new attempts at hdr

wpid415-hdr-examples-1.jpgI’ve posted in the past about using the LR2 plugin for Enfuse-ing images together to give that hdr look. Since then, I’ve been playing and experimenting with the trial version of Photomatix Pro (which appears to be the ‘industry favourite’) and I finally paid for it this weekend when I discovered that I could get a 60% educational discount! The image above is one of my first serious plays with it.

To create a hdr image, the starting images can either be taken bracketed (i.e. taken at different exposures so that the resulting images together contain details across all the tonal ranges in the scene, from the brightest to the darkest) with the camera, or processed from a single image in software to mimic the same effect. If you’re going to do the latter, then you’d best be shooting your images in the RAW format – you’re going to need the flexibility of reaching into your highlights and shadows to reveal as much detail as possible.

In the image above, I did exactly that. Shot a single image from which I created two virtual copies in LR2. I adjusted the exposure slider to +2 for one and -2 for the other. I then sent the three images into Photomatix Pro (with the new Lightroom Export Plugin which also returns your final image back into LR2) for processing into an hdr image. Final touch ups in LR2. An advantage of this method is that you know that the images will be perfectly aligned when combined into an hdr image. 

wpid417-hdr-examples-2.jpgIn the image above of the Black Sand beach at Punalu’u, I took three bracketed exposures in the camera and combined them in Photomatix. The brooding, moody sky lent itself to this hdr effect nicely.

I’ll put up another post soon, where I compare the difference between processing with LR2/Enfuse and Photomatix Pro.


2 thoughts on “new attempts at hdr”

  1. I can’t believe no one has said anything about those pictures, especially the one of Punalu’u. It’s wonderful! We were there just two or three weeks ago but it was so cold and windy hardly anyone was there and certainly no one was getting in the water!

    I’ll be very interested in your post about using Enfuse. I’ve been trying to create some HDR images recently, using bracketed exposures, but have had no luck whatsoever. Either I’m doing something very wrong, my computer is limiting the software or there is something wrong with Enfuse, but I suspect the former two reasons. I’m back at work on Monday, so if you’re around perhaps we can have a chat over a coffee? I have a few other questions as well!



    1. Thanks Tom,

      I’ve actually been having a bit of discussion about these pics, and HDR photography in general, with some friends from the Hilo Photo Club. Some of it getting on the philosophical side.

      It’ll be good to see you back in the office again. Sure, let’s get together at lunch time and chat.

      Post on Enfuse/Photomatix comparison coming up…



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