. Then, using software, the series of photos are merged together to obtain a greater range of pixel information from which a high detail image can be created. Many photographers use the HDR method to create highly realistic photos while others use it for creative purposes. Whatever the final image objective might be, the use of HDR maximizes the available tonal values to enable the best possible image detail.

For me HDR has been a valuable tool in my photography that I like to share with others, which is why I have authored the HDR Masterclass, a 6+ hour video training course for start-to-finish training of HDR photography. The course is available at Udemy.com where you can review the course topics and preview several sessions of the course. The course is aggressively priced to be affordable - I feel all photographers should add HDR to their skill set which is why I didn't price my course out of reach. In addition, my website patrons receive a $10 discount off the regular $45 course price. I hope the course can help you prosper with your own photography as it has for me.

Course Description

Make HDR photography part of your photography journey with the HDR Masterclass where you'll learn about HDR photography and begin building your skills with a proven field capture method and proficient tone mapping. Explore examples of HDR images created by the instructor as well as the many benefits of HDR photography. Learn the fundamentals of HDR photography to prepare you for optimum field capture using the instructor's own hassle-free field capture method for HDR photography. Then delve into tone mapping, including a demonstration with Photomatix Pro to get you off to a great start. The HDR Masterclass is rich in graphics along with a steady paced instructor presentation. This course will prepare you to utilize HDR photography upon completion of the course. All photography skill levels are welcome - just bring your enthusiasm to learn a new photography skill that will serve you well for many years.

Course Topics

Session 1. Welcome (Watch a Free Preview of this Session)
In this welcome session we introduce the skills we intend to develop in the HDR Masterclass, which are referred to as "objectives". The two primary objectives of this course are "optimum field capture" and "proficient tone mapping". We then outline the many topics we'll cover in the course and why each topic is important in the development of your HDR photography skills.


Session 2. Course Objectives
It's important to understand what we intend to accomplish in the HDR Masterclass. The two primary skills we seek to develop with this course are "optimum field capture" and "proficient tone mapping" which we discuss in this session to give you a learning foundation as you proceed through the course.


Session 3. HDR Examples
This session introduces you to a variety of the instructor's own HDR processed images to help you appreciate the power of HDR photography. We show each example of the HDR processed images side-by-side with its single frame photo to help you appreciate the value of HDR photography for capturing all of the light levels in a scene. Be sure to join us in this session to better appreciate the power of HDR photography.

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Session 4. HDR Defined (Watch a Free Preview of this Session)
This session clarifies what HDR photography is all about. We discuss the problem HDR photography is attempting to solve and we introduce various HDR-related terms as a learning foundation for continuing our discussion of HDR photography in the HDR Masterclass.

 

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Session 5. HDR Benefits
When we understand the benefits of HDR photography we are more motivated to learn the skills needed to practice HDR photography. This session introduces you to a variety of benefits you may realize by embracing HDR photography. The benefits are much more than better images and technical advantages, as this session reveals.

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Session 6. Fundamentals Session 1 of 3
As the first of three sessions of the fundamentals of HDR photography, this session helps you appreciate an important limitation of the camera which often calls for HDR capture and image processing methods. We discuss how HDR photography overcomes the camera's dynamic range limitation to help you appreciate the value of HDR photography, regardless of the camera you own.

Session 7. Fundamentals Session 2 of 3
This second of three sessions of the fundamentals of HDR photography explores the histogram, an important tool that helps you understand the density and distribution of light falling on your camera's sensor. Understanding the histogram is understanding what your camera is able to record in terms of light levels, which is a key factor for successful HDR photography.

Session 8. Fundamentals Session 3 of 3
This third and final of three sessions of the fundamentals of HDR photography paves the way for you to capture an optimum series of images in the next session "Capturing for HDR". We discuss RAW versus JPG and delve into the 32 bit image format. We conclude this session by exploring if HDR photography is a style or a process and why the distinction is important.

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Session 9. Capturing Session 1 of 3
This first of three sessions of capturing for HDR photography will prepare you for our discussion of obtaining an optimum field capture using the instructors capture method. We start by discussing the HDR workflow, followed by discussing the objectives for optimum HDR field capture. Then we review how the histogram helps us understand when "clipping" is occurring, a key consideration in HDR photography.

Session 10. Capturing Session 2 of 3
This second of three sessions concerning capturing for HDR photography will introduce you to the instructor's method of capturing a sequence of images for HDR processing. The instructor's method is designed to optimize, simplify and speed up capturing a sequence of images for purposes of HDR photography.
 

Session 11. Capturing Session 3 of 3
This third and final of three sessions concerning capturing for HDR photography will step you through each of the steps of the instructor's own method of capturing a sequence of images for HDR processing. You won't want to miss this session because the instructor's field capture method paves the way for you to use HDR photography more often, with less resistance and with the best possible result. Bring a hot cup of coffee or tea and learn this surprisingly simple, but effective, method of capturing a sequence of images for HDR photography.

Session 12. Field Capture Guide (Includes Downloadable PDF)
In this session we step through each of the items of the downloadable Field Capture Guide that provides you with a handy field memory-jogger to help you create your best possible sequence of images for HDR photography.
 


Be sure to download the PDF file of the free HDR Field Capture Guide. Then have it printed (ideally in color) at your local copy center or using your home printer. Then use the guide to help you take the best possible field captures for your HDR photography. You may also download this video session.

 

 

Session 13. Capture In Review
This session reviews the field capture method described in the previous sessions that discussed optimum field capture for HDR photography. We discuss HDR capture rules-of-thumb to get you off to a great start capturing for HDR. We also discuss the importance of capturing for HDR using a stable platform, such as a tripod.

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Session 14. Capture Demonstration
This valuable session provides a detailed demonstration of field capture for HDR photography using a mirrorless camera. We use the instructor's method of field capture discussed in previous sessions. While viewing the camera's actual LCD Live View, you'll see how easy it is to take a series of images for the best possible results during tone mapping, which follows this session.

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Session 15. Proficient Tone Mapping 1 of 3
This first of three sessions sets the stage for understanding the processing of your field capture sequence, generically referred to as "tone mapping". We discuss merging, alignment and de-ghosting to get you off to a great start with your tone mapping.
 

Session 16. Proficient Tone Mapping 2 of 3
This second of three sessions continues our discussion of tone mapping, moving into the various adjustments that can be applied to your merged field capture sequence. This important session will get you past the most common hurdle with tone mapping by helping you understand the variety of image adjustments available to you with HDR tone mapping software applications.

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Session 17. Tone Mapping Demonstration 1 of 3
This first of three sessions demonstrating tone mapping using the popular Photomatix Pro HDR processing software prepares you for proficient tone mapping.

Be sure to download the three (3) sample images that you may use to practice tone mapping. The three images are in a ZIP file. Each image is in the Canon RAW format ("CR2") and may not display on your PC or MAC without a HDR software application. The images are for your personal educational use only and may not be re-distributed apart from the HDR Masterclass course. Copyright remains with the author Patrick C. Cook with all rights retained.

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Session 18. Tone Mapping Demonstration 2 of 3
This second of three sessions demonstrating tone mapping using Photomatix Pro continues to prepare you for proficient tone mapping. In this session we discuss each of the adjustments available with Photomatix Pro. Be sure to join us.

Be sure to download the three sample images that you may use to practice tone mapping. You may download the images from the description of the first session of the Tone Mapping Demonstration.

Session 19. Tone Mapping Demonstration 3 of 3
This third and final of three sessions demonstrating tone mapping with Photomatix Pro concludes our demonstration of proficient tone mapping, including saving your final processed image.

Be sure to download the three sample images that you may use to practice tone mapping. You may download the images from the description of the first session of the Tone Mapping Demonstration.

Session 20. Proficient Tone Mapping 3 of 3
With our tone mapping demonstration completed, this third and final of three session concludes our discussion of tone mapping. We discuss avoiding common processing flaws that damage your tone mapped images. We also outline tips and best practices to help you have the best success with your future tone mapping.

From the HDR Masterclass.
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From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


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Session 21. Wrap Up
In this wrap up session we review the topics of this course and how they prepared you for embracing HDR photography. We then explore tips on how to utilize HDR photography to enhance your own photography journey. After that we list a variety of HDR software and HDR related publications to help you get the most from your HDR photography future. We then leave you with an inspirational gift to send you off to a bright and fulfilling future with HDR photography.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.

From the HDR Masterclass.
Click the image to enlarge.


Click the image for a $10 discount off the regular $45 price of the HDR Masterclass.

Click the image for a $10 discount off the regular $45 price of the HDR Masterclass.