Creating An HDR Photo Effect In 3 Simple Steps


Just a quick tip on how to create a HDR looking photo effect using Photoshop by making image adjustments and playing around with filters. The perfect tutorial for Photoshop beginners and even a great tutorial for a Photoshop expert.

Video Screen Cast Of The Tutorial

The Tutorial also comes with a video screen cast to compliment the text and image tutorial.


Stock Photo

1. Applying Shadow And Highlight

Start off by opening up Stock Photo in Photoshop.

1. Then Select Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight, sc1

turn the shadow amount up to 50% and the Highlight amount to also 50% then select the OK button.


2. We Next Want To Desaturate The Photo

2. Duplicate the layer by right clicking on the layer and selecting the duplicate layer.

then select image > adjustment > Desaturate the image this will then turn the image black and white.


We then want to change the blending mode on that layer to overlay. creating-hdr-image-sc5

3. Applying An High Pass Filter

3. Next select the bottom Photoshop layer and duplicated it we then want to move that layer to the top of all other layers. Then select filter > other > High pass,creating-hdr-image-sc7

we then would like to change the radious to 66 creating-hdr-image-sc8

once that’s been done select the OK button. All what’s left to do is change the blending mode for that layer to soft light.


Finished, Final Out Come


Download The Tutorial Source File


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Please Leave a comment

  • xaby


  • Laura


  • jmrs

    great !

  • clippingimages

    WoW :) Awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  • Val

    How can I save the photo effects to photoshop?

  • clay

    this isn’t really HDR. HDR contains zero shadows or hotspots. It’s supposed to flatten the image into one true exposure. If you look at this, it’s the exact opposite. It’s a cool processing that reminds me of dave hill/joey lawrence. But it isnt HDR.

  • website design singapore

    coool stuffs !

  • TomJB

    Thank you very much!
    I was looking for a way to get a “faux” HDR effect and you gave me exactly what I wanted! – TomJB

  • Wiseman

    thanks a lot… quite simple but still awesome

  • Mike

    This is Hyper-reality post processing. It’s not HDR.

  • Huda

    i agree with clay .. great job though !

  • Samantha

    Yep not HDR at all, But it does look pretty good. If you were to do that upon a scenery/landscape shot it would not look any different colour wise. You need to know real HDR to call it an HDR effect

  • joseph alves

    nice, i also use some ps actions to fake HDR. This one is pretty good:

  • The Techno MAG

    Really? Is it that simple to create an HDR photo? Thanks a ton, I am gonna try it. :)

  • Robin Isteak

    This is the first time I seeing a little short simple but full tutorials.