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Merging Photos into an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image in Adobe Lightroom

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Merging photos into an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image in Adobe Lightroom is a powerful technique that allows you to combine multiple photos of the same scene, taken at different exposures, into a single image with greater detail and dynamic range.



Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to merge photos into HDR with Adobe Lightroom:

Step 1: Import your photos

Open Adobe Lightroom and import the photos you want to merge into an HDR image. Make sure that the photos were taken with the same framing and settings, except for the exposure.



Step 2: Select the photos

Select the photos you want to merge by clicking on each of them while holding down the Ctrl key (Windows) or Cmd key (Mac).


Step 3: Merge the photos

Right-click on the selected photos and choose "Photo Merge" > "HDR" from the context menu. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl + H" (Windows) or "Cmd + H" (Mac).


Step 4: Adjust the settings

The HDR Merge Preview dialog box will appear, where you can adjust the settings for the HDR image. You can choose from three options: Auto Align, Auto Tone, and Deghosting. These options help to align the photos, adjust the exposure, and remove any ghosting or movement between the photos.



Step 5: Merge the photos

After you have adjusted the settings, click on the "Merge" button at the bottom right of the dialog box. Adobe Lightroom will then start processing the HDR image.


Step 6: Edit the merged photo

Once the HDR image has been created, it will appear in the Library module. You can then edit the image as you would any other photo in Lightroom, adjusting the exposure, contrast, color, and other settings to your liking.


Step 7: Export the final image

Once you are satisfied with the HDR image, you can export it by selecting the photo and clicking on the "Export" button at the bottom of the screen. Choose the format and settings you want for your final image, and click on the "Export" button to save it to your computer.


Merging photos into HDR with Adobe Lightroom is a powerful technique that can help you create stunning images with greater detail and dynamic range. With the step-by-step tutorial above, you can easily merge your photos into an HDR image and edit it to perfection.


Sample of Flowers in RAW format Bracketed with 3 Shots


​Exposure: -1



Exposure: 0



​Exposure: +1



​Combined Images



Tips & Tricks

Be sure you shoot in RAW. With RAW files you will have many more options and adjustments available in Adobe Lightroom.


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