You Say Halo, I say Goodbye – PhotoMatix Pro 4.2

OK, so I’m on a Beatle Kick today

So you love that Grunge look to your HDRs but then you post them to Flickr, 500px or your favorite Photography forum and get all kinds of He** for Halos around trees, buildings and other areas of high contrast. So what’s an HDRer to do?

Well take a hold of one of the controls in Photomatix Pro and use the He** out of it. The Smooth Highlights control.

What the Smooth Highlights control does is just as the name suggests, It smooths the area between a Highlight and a shadow or midtone so that it is a smooth gradation in tone and not an abrupt one that causes halos

We can see the results here using the normal Grunge Preset in Photomatix Pro 4.2

If we take the control up to 100 we see that it pretty much eliminates a good portion of the halos between the sky and the palm trees




Now we can also take the grunge look one step further with a Grunge preset that I did and have included HERE for download. That brings back in a little bit of shadow to the image still keeping that Graphic CGI look but bringing back in just a little tone



Any other haloing can be taken care of using the burn tool in Photoshop or an Adjustment brush in Lightroom. In Photoshop, set the Burn tool to Highlights and 10% and just some light strokes around some of the edges should do it, In Lightroom  you can take the adjustment brush and up the exposure -10 – 20 and brush over the areas to even them out.

Just because it’s grungy it doesn’t need to look that way…I guess, he-he.


To download and Try or Buy Photomatix Pro 4.2

Visit HDRSoft

for 15% off the purchase price of Photomatix Pro 4.2 enter the discount Code: THEHDRIMAGE



  1. Dale Smith August 22, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    YES! This is the solution I have been looking for! Thank you so very much!

  2. Jeff Sinon September 16, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Great tip! Is there an equivalent slider / adjustment in HDR Efex Pro 2?