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Experimenting with Corel Paint Shop Pro and Local Tone Mapping

Updated on January 9, 2011

Experimenting is Often Beneficial..

I have been interested in HDR photography, or high dynamic range imaging. If you haven't heard anything about HDR photography and you are interested in it, I highly recommend taking a look at some other people's hubs specifically on HDR photography:

For this hub however, I am going to share with you an alternative option I have found to HDR photography. I was messing around with editing some of my photographs for an upcoming art show and I discovered a very cool tool on Corel Paint Shop Pro X3. I stumbled across the local tone mapping tool. Let me share with you why this tool is so awesome.

Before and After

Images copyrighted by Amber Renee Photography... may not be used without written release from Amber Renee Photography
Images copyrighted by Amber Renee Photography... may not be used without written release from Amber Renee Photography

After Editing

Images are copyrighted by Amber Renee Photography. The images cannot be copied or reproduced without written consent from Amber Renee Photography
Images are copyrighted by Amber Renee Photography. The images cannot be copied or reproduced without written consent from Amber Renee Photography

How To Do This

With HDR imaging, you must take several different exposures of your shot in order to be able to merge the photographic images together to get your desired effect. Usually with HDR photography, the multiple images when merged together will create stunning effect on your photographs because the different exposures will pull both the extreme lights and extreme darks in your images; which creates a rich and vibrant image.

I was able to achieve a similar image by using a local tone mapping function on my Corel program. First I opened the image that I wanted to edit. I did the usual photographer duties by cropping, editing certain things that I thought should be edited and resized the image.

I then went to the "Adjust" option on my tool bar and scrolled down to brightness and contrast as shown in the picture below.

First off, you need to have a program that has the option to do the local tone mapping. The program I have is called Corel PaintShop Pro X3.

Screenshot of Step 1

Step Two: Local Tone Mapping

Now, click on the local tone mapping option and a window will pop up with some different options. On the window there are different ways of adjusting your image to get your desired effect. You can manually change the strength of the tone mapping.

Now I do not recommend that using the local tone mapping option replace the multi-step HDR process because I believe you have more control over how your photographs are put together, ultimately allowing the photographer more creative options. However, I think for beginners, the local tone mapping option is an awesome tool to highlight their images.


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    • profile image

      Michael G 

      7 years ago

      I agree with your comments on Tone Mapping and HDR.

      Tone Mapping comes in real handy when the option, or subject will not allow HDR exposures. Like HDR processing, Tone Mapping is not a useful tool for all captures. Only trial and error will determine which is best for each photographic subject.


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