Category Archives: HDR Software

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

HDRsoft announces Photomatix 6

HDRsoft announces Photomatix 6

Yesterday HDRsoft announced the latest version of their ever popular HDR software PhotoMatix Pro 6

The new features are: 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 »

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 »

Photomatix Pro 5.1 is Still King

On September 5th. HDRsoft introduced it latest update to it’s always popular HDR Program: Photomatix Pro. Version 5.1 has a few improvments over v5.0 and they are:

Main updates in version 5.1
  • Added support for recent camera models such as the Nikon D7200 and Canon G7X, EOS M3, and 750D/760D (T6i/T6s).
  • Ability to mark presets as Favorites (by clicking on the ‘star’ icon to the left of each thumbnail) and filter the preset list to only show those favorites.
  • Fusion/Real-Estate renamed into Fusion/Interior and now includes a Brightness setting.
  • Addition of “Architecture” category to filter Presets.
  • By default, the preset name or method name is now appended to the file name of the final image. You can also adjust the suffix in the Preferences panel.
  • On Batch of Bracketed Photos, addition of Base Exposure option for deghosting.
  • The alignment is now done with one alignment method for all cases. The alignment settings (perspective correction option and maximum alignment shift) can be pre-selected via an Alignment Preset pull-down menu.
  • “License Information” panel shows the license status, as well as the license key if a Photomatix Pro copy has already been registered on the computer.

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 »

Lightroom mistakenly Double Processing Photoshop HDRs

In doing research for my article 32-bit HDR Myths and Methods, I came across a strange occurrence.  A 32-bit Floating point Tiff HDR file I processed in Photoshop CC (Not ACR), saved as a new 32-bit Tiff file and then  imported into Lightroom looked absolutely Horrid.

Here, I’ll show you. The Photoshop Image is on the Left (as viewed in Lightroom) Click for large view 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

HDR Pro in Photoshop CS6 – Using ACR

Photoshop CS6I’ve never been a fan of making HDRs in Photoshop; other programs like Photomatix and Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 were just simpler and just had much better results. So when I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS6  ® a few months ago ( Which I absolutely LOVE), I have to be honest, I really didn’t even take much more than a cursory look at its improved HDR module. 

But I thought, if I’m going to talk and teach HDR I need to look at all the tools out there. Not everyone will have the same tools and they may need advice on using a different one. 

So I went back to explore HDR Pro in Photoshop CS6. ®

Continue reading »

Shooting the HDR Night Cityscape

For those of you that have read my articles on shooting the natural looking HDR Landscape, forget everything you read…well almost everything… when it comes to Night Cityscapes. They are a totally different animal in shooting and processing.

Setting up to shoot

Before we get to exposures and processing, first lets look at how we should shoot a night cityscape regardless of if we are shooting HDR or not.

Continue reading »

Using Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 (or any Filter) as a Smart Object in Photoshop

Nik BannerUsing Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 (Or any Filter) as a Smart Object in Photoshop 

How many times have you finished tone mapping an image and made your final Tiff or Jpeg image only to think that you wish you would have done things differently in your HDR program when tone mapping or adding adjustments during the HDR process? 

Do you wish that you could just go back to where you left off in that process and make any change you wanted? 

Well of course you could just merge the images again and yeah you were smart enough to save the recipe you used as a preset. But what about the 20 control points you added to the image. Plus all that time spent remerging and aligning the initial images. There has to be a better way. 

There is, using HDR Efex Pro 2 as a Smart Object/Smart Filter in Photoshop.  Continue reading »

Turn Down that NOISE! – Topaz DeNoise 5

Noise: The digital age equivalent to “Grain” when we shot film. Although it’s somewhat popular now, film grain wasn’t always the welcome trendy thing that it is today.

Maybe 40 years from now we will look back and be putting noise into our images remembering it with the rose color fondness that film grain has and debating whether Nikon noise or Canon noise looked better. 

  

What is Noise? 

Just what is “Noise”? Where does it come from, how can we prevent it and how do we get rid of it if we can’t?  Continue reading »

Follow up to the Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 Review

Over on Facebook someone asked to show the differences between Nik HDR Efex Pro and the New Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 in a side by side comparison image.

Which is a reasonable request but there are some problems with this if you don’t look at it with a few things in mind. HEP2 not only has a new HDR Algorithm, it also has some big changes in controls. So how do you separate out what is due to the algorithm and what is because of the controls? Then on top of that even if the controls were exactly the same the images would not look similar because the beginning default image is of a lighter luminance value with the new algorithm than the old Continue reading »