Best HDR Editing programs??

6 years 1 month ago #287565 by TKBeezy
Which editing software for HDR photos is better or more useful? If not Photomatix or Efex than who?


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6 years 1 week ago #291005 by Sub7th
Photomatix is still my goto for quick and easy but if you want more control I recommend Nik Softwares HDR Efex Pro. You can get the whole package for 1 price now and with Silver efex and the others thrown in its a pretty sweet deal.
That said I've tried a few others, HDR expose, HDR Max and PhotoEngine, they all work pretty well but less intuitive (last I tried them) for me. Processing is as much a creative process as getting the shot, so I look for intuitive workflow with quality processing results.
I'm rarely happy with an HDR straight out of the merging/tonemapping process but I get a lot closer with the HDR efex app. The control points in all the Nik software filters are pretty sweet when developing.

I do have some ghosting issues here and there with HDR Efex but that's usually camera shake from wind or foliage (which none of the apps can really fix). Still, some of the other apps seem to handle that better but if you've got a steady rig it shouldn't be an issue.
Worth dl'ing the demo for sure.


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6 years 1 week ago #291010 by Happy Snapper
Out of the box EFEX will be easier and more canned approach. If you have some time to spend, the Photomatix will offer more options

Gripped Nikon D80 --- Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 --- Sigma 10-20mm f/4 --- Nikon 50mm f/1.4 --- SB600
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6 years 1 week ago #291148 by Scotty
Photoshop. The other stuff isn't even in the same league.

When the last candle has been blown out
and the last glass of champagne has been drunk
All that you are left with are the memories and the images-David Cooke.

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5 years 11 months ago #292955 by mr9a

Scotty wrote: Photoshop. The other stuff isn't even in the same league.


+11tybillion to this no contest :goodpost:

Success is only determined by the amount of "want" you have inside you, and to remind yourself that you CAN!

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #315149 by Metalstorm
Thanks for the information. I have never heard of the other HDR softwares so that's great. I'm used to Photomatix.

You mentioned ghosting. Was just wondering if the majority of people physically take multiple photos and merge them in the HDR software?
I'm self taught and what I have been doing is taking one shot in RAW and then in Photoshop create -2ev, +2ev, -4ev, +4ev....etc. and then merge them in Photomatix, so I never have any issues with ghosting.
Maybe physical taking multiple photos is better. I don't know and just want to ask the questions and hear people's opinion on how they do it.


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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #315177 by garyrhook
OK, that seems a bit odd. One RAW image will have all the information you're going to have available. Using PS or LR to edit the photo would be comparable.

No, most folks use a tripod and take multiple exposures. The idea being that you can get more detail for the shadows in one, control the highlights/blow-outs in another, get good midrange tones in perhaps a third. And you have a whole lot more information that way then doing as you describe.

RAW for me. I like it when I'm asked if an image is HDR and it's not :-)


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5 years 8 months ago #315233 by Metalstorm
Cheers great to know.
But that's what I thought the created -2ev and -4ev files would give the different tones of darker exposure and use to soften the highlights. The +2ev and +4ev files to brighten the shadows. If you do HDR as well...would be great to see your results.


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5 years 8 months ago #315291 by garyrhook
But that's just it: your modified versions of a single file don't produce any more information. The whole point of HDR is to combine data from multiple files into a single whole. Your technique is not accomlishing that.

Here's a recent image that begged the "is that HDR?" question. Kinda hard to tell at a small size; the comment was over a 16 x 24 print.




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5 years 4 months ago #364301 by teginder81
I have machinery 2, its very good, it has a free download which does everything except save in big sizes, if you want to buy it its about 33 euros so about £30, I bought it and dont regret it.


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5 years 4 months ago #364307 by DSRay
It sounds as if the real question here is "How can I make HDR images without effort" and the answer is you can't.  There is no software available (yet) that will do that for you.

As far as Photoshop's HDR filter goes, it's a joke when compared to the mainstream software projects.

Multiple exposures are required for HDR work unless you can fit the entire histogram on one exposure which would negate the need for HDR in the first place.  You can tone map any image but that doesn't make it HDR.


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5 years 2 weeks ago #394804 by Ido
I use Photoshop to merge several RAW files. In Lightroom's Photo menu (with the files selected), I choose Edit In -> Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop...
Then, in the HDR Pro dialog, next to "Mode" I choose 32-bit. Check the box to remove ghosts if necessary. Uncheck the box to map the tones in ACR. OK. Save and close. The new file probably looks awful. It's sitting in Lightroom, waiting to be edited in the same way any RAW file is. I call these "Super RAW" files, as they contain the data of several RAW files, with practically all of the RAW advantages. I usually set WB beforehand, though - just a habit, I guess.

Digitally brightening and darkening the same RAW file, and then merging them, won't do you any good. Just use the Tone sliders in Lightroom / ACR - start with Highlights and Shadows, then use Whites, Blacks and/or Exposure if you feel like they haven't given you the effect you want. No merging needed.


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4 years 5 months ago #429535 by ValerieG
I can't say if it's the best since it's not released yet, but Lightroom 6 has HDR  merge. petapixel.com/2015/02/27/a-first-look-at...soon-in-lightroom-6/


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4 years 5 months ago #429585 by Rob Conley

garyrhook wrote: But that's just it: your modified versions of a single file don't produce any more information. The whole point of HDR is to combine data from multiple files into a single whole. Your technique is not accomlishing that.

Here's a recent image that begged the "is that HDR?" question. Kinda hard to tell at a small size; the comment was over a 16 x 24 print.




I want to be there right now.  Stunning shot. 


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4 years 1 month ago #445522 by Baydream
I use Photomatrix and sometimes shoot handheld when I don't have my tripod or don't have the time to set up. The software has a setting to select handheld and adjust the % of variance. The software does a good job of matching up the shots.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
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