Gritty HDR Effect Photoshop Tutorial

How's it going everyone, Chris here back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today we're going to play around with some filters and adjustments to create a gritty HDR style photo effect

This effect works great with street photography, urban images and any pictures that would be enhanced with a grungy mood with harsh contrast and sharp details Typically, HDR images are created by shooting a range of exposures and combining them in Lightroom or Photoshop, but today's tutorial will look at some filters that mimic HDR aesthetics and produce an effect that can be applied to standard images Begin by opening up your chosen image in Adobe Photoshop Gritty HDR effects are commonly seen on sport and training images in the fitness industry, so I'm using this workout image from Pexels Duplicate the background layer by dragging it on to the New Layer icon, or by using the shortcut CMD+J

Right click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object This will allow us to add effects non-destructively, so we can edit the settings later to fine tune the results The first of those effect is a Shadows and Highlights adjustment Go to Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights, then enter 50% for both the Shadows and Highlights values to flatten out the contrast Next go to Filter > Adjustments > Black and White

Click OK in the default settings, but double click the small settings icon for this effect in the Layers panel Change the blending mode to Overlay to bring back some hard contrast to the image The next adjustment will be a Smart Sharpen filter from the Filter > Sharpen menu Change the settings to 100 Amount, 1px Radius and 0 Noise Reduction This will begin to draw out some of the gritty details

Head back to the Filter > Sharpen menu, but this time add an Unsharp Mask Edit the settings to 20 Amount, 30 Radius and 0 Threshold Boost the contrast a little further by going to Filter > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast and increase the Contrast setting to 50% An optional step is to convert the image to Black and White with a Black and White adjustment layer Turning this layer on or off allows you to choose between a harsh colour, or grainy noir effect

You could even go half and half by dropping the opacity of the adjustment layer to produce a washed out look Those effects that have been applied to the main image might have resulted in some haloing in places You can remove this by painting within the Smart Object layer mask Set up a brush with around 50% hardness, then alter the size with the square bracket keys Paint with black to remove the effects from specific areas, carefully outlining the areas you want the effect to remain

If you accidentally erase too much, press the X key to switch from painting black to white to restore the effects You can adjust the overall impact of the gritty HDR effect by altering the opacity of this duplicate layer The lower the opacity, the more the original image will show through, which allows you to tone down the harshness if necessary The final result is a faux HDR look that brings out the grainy details from an image and enhances the contrast Give this effect a try on any photos of harsh urban environments or pictures that require some attitude

So I hope you find this effect useful in your projects Stick around on my channel by hitting the subscribe button, along with the notification bell to be the first to see my upcoming tutorials Thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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