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