Use HDR to Capture MAGICAL Photos at Blue Hour (VIDEO)

Have you ever been disappointed by your early-evening cityscape photos because they didn’t accurately capture the magic of Blue Hour? That’s actually a common occurrence, and in the video below you’ll learn how to correct the problem by making city lights glow with a simple HDR technique.

Instructor Greg Benz “got hooked” on photography over 20 years ago. Today he’s a successful pro, and he says, “My goal is not just to create art, but to share the vision, tools, and techniques behind my work.”

In this powerful episode he shares his secrets for using “the amazing HDR tool” in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) to restore the full details in images captured after dark. Before donning his magician’s hat and demonstrating the HDR edit, he makes some quick adjustments to correct a few basic problems.

What you’ll notice right away are the converging verticals in the shot, and Benz demonstrates how easy that distraction is to correct. Another problem has to do the unrealistic curvature in a light pole on left side of the frame. This is due to the geometric distortion of Benz’ lens, and it’s equally easy to fix.

Benz then works on the color, exposure, contrast, and luminosity of the image with a few other quick adjustments, and now the photo is looking pretty good. He makes a copy of the shot at this stage for comparison purposes, and now it’s time for some HDR magic.

The approach recommended by Benz requires a few changes to Photoshop’s HDR settings. The first, which only applies to Mac users, involves choosing the Technology Preview option within the Settings dropdown menu. He also demonstrates a workaround for Windows users.

The remainder of this eye-opening lesson is the fun part, as Benz walks you through the necessary steps for emulating his powerful HDR method. As you’ll see, it’s actually very straightforward. Now compare his standard edit with the beautiful HDR image and you’ll be very impressed.

After watching this helpful video head oveer to Benz’ popular YouTube channel were you’ll find much more of the same.

We think you’ll also enjoy another tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to edit sunset photos for a natural yet spectacular look.