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Using HDR for texture

_djc9628hHigh dynamic range (HDR) images aren’t just for extreme lighting conditions and special effects. They can be used to provide more depth and texture to an image than is possible with a single shot. These statues of daemons lining the bridge approach to the South Gate of Angkor Thom in Cambodia show a good example. By the time they are lit (with side light from the southeast in the morning in this case) the light is a little hard and wouldn’t have shown detail in the rocks. Read more »

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.

Fixing A Once in a Lifetime Sunrise, Using Hand Held HDR

A chance to go hot-air ballooning is rare enough, but the opportunity to do it over the 4,000 temples and pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma) is difficult to repeat. So when the picture perfect morning had too much contrast for my D700 I quickly shifted to using HDR hand-held from the balloon and the results saved the day. I've posted a step by step of what I did and how the images came out on the B&H Blog site. Enjoy!

Create Better Panoramas using HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

pl_bantaysrei_hdrpano-trim2One of the first steps I teach when we work on panoramas at a workshop is that you need to put your camera in manual to ensure that you get an even exposure from one side to the other. Setting that exposure requires panning across the scene and choosing a setting that is a good compromise from the lightest to darkest areas. Obviously this requires soft and even light and makes it difficult to photograph panoramas where part of the scene is brightly lit and part is in shadow.

Hacking on the merged image later using somewhat crude tools like the Shadow/Highlight adjustment in Photoshop is the most common workaround to try to address the problem of unevenly lit panoramas. But thanks to some goading by my friend Jim Ludemann I’ve started experimenting with using HDR when shooting tricky panoramas to allow me to create successful images even of scenes which have difficult lighting conditions. In this post we’ll take you through the process, step by step…

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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…