Thursday, July 16, 2009
What to do when the light is too extreme for one shot
Once you’ve captured your scene with multiple exposures, you need to upload them onto the computer and work on them with software that allows you to combine the pictures into a final HDR image. You don’t actually have to do a lot, other than open your series of exposures into the program. The software then automatically examines your exposures and puts them together into a final HDR shot.
Most of these programs also allow some adjustments as to how the exposures come together. Sometimes these adjustments can be done before you do the HDR conversion and almost always can be done afterward. A number of software programs allow you to do this.
Adobe Photoshop CS versions have an HDR capability, but I haven’t found it to be that useful. It’s just too hard to get good results. But if you have Photoshop, give it a try. Photoshop CS4 runs $699 (new) and $199 (upgrade).
Essential HDR is an easy program to use, and for me, it has created more natural results than Photomatix. I prefer it for nature photography and anything that needs a normal photographic look. Essential HDR costs $69 (Windows only).
Photomatix really jump-started HDR for photographers. It has excellent capabilities and is flexible in application, too, as it can be purchased as a stand-alone program, a plug-in for Photoshop, a plug-in for Aperture or an export plug-in for Lightroom. It seems to be the program of choice for photographers who want funkier results from HDR because it produces those effects quite easily. It’s available for Mac and PC for $99. Other HDR programs are entering the market, so you may find new ones work well for you, too.
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