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Clash of the HDR Titans: Comparison Review of Photomatix Pro and nik HDR Efex Pro Posted

I've posted my comparison of the top two stand-alone High-Dynamic Range (HDR) image processing programs, the brand new HDR Efex Pro 1.1 from nik Software and Photomatix Pro from HDRSoft the longstanding champion on my blog at B&H's blog site. It's already stirred up some great controversy among readers who each have their favorite. And this version left out a direct comparison with Photoshop's own built-in HDR features which I've written about previously but as Photoshop continues to expand its offerings in this area we'll begin adding it to future versions of our comparisons.

You can see all the articles we've published on this site about HDR by clicking here.

Photomatix Pro 4: The Original HDR Program Gets Better

pl_pv-vineyard_0541hcWhen high dynamic range (HDR) photography burst on the scene the tool of choice for merging multiple images was Photomatix Pro. Since then some basic HDR capabilities have been included in Photoshop CS5 and nik Software has announced an HDR product so the market is heating up. I wrote about using the new “one shot” HDR capability of CS5 a few months ago. But HDRSoft, the makers of Photomatix Pro, have not been idle. They’ve shipped Photomatix Pro 4, a solid upgrade to their flagship product.

Like previous versions it is avaialbe either as a standalone product or as a Photoshop Plug-in (recommended for Photoshop users). Or you can buy their Plus bundle and get both.

Upgrades are available for current users.

I’ve been using it for awhile now and wanted to pass along what I’ve found and my thoughts…

HDR: When Even Magic Has Its Limits

Used properly, High-Dyanmic Range (HDR) imaging can almost do magic. Scenes with huge contrast and uneven lighting can be turned into pristine almost studio quality images. Like many tools it can also be a great crutch. While I certainly don't take professional pride in using techniques that way sometimes it is the only option available. That's the situation I was in when visiting Niagra Falls recently. We arrived to a gray sky, mid-day, and traveling quickly. I didn't expect to get anything great, but I did want to capture some "snaps" of the falls, so here's what I did and how it worked out...

Making “Grunge” Work for your Photographs

High dyanmic range (HDR) photographs often tend to have a certain “over the top” look. Much of the time it only detracts from what might otherwise be a great natural image. But sometimes that look can really help your image communicate…

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Sour Grapes – A Morning in the Vineyard

When most of us think of pictures of grapes we conjure up visions of large, plump fruit with an attractive sheen of moisture. But early in the season at the vineyard grapes are tiny little pods of green seeds. So when I spent the morning photographing a local vineyard I had to think of a different way to draw attention to them…