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Thread: HDR software

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    Default HDR software

    Those of you who do HDR, what software do you use? LR, PS? Or something else? Are the free ones any good? Or is it worth paying for external software? Are there any affordable ones out there?

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    Default Re: HDR software

    I used photomatix std a few times, but not since hdr introduced natively into lightroom 6/cc. new Lightroom can also do hdr from Raw files and saves as a dng - digal negative file format.
    http://www.hdrsoft.com/order.php#bundle

    if you have aperture, photoshop elements, older lightroom or photoshop maybe also have a look a googles nik software that is now a free download That includes hdr effex pro.
    https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

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    Default Re: HDR software

    Quote Originally Posted by Elma_van_Zyl View Post
    Those of you who do HDR, what software do you use? LR, PS? Or something else? Are the free ones any good? Or is it worth paying for external software? Are there any affordable ones out there?
    I dont like the way photomatix produces stuff, it seems noisy.

    Lightroom's built in HDR function is not bad, but also rather bland.

    I think for now, and to my liking, the Nik plug in for Lightroom renders the most natural looking blends.

    Regards

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    Premium Member elsahoffmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    I dont like HDR - full stop.

    Having said - I agree that NIK filters has a good option and very adjustable which makes me almost like HDR.
    I have even used it myself and was fairly happy with the results.
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    Frequent Member ganna's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    The HDR in Lightroom works differently in the sense that it looks bland, but the image contains 3x more information. You can really stretch it so much further than a single image. Lightening up shadows will cause very little noise in comparison to single image. What I do is to combine a few images. For example: Get one image from Photomatix i.e. where the middle ground looks best, another say from Lr where the sky looks best, one of your single images where i.e skin-tones looks best etc. and open them as layers in Photoshop. Through masking create your ideal look.
    3 main mistakes that cause HDR to look bad is: You need a highlight and shadow point in image (enough contrast) Do not push all 3 of the primary colours hard. (Ideally only on or sometimes two) Too much saturation in the greens cause the foliage and grass to look radioactive. Lastly, the sky cannot be darker than the ground, it appears wrong to the eye (clouds are not black) (Trey Ratcliff)
    Martin Kirstein

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    Frequent Member BrerFox's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    Thought-provoking input here, Ganna - thanks. But, I am not a fan of Trey Ratcliff - neither his work, nor his explanations.
    (There are many situations where you want a sky to be darker than the ground, for instance - even in the day time)
    The real problem with HDR is the compression that results from compressing a wide dynamic range into a range we can represent.
    It usually creates more problems than it solves.
    The "Photomatix look" to clouds, - which can be very effective in moderation - has nothing to do with HDR - it is controlled by the "structure" setting, which is an independent control. I have just uploaded a pic into the landscape gallery entitled "Grey Street" to illustrate this.
    For me, Nik's HDR Effex is the best HDR software I have come across, but I think you can usually do better with other techniques.
    I would appreciate your honest comments on my "Grey Street" picture, taken last month, as it represents my current position on dynamic range processing. Does it work?
    Andre

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    Premium Member elsahoffmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    Quote Originally Posted by BrerFox View Post
    I would appreciate your honest comments on my "Grey Street" picture, taken last month, as it represents my current position on dynamic range processing. Does it work?
    As I am not a fan of HDR - take this with a pinch of salt.

    I like the mood created in the editing of the image. I dont like the halos.
    Since the mood and look is a "clean" one - I woul dhave removed the telephone/power lines.
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    Frequent Member BrerFox's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    Thanks, Elsa - I have answered your specific comment on my shot in the gallery, but re your general dislike for HDR, I agree with you.
    Like bubble-gum, it is a valid taste, but you should grow out of it. Trey hasn't, but he represents an entire culture that I dislike - people who do not want to bother to learn photography as an art form, but want to add an instant "wow" to a picture that was not worth taking in the first place. It is a big culture, and they are, of course entitled to their opinions, but I have very little in common with them. I do not dislike the people, by the way, but I have bought tutorials from Trey, and they always seem to make me move backwards. I prefer David du Chemin, who somehow gets me to move in the direction that I want to go.
    Nonetheless, the HDR tool is a powerful one, and when it is used appropriately and properly by an accomplished photographer,
    the technique may have merit, I think. Admittedly, I have not got it to work properly yet, but that is probably me - I will persevere in appropriate cases.
    Andre

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    Frequent Member Peter Connan's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDR software

    I have only fiddled with HDR twice. The first was several years ago, when I was still a newby on the forum. I took a bracket series and asked Bomtek to do me an HDR version. To be honest, I preferred the version I edited from a single photo.

    Recently I upgraded to LR6, and the other night I took a bracket series of an extremely high dynamic range scene, and did an HDR merge in LR.

    As somebody commented above, the result looked pretty flat. In fact, very much like Nikon's "flat" profile found in the newer cameras, and designed specifically to allow more leeway in PP. And to be honest, this seems to be exactly what the LR HDR seems to give: huge latitude for editing later, with relatively little noise.

    My feeling then is that if you want to take a landscape with a relatively high DR (such as looking into the sunrise, but just before the sun actually does rise), and you want to produce a result similar to what you actually saw, but such that you have enough quality for a nice large print, this is probably a very valuable tool.

    However, the other thing I discovered is that the LR process is dependent on pretty good hardware. I did this particular 7-shot merge twice, and each time had some strange (but completely different between the two attempts) effects/artifacts show up in the bright areas...

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