Category Archives: HDR Lesson

8 HDR Software Program Shootout

8 HDR Software Program Shootout

Comparing 8 HDR ProgramsIn this article we will compare 8 of the most popular HDR Processing Software currently available including:

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
  • Adobe Photoshop HDR Pro
  • Aurora HDR Pro 2018 by Skylum
  • Easy HDR
  • Enfuse HDR
  • HDRsoft PhotoMatix Pro 6
  • HDRSoft Merge to 32 Bit HDR
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5

*Note: You can skip reading this next part if you just want to get on with the review.

I have long avoided doing a head to head comparison like this. For a couple of reasons. Mostly because it is a conflict of interest, in two ways. In the first way, I represent.as an affiliate, some of  the companies reviewed here. So if I say something is good, how do you know it’s not just me pushing something I possibly could make money on? Secondly, It’s a conflict of interest to myself since photography and this website are my only means of making a living. So if I don’t promote things, I also don’t eat. This is why I most times would just review one piece of software at a time, do the FTC announcement to let you know that I may or may not have a financial connection to the company and then give you my honest opinion of that piece of software. That last part I ALWAYS do. But the truth of the matter is, affiliate deals are not what they were at one time and I make far more of my living selling Prints now. And I thought a good way to do this was to do the head to head, Give some opinions on how they performed but in the end NOT TELL YOU, “This one is the best!” or even give you a “Top 3” I’ll give you the info and the results. YOU make that choice, and it WILL be different for different people since HDR styles are very spread apart from Mild to Wild and not all, do all. So here you have it: 8 HDR Software Roundup.

Continue reading »

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 NOW Available

ON1 software has announced that the new ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is out of Beta and now available for sale!

The 2018 version contains all these great updates to really make it a viable alternative to Subscription Software

  • New update includes HDR module, Pano module, tons of updates in masking (Luminosity mask, luminosity zone masks, global mask adjustments, color range masks and more)
  • Versions or virtual copies
  • New user interface
  • New color brushes
  • ON1 Photo for Mobile
  • A viable Lightroom® alternative available today

You can try before you buy with a 30 day trial and you can also upgrade from 2017 versions

Just click Below

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

You can watch an Overview Here

Macphun Software to become Skylum in 2018

Macphun Software announced today that they will be changing their name to “Skylum”.

The company feels that because of the recent addition of Windows OS editions of both Luminar and Aurora, Macphun doesn’t reflect that as well and may cause some customer confusion and with future offering of their ever expanding library of photo editing tools now for everyone.

You can read the entire Press release HERE

I think it’s a good idea and a nice new name

Good luck Skylum!

PT

Skylum

Why not give ON1 Photo Raw a spin for free

So I’ve written a couple posts about the new (ish) ON1 Photo RAW 2017. Really a great set of Photo Editing software that can be everyting you want it to be.

But why just trust me and my opinion? Try it for yourself!

ON1 Offers an Month long full Function Copy for free. So download it for yourself, try it on YOUR photos. See how easy it is to organize and get to the final image YOU want quickly and completely

Just Click  thru HERE

 

 

 

 

And guess what.

They have MORE free stuff?

Want some Free Lightroom Plug-ins?

You can Get them HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND, Want a Free Full Version of their popular ON1 Photo Effects 10

That’s right HERE

 

 

 

 

That’s a LOT of good free stuff for your After 4th Fun!

 

Luminar – New Photo Editor from Macphun – Release and Review

Luminar – The new Photo Editor from Macphun (Mac OS ONLY)

Today, Macphun software introduced Luminar their new all in one photo editor. (sorry Mac OS only)

The key features are the ability to design the Workspace to how you work, Adding or subtracting Modules (filters) to show only the ones you find necessary and work with often but always having those other modules  available. The other key feature, if you want to call it that, is simply…price. At $69 normal price (there are some savings I will talk about at the end of the piece) That’s pretty darn inexpensive in the world of editing software especially when you consider how much power and versatility is built into Luminar. Now I’m a big Adobe fan and have been a user of Photoshop since Photoshop 2. so that’s quite a long time. And currently a membership to Photoshop CC/Lightroom is $9.99 a month. Now for a professional like me that’s a small expense relative to the other expenses of running a business. Not everyone is a professional but what if you could get software that offers Pro level performance at a price that’s greatly affordable to people that don’t do this to earn money. That’s where Luminar comes in and very strongly. Even a Pro may find the feature set to be everything they need. Continue reading »

Aurora HDR Pro 2017 Performance Review

Macphun Software last week released the newest version of Aurora – Aurora HDR Pro 2017 a MUCH improved version of their Mac Only HDR Software

Now you may have noticed something, I never did a review of the Original Aurora HDR Pro, which may seem odd for a site dedicated to HDR. The reason was, it simply was not up to my standards and not ready for prime time. This really is not that unusual for 1st releases. The same was true when Nik Software released HDR Efex Pro. It just wasn’t good but when they ramped up to do release  2 and they consulted with the HDR crowd including me, they released a great, for the time, HDR software. So the fact that a first version wasn’t that good is pretty normal. Aurora certainly had the feature set right, but for me the only thing I am interested in is performance and it was there that it lacked.

All that has changed with the release of Aurora HDR Pro 2017. Continue reading »

Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Why Dynamic Range is NOT Tonal Range

Now, it could be…but it’s not

It’s like a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square…so let’s explore this

I recently was reading an article explaining dynamic range, in it, the author went on to explain when a camera has a limited dynamic range it will only show shades of gray not black and white. And I thought, no, that’s limited tonal range, not dynamic range.

Most everything we use in photography has a Full Tonal Range when lit with the same constant light source

  • Our Eyes; can see the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A High End Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • A Low End Consumer Camera; can reproduce the full tonal range from Black to White
  • Most decent LCD Monitors: Can produce a full range of tones from Black to White
  • Most Better Photo Printers: Can produce a NEAR full range of tones from black to white (Limited by Paper white {DMin} and Black Ink (DMax} )

Continue reading »

ON1 Photo 10 and Lightroom HDR

It’s no secret that Lightroom does a pretty darn good job with HDR, it makes a great NATURAL looking HDR which of course as my long time readers know, is my preferred look. But I’ve come to terms with the  fact that that is not the look everyone desires. Everyone has differing Artistic Visions and so they may want to deviate from a Natural Look to a mutitude of looks from mild to wild. The problem is besides a bit of use of the Clarity slider, there is not a lot you can do in Lightroom to push beyond Continue reading »

Why On1 is SOOO much better than Free Software

I’ve been a user of ON1 Software since I think 2007/8 when they introduced Genuine Fractals (Now Perfect Resize) and since 2010 I’ve also been a Marketer for them (FTC Truth in Ad) We have always had a good relationship but it’s one that really is gonna get better. More on that in a bit.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that a big conglomerate has been giving away Photo Editing Software for free as of late. If you don’t know, just “Google™” it. Now that software was good software developed by great people working for another great company, a good number were my friends. Great People, doing great work..well except when Mr. conglomerate came along…120 of them all lost their jobs in the acquisition. Continue reading »

HDRsoft’s Merge to 32 Bit. A simple and effective Lightroom HDR workflow

logo_hdrsoftHDRsoft, the makers of Photomatix Pro 5  the top selling HDR software, also make a Plug-in for Lightroom that allows you to select your exposures in Lightroom and then Merge those files into a 32-bit Floating Point Tiff file and automatically re-import back into Lightroom for all your Tone-mapping and finishing needs The plug-in; HDRSoft’s Merge to 32 Bit, makes the whole process easy, effective and pain free. So let’s look at the plug-in and then follow through with some thoughts on a quick and easy yet thorough workflow using Lightroom only. Continue reading »

32-bit HDR Myths and Methods

32bit32 Bit  HDR Myths and Methods

A funny thing happened a couple years ago with the introduction of Lightroom 4.1. I started seeing people talking about NOW processing their HDRs in 32-bit. Now while it was true that something new happened – 32 Bit Tiff support for both Adobe Lightroom 4.1and ACR 7.1- many people seemed to think that 32-bit processing in any program was not possible before this and even the confusion that Lightroom and Photoshop ACR  (Adobe Camera RAW) were the ONLY programs that did work in 32-bit (Color Bit depth), which simply wasn’t true. All the Major HDR Programs do their processing in 32-bit, Photomatix Pro, Nik by Google HDR Efex Pro 2, Oloneo all of them work in 32 bit depth while in their Tonemapping/processing modules. Period Continue reading »

Updated HDR How to Section

I took today to update the HDR How To Page to reflect the changes made in HDRsoft’s Photomatix 5 Program

If you or someone you know are new to HDR and Shooting and Processing of HDR Images it’s a great resource to get you started and the the over 180 other articles in the blog can help you to take your HDRs to the next level (as much as I hate that tag line)

Check it out!

Tell a friend

PT

Photomatix HDR Tutorial Final Image

Photomatix HDR Tutorial Final Image

Using the Histogram to Ensure you have covered the Dynamic Range of a Scene

HisogramAs I discussed in this article: How many Exposures are enough the most important part of the -How many exposures do I shoot – is the fact that you need to cover the entire dynamic range of the scene. As the article pointed out the spacing between exposures was not AS important as covering the entire range.

In this article  Measure & Exposing for HDR I told you how to meter different areas of the scene to know the range of shutter speeds you would need to shoot to cover the dyanmic range. But even though it’s a good way to get you close, there still can be some margin of error because of course we know…sometimes the meter gets fooled. Continue reading »

Topaz Labs releases B & W Effects 2.1

bwbox_transparentToday Topaz Labs announced the realease of B & W Effects 2.1

As always the update is fre to anyone that owns B & W Effects

The new updates to B&W Effects 2.1 make it the most powerful and comprehensive black and white conversion software on the market. The two biggest additions are:

The Zone System Viewing Mode lets you see your image broken down into 11 zones that represent the full tonal scale going from 0 as black to 10 as white. Zones are shown in different highlight colors for easy viewing. This viewing mode helps you determine whether or not you have the full tonal range in your image and then make exposure adjustments in our conversion module to correct these tones.

Continue reading »

Why HDRs Don’t Look Real

10_MG_4458-blankWhy HDRs don’t look real  

Let’s start out by saying; you may not want your HDRs to look real, maybe that’s not your Artistic intent or vision. Or maybe you don’t even know what your artist intent or vision is and maybe you are just following what others do. And that’s OK, It all depends what you want out of something. But perhaps, if you want to take images beyond snapshots and work on Art you may want to delve into what your vision is. 

But on the pretense that you want your images to look real and natural, what is it that makes so many HDR images not look real at all? 

The quick answers is: lack of shadow. 

Continue reading »